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Judge Raps FBI’s Knuckles on a Jury Nullification Case

Written by Gary North on May 9, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested an 80-year-old man who had the audacity to stand in front of a federal building and hand out a pamphlet on jury nullification.

Jury nullification is better described as “hang the jury, not the criminal” when the law is wrong.

The jury system under British and American common law, empowers the jury to declare a criminal “not guilt” even when he broke the law, if the jury thinks the law is not valid. The jury can legally judge the law as well as the facts.

This is not well known. Local judges sometimes deny this legal fact. High school civics textbooks do not mention jury nullification. Jury nullification threatens prosecutors, who do not appreciate interference by the rabble who make up a jury of the accused’s peers.

So, the FBI assigned an agent to pose as a juror. This was a “sting” operation. He was wearing a wire.

Heicklen then allegedly talked to the agent at great length about the role nullification played in guaranteeing freedom of religion in the trial of William Penn, for preaching Quakerism, and freedom of the press in the trial of John Peter Zenger, for criticizing the king during colonial times.

The prosecution wanted the man to serve six months in prison. The judge set him free after she heard the recording. She invoked the right of free speech.

This kind of argument has always been an offense to prosecutors. The New York Times reported the following.

His speech is not protected by the First Amendment,” prosecutors wrote.

“No legal system could long survive,” they added, “if it gave every individual the option of disregarding with impunity any law which by his personal standard was judged morally untenable.”

The judge thought otherwise.

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13 thoughts on “Judge Raps FBI’s Knuckles on a Jury Nullification Case

  1. "Most Constitutionalists favor the jury system, provided jury nullification (a juror’s right to judge a law as unjust, oppressive, or inapplicable to any particular case) is in force. However, even if jury nullification were restored, juries would still render decisions based upon each jury’s collective standard of morality or immorality. 'A jury drawn from the [Biblically] uninstructed population is no better equipped to administer the just requirements of God’s law than a corrupt judge.' (Dennis Oliver Woods, "A Handbook of Biblical Law" (Prepublication, 2010) p. 12.) A jury awarded $2.3 million to Stella Liebeck when she burned herself with McDonald’s coffee, and a jury found O.J. Simpson innocent on all charges. Although it might be argued that it only takes one juror to dissent and prevent a 'railroad job,' most people lack the independence and resolution to resist the will of a majority. More often than not, today’s jurors reflect the type of people we are warned against in Exodus 23:

    'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment.' (Exodus 23:2)

    "Juries produce, at best, erratic justice. Without Yahweh’s law as the standard, jury decisions are based upon the capricious morality of its members. Nothing demonstrates this better than Jesus’ trial by a jury of His peers with Pontius Pilate presiding. The prevailing immorality of the day demanded Jesus be crucified even though He was clearly innocent."

    Excerpted from Chapter 6 "Article 3: Judicial Usurpation" of "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective" at http://www.missiontoisrael.org/biblelaw-constitut….

    Find out how much you really know about the Constitution as compared to Yahweh's moral law (His commandments, statutes, and judgments). Take our Constitution Survey at http://www.missiontoisrael.org/constitutionsurvey… and receive a free copy of the "Primer" (an 85 page book, normally $7 plus shipping) of "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective."

  2. Robert says:

    Almost any law is subject to jury interpretation that is the hazard of freedom and all it faults and greatness. Just think of Juries after Sharpton and Jackson get through with them, their past performance has more than nullified juries, why are they not in jail?

  3. Very Well said, Heavenly father forgive us for what we've become.

  4. You know government has gotten too big and too bloated when when its minions ave the time and money to pursue this type of penny ante persecutions(and yes i mant persecuton-not prosecution)

  5. Good for the Judge.

  6. boomer8 says:

    what exempts law enforcement from Lying through misrepresentation: saying they're somebody they're not in order to "entrap" a person by their words?? Indeed, the FBI lied on the stand during the Martha Stewart trial, and they lied to Martha Stewart prior t the trial. Yet none of that mattered in the court room. Our government has become criminals out to imprison us all.

  7. comuniist have taken over good by america hello hll good by god hello evil good bye freedom hello china .i got one thing to say repent before its to late evil has been let lose.

  8. Mr Mike says:

    The judge and jury should be spanked and jailed for mandating jail time and for dictating wether he can pastor. It is between the pastor, the board of any hiring church and God wether he pastors agan. Also, what he Preaches is between him, the church board, membership and Jesus christ. Liberals religiously preach the myth of so called "Separation of Church and state" with evangelistic zeal and then hypocritically misuse the state to interfere with an establishment of religion and the free exercise thereof. If they seek to proseletize people into the separation lie then so called separation should prevent them from regulating a church, or pastor's sermon material . I hope he ministers in jail and is able to "consult" while he's not pastoring. We need to preach against the judge and say some Imprecapatory prayers, and Psalme against her and the Jury!

  9. R Cloutier says:

    Most courts do not allow jury nullification. Judge often instruct the Jury they must convict. The income tax law has not been legally ratified & TAXPAYERS ARE CONVICTED UNDER IT REGULARLY. i HAVE BEEN KICKED OF JURIES A FEW TIMES FOR INSISTING ON THIS RIGHT OF THE JURY.

  10. Mike Knight says:

    This is supposed to be the citizens government. Our government. At some point the government decided they were our Gods, and we let it happen. Now we are suffering the first stages of the consequences. Consequences that will eventually lead to concentration camps, and death for all who yearn for liberty. For whatever reason at all level people turn into total loons once they enter government. I guess the power goes to their head. We need to elect real humble servants who will in turn clean up the evil bureaucracy of unelected tyrants. We need to see past their campaign rhetoric, and pick out the real humans instead of these pathetic sub-human pukes who aspire to be Gods over us.

  11. Mitchina says:

    "…if it gave every individual the option of disregarding with impunity any law which by his personal standard was judged morally untenable.” Oh Really? Well I guess this butthead is just a-okay with "The One" individual that has usurpted the pesidential office of the United States seems to be doing this EVERY SINGLE FREAKING DAY! Go after HIS ass, wiil ya?

  12. Mitchina says:

    Yes, I copies and passed out 25 (back then) video tapes of the facts on this. IT WAS NEVER RATIFIED! It is all in black and white – but what does our gvt care? We let them get away with everything.

  13. huapakechi says:

    The government is upset that jurors might decide a law should not be enforced? The government (and especially this administration) regularly ignore and fail to enforce the laws of this nation, so what's their beef when citizens do it?