Tag Archives: jury nullification

Julian Heicklen beats rap, jury nullification not “tampering”

In a stunning coup for the Fully Informed Jury Association’s chief pamphleteer Julian Heicklen — the 80-year-old retired chemistry professor who has often stood outside various courthouses holding a “Jury Info” sign and handing out brochures that inform jurors of their rights — had all jury tampering charges dismissed by a federal judge on Thursday.

NYT writes, “the judge, Kimba M. Wood of Federal District Court, wrote that a person violated the jury tampering statute only when he or she knowingly tried to influence a juror’s decision through a written communication ‘made in relation to a specific case pending before that juror.’”

“Judge Wood added that she would not ‘stretch the interpretation’ of the statute to cover speech that was ‘not meant to influence’ a juror’s actions in a specific case.”

“Mr. Heicklen expressed pleasure at the ruling. ‘Not just for me,’ he said. ‘I think it’s a major decision for the country.’”

“He added: ‘This is better than having them throw me in jail.’”

We’ve covered Heicklen’s saga before here at HoT and are happy to report a happy ending to Heicklen’s legal situation. This news is especially uplifting considering he acted as his own lawyer (which is often looked down on by court officers).

There’s no doubt Heicklen and his associates at FIJA will soon be back in front of courthouses, handing out literature on jury rights to anyone walking by. We’re rooting for him to be able to use this exhaustive legal experience of his own to further inform the police and court officers they have no grounds to arrest him the next time they want to get snooty about his activities.

Update: Kirsten at FIJA has correctly pointed out to us that Mr. Heicklen is not a formal part of their organization. We asked her to elaborate but have not heard back. We asked, “Is there a statement that you’d like to put out there on the heels of this news that you endorse this or don’t endorse court-side pamphleting behavior like this?”

Well it seems FIJA is indeed receptive to his triumph on their own website. They add a warning for anyone potentially following Heicklen’s lead, “activists should conduct general outreach activity and avoid even the appearance of being associated with a particular case.” Otherwise it is jury tampering.

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Some Americans pay no federal tax; No American should

Every year around this time, millions of Americans fill out a form 1040 – hoping they don’t have to write a check to Uncle Sam.

Millions more know they will be getting a refund (which is normally a return of some portion of their money that was withheld in excess of what the IRS thinks they were owed) while a smaller number will receive a “refund” in excess of the amount withheld by the IRS. The Tax Policy Center reports that roughly 46% of households filing with the IRS will “pay no income tax.” While this enrages many people who will claim that those who do pay are “supporting” those who don’t, I see things a little differently.

The Americans paying income tax are not “supporting” anyone. The Grace Commission in 1984 issued a report that stated in part, “all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services taxpayers expect from their Government.”

Certainly some of the revenue from the IRS is redistributed to those that receive a more from the IRS than they had forcibly withheld from them, though that could hardly be interpreted as “supporting” the ones that don’t “pay.” see more…

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