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Jury Nullification advocate set free after facing charges of attempting to influence jurors.

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posted on May, 9 2012 @ 10:00 AM
A retired professor made it his habit to stand in a courtyard outside a New York courthouse handing out pamphlets and educating people about the concept of jury nulification in the hopes of meeting a juror and informing them of their rights to judge not just the facts of the case but, the law as well.

An undercover FBI agent made contact with the professor and arrested him on charges of attempted jury tampering.

Prosecution Explains Jury Tampering Charge

But now prosecutors are offering their first detailed explanation for why they charged Mr. Heicklen, arguing in a brief that his “advocacy of jury nullification, directed as it is to jurors, would be both criminal and without Constitutional protections no matter where it occurred.”

“His speech is not protected by the First Amendment,” prosecutors wrote.

“No legal system could long survive,” they added, “if it gave every individual the option of disregarding with impunity any law which by his personal standard was judged morally untenable.”


Here is a transcript of his conversation with the agent:

"Heicklen: Would you like jury information? Find out what you [inaudible]
"Agent: I'm a juror, I got picked yesterday.
"Heicklen: Oh good, that'll be good for you to know. Take it home and read this. Thank you very much.
"Agent: What's nullification?
"Heicklen: The jury has the right to judge the law as well as the facts. The judge will tell you otherwise, but there are several Supreme Court decisions which said that was true. In other words, if you think the law is unjust you can find a person innocent."

Heicklen then allegedly talked to the agent at great length about the role nullification played in guaranteeing freedom of religion in the trial of William Penn, for preaching Quakerism, and freedom of the press in the trial of John Peter Zenger, for criticizing the king during colonial times.

Wood described Heicklen's acts of conscience, which prosecutors sought to punish with a maximum six-month sentence.

Courthouse News

Luckily, he found a judge who knew what the 1st Amemndment was all about and his case was dismissed.

Jury nullification education still barely 'legal' in USA, rules judge

Jury nullification, a legal concept that dates back to 17th century England, remains perfectly lawful in the United States, according to a ruling by a federal judge last month.

Jurors can be told about nullification, not about how to decide a specific case

Wood said Heicklen well understood his legal rights, and noted that Title 18 United States Code, which government lawyers cited in their prosecution, prevents trying to influence a juror in relation to specific cases or points of law. Heicklen was not doing that, Wood said.

"The statute thus prohibits a defendant from trying to influence a juror upon any case or point in dispute before that juror by means of a written communication in relation to that case or that point in dispute," the 27-page order says.

"It also prohibits a defendant from trying to influence a juror's actions or decisions pertaining to that juror's duties, but only if the defendant made that communication in relation to a case or point in dispute before that juror," the order continues. "The statute therefore squarely criminalizes efforts to influence the outcome of a case, but exempts the broad categories of journalistic, academic, political, and other writings that discuss the roles and responsibilities of jurors in general, as well as innocent notes from friends and spouses encouraging jurors to arrive on time or to rush home, to listen closely or to deliberate carefully, but with no relation to the outcome of a particular case."

Natural News

While it may still be legal to inform people about their jury nullification rights, it is still common practice for judges to instruct jurors that they do not have the authority to judge the law, only the facts of the case at hand.

I was recently able to get out of jury duty by writing on the comments section of my juror questionaire "I believe in the concept of jury nullification of unjust laws". I was told that I did not have to report for jury duty when the day rolled around.

While it may seem that the theory is still legal, the "justice" system still does everything within its power to suppress people who hold this belief from ever sitting on a jury in a courtroom. It may still be a legitimate concept in law but, the system does everything within its power to ensure that potential jurors don't exercise their rights to judge the law.

posted on May, 9 2012 @ 10:04 AM
I got Jury Duty this month.

I can't wait............



Probably sit there all day twiddling my thumbs.

Good thing we can text!!!!!!!!

posted on May, 9 2012 @ 10:11 AM
reply to post by Manhater

Print out the info from the Jury Nullification site I linked in the OP and read it in your spare time during the trial. I can almost garauntee you'll be dismissed as a juror.

Unless of course, you really want to sit through a trial.

I still recommend reading the stuff from that site before you sit down for jury duty and use the information as your conscience dictates.

posted on May, 9 2012 @ 10:15 AM
Oh yeah, I'm definitely excited. Besides, I'll get a bigger pay.
I'm going for the money.

edit on 9-5-2012 by Manhater because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 9 2012 @ 12:41 PM
Woohoo my good news for today ..
Thank you so much. I am so thrilled to hear of this case dismissal. Sad the man had to go through this: He should never have been charged with this jury tampering deal...and was only informing the people to this nullification..bless his heart...

.I really think the undercover guy should be charged for charging/accusing him wrongfully! Possible? Also, the courts should be charged too!! for not informing the jurors of the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth - This is manipulation to the max imo. , not honest, and just grrr.. totally wrong of the system!

SnF! There is one victory down...
MOre to follow ... and soon !
edit on 9-5-2012 by SeekerLou because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 9 2012 @ 12:49 PM
Good to hear. To bad they will still harass anyone who is educating people. If jurors would put themselves in the defendants shoes they would never convict on a host of trials like prohibition cases or tax cases or other victim-less crimes...

posted on May, 9 2012 @ 12:57 PM
reply to post by hawkiye

yeah I agree..jurors would be dismissing a lot of cases if they were privy to this nullification.. ...And like this man.... if people would fight back with harassment charges...Just maybe they'd think twice but then again I'm sure they will come up with other ways and means to harass....ugh.
It's a sad, sin-sick world we live in.
edit on 9-5-2012 by SeekerLou because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 9 2012 @ 01:13 PM
How is that Jury tampering? He is giving them information they should have to begin with.

posted on May, 9 2012 @ 01:16 PM

Originally posted by Cassius666
How is that Jury tampering? He is giving them information they should have to begin with.

An educated juror is a tainted juror.

They go through painstaking lengths to cherry pick jurors. Teaching a juror anything after selection corrupts that juror.

The system likes'em dumb and pliable.

Remember that if you ever find yourself in front of a jury of your peers. They arent. You'd have a better chance trying to convince the inbred neanderthal people of planet Terwilliker 7 that your cigarette lighter isnt magic.

posted on May, 9 2012 @ 02:29 PM
I discovered the depths of the defect regarding juror nullification during Grand Jury duty in the same state.

Ultimately, there is no recourse or redress to advance this concept because the legislated monopoly, the BAR, clearly understands that the entire system collapses if they don't have the power to create the narrative from which innocence or guilt is determined. Judges would be reduced to the servants they were meant to be... we can't have that of course.

I am prepared to argue that this is at the center of a paradigm of classism - "a jury of your peers" is preferably, as far as the officers of the court are concerned, a jury that believes the judgement and pronouncements of the court and it's officers is defacto unchallengeable law. That is not now, nor ever has been the case in the United States... until very powerful and influential people began using the legal system as part of their arsenal to institute their supremacy. Why even establish a jury system if their acceptance of the law was not flexible to the social order... an order which comes from the people... not imposed upon them.

The Justice system is supposed to serve the community... not rule over it. If jurors of the community feel that a law is misapplied, contrary to reason, or simply not a representation of what they as a community desire for themselves... why should they kowtow to the justice systems' hubris filled chambers? Because they have cops with guns?

Apparently, that may be what it will eventually boil down to... especially when the Federal Bureau of Investigations spends tax dollars to stop people from simply communicating... because they have utterly surrendered to the Establishment paranoia that our so called "leaders" and "representatives" use to repress the possibility the citizens may actually call for a reckoning, or remove them from their very comfortable place in the status quo.

I expect either a covert or overt attempt to misinform and reduce to media-style hyperbole the concept of Juror nullification... the justice system that serves the establishment does not want citizens who can demand to exercise their judgement against the interests of subjugation.

posted on May, 10 2012 @ 07:04 PM
What's most disturbing about this case is the government's response.

It seems they saw this retired professor as such a threat to the legal system, they sent an undercover FBI agent after him. Considering that they used a transcript of their conversation, it probably means he wore a wire and had a surveillance team monitoring their discussion. The way they went after him, you would think they were going after a hardened drug kingpin or something.

Add to that how the prosecutor went after him in court.

“No legal system could long survive,” they added, “if it gave every individual the option of disregarding with impunity any law which by his personal standard was judged morally untenable.”

The government saw this man as a threat to the very legal system merely for spreading the information that jurors had the authority and the right to judge the law as part of their duties. I'm surprised they didn't try to charge him with treason or ship him off to Guantanamo for what he was doing.

Jury nullification is probably the last check and balance that the people have left. Every branch of the government, including the Judicial, has been corrupted by money. Our elected representatives no longer represent the common man and justice only serves the interests of those who can afford the most expensive lawyers.

The only way the average Joe gets to have a direct say in government anymore is to exercise this right and refuse to enforce laws that are clearly wrong. This right is so powerful, the government has done everything in its power to keep knowledge of it from the people.

Maybe that's the reason they have rigged the system so that the only people who serve on jury duty are those who are too stupid to get out of it. That and the people who are so desperate for money, they don't bother to try to get out of it.

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