Jury rights outreach – Brentwood (2/29/16)

Happy Leap Day!  The sun was shining brightly and birds were chirping merrily this morning at the Rockingham County Superior Court in the seacoast of New Hampshire.  Both BJ Mumford and I were there as usual to hand out jury nullification information to potential jurors on selection day.

IMG_5670Jury nullification is where a jury chooses not to convict based on their conscience rather than the letter of the law, thereby nullifying a bad law or a bad application of a law. Jury rights activists pass out pamphlets to jurors informing them of their right to nullify.

Typically, people start arriving at the courthouse for selection about half an hour before it starts.  There is usually an increasing flow of jurors right up until the start time but today was surprisingly quiet.  Finally, after not seeing any potential jurors for the first 20 minutes, a woman answered that she was indeed there for selection.  She took a pamphlet and went into the courthouse.  Both BJ and I were talking about the possibility that the selection was called off when this same woman came back out of the courthouse.  She was shaking her head and when I asked her if selection had been cancelled she responded with a frustrated, “yup!”  Oops.  So going forward, we are going to check the automated phone service the evening before selection dates so that we aren’t there twiddling our thumbs again. On the bright side, 100% of potential jurors that we engaged today accepted a pamphlet…even if it was only 1 person!  There is still 1 more session for this group so feel free to join at 9:30AM on Monday 3/7 unless that one is called off as well.

If you’d like to join us, check the calendar for future activism events!