Quis sistet jurisconsulti?

This is wrong in so many ways:

Since 2009, Mr. Heicklen has stood [outside the federal courthouse] and at courthouse entrances elsewhere and handed out pamphlets encouraging jurors to ignore the law if they disagree with it, and to render verdicts based on conscience.

That concept, called jury nullification, is highly controversial, and courts are hostile to it. But federal prosecutors have now taken the unusual step of having Mr. Heicklen indicted on a charge that his distributing of such pamphlets at the courthouse entrance violates a law against jury tampering.

This man was arrested for handing out leaflets in a public space! His speech was constitutionally protected even if he was urging people to commit a crime. And he was not urging people to commit a crime: a whole series of decisions going back to 1794 affirm jurors’ rights to nullify.

What we have here is the latest instance of a longstanding outrage. Lawyers want to control the legal system; they don’t want anyone outside the priesthood coming in and interfering with their process. If they could, they would get rid of juries entirely. Since they can’t, they have to settle for controlling the juries, spoon-feeding juries exactly what they want juries to hear, and giving them explicit instructions for how to return a verdict. The last thing they want to see is juries consulting their own consciences and deciding to acquit. The courts have even upheld jury instructions that lie, informing jurors they may not nullify.

Here, the lawyers’ eagerness to control the legal process is leading them even to trample our right to free speech. And who is going to stop them? The judicial system is populated entirely with lawyers. Perhaps that is inevitable, but nearly all of our legislators are lawyers too. So is the president. We need to discard our entire political class and start over.

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