Saturday, February 26, 2011

Federal Thuggery: The Arrest and Harassment of 78-Year Old Fair Trial Activist Julian Heicklen

Heicklen being arrested in front of Federal court, NYC

To New York City Police and Federal Marshalls, judges:

C'mon, let's stop this nonsense!!!!! Now you are threatened by a 78-Year old grandfather?

Betsy Combier

Pamphleteer throwing a jury-tamper tantrum
Posted: 12:49 AM, February 26, 2011

A 78-year-old New Jersey granddad believes he is involved in "the defining trial of the decade" over a charge he illegally handed out pamphlets in front of the Manhattan federal courthouse.

Julian Heicklen, of Teaneck, was arraigned yesterday on a federal charge of jury tampering for handing out pamphlets urging jurors to ignore judges' instructions and vote their consciences.

Usually, arraignments take about five minutes. But Heicklen was so argumentative that his hearing before Judge Kimba Wood took about two hours.

"It's a witch hunt," Heicklen said of the case.

Vows "trial of the decade."

He believes in the libertarian idea of "jury nullification," which says jurors have an obligation to ignore a judge's legal instructions if they deem them incorrect.

"The real jury tamperers are the judges," he said. "The jury has the right to decide what the law is, as well as the facts."

Heicklen, who plans to represent himself in court, claims to have no idea whether his pamphlets reached jurors.

Julian Heicklen sprung from the Big House

June 9, 2010

Julian Heicklen, the well-known libertarian and rights advocate who was arrested on May 25 for distributing Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) literature on public property in front of the US District Courthouse in Manhattan was released from detention at Riker's Island where he was being held.

Late Tuesday evening Heicklen issued the following statement to his many supporters nationwide:

I was released from prison on June 8 at about 6:00 pm. The case against me has been dropped in the interest of justice.
My cell phone was confiscated, so I cannot access nor return any phone calls. Do not call me.
I have not read any e-mail lately, so I have not responded. It may take several days to read it all.
I am swamped with some personal items which must be attended. Once I get caught up, I will send progress reports and schedule of events again.

Yours in freedom—Julian.

Except for a witness, Heicklen had been distributing FIJA pamphlets alone when Federal Protection Services officer Clifford Barnes #245 placed him under arrest.

As he typically does when confronted with arrest, Heicklen lowered himself to the pavement and became unresponsive.

On past occasions the authorities called paramedics who transported him to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

But this time, according to "Bile," the witness, officers brought out a wheelchair, lifted Heicklen into it, and rolled him into the courthouse.

According to the best accounts available, Heicklen was then turned over to the New York Police Department who transported him to the Bellevue Hospital Prison Ward. He was later sent to the New York City Department of Corrections where he was held in the North Infirmary Command at Riker's Island for 12 days.

The dismissal of misdemeanor resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges is seen as proof by many of Heicklen's supporters that the arrest was unjustified in the first place

NY's "finest" manhandle, humiliate rights activist Heicklen,  June 15th, 2010 5:11 pm ET
"I was cuffed very tightly behind my back and dragged into the courthouse. It was painful, and the capillaries in my wrists were broken." –Julian Heicklen.

The manhandling, humiliation, and verbal abuse of 78-year-old Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) activist Julian Heicklen in the New York jail system is further described in detail in Heicklen's report to his Tyranny Fighters, posted in its entirety, as always, at "Blog of Bile."
His arrest was tweeted almost minute by minute by individualist writer Darian Worden and photographed by fellow libertarian and supporter Jim Babb.

"I believe that he was arrested for unpaid fines related to previous demonstrations," Jim Babb speculated. "They were fully prepared for his abduction. They had a warrant for his arrest."

"During this time, I did not move a muscle or make a sound, except once when they really inflicted pain, I moaned." - Julian Heicklen

Babb, who has been on many FIJA outreach excursions with Heicklen in the past, made his first trip into Manhattan with five other supporters, including young AJ Allen, the son of Dr James Allen who, Babb noted, "received an interesting lesson in federal thuggery."

"My pants kept falling down, since I had no belt. Finally, I was put into a wheelchair and taken to a paddy wagon to be delivered to Bellevue Hospital." – Julian Heicklen

Babb described the Manhattan federal courthouse with its "massive number of government agents, vehicles and barricades, surrounded by massive gothic structures" as dramatically different from others where he has helped distribute FIJA materials.

As they approached, Babb overheard one officer say, "This should be interesting."

"I was returned to the federal courthouse and put into a small cell facing the wall. By then I had to urinate badly, so I urinated on the floor. The guard came rushing in, said that if I did that again he would beat me into sh*t and break my bones." – Julian Heicklen

The six supporters remained outside of the immediate courthouse area to act as observers while Heicklen entered the courtyard.

At 12:20 pm Worden tweeted, "Suit said, ‘Mr. Heicklen, we’re US marshals and we have a warrant for your arrest.'"

"Julian's courage to keep coming back here is truly impressive," Babb said of Heicklen's continued returns to the Manhattan courthouse. "There is a black void here that can suck the love out of anyone."

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