Tainting with Knowledge

22:32 Tue 08 Feb 2011
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Wow, this is fascinating: a Florida judge has prohibited, pre-emptively, the distribution of leaflets on jury nullification near courthouses, claiming that it amounts to jury tampering. According to my understanding of the law, jurors in the US have the right to acquit based not purely on the absence of guilt but also on their sense of the justice of the law—however, judges are free to bar anyone in their courts from informing the jurors of this right. The notion that they’re free to do so outside their courtrooms certainly seems like a stretch to me, and seems to obviously violate the First Amendment, but that’s not necessarily worth anything in terms of appeals rulings.

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