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  1. Balzafire
    Ricardo Cortés, author of It's Just a Plant and illustrator of Go the Fuck to Sleep, has a new project: Jury Independence Illustrated. He says the free pamphlet, which he planned to distribute at a Brooklyn courthouse today, is meant to "inform potential jurors" about "a specific, largely unknown power they have—a transformative role that could radically shift the criminal justice system." As the pamphlet explains, a jury has the unreviewable power to declare a defendant not guilty "despite evidence establishing that the defendant is guilty as charged." It can thereby "nullify a law that it believes unjust or wrongly applied to a defendant." Echoing the creators of Eric Holder's favorite TV show, Cortés urges jurors to use this power in all cases involving nonviolent drug offenders.

    The pamphlet includes a chart detailing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's shameful crackdown on pot smokers, regarding which Cortés relates the following anecdote:

    I confronted Bloomberg once at a Gracie Mansion BBQ, where I asked him to reconcile his administration of record marijuana arrests with his own admission of personal use and enjoyment. He hemmed and hawed. I asked why he wouldn't arrest himself for the past use, and he said "That's not how the law works." I said, "So, really you're just saying 'I got away with it.'" At that point he said, "You and I have nothing in common," and walked away from me.

    You can download Jury Independence Illustrated here. More on jury nullification here.

    Jacob Sullum
    June 22, 2011


  1. Sunignoloa
    Yeah, but WHO does he have something in common WITH?

    That's a great way to put a dent in the situation, confront folks with their own hypocrisy. Instead of lecturing about how unfair it is to do what they do to others (they already know it is unfair but are in denial), just remind them that in essence they are doing this to themselves, or should be...

    He says that "You and I have nothing in common"...

    Right, because it is presumed that you are not, like him, on the record for having used an illegal substance. Why do they even confess to these things if not to seem "cool" to the youth vote? Sadly, some youth fall for this sort of move, like they no doubt did with various presidential candidates over the course of the "War on Drug (users)".

    So we have another instance of a face to face meeting with one of these types. Is his sort the obstacle? What is this but right wing (used to be) middle class hypocrisy? Freedom for all, as long as it is freedom OUR way... That seems to be the bottom line reason why good drug reform can't get pushed through. A solid number of active voters are just snug and comfy with the sort of hypocrisy of the likes of this joker.
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