The weather in Tampa, Florida started off damp and windy, but later on in the day the sun came out and it was quite pleasant.
As usual I started off at the Federal courthouse passing out brochures to people passing by, and going in and out of the courthouse.
After an hour I headed up to the county courthouse, where there are a lot more people to educate an hand brochures to.
Today the main brochure that I was passing out was the one entitled, ‘Who Owns Your Body?’ brochure. The FIJA Who Owns Your Body? brochure is my favorite. The content is neutral, and regardless of the peoples’ beliefs, it explains that our rights have been turned into permissions granted or denied by government. The brochure explains that the government assumes that it owns our bodies by telling us what we can consume, and what we may possess.
Government has made so many inferior laws, and these laws contradict the Constitution and common law. When you serve on a jury, you have a right to vote with your conscience, and refuse to convict if you think that the defendant is being tried under a bad law. It only takes one person to vote not guilty and hang the jury. If enough people start doing this, it will send a message to the prosecutors, judges and legislators, telling them that that particular law is not supported by the community.
As always I took an early lunch and then afterwards headed off into Lykes Gaslike Park to catch people on their lunch break.
As soon as the park went quiet, I headed back to the courthouse handing out brochures to people on the way.
With all these people outside I took the opportunity to pass out brochures to them. Some of the people were frustrated, because they had taken time off work to deal with their court business and did not know if their case was going to be heard that day.
I had a great day today, I handed out approximately 600 brochures.
I returned to Tampa, Florida to do outreach, first at the Federal courthouse and then on to the county courthouse.
The weather was still cold, but the sun did manage to shine through the overcast sky.
I was joined by three new FIJA activists, Jessica, Loring and Michelle all from the Tampa bay area.
The Federal courthouse was dead, so after about forty minutes we left and headed up to Hillsborough county courthouse. Here as always there are a lot of people.
We took an early lunch and headed back into town. After lunch we headed into the city center to Lykes Gaslike Park, ready for all the people getting out of work for their lunch.
Approximately around one o’clock we headed back to the county courthouse to carry on distributing Jury Nullification brochures.
Today was another good day we distributed approximately 1,050 brochures.
Last night I had the pleasure of talking at the Pinellas County Libertarian Party meeting about jury nullification.
Approximately fifteen people showed up to listen to my presentation in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
In my presentation, I stressed importantly that if you get a summons to serve on a jury, please do. If we can educate enough people on being fully informed jurors, we can restore liberty and justice for all.
I asked the group to get involved in their community with FIJA and spread the word about jury nullification. I gave the group brochures and directed them to the FIJA website, where they can either print them off, or purchase them.
The group seemed very interested and a few of them came up after my presentation and told me that they were going to pass this information on.
Last night I had the privilege of speaking in Gainesville, Florida, at the University of Florida Libertarians group.
Fifteen enthusiastic students attended the meeting to hear me talk about the Fully Informed Jury Association and Jury Nullification.
In my presentation I explained to the group that The Founders knew how important juries are, and thats one of the reasons that, jury is mentioned four times in The Constitution and The Bill of Rights. The framers knew how importance of juries, they knew that power always corrupts. The Founders planned and expected that ‘We the People’, would exercise this power and authority to judge the law as well as the facts every time we serve as jurors.
I encouraged the group to serve on the jury when they are summoned, and that a Fully Informed Juror is not only there to judge the facts of the case, but also there to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical prosecutions and bad laws unfairly imposed by government. Everyone should serve on a jury, because it is your chance to actively participate in how government is run, administered, and it is also your opportunity to protect the rights of another individual. One individual acting alone can not do much to effect legislation, but as a juror you can effectively defend other individuals from bad laws.
One person on a jury can vote with their conscience and hang the jury.
One of the students asked me if I could give an example of jury nullification. I told the group about Bernard Goetz, who on a New York subway, defended himself from being robbed with a 38 caliber revolver. In Goetz case, the government tried to convict Goetz of several crimes, but the jury refused to convict him. The reason that Goetz was acquitted, was because the members of the jury understood their rights and authority to judge not only the facts, but the law itself. They refused to apply the laws that the government had imposed.
When jurors refuse to convict people under bad laws, it shows the government that, that particular law is not supported by the community. Refusing to enforce bad laws by nullifying them is the highest duty of a juror.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Horning v. District of Columbia, 249 U.S. 596, 1920“The judge cannot direct a verdict it is true, and the jury has the power to bring in a verdict in the teeth of both law and facts.”
The group said that they would spread the message of jury nullification and get active on their campus. They had an event that they will be tabling at tomorrow and would put up the poster and hand out FIJA brochures.
On Thursday, January 13, 2011 I traveled from Clearwater, Florida to Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee to talk to the Young Americans for Liberty Group (YAL). The group meets every week on campus to discuss the political, economical situation, and the free exchange of ideas.
At the meeting there were fifteen students present, one of them had travelled two hundred and sixty miles from Orlando, Florida to listen to me speak about FIJA and Jury Nullification.
I started my presentation with wording off the front of the FIJA brochure Who Owns Your Body?
Throughout history, kings and dictators claimed ownershipof everyone’s body as a way to control all people and their actions. The U.S. Constitution reversed that flawed form of government. But now, government again claims the power of kings, seizing ownership of your body. Their actions, rather than their lies, prove that the government holds no compassion or respect for you. To government, your body is merely a working device it owns, to be taxed. ~ The Jury is your defense.
I explained to the group that the mission of FIJA is to inform all Americans about their rights, authority, and responsibilities when serving as trial jurors. And that when they serve on a jury, they have an option and the responsibility to render a verdict based on their conscience and on their sense of justice, as well as on the merits of the law.
I encouraged the group that if they are summoned to serve on a jury, that they should. That, it is their duty to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical prosecutions and bad unfair laws imposed by government.
In my presentation I made the group aware that they should:
- Pay attention to all witnesses and evidence
- Consider all facts and the fairness of the law being applied in the trial
- Listen respectfully to fellow jurors
- To vote with their conscience, even if you are the only juror who believes in your verdict
- Do not change your verdict, even if you are pressured by fellow jurors or the judge
When on a jury if you refuse to convict, it sends a message to the legislators and prosecutors. It lets them know that, that particular law is not supported by the community.
The group was very enthusiastic about the presentation and the information that I had given them. I asked them all to get active with FIJA, in school, at their local courthouse and to pass this information on to their friends and family.
I asked the group if they could put up posters and pass brochures out on campus, to which they replied yes. I gave them approximately 100 brochures and two posters to put up on campus.
On Wednesday, January 12, 2011 I attended the Freedom Seekers meeting at the IHOP on West Spruce Street, Tampa, Florida. The Freedom Seekers meet every Wednesday to talk about solutions on how to restore the Republic.
Every week between fifty to one hundred people show up and pack themselves into the conference room at the IHOP. New comers are always welcome to stand up and introduce themselves, tell the group who invited them, mention a business or organization and ideas or activism they are involved in.
The meeting this week was about adverse possession, which is a process by which premises can change ownership. It is a common law concept concerning the title to real property (land and the fixed structures built upon it). By adverse possession, title to real property can be acquired without compensation by holding the property in a manner that conflicts with the former owner’s property rights for a specified period. For example, “squatters rights” are a specific form of adverse possession.
Before the main speaker got up to talk, I was asked to talk about FIJA and Jury Nullification. I explained to the group that one big major issue in America right now is the court system. I explained to the group that jurors are not fully informed of their rights to not only judge the facts of the case but the law itself. I told the group that if any of them are summoned for jury duty, that they should appear when called, and I pointed them to Surviving Voir Dire ~ How to Get on The Jury which is on the website. I explained that their participation and their verdict will have an impact on the life of the defendant and on all of their community and that is why it is so important to serve. I told the group that they can vote with their conscience and render a verdict not just based on the facts but also the law itself. I explained that the jury is there to protect fellow citizens and has an unalienable right to veto or nullify bad laws and unjust prosecutions. I explained that one person can say not guilty and hang a jury. If enough people were to do this with bad laws, it would send a message that the particular law is not supported by the community.
I asked the group to get active in their community with FIJA, by educating others and passing out brochures at other meeting and around courthouses. I explained that the brochures can be purchased off of FIJA’s website at http://www.fija.org or that they can print the brochures off themselves at http://florida.fija.org/fija-information.
After the meeting I was approached by a couple of people that said that they enjoyed me speaking and that they will be passing this information on.
I passed out approximately 60 brochures at the meeting.
Happy New Year Everybody! Out with the old and in with the new.
I am starting the new year off with a series of talks across the state of Florida. I will be attending Freedom group meetings, Libertarian Party meetings, and college campus groups, Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty are all on my li.
I was invited to the Lee County Libertarians meeting by Millie Harvey to talk about FIJA and Jury Nullification. The group was very lively and very eager to learn what power an individual has when they serve on a jury. My presentation covered how the founders had written into the constitution trial by jury, and how Thomas Jefferson had written to Thomas Paine in 1789 saying:
I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.
I explained to the group how to survive Voir dire, and to vote with their conscience, because it only takes one person to hang a jury.
The group fully enjoyed the presentation. Three of the members said that they were now going to get active outside the county courthouse in Lee County. I gave them some brochures to get them started, and told them how they can either print them off, or oder them off the website.
It was a great night, I met a great bunch of people who are now ready to spread the message of Jury Veto Power!