August 10, 2015
Occupy Denver Activist jailed for passing out FIJA Fliers
By Mark Wachtler
August 10, 2015. Denver, CO. (ONN) Two weeks ago, a grassroots activist named Mark Iannicelli was arrested outside a Denver courthouse for handing out fliers from the Fully Informed Jury Association. For two decades, FIJA has been informing Americans of their rights while serving jury duty. Jurors don’t just decide guilt or innocence, but sometimes, the legitimacy of the law being enforced. It’s We The People’s last line of defense against tyranny, and government employees are always trying to silence advocates like FIJA.
Mark Iannicelli, seen here at a separate demonstration. Image courtesy of NotMyTribe.com.
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For 25 years, our good friends at the Fully Informed Jury Association have played a pivotal role in the fight for justice. Always behind the scenes, FIJA generously donates millions of inexpensive fliers and brochures to anyone willing to pass them out. Back in the early 90’s, this author distributed tens of thousands of FIJA fliers personally. Most times however, it’s the friends and family of defendants who’ve been unjustly arrested and tried in criminal court.
Standing outside courthouses, they hand fliers to everyone, knowing that some of them will make it into the hands, minds and hearts of members of their loved one’s jury. Other times, it is simply grassroots activists passing them out to raise awareness about jury rights. The tactic works. And government officials have been unsuccessfully arresting and charging people for handing out FIJA fliers since the beginning.
Read the 2012 Whiteout Press tribute to FIJA co-founder Larry Dodge, ‘RIP Larry Dodge – Long live FIJA’.
ALERT from FIJA and Occupy Denver
Four days ago, we at Whiteout Press received an alert from FIJA’s Kirsten Tynan, “We got word yesterday from Occupy Denver that jury rights educator Mark Iannicelli was arrested while handing out jury nullification literature at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver and charged with jury tampering.”
The alert from Occupy Denver read, ‘Soft-spoken activist Mark Iannicelli sits in the Denver County Detention Center tonight, wrongfully arrested for passing out fliers in front of the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse on Monday. Though he and an accomplice had no personal interest in any trial at the municipal courthouse, Mark was charged with JURY TAMPERING, a felony with a minimum bond of $5,000. Mark was disseminating information about JURY NULLIFICATION to conscripts showing up for jury duty.’
The arrest of Mark Iannicelli
The most recent word from FIJA’s Kirsten Tynan explains, “Mr. Iannicelli has been charged with seven felony counts of alleged ‘jury tampering’. However, from what I can tell, nothing in the Complaint and Information or Statement of Probable Cause, nor anything I have heard from locals I have spoken to who know Mr. Iannicelli and witnessed his arrest, seems to indicate any behavior that actually meets the state’s legal definition of jury tampering.”
FIJA Board of Advisors member Dr. Roger I. Roots was also critical of authorities when he remarked, “My preliminary take is that this is the weakest possible case for jury tampering in American history. I predict these counts will all be dismissed – unless a public defender tells the guy to plead guilty to something like littering or trespassing – and that the guy will have a decent lawsuit for malicious prosecution.”
FIJA has set up a special section of their website dedicated solely to Mark Iannicelli’s case in Denver. According to Tynan and FIJA, “The seven charges listed in the Complaint and Information provide very little information. Seven separate charges are listed because, according to my telephone conversation with Lynn Kimbrough from the Denver DA’s office, jury nullification materials were found in the possession of seven different jurors or potential jurors.”
She went on to report, “The charges don’t discuss specifically what Mr. Iannicelli is accused of doing, but rather seem to regurgitate the language of the statute which he is accused of violating (C.R.S. 18-8-609 for all counts) and then claim that he violated it. Even the names of the people who had the jury nullification information in their possession are redacted.”
Like most arrests of FIJA activists over the past two decades, the organization’s legal experts believe Mark Iannicelli has a very good chance of beating the charges. He was not targeting or trying to influence any specific jury. He has no personal knowledge or relationship with any trial being held that day at the courthouse. And Iannicelli wasn’t even targeting potential jurors with his FIJA fliers and was instead handing them out to the entire general public.
FIJA lawyers have already been in contact with Mark Iannicelli’s lawyer in Denver and are offering any assistance needed. For more information, visit FIJA.org.