August 6, 2015 –- Professor Eugene Volokh is cited in a USA Today article about the implications of nullifying juries on the U.S. legal system. The article references an incident from 2012 in which a retired chemistry professor, Julian P. Heicklen, had been charged with jury tampering for advocating for jury nullification outside the courthouse. Professor Volokh’s comments relate to this case.
“It seems to me that such speech is constitutionally protected, and that the indictment therefore violates the First Amendment. One can debate whether jury nullification is good or bad for the legal system, but it’s clear that it’s not a crime for jurors to refuse to convict even when the jury instructions seem to call for a guilty verdict. So Heicklen is encouraging a jury to engage in legal — even if, in the view of some, harmful — conduct.”