Rich Paul Speaks to House Judicial Committee on Jury Nullification

Rich Paul Speaks to House Judicial Committee on Jury Nullification

As part of NHJury.com’s new mission, we’re reaching out to help educate legislators about Jury Nullification. To that end, board members Rich Paul and I went to speak with the NH house judiciary committee on a recent bill regarding expanding protections to a jury nullification defense, HB 246.

NHJury.com‘s board members will continue testifying in the upcoming weeks as there are even better jury nullification bills that are still-to-come to the committee. Rich’s testimony was caught on camera, but a malfunction prevented mine from being recorded:


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

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.

NH Jury Activists Converge on Ross Ulbricht Trial in NYC

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: (more…)

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

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.

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

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

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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!