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Fully Informed Jury Bill Passes in New Hampshire

June 29, 2012

After well over a decade of work, New Hampshire finally passed a fully informed jury reform bill.

Technically, according to the legal experts, New Hampshire law not only allows for jury nullification but it informs juries about their ability to exercise jury nullification.  Judges in NH say something like, “If the prosecution has met its legal burden, the jury should find the defendant guilty” in NH courts.  The word should does not mean must.  If judges used the word must, they would be telling jurors that jury nullification is illegal.  Since judges use the word should, they say that jury nullification is legal, possible and you may use it but you shouldn’t use it.

Thanks to House Bill 146, the defense is now allowed, over a judge’s objection, to inform a jury that a jury has a right to judge the application of the law in relationship to the facts in controversy.  How will a defense attorney choose to make such a legal argument to a jury?  Will judges try to restrict an attorney for making such an argument in non-legalese?  We don’t know the answers to these questions yet.  While HB 146 may have gone rather than any similar law in any other state, it may not have gone far enough.  Rest assured, the people of NH will be paying attention to future trials in NH and if we feel we need to push further legislation, we will.

HB 146 was championed in the NH House by the sponsor, Rep. Lars Christiansen, Rep. Dan Itse and the Speaker of the House.  It was championed by Senators Jim Forsythe and Fenton Groen on the Senate Judiciary Committee and passed the Senate 14-9 over the wishes of Senate President Peter Bragdon.  Governor John Lynch signed HB 146 into law last week.

This bill only became law because of the dedication of pro-liberty lawyers, Ron Paul supporters and free staters. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

BTW, HB146 isn’t the first fully informed jury bill to be proposed in NH.  Here is some of the recent history with fully informed jury bills in NH.

2000 HB 1236 – Jury Nullification passed House, 5-0 ITL in Senate Committee, Full Senate did a voice vote supporting the ITL
2001 HB 133 – Jury Nullification didn’t pass House
2003 HB 122 – Jury Nullification passed House, 3-2 ITL in Senate Committee, Full Senate did a voice vote supporting ITL
2005 HB 530 – Jury Nullification didn’t pass House
2007 HB 906 – Jury Nullification didn’t pass House
2010 HB 1347 – Jury Nullification didn’t pass House

Coverage:
GraniteGrok http://granitegrok.com/blog/2012/06/the-free-state-of-new-hampshire-is-now-a-fully-informed-jury-state
Cato Institute http://www.policemisconduct.net/jury-nullification-law-signed-new-hampshire-governor/
The Agitator http://www.theagitator.com/2012/06/30/new-hampshire-passes-jury-nullification-law/
Free Keene TV Free Keene TV coverage of the informed jury bills passage

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6 Comments
  1. wordpressandstuff permalink

    Here is some press coverage:

    New Hampshire Adopts Jury Nullification Law
    J.D. Tuccille | June 29, 2012

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/06/29/new-hampshire-adopts-jury-nullification

    Here is Drudge Report coverage of the Reason coverage.
    Saturday, June 30, 2012
    N.H. Allows Jury Nullification

    http://www.drudge.com/news/158467/nh-allows-jury-nullification

    Jury Nullification in New Hampshire
    By Henry Neufeld

    http://henrysthreads.com/2012/06/jury-nullification-in-new-hampshire/

    Threads from Henry’s Web: Jury Nullification in New Hampshire
    Latest from the MethoBlogoSphere
    by Henry Neufeld

    http://methoblog.com/3_0/2012/06/jury-nullification-in-new-hampshire/

    Positive jury nullification development in New Hampshire

    http://www.drugwarrant.com/2012/06/positive-jury-nullification-development-in-new-hampshire/

    June 30. 2012 11:49AM
    Reason.com: NH adopts jury nullification law

    http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20120630/AGGREGATION/120639993

    Jury Nullification Law signed by New Hampshire Governor
    June 28, 2012, 11:13:52 am

    http://dailyanarchist.com/forum/index.php/topic,1463.0.html

    NH passes “Fully Informed Jury” law

    http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?381695-NH-passes-quot-Fully-Informed-Jury-quot-law

    Jury Nullification Law Signed by New Hampshire Governor

    http://www.thetreeofliberty.com/vb/showthread.php?t=165504

    Jury Nullification law signed in New Hampshire

    http://www.usmessageboard.com/law-and-justice-system/231263-jury-nullification-law-signed-in-new-hampshire.html

    Jury Nullification Law Signed by New Hampshire Governor
    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    http://freenorthcarolina.blogspot.com/2012/06/jury-nullification-law-signed-by-new.html

    jury nullification now legal in New Hampshire

    http://www.rollitup.org/politics/540782-jury-nullification-now-legal-new.html

    Jury Nullification Law Signed by New Hampshire Governor

    http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/672198221/m/1460015292001

    Jury Nullification Law Signed by New Hampshire Governor

    http://www.silencertalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=132&t=91250

    N.H. Allows Jury Nullification
    2012-06-30 8:02am -07:00T

    http://www.blogowogo.com/blog_article.php?aid=4206958

    Jury Nullification Law Signed by New Hampshire Governor

    http://features.rr.com/article/00qH2wEeQW1f7

    NH formally legalizes jury nullification

    http://www.armedpolitesociety.com/index.php?topic=35107.0

    New Hampshire Adopts Jury Nullification Law

    http://dyspepsiageneration.com/?p=76690

    Episode – June 28th 2012 of Free Talk Live

    http://www.freetalklive.com/content/podcast_2012_06_28

    The Free State Of New Hampshire Is Now A Fully Informed Jury State!

    http://forums.corvetteforum.com/politics-religion-and-controversy/3082508-the-free-state-of-new-hampshire-is-now-a-fully-informed-jury-state.html

    You lose some, you win some (2)

    http://jamescrain.net/2012/06/29/you-lose-some-you-win-some-2/

    Thursday Links

    http://www.postlibertarian.com/2012/06/thursday-links/

  2. wordpressandstuff permalink

    New media coverage:

    New Hampshire Passes Jury Nullification Law
    Monday, 02 July 2012 16:26
    Written by Joe Wolverton, II

    http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/11934-new-hampshire-passes-jury-nullification-law

    Jury Nullification In New Hampshire Becomes Reality
    Michael Suede

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/10603/jury-nullification-in-new-hampshire-becomes-reality

    Jury Nullification Law Signed By New Hampshire Governor

    http://www.wopular.com/jury-nullification-law-signed-new-hampshire-governor

    New Hampshire passes jury nullification law

    http://rationalreview.news-digests.com/archives/90979?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-hampshire-passes-jury-nullification-law

    WAY TO GO NEW HAMPSHIRE!!! Live Free or Die!!!

    http://www.mattsregularrants.com/2012/07/02/way-to-go-new-hampshire-live-free-or-die/

    New Hampshire moves towards jury nullification right

    http://prorevnews.blogspot.com/2012/07/new-hampshire-moves-towards-jury.html

    NH jury nullification law signed, effective 1/1/13

    http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/165847-NH-jury-nullification-law-signed-effective-1-1-13

    New Hampshire Passes Jury Nullification Law

    http://www.humblelibertarian.com/2012/07/new-hampshire-passes-jury-nullification.html

    New Hampshire Adopts Jury Nullification Law

    http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/News/114274-2012-07-02-new-hampshire-adopts-jury-nullification-law.htm

    New Hampshire Adopts Jury Nullification Law good job, New Hampshire

    http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=645657

    Jury Nullification Law Signed by New Hampshire Governor

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2901770/posts

    New Hampshire Adopts Jury Nullification Law

    http://fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/new-hampshire-adopts-jury-nullification-law/17080/

    Daily Paul

    http://www.dailypaul.com/242800/jury-nullification-passed-in-new-hampshire

    NH passes “Fully Informed Jury” law

    http://www.revolutionbox.org/Thread-NH-passes-Fully-Informed-Jury-law

  3. Aída permalink

    that’s very interesting, i have shared it with my friends.

  4. Catrina permalink

    thanks for a great post and interesting comments. i found this post while surfing the web. thanks for sharing this article.

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