In a recent article, “NJWeedman acquitted of pot distribution,” the Libertarian News Examiner questioned whether Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion successfully used jury nullification in his two trials for marijuana possession and distribution.
Ed Forchion responded directly to the Libertarian News Examiner in an email:
You should have called me.
The judge tried to stop me from using jury nullification. He absolutely didn’t!
I said what I wanted numerous times and the jury heard me and I’m positive they looked at my website!!
This issue is important.
Many people all across America have fought long and hard to educate the public about jury nullification. Many activists, including marijuana legalization advocates, have put their freedoms and their futures on the line, risking long jail terms in an effort to establish jury nullification as a legitimate defense in victimless crime cases.
In writing about Forchion’s first trial in May (see “Jury convicts NJWeedman on pot possession, hangs on distribution”) the Libertarian News Examiner alluded to Staff Writer Danielle Camilli’s PhillyBurbs.com article of May 8, 2012 headlined “Jury set to begin deliberations in NJWeedman trial.” Her full quote:
When Forchion tried to tell the jurors that they not only could determine the facts in the case, but also that the state Constitution gave them the right to determine the law, he was reprimanded by the judge for advancing his prohibited, much-touted jury-nullification argument.
[Judge] Delehey told the jury to disregard the statement because it was a “misconstruction of the New Jersey Constitution.”
Forchion quickly retreated, telling the panel that he clearly is a medical marijuana patient.”
During his retrial in October on the hung jury charge of distribution, Cherry Hill Courier-Post Staff Writer George Mast wrote this in his article of October 19, 2012, headlined ‘NJWeedman’ acquitted:
Forchion was allowed to talk to jurors in both cases about his status as a licensed medical marijuana patient in California. But he was barred from using his oft promoted “jury nullification” argument that would have asked jurors to disregard the state’s laws on marijuana use in determining a verdict that was instead based upon their own view of the substance.
In yet another PhillyBurbs.com article Danielle Camilli wrote:
“Forchion toed the line and abandoned his blatant jury nullification pitch when court resumed.”
Libertarian News Examiner invited Forchion to substantiate his nullification claims in an exclusive interview:
Next: Jury Nullification: The Ed Forchion Interview
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