Friday, March 18, 2011

Julian Heicklen: sometimes you just can’t get arrested

Julian Heicklen, veteran libertarian rights activist, went to Orlando FL with good intentions; he wanted to get arrested for distributing jury rights pamphlets outside the Orange County Courthouse in defiance of Chief Judge Belvin Perry's orderagainst distributing jury rights pamphlets outside the Orange County Courthouse.

As explained in an earlier Libertarian News Examiner article, the judge considers providing literature such as Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) information to anyone who might conceivably become a juror to be an act of jury tampering.

"The issue is a First Amendment issue," Heicklen told an Orlando Sentinel reporter. "It has nothing to do with jury nullification. The immediate issue to be resolved is: Do I have the right to stand out there and pass out any literature?" He then added, "I mean if he ordered me not to hand out lollipops, I'd be there."

But instead of being surrounded by cops he was surrounded by media reporters. As has happened in the past, authorities become reluctant to enforce an unpopular law against a 79-year-old man while reporters, cameras and witnesses are present. A sampling of commentary from the freedomsphere:

"Looks like nobody wants to enforce the unlawful 'order' in Orlando."

"Julian is badass - an individual who stands for what he believes in."

"Julian is a superhero."

"God Bless Julien Heiklen!"

"Julian did not get arrested and will probably return to the courthouse Monday morning to break the order again."

Heicklen may have summed up his pamphleting efforts earlier in the day. "When you want to get arrested it's not so easy."

Original report here

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