This article appears originally at LewRockwell.com- http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/gericke2.1.1.html
Jury nullification plays a vital role in a healthy legal system. It allows people to vote their conscience and nullify bad laws, thus sending a strong message to legislators. This is how alcohol prohibition was overthrown. This is how marijuana prohibition will be overthrown.
On April 13, 2011, a jury in New Hampshire’s Grafton County Superior Court brought residents one step closer to this reality. Bob Constantine, a fifty-two year old man with a bushy white moustache and the slow gait of a man with bad hips, was charged on September 4, 2009 with two felonies for “Manufacturing a Controlled Substance,” and one misdemeanor count of marijuana possession.
“I don’t know how anyone could manufacture a plant, but that’s what the RSA under chapter 318 of the law says,” Mr. Constantine said in a blog post soon after his arrest. “In my case it could carry a sentence of up to 7 years in prison and a $100,000 fine for growing a plant. I know that well over 90% of people in my situation take the plea. That’s what they want you to do. They just want you to bow down, tell them they’re right, put your tail between your legs, and say, ‘Uncle.’ I almost did, but I can’t. They offered me a very nice plea. You know they were going to give me 60 days, a small fine, all I needed to do was say, ‘Uncle.’ I almost did, but I couldn’t do it. I would have had to live with myself for the rest of my life. I know what they’re going to do to me is much greater that it would have been, but I’m a moral person, and I can’t give in to something that’s so wrong.”
This principled individual chose to take the matter to trial, at great personal risk to himself. More than twenty local pro-liberty activists – many of whom do jury nullification outreach at New Hampshire courts on a regular basis – came to show their support. Outside, two cars with visible pro-jury-nullification posters were parked in front of the court house. People held signs saying: “7 Years For Gardening?” and “Good People Nullify Bad Laws.”Details