Jury Information Flyers

NH Constitution from Jury Information flyer.
NH Constitution from Jury Information flyer.

Belknap County Superior Court will assemble a new jury pool on October 30, 2017.  We’ll be there to distribute some helpful information on the juror’s rights.  We’ll be handing out flyers starting at 8:30.

We’ve been out regularly, every other week for each pool, for longer than I can recall. We need to restock on flyers. If you’d like to contribute to the effort we’ll be happy to accept a small donation. Bitcoin let’s you send funds with a minor transaction fee. Well that was the idea of Bitcoin. Now SegWit bitcoin cost $2-3 in fees, screw that.

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Jury Information

Mike and Glenn inform jurors of their rights.
Mike and Glenn inform jurors of their rights.

September 18, 2017 – Another 20 jurors received information on their rights. This was the second trip to the courthouse for this jury pool. On the first outing 40 potential jurors picked up a flyer. This panel will return in another 2 weeks and we’ll be there to see if we missed anybody.

The Juror

My friend, John Connell, was alway quick to distinguish the difference between a jury and a juror. A jury being the group which had the power to acquit the person falsely accused of a crime, the juror as an individual with the power to stand upon his or her conscience could bring a mistrial.

The juror has a conscience, the jury can only have a consensus. These are very different things and our right to conscience is protected in our New Hampshire Constitution:

NH Constitution from Jury Information flyer.
NH Constitution from Jury Information flyer.

I often stand outside the Belknap Superior Court to hand out flyers with the above quotation from the NH Constitution printed mildly on the back. I find it unfortunate that I feel the need to deliver this information to potential jurors. In a perfect world the juror would have received this critical civics lesson as part of their education long before they were called to jury duty. In a better yet still imperfect world, one might hope that the information I distribute would be included in the court’s orientation given to the juror.

As a New Hampshire State Representative serving on the judiciary committee, I can assure you the Court is absolutely opposed to having jurors know their rights. They have built an efficient system for processing those accused; offering plea deals and shielding jurors from the complexity of statutory language. I have heard a quip, ‘due process has become do process’. The courts now ‘do process’ in order to get results, instead of giving due process in order to get justice.

Mike at Belknap Superior Court
Mike at Belknap Superior Court

On this cool September morning as I handed information out reinforcing the rights which are protected by our Constitution. I watched with bitter irony as those good citizens walked up the stairs to the courthouse to stand in line to be searched before being allowed to enter their building.

As if it were not bad enough that our justice system is bent on ‘doing process’ with uninformed jurors, they deliver one more message before you may enter into service of the government; you have no right to be free from search, you can not be trusted, you will do as you are instructed. This all seems to stand as a barrier to the person of conscience. It is little wonder that those accused will accept a plea deal as opposed to facing a jury which has made it through the processing. Peers?

Note: While the judicial system has lost sight of its primary mission, there are good people in the court. This is also highlighted in the flyers I distribute which includes a quotation from Belknap Superior Court Judge James O’Neill. O'Neill quote

July 5, 2016 Jurors Informed

A fresh new pool of jurors arrived at the Belknap Superior Court on Tuesday July 5th. About 70 received information that the court will not provide but is essential to serving as a juror.

Jurors with time to read some good information.
Jurors with time to read some good information.

A couple of interesting incidents occurred. One gentleman popped open the pamphlet to get an idea of what was inside, he knew what he was looking for and said, ‘oh yeah, I’ll be out soon; they won’t let me on a jury!’ I hope he gets to be foreman. Another older man was leaving as jurors were still arriving, so I asked him why he was leaving. He was dismissed from jury duty because he was over 70 years old. Hmmm, I know judges have a mandatory retirement at 70, I never knew there was a limit for a juror. Maybe we need this for the legislature also?

It was a nice day, only 2 people were not interested in taking a flyer. Well, 3 if I count attorney Sisti, but his hands were full. I should have gotten a picture of his ‘briefcases’, each one was the size of a file box.

We will be back out on July 18th at 9:00 to see if we missed anyone. I suppose a few may have called in their regrets for missing the first day.

May Activities

Spring is here (for real) and it’s time to hit the street. We’ll be doing our second litter pickup, on Sunday the 15th of May. We will start with breakfast at Shooter’s Tavern at 8:00 then hit the road. This will be a pretty quick clean up as we got things looking good last month.

JuryInformationsmallOn Monday May 16 at 8:30 a few of us will be at the Belknap Superior Court to hand out information to jurors. Real crimes have real victims. Unfortunately we have many statutes on the books which prohibit people from mutually consensual activities. In these cases jurors should know they are within their rights to vote their conscience.

Remember that the following Saturday, May 21, is our monthly meeting.  As always, if you’re looking for all things liberty related in New Hampshire check out this calendar.