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Don
01-22-2011, 08:04 AM
The jury found Phil Mocek not guilty of all four counts he was facing for refusing to show ID at Albuquerque Sunport. The charges were trespassing, disorderly conduct, refusing to obey an officer, and concealing his identity.

Backstory here (http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2011/01/phil_mocek_tsa_checkpoint_trial.php).

Announcement of decision and short video here (http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S1936923.shtml?cat=504).

Factually, he was guilty of at least three of the four charges. He was told to leave, he refused to obey orders, and he refused to show any identification other than a boarding pass. The disorderly conduct charge was not supported by video and audio evidence.

The jury's decision brings to mind the early days of the downfall of prohibition, IMO. Or maybe that's just my pollyanna side coming out.

A good, although small, sign for liberty, in any event.

If you'd been on the jury, how would you have voted?

Shadow_Ferret
01-22-2011, 08:06 AM
Um, prohibition? They're drinking at the airports?

Don
01-22-2011, 08:10 AM
Um, prohibition? They're drinking at the airports?
Thanks, SF. :) I'm sure you know, and were just joking, but not everyone realizes that before prohibition was repealed, the government was having a helluva time finding juries that would convict people for alcohol-related crimes. Prohibition was effectively being nullified by juries before it was repealed.

IOW, the people were giving a collective raspberry to those who were attempting to run their lives.

Shadow_Ferret
01-22-2011, 08:12 AM
Really? That's not how it seemed on The Untouchables.

Bird of Prey
01-22-2011, 08:47 AM
I can only hope that this small case is a giant returning step toward our Constitutional rights. . . .

Michael Wolfe
01-22-2011, 08:48 AM
That's interesting that the jury found him not guilty on all charges. I wouldn't have expected it, honestly. And what's the deal with the TSA giving him permission to record? They really don't have a lot of foresight, do they? :)

Bird of Prey
01-23-2011, 07:50 PM
That's interesting that the jury found him not guilty on all charges. I wouldn't have expected it, honestly. And what's the deal with the TSA giving him permission to record? They really don't have a lot of foresight, do they? :)
Michael, I'm curious as to why you wouldn't have expected it. . . .

Don
01-23-2011, 07:56 PM
Michael, I'm curious as to why you wouldn't have expected it. . . .
Because people parade through porno-scans and get freedom-frisked every day, and not one in 12 says a word? Because juries tend to believe the judge when he claims they may judge only the facts of the case, and not the law? The odds were against the "criminal."

Michael Wolfe
01-23-2011, 08:07 PM
Michael, I'm curious as to why you wouldn't have expected it. . . .


What Don said, pretty much. This jury apparently was composed entirely of people sympathetic to this Phil Mocek guy. What the hell are the odds of that happening? ;)

Bird of Prey
01-23-2011, 08:10 PM
Because people parade through porno-scans and get freedom-frisked every day, and not one in 12 says a word? Because juries tend to believe the judge when he claims they may judge only the facts of the case, and not the law? The odds were against the "criminal."

But any decent defense attorney is going to spell out the law, Don. And the law is clear with regard to the issues, at least from what I can see. So although your point is well-taken - and of course, I worry that many Americans are docile and happy to become serfs - I think we have to take some solace in the fact that there are people resisting the government's attempt to usurp their civil rights. . . .

Don
01-23-2011, 08:21 PM
But any decent defense attorney is going to spell out the law, Don. And the law is clear with regard to the issues, at least from what I can see. So although your point is well-taken - and of course, I worry that many Americans are docile and happy to become serfs - I think we have to take some solace in the fact that there are people resisting the government's attempt to usurp their civil rights. . . .
How is the law clear? He was trespassing after he was asked to leave. He did refuse to obey a lawful order. He did refuse to show any identification other that his boarding pass. He was guilty of those three charges.

As for the defense attorney mentioning the jury's right to judge those laws as well as the facts? It's not allowed to be mentioned, and can lead to mistrial if it is, as far as I know. FIJA (http://fija.org/) has a lot more detail on that issue.


ETA: And FIJA even has an essay (http://fija.org/2011/01/22/jurors-unanimously-say-no-to-abuse-of-laws-to-harass-phil-mocek/) on the Mocek case. Just noticed it, haven't yet read it myself.

ETA2: According to that article, I'm wrong about some of the facts. Worth reading. I liked the summation.

Juror nullification happens any time a jury refuses to enforce a misguided prosecution, a bad law, or a misapplied law. Nullification can happen in any instance when jurors exercise their authority to protect someone from any over-reaching government action. Any action which violates either the Constitution or human rights, not necessarily in that order, must be nullified. We applaud the jurors in this case for protecting Mr. Mocek’s rights, and all of our rights in the process.

Bird of Prey
01-23-2011, 08:44 PM
How is the law clear? He was trespassing after he was asked to leave. He did refuse to obey a lawful order. He did refuse to show any identification other that his boarding pass. He was guilty of those three charges.

As for the defense attorney mentioning the jury's right to judge those laws as well as the facts? It's not allowed to be mentioned, and can lead to mistrial if it is, as far as I know. FIJA (http://fija.org/) has a lot more detail on that issue.


ETA: And FIJA even has an essay (http://fija.org/2011/01/22/jurors-unanimously-say-no-to-abuse-of-laws-to-harass-phil-mocek/) on the Mocek case. Just noticed it, haven't yet read it myself.

ETA2: According to that article, I'm wrong about some of the facts. Worth reading. I liked the summation.

Mr. Mocek did not testify, and the defense rested on Friday without calling any witnesses or presenting any evidence. the jury found that even without rebuttal, the TSA and Albuquerque police had failed to satisfy their burden of proving any of the four charges: concealing his identity, refusing to obey a lawful order (it was never entirely clear whether this was supposed to have been an order to turn off his camera, an order to leave the airport despite having a valid ticket, or an order to show ID, none of which would have been lawful orders), trespassing, and disorderly conduct. . . .

As per your article, I rest my case, Don. . . .

Don
01-23-2011, 08:58 PM
Mr. Mocek did not testify, and the defense rested on Friday without calling any witnesses or presenting any evidence. the jury found that even without rebuttal, the TSA and Albuquerque police had failed to satisfy their burden of proving any of the four charges: concealing his identity, refusing to obey a lawful order (it was never entirely clear whether this was supposed to have been an order to turn off his camera, an order to leave the airport despite having a valid ticket, or an order to show ID, none of which would have been lawful orders), trespassing, and disorderly conduct. . . .

As per your article, I rest my case, Don. . . .
Yeah, I saw that, as I mentioned in that post. Still a victory for the right to travel, IMO.

Michael Wolfe
01-23-2011, 09:12 PM
Still a victory for the right to travel, IMO.

In a way, yes. But of course, the guy didn't actually get to travel.

Don
01-23-2011, 09:21 PM
In a way, yes. But of course, the guy didn't actually get to travel.
Picky, picky, picky. :D Things have generally never worked out well for the pioneers. You can always tell them by the arrows in their backs. Prison is a long-revered solution for dealing with "troublemakers" standing up for individual rights; most freedom fighters have ended up in there sooner or later. Any time that doesn't work out we have cause to celebrate.

Michael Wolfe
01-23-2011, 09:48 PM
Any time that doesn't work out we have cause to celebrate.


I agree. And I suspect Mocek never really believed he'd be able to board his flight. This verdict is probably more validation than he thought he'd ever get.