Man Arrested for Handing out Jury Nullification Fliers
Yesterday I wrote about “NJ Weedman” Ed Forchion and his jury nullification victory, where he was acquitted on a distribution charge that carried a 10 year sentence. A jury of 12 decided that the law he had broken was illegitimate, and they ruled not guilty.
Despite the fact that jury nullification is constitutional law, and applies in every state, courts do everything in their power to keep this knowledge from the public. Inside the courtroom Forchion was threatened with a contempt charge when he started discussing the rights of the jury.
Outside the courthouse, on the night before the final arguments, Fernando Antonio Salguero and five others were handing out pamphlets from the Fully Informed Jury Association, spreading awareness about jury nullification. Police arrived and arrested Salguero, forcing the other supporters away from the courthouse.
An oped news article explains how the encounter transpired:
The group members were approached by a handful of county sheriff’s officers as they distributed the fliers, which highlighted jurors’ rights and jury nullification, an argument Forchion was barred from presenting at his criminal trial.
“They accused us of jury tampering. We were not targeting jurors. We were giving out pamphlets to everyone, the same way we have done a few times over the past two weeks, without incident,” Salguero said.
The men said the officers demanded identification. The officers then checked the men for outstanding warrants. Salguero was arrested for two 12-year-old traffic violations that he claimed had been paid long ago. He was handcuffed and processed at the Burlington County Jail.
Salguero, a Montgomery County firefighter and a married father of two with no criminal record, was released hours later on $250 bail.
When asked about his ordeal Salguero told reporters that “I was kidnapped and my friends had to pay a ransom for my release”
According to another activist Jim Babb, weedman’s other supporters were told to disperse under threat of arrest, and then told that they were “banned from county property.”
Salguero said that he will be taking legal action against the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department and individual officers for his arrest Wednesday. Luckilly his efforts were not wasted, as Ed Forchion was found not guilty the day after.