… Here’s the thing … most Americans have absolutely NO idea what JURY NULLIFICATION is or what a powerful legal instrument it can be in our hands …
New Hampshire Jury Nullifies its First Felony Marijuana Case
09-17-2012 • www.news.yahoo.com …. Read Full Story
A major victory is scored for jury nullification with the acquittal of felony marijuana charges – and it’s all thanks to a “straight-laced little old lady” juror and participant of the Free State Project
Barnstead, NH (PRWEB) September 16, 2012 Doug Darrell beat the odds and walked home from his trial as a free man on Friday, a major win for the state’s new jury nullification law. Facing felony drug cultivation charges for growing marijuana plants behind his house, the 59-year-old Rastafarian saw all of the charges against him dropped after jurors in his trial successfully convinced their peers to nullify the case on the grounds that Darrell was simply trying to obey the customs of his religion.
“Many of us wondered what kind of precedent this would set,” said juror and FSP participant Cathleen Converse in an exclusive interview with Free Talk Live. “But after chewing on all of the possibilities and re-reading the definition of nullification, we all decided that the only fair thing to do was to vote with our consciences and acquit the defendant of all charges.”
Doug Darrell never had any run-ins with the law until 2009, when a National Guard helicopter flying below legal altitude while looking for drugs noticed that Darrell was growing marijuana in the back yard of his Barnstead home. Though the sighting could legally have been considered an invasion of privacy, federal drug authorities were notified anyway. Shortly thereafter, Darrell’s home was raided and the Rastafarian found himself staring down the barrel of a police assault rifle and facing multiple counts of felony possession of marijuana.
Darrell was offered several plea deals, including a final one that offered no jail time or fine in exchange for a guilty plea, but he refused to accept them on the grounds that doing so would be a sacrament of his religion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification … Jury nullification is a constitutional doctrine which allows juries to acquit criminal defendants who are technically guilty, but who do not deserve punishment. It occurs in a trial when a jury reaches a verdict contrary to the judge’s instructions as to the law.
A jury verdict contrary to the letter of the law pertains only to the particular case before it. If a pattern of acquittals develops, however, in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offence, this can have the de facto effect of invalidating the statute. A pattern of jury nullification may indicate public opposition to an unwanted legislative enactment.
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