Jury rights outreach – Brentwood (12/7/15)

“Are you here for jury selection?  Here is some information.”  If you can say this with a smile as you extend out a pamphlet you should join in the fun!  BJ Mumford and I repeated this line at least 130 times this morning and succeeded in handing out 119 pamphlets to prospective jurors at the Rockingham County Courthouse in the seacoast region of New Hampshire.

IMG_4827Jury nullification is where a jury chooses not to convict based not on the legality of the case at hand, but on the morality of the law.  Activists inform jurors of this right by distributing informative pamphlets.  Each pamphlet gives a brief history of jury nullification, lists some rights of each juror, and explains why the practice of jury nullification is important.

This was the 2nd week of selection for the November 30th group and nearly all of them accepted a pamphlet.  A pair of defense lawyers walked by after being there for only a few minutes and they engaged me in a conversation.  One of them thanked us for what we were doing and is excited to hear about so many others in NH doing the same thing.  Roughly a minute later another defense lawyer walked by and had we practically had the same conversation as the previous lawyers.  One woman seemed nervous as she approached and then when I asked her if she was here for jury selection she immediately questioned who we represented.  After responding to a few of her other questions she frantically said that she couldn’t be taking to to us as she was already on a jury and was concerned that she would be breaking the law.  Right after that interaction a bailiff walked by and overheard us asking those approaching the doors if they were there for jury selection.  The bailiff, who was already 15 feet beyond us heading to his car, turned on his heals and strode directly back to us.  He asked me what it was we were handing out with a glare and I handed him a pamphlet.  He asked if he could take it and then continued on to his car intently reading the pamphlet as he walked through the parking lot. All in all it was a great morning.

For future jury rights outreach dates and other activism opportunities, check the Rights Brigade calendar here