*** Truth Delays Trial
- Activist's jury leaflets delay trial
http://www.denverpost.com/news/news0615f.htmBy Erin Emery eemery@...
Denver Post Southern Colorado BureauJune 15, 2000 - COLORADO SPRINGS - Tax limitation advocate and state Senate candidate Douglas Bruce distributed brochures to potential jurors this week urging them to "judge the law itself and vote on the verdict according to conscience."
Bruce's actions prompted two judges to delay trials and dismiss an estimated 70 juror candidates. Bruce, author of the 1992 Taxpayer's Bill of Rights and a candidate for the Senate seat held by Ray Powers, R-Colorado Springs, was summoned to jury duty Tuesday for a civil trial involving a breach of lease agreement.
While potential jurors gathered in a jury assembly room, Bruce passed out leaflets to as many as 200 potential jurors that say judges don't fully inform jurors of their rights, "especially their right to judge the law itself and vote on the verdict according to conscience." Bruce said he was merely trying to inform citizens as to their duties as jurors.
Fourth District Judge Tom Kennedy said that when he learned of Bruce's leaflets about 9:30 a.m., he told Bruce: "I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't hand them out." But Bruce told him he had already distributed dozens of the leaflets.
At the request of a defense attorney, Kennedy dismissed a panel of 40 potential jurors who were to hear evidence in a sexual assault trial in Kennedy's court. The judge postponed the trial until June 26.
"I decided to err on the side of caution," Kennedy said.
Judge Ed Colt postponed a criminal trial because he dismissed another 30 juror candidates.
The leaflets were prepared by the Fully Informed Jury Association, a nonprofit organization that says it "tells citizens more about their rights, powers and duties as jurors than they are likely to be told in court." Kennedy said he knew of no effort to charge Bruce with contempt.
In Colorado, contempt charges have been filed against people after they took an oath as jurors and then distributed the "jury nullification" information.
Bruce said he did nothing wrong and wasn't advocating breaking the law. "They're just ordinary citizens, so there is no jury tampering going on," Bruce said. "I stand on the fact that knowledge is good.Denver Post
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 820-1010
Fax: (303) 820-1369
Contact Douglas Bruce <taxcutter@...>
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