By Melissa Dykes
Take the case of Mark Iannicelli. According to The Denver Post, he has been charged with seven counts of jury tampering.
Just how exactly is he accused of tampering with the jury?
Iannicelli reportedly set up a booth outside the Lindsay-Flanigan Courthouse with a sign that simply read, “Juror Info.” From the booth, Iannicelli dared to hand out — gasp! — flyers informing potential jurors about jury nullification.
What is this jury nullification you ask? Is it illegal? Surely it must be illegal if a man could get charged with not just one but seven counts of tampering just for handing out pieces of paper that inform potential jurors about it.
Actually no. Not at all. Jury nullification is what happens when a jury finds a defendant not guilty despite the fact that he or she might be technically guilty; instead they send a message that it is the law itself that is unjust or that the law was unjustly applied in a particular case.
In short, jury nullification is one of the most powerful weapons We the People have to fight our corrupt criminal justice (read: “just us”) system.
That’s probably why Denver prosecutors don’t like it very much or the fact that Mark Iannicelli was telling potential jurors about it. For being such a powerful legal tool, not a lot of people know about jury nullification it seems. The State and its minions get pretty mad when they charge someone with a crime and the jury realizes it has the awesome ability to find a defendant not guilty based on disagreeing with said prosecutors or the law itself in the first place.
So my question is, how exactly is this trial in Denver even going to work?
After all, won’t the prosecutors have to inform the jury about jury nullification in order to argue their “case” against the guy informing potential jurors about jury nullification? Does that mean they are then tampering with the jury, too?
(I put case in the typed equivalent of derisive air quotes above because I do not understand how these people think they even have a case to begin with. I’m no corrupt, sold-out prosecutor, say, in Denver for a random example, but I’m pretty sure Iannicelli’s info booth is protected under the 1st Amendment anyway.)
Iannicelli was released on a $5,000 bond; he’s due back in court August 11th. He better demand a trial.
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