Jury Nullification to Fight Victimless Crimes: Interview with Kirsten Tynan

kirsten

A victimless crime is where a person breaks the law while harming no one. These can range from failure to pay fines, registration and paperwork mixups, morality laws, and more, however the most common and egregious example of victimless crimes is drug prohibition, where a person could potentially spend a lifetime locked away for perusing recreational substances in the privacy of their own home.

To combat this, activists have taken steps to inform jurors of their right to vote “not guilty,” even in cases where the defendant has clearly run afoul of the law, thereby nullifying an unjust law. In New Hampshire in particular, jury rights activists informed over 3,000 jurors of their right to nullify last year.

I interviewed Kirsten Tynan, executive director of the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA), about the importance of jury nullification in a free society. [Read more…]

Fitting the Description

drug war

In the years of President Kennedy,
a weed that had grown in Spanish Harlem
sprouted into Johnny.
Barely a year out of high school
when he was accosted by gang members on the street.

The two thugs hailed from the biggest gang in town,
so Johnny knew better than to resist.
Johnny fit the description of a young, up and coming drug dealer,
and the gang didn’t like competition.

“Where’s the dope?” they asked as they went through his pockets.
Despite insisting that he had none, the gang kidnapped him anyway,
hurling him into their wagon with the other young Puerto Rican men,
his wrists choking from the bracelets they gave him. [Read more…]

NH Cops Crack Down on Car Charity, Weed Garden

old car

New Hampshire police have been busy cracking down on all kinds of dangerous criminals, notably a charity garage and an old man’s impressive garden of cannabis plants.

The Good News Garage, a charity program that recycles cars for the needy, has had to suspend operations in Manchester due to a lack of a used car dealer license. This lack of a license is nothing new, as Good News Garage has operated there without one for the past decade. Only now did the issue come up at a council meeting, ending charity’s 10-year reign of paperwork-less terror.

It’s worth noting that the Good News Garage is a government-funded program, and as such, guilty of a good deal of waste. Still, while ending a wasteful government program is always a good thing, doing so to a charity program over a long-overlooked paperwork issue seems a little ridiculous. [Read more…]

Another Cop Denied Service In Ongoing Pushback Against Police

no cops

A uniformed police officer was denied service at an Alexandria, VA restaurant in yet another instance of retaliation to police abuse headlines.

A cook at Noodles & Company reportedly refused to serve an officer, discussing with a cashier: “I am not serving that.” The officer then left the premises, calling her supervisor. This prompted a visit from the Alexandria police chief to clear up the incident. The restaurant released a statement reaffirming its non-discrimination policy.

“Noodles & Company expects the highest ethical and personal behavior from its team members. We value each of our guests and are committed to treating every one with dignity and respect. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination.”

[Read more…]

NH Police Conduct Mental Health Sensitivity Training

Andy_Griffith

New Hampshire police have begun conducting sensitivity training for encounters with those with mental health issues.

Police are conducting live-action simulations of encounters, with one officer role-playing the mentally ill, to adequately prepare for real encounters. The approach focuses on showing a concern for the citizen’s wellbeing, and emphasizes a calm, peaceful tone, showing no aggression while displaying legitimate compassion. Officers are trained to remain calm and non-threatening and use first names, while avoiding whispering, laughing, or initiating an arrest for non-criminal behavior. Above all, they are trained to de-escalate situations verbally and avoid physical force. [Read more…]

Gang War Intensifies Between Cops and Antagonists

Black Lives Matter Black Friday

Three police officers have been shot in Baton Rouge, LA in an ongoing escalation of the budding conflict between cops and those who want cops dead.

In a shooting Sunday afternoon, three officers have been killed and three wounded. The attack comes right on the heels of a killing by police in Baton Rouge, and may be connected as a form of vengeance (details still pending).

This comes soon after a sniper in Dallas killed five cops in a shooting rampage, and was himself taken out by a robot-delivered bomb. The shooter appears to have been motivated by animosity against police for targeting and killing members of minority communities.

A violent response to decades of unrelenting police brutality

The recent escalation of violence against police can be seen as a response to unprecedented levels of police brutality. American confidence in police is at a 22-year low, the lowest since such confidence was measured immediately after the Rodney King beating of the early 90s. There is a large disparity in confidence in police between white and black Americans, and a full 40% of blacks polled have very little to no confidence in the US criminal justice system. [Read more…]