Pinellas County Libertarian Party Meeting 1-20-11
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 told the audience that, once seated on a jury, that they have the authority to judge not only the facts, but the law itself.
Judges used to tell juries that they had a right to judge the facts and the law, and if the judge did not tell them, the defense attorney would. This disappeared in the 1800′s, when powerful special interest groups changed judicial decisions. In 1895 the Supreme Court held, unfairly, that jurors need not be told their rights! So, today if a defense attorney was to tell the jury about jury nullification and their rights to judge the law, they could be disbarred and serve up to ninety days in jail.
I explained that thousands of harmless people are in prison simply because juries were not fully informed of their full right to nullify the law. More and more prisons are being built, and they are filling up with people who have not harmed anyone, and who are in prison for non-violent, victimless crimes. The United States now leads the world in percent of population behind bars.
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.