In an editorial piece, the Fully Informed Jury Association calls for a new trial for Rich Paul based on “superior” court judge John C. Kissinger’s biased jury instructions:
Helena, MT—A Cheshire County, New Hampshire jury convicted local marijuana and liberty activist Rich Paul today on five felony counts of victimless drug charges. Paul had disputed one of the charges on the facts and had openly pursued jury nullification on the other four charges, which involved the sale of small amounts of marijuana. The buyer turned out to be an FBI-paid informant who had entrapped Paul in exchange for leniency for his own heroin offense.
In 2012, New Hampshire passed HB 146, a fully informed jury bill, which guaranteed defendants the ability in court “to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.” The measure took effect on January 1 of this year.
While the defense did make the case for jury nullification, the judge undermined the intent of the law through misinformation in the instructions he issued to the jury. An attendee at the trial reported on the Free Keene Facebook page that, “Judge John C. Kissinger is reading jury instructions, where he is emphasizing the word “I” in his claim that the jury “must follow the law as *I* explain it”.”
Iloilo Jones, Executive Director of the Fully Informed Jury Association comments that, “This is a case in which a dishonest judge committed perjury in the instructions, by speaking against the authority of the jurors of New Hampshire. He used the influence of office and costume to persuade uninformed jurors to sacrifice the authority of conscience and the true role of jurors. Judge Kissinger intoned once again from the robe of office to confuse and convince the intimidated jurors to obey the laws of the government. It is no surprise that completely confused jurors would scatter in disarray before the overwhelming and intimidating power of the state.”
“Few (uninformed) jurors understand that their role is to protect fellow citizens from government tyranny, and that their first consideration is to protect the person on trial from the viciousness, greed, and ambition of government-paid employees of the same government that is making these laws, which violate human rights no less than slavery laws violated human rights,” Jones said. “It was informed jurors who helped to end slavery. Informed jurors today can help end all government abuses of human rights that are committed by government employees. Jurors are to protect people from these cruel laws, which make us slaves of government. Government wishes to own our bodies, our lives, and our productivity.”
FIJA National Coordinator Kirsten Tynan notes the blatant and unfair double standard at work in this case. “Judge Kissinger reportedly refused to include any information about jury nullification in the jury instructions and then explicitly misinformed jurors by telling them that they must follow the law as he gave it to them. He seemed intent on bullying jurors into following the letter of the law, yet he was perfectly willing to undermine it himself with false information in the instructions he delivered to them.”
Jones notes that such bullying behavior has a dramatic and chilling effect on our rights to due process and trial by jury. “If jurors are threatened, taught, and warned not to render a verdict based on their own conscience by the dishonest, government-paid judge running the courtroom, then jury trial even in New Hampshire is a sham designed to uphold the government and its employees and enforcers, rather than what jury trial is meant to be: a protection of the individual person against the ravages, greed, ambition, and dishonesty of government employees, including dishonest judges.”
In the face of such misconduct, says Jones, there is only one just remedy. “A new trial before a fully informed and honestly selected jury, with an honest judge presiding, is necessary in any case where the judge lies to the jury. This case, as with all cases before dishonest judges, must be retried before an informed and unintimidated jury,” said Jones.
About the Fully Informed Jury Association
FIJA is a non-profit association dedicated to educating the general public about their full rights, powers, and responsibilities in delivering just verdicts as trial jurors. The organization publishes and distributes educational literature and maintains a web site at FIJA.org to inform the general public of their Constitutional authority to protect human rights by refusing to enforce bad laws. FIJA encourages all jurors to consult their consciences when deliberating over a case, and to refuse to enforce any law that violates the human rights of the defendant.