Julian Heicklen is an old activist. He hands out FIJA "jury nullification" pamphlets in front of courthouses. He and others were arrested multiple times. Recently, he was indicted for "jury tampering".
It's amusing to hear State thugs talking to Julian Heicklen. Julian complained that he kept getting unfairly arrested. State thugs said that Julian Heicklen should take the hint and stop handing out FIJA pamphlets in front of courthouses. It's Julian's fault, that he was unfairly arrested.
That shows a "Stop hitting yourself!" aspect of State bully logic. As another example, statists say "Richard Simkanin and Robert Kahre intentionally wrecked their lives, when they chose the path of tax resistance." That's misleading. State thugs wrecked their lives. State thugs are eager to silence dissent.
Via the "Asche Conformity Experiment", the first dissenter has a huge value to the rest of society. When you see a dissenter, that makes you question your false beliefs. Therefore, State thugs are *VERY EAGER* to silence the first dissenter. According to corrupt State law, most "crimes" are things that shouldn't be illegal. "Victimless crimes" and "white collar crime" criminalize many innocent-seeming activities. I wonder what percentage of prosecutions, are cases where "jury nullification" would be appropriate?
"Blame the victim!" is a bizarre aspect of pro-State troll logic. If you disobey unjust law X, and are kidnapped/arrested, the victim is blamed and not the State thugs.
Some people say "HAHAHA!! This will be a funny trial. The only evidence against Julian Heicklen is FIJA pamphlets! It'll be easy to get a 'jury nullification' acquittal!"
Actually, that's not necessarily true. I read the indictment and the relevant law.
Whoever attempts to influence the action or decision of any grand or petit juror of any court of the United States upon any issue or matter pending before such juror, or before the jury of which he is a member, or pertaining to his duties, by writing or sending to him any written communication, in relation to such issue or matter, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.Julian Heicklen is charged with a misdemeanor, and not a felony. The key phrase is "not more than six months". For a felony, you get a jury trial. For misdemeanors, there is no right to a jury trial. It's a bench trial with a judge.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the communication of a request to appear before the grand jury.
In a bench trial with a judge, of course Julian Heicklen is going to lose. His legal arguments are irrelevant. The judge will rule against him, and Julian is SOL when the judge makes a pro-State troll ruling.
At sentencing, the judge may say "I sentence you to time served. I also issue a permanent injunction, barring you from handing out FIJA pamphlets in front of courthouses." This is very clever!
If a judge gives an illegal order, it's invalid. However, that isn't what State thugs think!
Suppose Julian Heicklen persists and keeps handing out FIJA pamphlets. State thugs kidnap him again. Now, he doesn't get a new trial. It's "contempt of court". For "contempt of court", you can be jailed indefinitely without a trial!
This is a commonly-used State legal loophole. The State doesn't actually have the authority to forbid you from doing X, but a judge issues an injunction forbidding you from doing X. Now, when you disobey, you don't get a trial. It's "contempt of court", and you can be jailed indefinitely.
It's very ironic that the formal charge is "jury tampering". The *WHOLE POINT* of "jury selection" is jury tampering. Via the jury selection process, the judge and prosecutor pack the jury with pro-State trolls.
Handing out FIJA pamphlets is a way to counteract State jury selection bias. It is very offensive, that State thugs hate jury nullification so much. It's an important check and balance against abuse of State power.
It is obviously illegal and unconstitutional to arrest/kidnap someone for handing out FIJA pamphlets in front of a courthouse. Unfortunately, State thugs don't think that way. State thugs have a monopoly for interpreting and enforcing the Constitution. The slaves are SOL if State thugs claim too much power.
"Jury nullification" is a uniquely American freedom. In most/all other countries, prosecutors can appeal a "not guilty" jury verdict. Due to the "double jeopardy" clause in the Bill of Rights, a "not guilty" jury verdict cannot be overturned, even if the jurors nullified. If a jury says "not guilty", there's nothing the judge can do about it, even if he thinks the defendant is guilty.
However, there are other dirty tricks prosecutors can use, in addition to biased jury selection. The most common one is "a separate trial in state and Federal court for the same action". This gives prosecutors two tries. Also, charges may be split among multiple trials.
Another dirty trick is "Prosecutors use their search warrant power to grab all your personal and business records. Then, they find additional crimes to charge you with."
There are problems with Julian Heicklen's indictment, in addition to "WTF? You can't kidnap someone for handing out FIJA pamphlets!"
In order for the "jury tampering" charge to stick, prosecutors should have to prove that Julian Heicklen was trying to influence the outcome of a specific trial. Julian Heicklen was merely trying to raise overall awareness of jury nullification. He also probably wanted to make State thugs look bad, when they arrest someone for a stupid reason.
Prosecutors should have to prove that a juror read Julian Heicklen's pamphlet, got selected for the jury, and the pamphlet influenced their vote. Prosecutors should also have to prove that Julian Heicklen was trying to affect a specific trial.
It should be legal to hand out FIJA pamphlets, even if there's a specific defendant you want to help. A large group of vocal supporters could influence jurors.
Personally, I'd hand out FIJA pamphlets in front of a courthouse only if there was a specific person I was trying to help. In front of a courthouse, you're fighting State thugs on their turf.
If your goal is merely to raise awareness, you'll reach more people in Times Square, than in front of a courthouse. There's also less personal risk.
Another interesting point is "How close do you have to be to the courthouse?" Can you hand out FIJA pamphlets 1 block away? 2 blocks away? At nearby subway stations? If necessary, State thugs will kidnap all who challenge their authority.
Julian Heicklen announced that he isn't going to appear in court to answer the warrant. Is another person, "bile", doing the same thing? I disapprove of that. The State's authority isn't legitimate, but I wouldn't want the inconvenience of being jailed without bail. The lost salary isn't worth it.
Also, "refusing to respond to an arrest warrant" is a separate, much more serious crime. The prosecutor can argue "Julian Heicklen ignored his court date!" without mentioning "jury nullification" at all. Again, that might be "contempt of court" and not qualify for a jury trial.
There is one advantage of being an older freedom activist. If you're 35, a 20 year jail term is stealing a huge chunk of your life. If you're 70, there's much less to lose. However, State thugs are already stealing a huge chunk of my life via taxes.
Julian Heicklen's relatives seem to be trying to have him declared "mentally incompetent" and imprisoned in an old age home. Based on my experience, being involuntarily hospitalized is extremely unpleasant.
This is amusing. Julian Heicklein *WON'T* get the opportunity to show his FIJA pamphlets to a jury. He will get a bench trial and not a jury trial! If he persists handing out FIJA pamphlets, then the judge may jail him indefinitely for "contempt of court", without a jury trial.
As Julian Heicklen and George Donnelly demonstrated, there is no "freedom of press" or "freedom of speech". You don't have the right to hand out "jury nullification" pamphlets in front of a courthouse.