Missoula District Court: Jury pool in marijuana case stages ‘mutiny’


Click here to read the full article, at www.Missoulian.com

..“Public opinion, as revealed by the reaction of a substantial portion of the members of the jury called to try the charges on Dec. 16, 2010, is not supportive of the state’s marijuana law and appeared to prevent any conviction from being obtained simply because an unbiased jury did not appear available under any circumstances,” according to the plea memorandum filed by his attorney.

“I think that’s outstanding,” John Masterson, who heads Montana NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), said when told of the incident. “The American populace over the last 10 years or so has begun to believe in a majority that assigning criminal penalties for the personal possession of marijuana is an unjust and a stupid use of government resources.”

Masterson is hardly an unbiased source.

On the other hand, prosecutor, defense attorney and judge all took note that some of the potential jurors expressed that same opinion.

“I think it’s going to become increasingly difficult to seat a jury in marijuana cases, at least the ones involving a small amount,” Deschamps said…”

District Judge Dusty Deschamps was forced into this concession after members of the jury properly utilized their rights and obligations as outlined by the Fully Informed Jury Association–which reportedly is headquarted in the nearby capital of Helena, MT.  More information can be found on their website at:  http://fija.org/

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