Fully Informed Jury Association

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FIJA in the News & Jury Nullification & Volunteer | 19 Oct 2012

Montco Man Arrested Handing Out Fliers at NJWeedman Trial

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Montco man arrested handing out fliers at NJWeedman trial

A Pennsylvania man said he will pursue legal action against the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department and individual officers for his arrest Wednesday while handing out fliers about jury rights outside the county complex.

Fernando Antonio Salguero and five others were handing out pamphlets from the Fully Informed Jury Association in the morning on Rancocas Road, spurred into activism by the continuing Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion trial at the Burlington County Courthouse.

The group members were approached by a handful of county sheriff’s officers as they distributed the fliers, which highlighted jurors’ rights and jury nullification, an argument Forchion was barred from presenting at his criminal trial.

“They accused us of jury tampering. We were not targeting jurors. We were giving out pamphlets to everyone, the same way we have done a few times over the past two weeks, without incident,” Salguero said.

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According to the article, Salguero was arrested–not for handing out fliers–but rather for two 12-year-old traffic violations he says were paid years ago. Further, the article reports that Sheriff Jean Stanfield said that this type of outreach activity is not prohibited by law unless it blocks any entrance to the building. The activists who were harassed while exercising their First Amendment rights reportedly will take legal action against those who bullied and threatened them and arrested one of them.

We remind all FIJA activists who do outreach near courthouses of our guidelines for Handing Out FIJA Literature Around Courthouses. While there is no way to guarantee you won’t be harassed by people whose actions are shielded from accountability by their badges, these guidelines can help you reduce the risk of and mitigate the consequences of bullying by law enforcement and other government agents. Please review them and make a plan ahead of time with your fellow activists before doing sidewalk outreach near courthouses.

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