New “Great Ideas”

NHJury.com has been running an ongoing contest looking for ideas to help us start the organization. We have a grant of $500, provided by the Civil Disobedience Evolution Fund. With this, we have been awarding up to $50 for ideas that make sense to the goal of starting NHJury.com. This week, we are announcing two ideas that we like:

  • SteveZ suggested that we buy Google Adwords for terms such as “how to get out of jury duty” and target them at people in New Hampshire. This idea earned SteveZ 30 bucks.
  • Andrew recommended an approach to fundraising proffered by Freakonomics. The suggestion was that a “one-on-one exclusiveness” model be used. An example could be a raffle winner would have a one-on-one lunch or dinner with some libertarian luminary at Liberty Forum or Porcfest. Andrew gets 50 bucks for this idea.

Keep those Great Ideas coming. We’ll accept any idea, but if you have ideas on how to raise money, you’ll could be awarded more money from the CD Evolution grant.

And if you have lots of Great Ideas and some time, our Executive Director position is still open. It’s a paid position, by the way. You could do well by doing good!

“Great Ideas” Contest Winners Announced

NHJury.com is sponsoring an ongoing contest looking for Great Ideas to help kick-start the organization. We have $500, provided by the Civil Disobedience Evolution Fund. We will award up to $50 for ideas that we like. Here are the ideas we like this week, and the amount of money awarded:

  • smashley suggested that we organize a music festival to raise money and awareness. We’re not sure exactly how to pull this off, but the idea definitely has potential. This idea earned smashley 50 bucks.
  • budvoss suggested that we hand out pamphlets at the DMV. Since the jury pool is selected from voter rolls and DMV licenses, this would allow us to reach people who might not otherwise be exposed to our outreach at courtrooms. budvoss gets 20 bucks for this idea.
  • Magic Mist suggested outreach similar to the Stamp Stampede movement where supporters could stamp dollar bills with “Google jury nullification” or some other message that would expose people to our message. That idea is worth 20 bucks. Magic Mist has asked that Rich Paul receive the award.
  • Any suggested that we identify activists in the New Hampshire jury nullification movement and host pages with the activists’ information with the ability for supporters to send donations directly to the activist. For this, Any gets 20 bucks.
  • Darryl Perry suggested that the Executive Director and board members of NH Jury go to Concord to testify at committee hearings where jury nullification legislation is discussed. Thanks for the idea, Daryl! It’s worth a Jackson.
  • Finally, Danny Sprinkle came up with a clever idea that at first seems counterproductive. Danny suggested that we create a flyer titled, “How to Get Out of Jury Duty”. For most people the desire to get out of jury duty is orders of magnitude greater than the desire to get on a jury to do justice. Playing the role of Trojan Horse, the flyer could be filled with information explaining jury nullification and the juror’s power to judge the law as well as facts, and how judges don’t like this kind of subversion in their courtrooms. The flyer would then provide helpful instructions on how to get yourself dismissed: “Show this flyer to the judge” or “Tell the court that ‘I will judge the law'”.One idea would be to hand these out at the courthouse on jury selection day and video record. The authorities will go nuts.  Sooner or later judges may start to get wise to this transparent ruse and force those who use it to serve on juries. Brilliant. For this, Danny gets 30 bucks.

Keep those Great Ideas coming. We’ll accept any idea, but if you have ideas on how to raise money, you’ll could be awarded more money.

And if you have lots of Great Ideas and some time, our Executive Director position is still open. It’s a paid position, by the way. You could do well by doing good!

Supreme Court Rules Jurors to Decide

In an interesting article published at U.S. News, the United States Supreme Court decided that jurors, not judges, would decide if mandatory minimum sentencing would apply.

 

SCOTUS: Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences in Jury’s Hands

Many mandatory minimum sentences are imposed for drug offenses

 

By 

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a jury, not a judge, should have the final say on facts that impose mandatory minimum sentences for criminals.

In particular, the 5-4 ruling will make it harder to impose minimum sentences on drug offenders, because they are among the most frequent to receive those sentences. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion. He was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

[READ: ACLU Marijuana Study Finds Blacks More Likely to Be Busted]

“Mandatory minimums for drug offenders will lessen, but it’s difficult to say to what extent,” says Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, which opposes mandatory minimum sentences. “It’s also likely that this will have beneficial effects in reducing racial disparity, because so many mandatory minimums are imposed for drug offenses, and because African-Americans in particular are on the receiving end of those penalties.”

Read the rest of the story here –

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/06/17/supreme-court-ruling-will-make-it-harder-to-impose-mandatory-minimums-on-drug-offenders

 

Rich Paul Trial

In Keene, NH,   the trial of Rich Paul began today.  He’s a  noted marijuana activist facing up to 81 years for selling plant matter that approx. 1/3 of all Americans have consumed at one time or another in their lives. Statistically speaking it is likely that at least 4 of the jurors on his case have consumed marijuana at one time or another.  Did this make the person they may have obtained it from a criminal that should be jailed for 81 years?

Paul was set up by the FBI, the New Hampshire State Drug Task Force and a “concerned citizen” (unsavory informant) in the spring of 2012 .   Not surprisingly, the concerned citizen / informant was “cooperating” with law enforcement in order to reduce or eliminate his own pending drug charges.   Of course “cooperating” can mean many things depending upon your point of view and how tight the vise gripping certain parts of your anatomy is being turned.  To Paul’s credit, he chose the correct moral path and refused to “cooperate”. This is probably because he can discern that something legal isn’t always morally right and something illegal isn’t necessarily morally wrong.

As the trial approached Paul was offered a plea deal of  “no jail time” if he would forego the trial.    Which begs the question, If Rich Paul is such a dangerous “criminal” why would the state offer him a plea deal of no jail time?  Perhaps it’s because the State is afraid that if principled people like Rich Paul continue to stand up and demand a trial, the State’s practice of putting people in jail for victimless crimes will come into question, as it should.   Also, the State seems deathly afraid to risk the chance that ONE principled juror will recognize the courage it takes to stand up and maybe, just maybe see through the sham that is this ridiculous thing called “the war on drugs.”  Not guilty.   Two words that no juror can be ever be punished for saying.   Two words conscientious jurors uttered to help end slavery in the United States and that hastened the end of the prohibition of alcohol. Two words that strengthen the concept that each and everyone of us, should own our own bodies.

Of course now that the trial has begun, the state will do everything it can to get a conviction.   Should that happen, it raises another question of a more rhetorical nature.  If  just one day before this trial the state was willing to negotiate a plea that involved no jail time, they were essentially acknowledging what many of us already know.  That Rich Paul doesn’t belong in jail and poses no threat to other people.  However, by showing the courage to stand up Paul is a very real threat.  Not to you or me mind you, but to those that make a living chasing people for behavior that involves a substance far less harmful than that which the State of New Hampshire sells, alcohol.

Courage isn’t always following arbitrary rules.  That’s obedience.  Blind obedience is what the State wants. Rich Paul needs at least ONE PRINCIPLED  JUROR to show the kind of courage he has shown.  One is all it takes.

 

Longtime Juror Rights Activist is at it Again

282686_229925113707644_2223354_nJohn Connell 54, Pastor of the Peaceful Assembly Church of Grafton ,NH  has been informing jurors of their rights for about 20 years. He began doing this while living and working in Salem, Massachusetts fulltime. Upon learning years ago that juror’s were routinely misled by unscrupulous government employees and often ignorant of what their rightful powers are, he decided to act.

Connell was a regional coordinator for FIJA or the Fully Informed Jury Association for several years in the 1990s. Additionally he has provided testimony at State Legislative hearings as well as enaging the public regularly regarding “jury nullification topics. Lately he’s taken to sporting some signs along route 4 touting NHJury.com. (thanks John!) . Both of these organizations, FIJA.ORG and NHJury.com focus on raising awareness of jurors and the public in general.
No matter what the brand is, John reasoned that the primary goal, to inform people of the proper role of a juror is so important that he’s spent countless hours and lots of his own money over the years trying to achieve this. We whole heartedly commend all of those efforts.

Recently Pastor John authored a town warrant article:

To see if the Town shall notify the voters of Grafton of their natural and historic right and responsibility as jurors, sitting on juries in all cases including grand juries, to judge the law as well as the facts before them, a right recognized by the State of New Hampshire with the passage of HB146 (Laws of 2012, c.243) and codified as RSA 519:23-a, which states that “in all criminal proceedings the court shall permit the defense to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.” The information shall be sent by the Town to all voters individually via first-class mail, and shall be prepared entirely by volunteers, information which may include pamphlets prepared by the Fully Informed Jury Association, a federally-recognized 501(c)(3) organization. All costs shall be paid using voluntarily raised funds.

John figured that since runaway government had kept jurors knowledge of their rights in the shadows, he’d use the town warrant article process to heal the damage done.  Connell thinks this idea may catch on and other peaceful individuals may want to try this in their town. He mentioned he’d be happy to show people how easily they could do this too, just contact him at John@Peacefulassemblychurch.org. or (603) 523-7111.

The warrant article got a lot of votes, but in the end it didn’t pass. Undaunted Connell intends to see this project thru. He’ll use his personal funds along with a few donations from friends and supporters.

Please join NHJury.com in giving John a big thumbs up and consider giving a small donation to help fund this project. You might save an innocent person.

Now you can subscribe to NH Jury via email!

Don't miss a single post!