December 2017 outside of the Bronx County, New York Hall of Justice, activist and journalist Michael Picard documents his arrest for lawfully handing out Jury Nullification educational information.
Published on Dec 18, 2017
On Monday, December 4th, I was on the public sidewalk in front of the Bronx Hall of Justice handing out flyers on jury nullification, which is a right that the jury has to acquit a defendant if they believe the law to be unjust. At 8am, about five minutes in, I was confronted by court officers, who told me to leave or else they would arrest me. I refused to leave the public sidewalk, as I was engaged in First Amendment protected speech and I was doing nothing wrong, so they arrested me. They charged me with criminal contempt, jury tampering, and wiretapping (for recording them). At around noon, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed all charges against me. Even after my charges were dismissed, court officers then took me to central booking, where NYPD argued over who would get the arrest, as if they have a quota to meet. They finally released me, and said I was free to go, at 6pm, after spending 10 hours in jail, but they said that I would have to come back another day to pick up my property.