"You want it to be one way … but it's the other way."


A few weeks ago, the writers of The Wire wrote an article in Time vowing if that if any of them were ever called to serve on a jury in a drug case, they'd engage in jury nullification, and refuse to convict.

Over at the blog of criminal defense attorney Mark Bennett, a Texas prosecutor has put up an astonishing guest post arguing that merely advocating for jury nullification is in itself a crime, and that the authors of the Time article have violated Texas law.

The writers of The Wire, in advocating the actions that they have, are essentially promoting the commission of a crime. Had they made the statements contained in the Time magazine article in Texas, then they would almost certainly be guilty of aggravated perjury. Outrageous, no? How dare I suggest that the exercise of their First Amendment rights could possibly constitute a crime? Pretty easily, actually. Just look at the law.

This is not only absurd, it's reckless. It's a direct attack on free expression by a government agent. He's arguing that anyone in Texas who advocates for jury nullification is committing a crime—and by definition then risks prosecution. And this argument is coming from a man who has the power and the position to carry out just such a prosecution.

If this guy can look at a magazine article advocating a jury power that dates back to the founding of the country and see a crime, one could be forgiven for looking at his blog post and seeing a man who lacks the proper temperament, good judgment, and respect for civil liberties to continue to serve as a prosecutor.

Someone might also want to notify noted nullification expert and advocate Clay Conrad, who who happens to live Houston, Texas. I'm sure the SWAT team's on its way.

Headline reference here