The Jury as Liberty's Shield
By Shane Smith - September 04, 2015

It's no secret that government absolutely loathes juries. They are an obstacle, an encumbrance to greater power, and government sidesteps the jury trial any chance it gets. But a jury trial is our right as American citizens, for now, and government has to deal with it in most instances. So government settles for the next best thing: packing the jury box with the most gullible saps our society has on offer and hoping the State's slick lawyers and judges can cajole the jurors into delivering the desired verdict.

The government's beau ideal of a juror is a sap, a sheep, a serf who knows nothing of the law, or of rights, someone who would buy snow in the Arctic or sand on the Arabian Peninsula. They want malleable clay in the form of an unthinking person because they know government overreach is built upon such people.

But, oh, what power a jury has. Higher than a judge, the jury is the law. A quote from JuryBox.org goes like this:

There are five boxes to use in the defense of liberty: the soapbox, the mailbox, the ballot box, the jury box, and the ammunition box. Use them in that order.

Jurors have the power to not only judge the accused, but also the merits of the law itself. A jury can nullify an unjust law by refusing to convict the accused. That is what keeps government up at night – the thought of a jury made up of citizens that know their rights and the extent of their power. A fully-informed jury is the immovable object the government steamroller slams into when seeking to enforce tyrannical legislation. That is why members of the Fully-Informed Jury (FIJ) movement are persecuted with such zeal. A veritable war has been declared on Jury Rights activists who hand out Jury Rights information outside of courthouses.

Townhall.com has the story of the persecution of Denver-area FIJ activists for handing out Jury Rights pamphlets outside a Denver courthouse. Two activists, Mark Iannicelli and Eric Brandt, were arrested and each charged with seven counts of "jury tampering" – a felony charge punishable by up to three years in prison – by District Attorney Mitch Morrissey. Only an unscrupulous lackey would claim the distribution of Jury Rights literature is a violation of the law against jury tampering, but then again, that seems to be just the personality type selected for the position of DA.

While Denver admitted that the handing out of pamphlets is a constitutionally protected activity, the charges of "suspicion of jury tampering" still stand. This is tyrannical behavior, and sends a message to all Jury Rights activists that arrest and imprisonment is a near certainty, regardless of the law, if they are seen handing out literature to jurors as they enter a courthouse. How inclined would you be to distribute Jury Rights literature outside a courthouse if you knew the probability was fairly high that you would be arrested, even if you also knew you would be released later without charge? People feel varying degrees of comfort with political activism, but most would draw the line if arrest was imminent. That is the intimidation factor at work.

In regards to the charge of jury tampering, shouldn't the opposite be considered "jury tampering" as well? The strong-arming and intimidation of activists in order to keep jurors in the dark about their rights has more than just a hint of "tampering" when compared to what the Jury Rights activists were doing. Jury tampering has to do with threatening or bribing a juror or otherwise coercing them into a decision they would not have made of their own free will. The one entity guilty of the use of force in this instance is government. By targeting Jury Rights activists, government is depriving the jurors of vital information that may substantially affect their decision in the box.

The case in Denver has a sinister postscript. Less than 24 hours after a federal judge issued an injunction, overriding the Denver judge who ordered a ban on public demonstrations at the courthouse, Jury Rights activists had their shade tent and materials confiscated by Denver Police Chief Robert White, violating the injunction. Civil rights attorney immediately filed a motion requesting the federal judge to find the chief in contempt of court for violating the injunction. What are the odds of the request being granted?

This Saturday, September 5th, is national Jury Rights Day. It commemorates the acquittal of William Penn in 1670 by a jury who refused to convict him over his violation of a ban on religious liberty. I can't think of a more patriotic, liberty-minded celebration and call to arms than this day. More so than Independence Day, this should be the day that we think on our strategies for restoring liberty to the crumbling edifice of the American Republic.

Can you imagine the fear that would ripple through the government if the Fully-Informed Jury movement caught fire here? It would be glorious chaos as parasites such as Mitch Morrissey were forced to recognize their role as servant rather than master. Until then, we should recognize jury nullification as a powerful shield protecting our rights from an overweening political class. The Fully Informed Jury Association has all the information you need to learn about this powerful weapon in the defense of liberty.