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The Courts United States Your Rights Online

Jury Acquits Citizens of Illegally Filming Police 277

sexybomber writes "The Springfield (MA) Republican reports two men accused of illegally filming the process as they bailed friends out of jail that last summer, were acquitted of all charges Tuesday. Pete Eyre and Adam Mueller initially were granted permission to film the bail process, but later were forbidden by jail officials from recording the procedure. When they continued to digitally recording their encounter with jail officials, they were arrested by police. Eyre and Mueller testified that they never attempted to hide the fact that they were recording at the jail. Not only did they ask permission to film the bail-out process — which initially was granted — but their recording devices were 'out in the open,' Eyre said. The Jury found the defendants not guilty of three criminal counts: Each was acquitted of unlawful wiretapping, while Mueller also was acquitted of a charge of resisting arrest."
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Jury Acquits Citizens of Illegally Filming Police

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:22PM (#36829790) []

    The primary function of the independent juror is not, as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by government.

    The Constitution guarantees you the right to trial by jury. This means that government must bring its case before a jury of The People if government wants to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property. Jurors can say no to government tyranny by refusing to convict.

    FIJA Works To:

    Inform potential jurors of their traditional, legal authority to refuse to enforce corrupt laws;

    Inform potential jurors that they cannot be required to check their conscience at the courthouse door;

    Inform potential jurors that they cannot be punished for their verdict;

    Inform everyone that juror veto—juror nullification—is a peaceful way to protect human rights against corrupt politicians and government tyranny.

  • Re:Not justice (Score:1, Informative)

    by BradleyUffner ( 103496 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:32PM (#36829896) Homepage

    There won't be justice until we can hold the people who arrested and tried these men accountable.

    What was wrong with the trial? It seems that part of the process worked correctly. The arrest is where the problem was.

  • by ericartman ( 955413 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:02PM (#36830140)

    jury nullification---its a good thing
    BTW the last time I was being questioned for service on a jury I asked the judge about it and I was dismissed and thanked for my time. I have yet to be called for jury duty again.

  • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @09:23PM (#36830710) Homepage Journal

    Wrong on all counts. First of all, jury nullification only requires one juror. Second, that juror can vote their conscience, regardless of what drives it, and can indeed cause a failure to convict, even when the entire world might (perhaps quite rightly) think otherwise. Third, there's no "should" about how the jury nullification power is, or can be, used. It's not specifically about legality, it's not specifically about innocence, it's not specifically about appropriateness or exceptional circumstances. It's simply about one or more juror's unwillingness to convict, period, end of story.

    The only counter forces to this are (1) the other jurors and their arguments, and (2) the court's continuing attempts to hide the jury nullification power from jurors, to the extent that if it is even brought up, they'll typically declare a mistrial -- and that's a tool other jurors can use against someone who is attempting jury nullification; simply bring it up when the jury files back into the courtroom. Bang: end of trial, and they'll select a new jury.

    Also, just as an aside, for the person who is intending, for whatever reason, to attempt to use jury nullification, a strategy that may avoid the above countermove is not to mention nullification at all, but simply to insist that you cannot in good conscience convict.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21, 2011 @12:54AM (#36831756)

    Juries are the triers of fact, not law.

    "The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."
    John Jay Georgia v. Brailsford, 1794 first Chief Justice of the United States.

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