When draconian drug laws linger on the books, it may be up to juries to rebel by refusing to convict people of crimes such as marijuana possession — a Missoula, MT jury did just that. The New York Times reports:
Marijuana fans are calling it the Mutiny in Montana.
It all began last Thursday, when a group of prospective jurors in Missoula were seated for a two-day trial of a repeat offender by the name of Teuray Cornell, whom the local police had arrested and charged with sellingmarijuana, a felony, and possession of a small amount of the drug, a misdemeanor.
To seat a 12-person jury, Judge Robert L. Deschamps III of Missoula County District Court had called a passel of Montanans to serve, and 27 had arrived at court on Dec. 16. So far, so good.
But after the charges were read, one of the jurors raised a hand. “She said, ‘I’ve got a real problem with these marijuana cases,’ ” Judge Deschamps recalled on Wednesday. “And after she got through, a couple more raised their hands.” All told, five jurors raised questions about marijuana prosecution.
And so it was that Mr. Cornell soon became the lucky recipient of a case of almost-a-jury nullification, as prosecutors soon found themselves cutting a deal to dismiss the misdemeanor possession charge out of fear that they would not be able to find 12 jurors in this marijuana-friendly state to convict.
Read MORE: New York Times