Power-Hungry Judge Threatens Courtroom and Jury in Ross Ulbricht Trial Over Jury Outreach

Jury Nullification Outrach Outside Ross Ulbricht Trial

Jury Nullification Outrach Outside Ross Ulbricht Trial

Liberty activists are reluctantly backing down from their jury outreach projects outside the Manhattan federal courthouse, but not because an insane robed person threatened the entire courtroom and jury over the activists’ signs and pamphlets yesterday afternoon. As reported here yesterday, the federal gang is pulling out all the stops to prevent jurors from accessing information about jury nullification.

They dismissed jurors who admitted to seeing signs or looking at activists’ fliers. However, that wasn’t enough for the woman in the robe, Katherine Bolan Forrest. Philly liberty superactivist James Babb explains:

Evidently, despite the millions of dollars spent and incalculable power of the state, Judge Katherine Forrest feared that a few folks with pamphlets could upset their steamrolling operation. As predicted, a juror with a conscience and knowledge of their power terrifies these petty tyrants. The billboard campaign and the pamphleting op were referenced on multiple occasions. Selecting an uninformed jury became a top priority for the prosecution and their subservient judge…

Free Keene Bloggers James Cleaveland and Jay Freeville Outside the Ulbricht Trial

Free Keene Bloggers James Cleaveland and Jay Freeville Outside the Ulbricht Trial

Basically, she decreed that if the independent volunteers didn’t stop informing jurors of their right to nullify unjust and misapplied laws, she would “annonymize” the jury, bussing them in from a secret location, blocking their contact from the outside world. Of course, the jurors won’t be told that they are being “protected” from a 100% factual pamphlet about their indisputable rights. Instead, they will thank the judge for protecting them from a dangerous crime boss. Experts have confirmed that this is a credible threat…

After careful consideration, we have decided to postpone the pamphleting operation until the hostage is recovered safely. However, the offending judge will not be forgotten. She will become accustomed to dealing with informed jurors. We will not be intimidated. We will not abandon our mission. Forrest’s grumpiness confirms what we already knew. They are scared of the truth. They fear for their house of cards.

Pamphleting at this court will resume at a later date. The kiosk ad campaign will continue. If you want to help expand it, you can participate here.

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NH Jury Activists Converge on Ross Ulbricht Trial in NYC

Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross!

Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross!

Today was jury selection day at the very-important trial of Ross Ulbricht in New York City. Free Keene bloggers were out front of the federal district court in Manhattan, trying to get the word out about the insane penalty that Ross Ulbricht is facing if he’s found guilty at trial. Ross is accused of running the Silk Road underground marketplace and is facing decades in prison for it. Ross’ mother, Lyn has stood by her son and even joined the Free State Project. She has said that Ross will come to Porcfest in 2015 if he is not imprisoned!

However, getting him out of the cage he’s been in for 15 months awaiting trial is no easy task. The prosecutors are well funded and working within a system where they are on the same side as the judge. In the insane, inhumane US court system, jurors are generally precluded from knowing the penalty faced by the accused, as it may make them more likely to nullify a bad law if they feel the penalty is too severe.

Ademo Freeman from Copblock.org holds a sign in front of the Manhattan Federal District Court

Ademo Freeman from Copblock.org holds a sign in front of the Manhattan Federal District Court

In a previous motion, the prosecution asked the judge to prevent Ulbricht from testifying about his liberty-oriented beliefs and they specifically mentioned wanting to prevent the jury from any possibility of jury nullification.

They are deathly afraid of jurors knowing about nullification. Indeed, according to Derrick J, potential jurors are being asked if they saw any signs outside the court. If so, the prosecution is dismissing them.

Several signs came from a heroic effort by Derrick J to help Free Ross that included liberty activists cranking out signage to bring for Ulbricht supporters, including:

“30 YEARS TO LIFE FOR AN HONEST WEBSITE?”

“WEB HOSTING IS NOT A CRIME. WTF?”

Jay Freeville, middle, shows his support for the freedom to buy and sell.

Jay Freeville, right, shows his support for the freedom to buy and sell.

NH liberty activists have been doing jury rights outreach for years and defendants at trial in New Hampshire have been able to raise jury nullification as a defense, but this is federal court. No cell phones are allowed in. No cameras. Not even for the media. Just pencil and paper.

Guardian reporter Nicky Woolf, who came to Keene this fall and interviewed people, including me, about the police response to the Pumpkinfest Riots, took notice of the sign-holding this morning and interviewed Derrick J for his piece on the Ulbricht Trial from today.

Tune in to Free Talk Live tonight at 7pm Eastern for the latest on the case and follow along with live blog updates from the trial at The Liberty Beat and also #silkroadtrial on Twitter.

Here’s the first video from Derrick J and Ademo that shows the scene, including activists from Philly performing jury nullification outreach.

Continue reading below for another pic and the text of the Guardian piece: Continue Reading →

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NH Supreme Court Decides “Jury Nullification” Law Not A Jury Nullification Law

Rich Paul 420 2014

Rich Paul

I always thought the language in RSA 519:23-a (commonly referred to as the jury nullification statute) was weak. In fact, the state’s attorney argued in front of the NH supreme court that before it passed into law, the legislature stripped all mention of jury nullification from the original bill. From the state’s perspective, their attorney was correct, and the supreme court unanimously affirmed that the statute is not a jury nullification statute.  Here’s their seven-page decision.

The statute in question is a shadow of what it should have been. Perhaps the legislature can try again and get it right this time. Until then, whether or not a defendant will be allowed to tell a jury about nullification (which has happened multiple times thus far in NH) remains up-to-the-judge in the case, it seems.  Stay tuned to Free Keene for or NHJury.com for the latest news about jury rights in New Hampshire.

Reason has an excellent take on the news here, and FIJA’s opinion is here.

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Jury Nullification Advocate Rich Paul Out of Jail, Off Probation!

rich_paul_megaphone[1]

Rich Paul

NH Jury nullification advocate Rich Paul is out of jail! Rich recently spent a few extra months in jail in order to no longer have probation when he got out. (Though he is still on a suspended sentence.)  Activists convoyed out and picked him up this morning at 6am, then stopped by Central Square to enjoy a smoke, followed by breakfast downtown.  Later today, Rich will have lunch with friends.

Video of his release to come – watch Free Keene for an update.  Rich is excited to get started expanding NH Jury as an activist and outreach organization.

Don’t miss Rich speaking at Keenevention 2014 this October 31st through November 2nd – tickets are available now for $60 USD or BTC. Pre-event ticketing is limited to just 100, so don’t wait until the day-of to buy!

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Supreme Court Hears Jury Nullification Case

In this video, activist Rich Paul’s appeal attorney Joshua Gordon argues in front of the Supreme Court that instructions for juries should be more acknowledging of their right to jury nullification, while the attorney for the state argues that nullification is illegal, but tolerated by the system:

Rich was originally convicted by a jury of his “peers” on cannabis dealing charges Continue Reading →

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Manchester Activists Rock Jury Nullification Outreach

jury1

What are you doing on a bright Monday morning? Grabbing that coffee before work? Sleeping in on your day off? Turning out to inform scores of jurors of their right to nullify bad laws?

If the last one sounds like your morning, odds are you turned out to jury nullification outreach in Manchester, New Hampshire. Every other week, a band of dedicated activists shows up and passes out literature informing jurors of their right to vote “not guilty” in order to nullify bad laws.

Dozens of citizens participate as jurors as part of a required “civic duty.” Unfortunately, all too often jurors end up sending their fellow citizens who have never hurt anyone behind bars, feeling they have no choice but to convict of a victimless “crime.” As it turns out, in New Hampshire the rights of jurors to vote “not guilty” and nullify bad laws is well-protected, even though few jurors know about this right. That’s why it’s imperative to make time to get out there and inform jurors. It’s one way we can make a difference. It could save someone’s life.

It’s a few minutes out of your morning. All you have to do is show up with a smile on your face and pass out informative literature. You have everything to gain. What do you have to lose?

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Rich Paul Appeal to Be Heard June 18th at NH Supreme Court

richpaul2014Rich Paul, a noted cannabis legalization activist in New Hampshire, was convicted in 2013 of selling cannabis. He served a “county year” in jail. Now, his appeal brief has been filed, and his case will be heard by the New Hampshire Supreme Court on June 18 at 9:00 AM.

Supporters of Jury Nullification and ending cannabis prohibition will be gathering at the Supreme Court around 8:30 AM.

Supporters who enter the court are asked to be respectful and non-disruptive.

The issue at law is the question of whether the judge’s jury instructions violated the statute that makes the defense of “Jury Nullification” permissible in New Hampshire.

Here’s a facebook event for the hearing.

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NH Jury Releases Redesigned Outreach Trifold!

new_fliersOut with the old, in with the new!  Thanks to the help of graphic design wizard Meg McLain, NHJury.com has a brand new trifold for outreach to potential jurors and others who want to learn about the right of jury nullification!

5,000 new fliers have been printed and will be filtering to activists statewide this summer (after we run dry of the original 2011 flier).

The new version features updated text that reflects the passage of the NH Jury Nullification law in 2012 as well as a more current quote from a judge about nullification among other minor tweaks and a complete graphical redesign!

The full resolution graphics are available here, so feel free to print your own and start your own jury outreach project.  (Or, coordinate with other activists in NH on the NHJury.com Facebook group!)

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Big Changes at NHJury.com

Manch_JuryHello and welcome to (or welcome back to) NHJury.com!  You may be here because you were given an NHJury.com flier at a courthouse in New Hampshire.  Here you will find further detail on the idea of jury nullification and your rights as a juror as well as information for defendants.

Until recently, this site had suffered from a lack of updates to the blog.  I’ve now taken over managing the site and hope to bring more content here over time by adding more NH jury activists as bloggers.  There has recently been a resurgence of jury outreach in Manchester.  It would be great to have outreach happening regularly in all ten counties of NH.  (Grafton and Cheshire counties have had consistent jury outreach for several years.)   Want to help?  Join our group on facebook and step up!

Some immediate changes to the site include some graphical tweaks, updates, and the addition of a Contact Us page.  You can reach NHJury.com activists statewide via the contact form here or this email address: nhjury at googlegroups.com.

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Fox 5: Campaign to promote jury nullification hits Washington D.C.

Juror rights activist James Babb is interviewed by Fox 5 about new billboard campaign to promote jury nullification.

Watch it here on YouTube:

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