Jury rights outreach – Lancaster (3/29/16)


Today I led a jury nullification outreach operation in Lancaster, the northernmost courthouse in New Hampshire, for the very first time.

Jury nullification is where a jury chooses not to convict a defendant, not because the law doesn’t apply, but because applying the law would yield an unjust result. Informing jurors of this right is protected by New Hampshire law. Jury rights activists reach jurors via pamphlets informing them of their rights.

I was joined by Carol Gardner and Dann (not pictured), our favorite resident troublemaker.

Despite having both checked the jury selection calendar and having called ahead to confirm no cancellations due to weather, we were informed that there was no selection that day. It seems like this is a problem unique to the technologically-challenged courthouses north of the Franconia Notch, as this same thing happened the week before in North Haverhill. Nevertheless, we still reached a few people walking in on court business, including a lengthy conversation on victimless crimes.

Towards the end, a bailiff came out and inquired what we were doing. We explained and attempted to show him a pamphlet, but he refused to look at it. Eventually he became less gruff and went back inside. First-time encounters usually go like this.