Friday, February 25, 2011

How is this not a violation of this guy’s First Amendment rights?

Since 2009, Mr. Heicklen has stood there and at courthouse entrances elsewhere and handed out pamphlets encouraging jurors to ignore the law if they disagree with it, and to render verdicts based on conscience.

That concept, called jury nullification, is highly controversial, and courts are hostile to it. But federal prosecutors have now taken the unusual step of having Mr. Heicklen indicted on a charge that his distributing of such pamphlets at the courthouse entrance violates the law against jury tampering. He is to appear in court on Friday for a conference in his case.

Mr. Heicklen insists that he never tries to influence specific jurors or cases, and instead gives his brochures to passers-by, hoping that jurors are among them.

Aren’t the courthouse steps one of the public commons areas that are supposed to open to everyone for political activity?  If they can force grocery stores or shopping malls to allow protestors on their property as places of public accommodation how are actual pieces of public property not covered?  And how is this not political speech, which should be covered by the highest form of scrutiny?  Hopefully someone in the Justice department will see this article and bitch slap this prosecutor.


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