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News Link • Drug War

New Hampshire Jury Nullifies its First Felony Marijuana Case

• www.news.yahoo.com
Barnstead, NH (PRWEB) September 16, 2012 Doug Darrell beat the odds and walked home from his trial as a free man on Friday, a major win for the state’s new jury nullification law. Facing felony drug cultivation charges for growing marijuana plants behind his house, the 59-year-old Rastafarian saw all of the charges against him dropped after jurors in his trial successfully convinced their peers to nullify the case on the grounds that Darrell was simply trying to obey the customs of his religion.

“Many of us wondered what kind of precedent this would set,” said juror and FSP participant Cathleen Converse in an exclusive interview with Free Talk Live. “But after chewing on all of the possibilities and re-reading the definition of nullification, we all decided that the only fair thing to do was to vote with our consciences and acquit the defendant of all charges.”

Doug Darrell never had any run-ins with the law until 2009, when a National Guard helicopter flying below legal altitude while looking for drugs noticed that Darrell was growing marijuana in the back yard of his Barnstead home. Though the sighting could legally have been considered an invasion of privacy, federal drug authorities were notified anyway. Shortly thereafter, Darrell’s home was raided and the Rastafarian found himself staring down the barrel of a police assault rifle and facing multiple counts of felony possession of marijuana.

Darrell was offered several plea deals, including a final one that offered no jail time or fine in exchange for a guilty plea, but he refused to accept them on the grounds that doing so would be a sacrament of his religion.

 

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