Jury Statute Not Violated by Protester, Judge Rules

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 20 Apr 2012 11:59:58 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Benjamin Weiser at The New York Times - the jury tampering case against Julian P. Heicklen has been dismissed by Federal District Judge Kimba M. Wood. Cool. FIJA remains a legal endeavor, and maybe we won't have to kill all the lawyers, yet. I take issue with the "ignore their oaths" statement. The duty of a juror is to protect the innocent from the state, not follow the dictates of some would-be god in a robe.

Mr. Heicklen had repeatedly stood with a “Jury Info” sign and handed out brochures supporting nullification, the view that jurors who disagree with a law may ignore their oaths and vote to acquit a defendant accused of violating it.

Prosecutors said such advocacy, “directed as it is to jurors, would be both criminal and without constitutional protections no matter where it occurred.”

But the judge, Kimba M. Wood of Federal District Court, wrote that a person violated the jury tampering statute only when he or she knowingly tried to influence a juror’s decision through a written communication “made in relation to a specific case pending before that juror.”

Judge Wood added that she would not “stretch the interpretation” of the statute to cover speech that was “not meant to influence” a juror’s actions in a specific case.

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