In 25 years my name has only ever came up for jury duty 1 time. That time I was excused from serving because, wait for it, child care. As weird as it may seem, I've always considered serving on a jury as something I should do. I've even looked forward to doing it. I've never been able to do it.
I guess back when I was learning about such things, I learned about jury nullification. I don't ever remember specifically learning about it. The concept seems to be one of those things that has been rattling around in my head for so long that its almost like its always been there.
Which is why this story caught my attention:
Man Arrested, Charged With Multiple Felonies
Denver, CO — Last week, a Denver man was arrested and charged with multiple felonies, but not for stealing, committing fraud, or engaging in violent crime. He was targeted for attempting to educate jurors about their rights in the courtroom.
Mark Ianicelli, 56, set up a table outside of Lindsay-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver in order to educate jurors about jury nullification. Jury nullification is the process by which members of juries can nullify unjust laws by finding defendants charged with them not guilty.
Ianicelli is charged with tampering with a jury, a felony in Colorado that carries a minimum bond of $5,000. He was charged by the Denver District Attorney for seven counts of tampering, and has since bailed out of jail. Ianicelli was in the second day of a planned three-day outreach to educate jurors entering the courtroom about the power of jury nullification. He was handing out fliers when he was arrested. His goal was to inform potential jurors about a vital, centuries-old function of juries.I'm not really sure how they're going to convict him for jury tampering when he didn't try to actually change the out come of a specific trial. No doubt their going to have a go at it anyway. I read the DA's press release and the indictment charges. Mr. Ianicelli handed out pamphlets of a general educational nature to anyone who wanted one. Seven of the people he handed pamphlets to happened to be selected for the jury pool. BTW being in the pool doesn't mean they are actually serving on a jury, it just means they are eligible to be called to serve on case should the court require them to do so.
How insecure about their abilities as prosecutors are Denver DA's?
Hopefully Mr. Ianicelli will get a jury of 12 people who had a chance to read his pamphlet. Even if they didn't, how is a prosecutor going to try the case without the pamphlet becoming evidence and the jury getting to read it?