Congratulations to Julian Heicklen for his heroic federal court victory on the right to notify on jury nullification. Julian, an 80-year-old retired chemistry professor, has been crusading on this issue for many years. He has braved numerous arrests and suffered a vast amount of abuse. Federal judge Kimba Woods ruled yesterday that the federal charges against Julian were “complete crap.” Okay, that wasn’t her exact quote – but that was the gist.
From the New York Times article on the court ruling:
Mr. Heicklen had repeatedly stood with a “Jury Info” sign and handed out brochures supporting nullification, the view that jurors who disagree with a law may ignore their oaths and vote to acquit a defendant accused of violating it.
Prosecutors said such advocacy, “directed as it is to jurors, would be both criminal and without constitutional protections no matter where it occurred.”
But 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.
Following is the email that Julian sent out last night after learning of the victory:
Today, I was notified by Sabrina Shroff, my federal defender stand-by counsel and by Ben Weiser, the federal court reporter for the New York Times that the jury tampering case against me in the U. S. District Court in Manhattan, NY Has been dismissed. This means that the jury has the right, actually the duty, to judge the law as well as the facts. I have not yet seen either the dismissal order nor the court opinion.
This is a great victory for the country and will keep me out of federal prison. However all the federal judges in the United States should be removed from office and tried for perjury with the intent to obstruct justice, since they all instruct the jury that it must uphold the law as they give it. This is a double lie. If the jury decides to uphold the law, it must be the law in the written statute. If the judge does not provide the jury with the written statute, the jury MUST find the defendant not guilty, because of reasonable doubt.
On Monday, April 23, 2012, I will be distributing jury nullification literature on the plaza in front of the U. S. Federal Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, Manhattan, NY 10007, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm. You all are invited to join me. At 1:30 pm there will be a victory luncheon for everyone who wishes to attend at their own expense at one of the best Chinese restaurants in near-by China Town. Please send me your suggestion for which restaurant you prefer.
The luncheon will to thank Sabrina Shroff and Steven Statsinger, my federal defender stand-by counsels, for their invaluable work to bring the case to a successful solution. I hope to see as many of you as possible at either the distribution or the luncheon, or both. If you plan to attend the luncheon, let me know, so that I can notify the restaurant of how many of us there will be.
One small step for a shabby old man, but a giant leap for justice and our country. On to Orlando on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Yours in freedom and justice—Julian