Federal court frees man arrested for publicizing Jury Nullification outside court

Jury Nullification is when jurors refuse to apply the law, typically by acquitting a defendant they know is guilty. The reasons are many, countering just and unjust laws alike, but you can't have a credible jury without giving it this power, so nullification is an inherent feature of the system. It's held to have checked capital punishment in England as juries there refused to convict people who might end up executed for minor crimes. Officers of the law and the courts tend to hate nullification, though, because it undermines various elegant fantasies about the law that they identify with. And in 2017, one man was charged with a crime for telling people about it. A federal court now says he was wrongly arrested, writes Reason's Billy Binion:

A man was wrongfully arrested for standing outside a Bronx courthouse handing out flyers about jury nullification, the practice where juries render "not guilty" verdicts despite overwhelming evidence of guilt, a federal court confirmed last week. Michael Picard, a civil libertarian activist, was taken into custody in late 2017 after police took issue with him passing out papers telling recipients to "Google Jury Nullification," as law enforcement alleged he was in violation of a New York law barring people from standing within 200 feet of a courthouse "calling for or demanding any specified action or determination by such court or jury" in connection with an ongoing case.