Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood dismissed jury tampering charges against retired chemistry professor Julian P. Heicklen after he stood outside a courthouse and distributed pamphlets containing information about jury nullification. Reason and the New York Times have coverage.
If there was ever a time to reprimand an Assistant U.S. Attorney for bringing frivolous charges, this is it. As NYU law professor Rachel E. Barkow noted, “I don’t think sensible prosecutors should have even brought this case.”
Jury nullification has a long history in England and this country. And given the increased power given to Congress and the President, maybe its time to dust nullification off and update it for the new millenium.