Jury Rights activists in the Philadelphia area recently encountered resistance in front of a local courthouse, when they were attempting to educate their neighbors about jury nullification.
Among the activists was James Babb, an organizer behind the recent push to install jury nullification billboards in cities throughout the US.
For those who don’t know, jury nullification is basically the right for any juror to not only judge the facts of the case, but to also actually judge the validity of the law itself.
This means that if a jury feels that a defendant is facing an unjust charge, they actually have the right to rule in the defendant’s favor, even if they are technically guilty under the court’s standards.
People charged with victimless crimes, for example, could be set free, and the laws could be expeditiously changed. If a pattern of acquittals develops in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offence, this can have the de facto effect of invalidating the statute.
The federal government, and individual state governments are terrified about this concept becoming more mainstream.
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This week, James and Andrew Rumbold went to a local courthouse in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where they peacefully handed out flyers informing people of their rights when on a jury.
During this week's outreach effort, James and his friends were approached by a courthouse employee who insisted that they were not allowed to hand out flyers where they were standing. The employee was identified as Christopher M. Dailey, Director of Bucks County "Emergency Services" Security Division.
James informed Dailey that he was on public property, and that he had every right to do what he was doing. When Dailey realized that he was on camera, he demanded that the group turn their cameras off, but he was then informed that while on public property, it was legal for them to film what was happening.
Next Dailey went inside to call the police. Moments later police arrived on the scene, and knowing that the activists were armed with cameras, the officer was very polite with them. After refusing to give the officers his ID, James continued to insist that he had every right to hand out the flyers on public property, because he was not technically protesting, but simply educating the public about what laws are in existence.
The officer stepped aside for a few moments and eventually came back to inform the activists that there was in fact no law on the books preventing them from doing what they were doing.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.