D.C. Prosecutors Worried a Truthful Ad About Jury Nullification in Metro Could Hurt Them


The truth can indeed set you free, especially when it comes to the jury's right and responsibility to judge the law as well as the facts and make any decision it wants.

And when an ad promoting the cause of the Fully Informed Jury Association appeared in the D.C. metro system, it is making local prosecutors nervous, says the Washington Post:

Prospective jurors who take the subway to D.C. Superior Court and exit near the National Building Museum see these words: "Good jurors nullify bad laws" and "You have the right to 'hang' the jury with your vote if you cannot agree with other jurors."

Foter.com / Public Domain Mark 1.0

Since the billboard went up this month, District prosecutors have been worried that the message could sway their cases. In the past week alone, they have asked judges in three ­cases to ensure that jurors had neither seen nor been influenced by the billboard….

James Babb, a Philadelphia-based graphics artist who organized a fundraising campaign to put up the billboard, said he raised $3,000 in about a week through Facebook and other ­social-media sites. He said he is concerned about laws that he thinks are too restrictive.

"People are going to jail for weed," Babb said. "Things are getting so weird. There needs to be this final safeguard to protect us from a tyrannical government."

Babb's group has added a similar message on two pillars in Archives station, another Metro stop near the courthouse. Both displays are scheduled to be up for about a month. Babb said he also plans to place signs in other cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles….

The billboard also comes as Adam Kokesh, a Fairfax County-based gun rights activist, is preparing to go to trial after posting an Independence Day video on YouTube of himself apparently loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza. He had been scheduled to go to trial Thursday, but the case was pushed back to at least Nov. 18.

Kokesh's supporters have advocated for jury nullification in his case.

[Kathleen] Tynan [of the Fully Informed Jury Association, named on the ad] said the Metro billboard was not directly aimed at the Kokesh, who pleaded not guilty to carrying a pistol without a license, but she said that his case was the kind her organization targeted. "It's a victimless trial," Tynan said.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said there has been no organized effort by prosecutors to address the billboard, but instead prosecutors have raised the issue on a case-by-case basis…

Reason on jury nullification.

As the old saying goes, American liberty stands on four boxes: the ballot box, the cartridge box, the fuzzbox, and the jury box.