I WANT TO BE THE MODERN DAY WILLIAM PENN
By Edward “NJWeedman” Forchion –aka- Political Prisoner #420
I am now a Political Prisoner, a prisoner for my stance on the legalization of marijuana and my outspokenness on the racial aspects of the WAR on Drugs specifically. Since my arrest in 1997 for marijuana I have spoken out against marijuana’s illegal status. In recent years as legalization has snowballed across the nation I’ve switched from just talking about legalization to demanding “minority inclusion in the new multi-billion dollar marijuana industry”; this speech has made me enemies among white NJ politicians. The Politics of Pot Jersey Style I call it. White New Jersey politicians such as NJ municipal prosecutor’s president John Barr, NJ State Senators Scutari, and Lesniack are publicly portraying themselves as down with legalization but in reality they are down with creating a WHITE ONLY MARIJUANA INDUSTRY. As prosecutors they endorse and enforce marijuana’s criminality with prosecutions of minorities in record numbers while politically creating “white only cannabis corporations”. It’s a fact that currently all 6 medical marijuana dispensaries (ATC’s -Alternative Treatment Centers) are owned and operated by 6 politically connected whitemen.
My current jailing is a political imprisonment to silence me on these public expressions, I had been expressing in my POLITICAL NEWSPAPER COLUMN at THE TRENTONIAN: NJWeedmans Passing the Joint and on my Facebook accounts.
I’ve made no secret of the fact I openly want to fight my cases and charges, and win with a Jury trial of my peers. I want to end up being regarded as the modern day William Penn.
This is what I foresee from my jail cell some say I’ve been smoking to much. William Penn was a 16 century Quaker Englishman. So I will explain:
I’m a 52 year old Blackman, 2 time divorcee, father of 5. I’ve been an internet journalist for close to 20 years, a Columnist for THE TRENTONIAN for two years and the author of three books. Since my first major arrest on Nov 24th, 1997 I have been a public advocate of JURY NULLIFICATION and the Legalization of Marijuana. As a wake and baker, everyday pothead I’ve been a staunch public opponent of the Governments drug policy –aka- “war on drugs”. I openly resist the political polices of POT in America, my public battle cry or speech starter is “FUCK THE LAW, SMOKE IT ANYWAY”.
As a publicity gimmick, I adopted the moniker “NJWEEDMAN” in 1997 which successfully gained me international name recognition. I’ve appeared in publications in China, Australia, Canada, several countries in Europe, the Caribbean, South America and Africa. People in other countries recognize me as an American dissident who has been political imprisoned in America a couple of times for my opinions. My public dissent has made me an enemy of the State of New Jersey, my first book was titled: “PUBLIC ENEMY 420”. The second was titled: “THE POLITICS of POT JERSEY SYTLE” and now this one I’m writing from the Mercer County Jail is titled: “POLITICAL PRISONER #420 - #NOCHICKENWINGSAFTER11pm”.
Officially the Government has me as prisoner #548303, I consider myself POLITICAL PRISONER #420.
As a Blackman in Amerikkka I who know the war on drugs was created with racism, has been enforced racially and targets my race. For decades I’ve advocated the use of Jury Nullification as a means to defeat the Government’s policies. It’s a fact that in New Jersey Blackmen are 3 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than our white pot smoking citizens. For this reason I try to speak out 3X’s louder than my white co-activist. This irritates even white co-activists.
With this book I’ll explain why I’m in jail right now but I don’t look at this jailing as a total negative, true it’s hard and was unexpected but it’s put me on a podium to advocate Jury Nullification and Pro Se Representation.
This case began in late Dec 2015 when The Trenton Police department began harassing me for staying open after 11pm. I refused to close and filed a lawsuit against the police on March 8th, 2016. The City responded by hiring a RAT and launching a retaliatory criminal investigation of me. On April 27th, 2016 I was arrested by the TRENTON CITY police department and charged with a series of marijuana offenses and released on $70g bail. I immediately began to complain about my charges on SOCIAL MEDIA, I criticized the state confidential informant system and how I was targeted for arrest by the Trenton Police with a “CI” they hired to entrap me.
I’m co-owner of a restaurant named “NJWeedmans Joint” and because of this arrest people thought I had been closed down, to dispel this fallacy I stood outside the restaurant on May 8, 9, and 10th 2016 and held a sign saying “FUCK THE POLICE – WE R OPEN”. Trenton Police Officer Flowers and a few backups came and harassed me for this. Others videotaped and uploaded the incident to YOUTUBE to see it do a YOUTUBE SEARCH: NJWeedman calls Officer Flowers a Pedophile. 3 days later May 13th I was arrested for it and charged with public vulgarity and cyber-bullying Officer Flowers. – Yeah really – I’ll explain that later in my book.
At that point a lawyer contacted me named Edward Harrington Heyburn explaining how wanted to represent me for free – PRO BONO. He claimed he was a PITBULL of a lawyer, I googled him and found he had won a couple cases but I also noticed he was accused of shirking his responsibilities as a lawyer, was accused of lying and was censured by the New Jersey Supreme Court. I’ll go into details about him later as I write my book but have you ever heard the saying that you get what you pay for? Well I got what I paid for – Most of the reason I’m in jail now for is following this guys “legal strategy”, which the Prosecutors office misconstrued as a crime and overzealously prosecuted me because of my big mouth. As I said my expressions on race like Colin Kaepernick’s aren’t appreciated, he has been blackballed I’ve been black and jailed.
In August 2016 my Lawyer came up with a legal tactic to publicize the “CI”, for the purpose of pre-trial investigation, we wanted to know his name, criminal history and to file a motion to attack the search warrant and affidavit used on 4/27/16. I publicized his image and name on my social media accounts with legal advice & guidance from Mr. Heyburn; my attorney at the time. Mr. Heyburn filed a civil suit naming him publicly, I served it.
So my belief is I had no legal MENS REA.
NO MENS REA - In order to prove that a person is guilty of a crime, the prosecution must prove each and every element of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. Generally, the prosecution must prove both a guilty act (actus reus) and a guilty state of mind (mens rea) in order to prove the crime. If injury is caused by accident, there is no crime because the actor lacks the requisite state of mental culpability. For this reason, the prosecution must prove that the defendant engaged in a criminal act and that he did so with a criminal intent.
This is a fact: From August thru Feb. 2016 I gloated on social media about the state’s case and harassed and cyberbullied the assistant prosecutor Stephanie Katz. I found out a lot about her RAT – Zxx M. Lxxxxxx. ZML was the rat hired by the Trenton police to entrap me in a crime so they could arrest me in April.
On March 3rd, 2017 I was arrested by the mercer County Prosecutors Office on a bogus charge of “witness tampering 2c:28-5a-(1)”. Which is ridiculous, there was no judicial proceeding this “witness” was to participate in; which is a requirement of tampering statute:
2C:28-5a (1) A. - Tampering. A person commits an offense if, believing that an official proceeding or investigation is pending or about to be instituted, (he/she) purposely attempts to induce or otherwise (knowingly) causes a witness or informant to: (1) Testify or inform falsely.
This “witness” is in reality a POLICE RAT who was hired a day after I filed a federal civil lawsuit (3:16-cv-1339pgs) against The Trenton Police Department. The “witness/Rat” was hired to illegally entrap me in a crime. The Police department planned and created this crime using this “CI” – RAT. Traditionally, Police in America are empowered to investigate crimes not to create them. (SEE: STATE of NJ –vs- PRESTON MILLIGAN)
In my normal vernacular, their “witness-CI” is a RAT, Snitch, con-man, comrade, FINK, etc., etc., this is what I’d normally call such a person. Yet one of the reasons listed on the AFFIDAVIT of PROBABLE CAUSE was my use of these terms to describe the witness on my own Facebook account – www.facebook.com/NJWeedman. Besides being TRUE, these terms are 100% constitutionally protected FREE Speech.
(BTW) I will continue to use these terms to describe the witness in my upcoming trial.
What should also outrage 1st amendment loving Americans is what is also cited as PROBABLE CAUSE for arrest; “Forchion regularly addresses his desire to utilize JURY NULLIFICATION practices in his trial, address potential jurors and indicted that he will continue to affect the jury pool as much as possible.” Nothing is illegal about that I don’t even deny it I’ve spoken about jury nullification for over 20 years. I can talk about whatever I want to talk about on my Facebook as long as I don’t violate FACEBOOK rules. I do plan on using JURY NULLIFICATION tactics and hope members of my future Jury knows about me. At this time I hope my future jurors do read my Facebook rants and website – www.NJWeedman.com – and learn of my decade’s long avocation of Jury Nullification. I hope they read and google the definition of it and incorporate it in their conscience when they decide my fate. THIS ISNT A ILLEGAL THOUGHT OR REASON TO HAVE ME ARRESTED – but I was on March 3rd! Hopefully by the time you read this book I will have been exonerated.
Most people do not even know what Jury Nullification is but ironically thanks to the assistant Mercer County Prosecutor Stephanie Katz I predict the people and the jurors of Mercer County will learn. I will be thanking her persecution prosecution of “NJWEEDMAN” in my opening statements.
I believe my trial will be covered by local and national media and via the internet internationally. It should be good pre-media for this book as well.
For decades I have seen JURY NULLIFICATION as a way to slow the Governments insatiable appetite to mass incarcerate its citizens. Mrs. Katz naively gave me a public platform to once again espouse JURY NULLIFICATION via the mainstream stream news media. The cost has been some of my freedom but I am a patriot and view it as worth it. When in the US military as a young man I swore to uphold the constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic – this is a domestic fight. In my OPENING trial statement I plan on thanking Mrs. Katz. (Jury Nullification occurs when jurors choose not to convict a defendant they believe to be guilty of the offense charged, usually because they conclude that the law in question is unjust or the punishment is excessive.)
Jury Nullification has been a part of OLD ENGLISH COMMON LAW and AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE for centuries. Most scholars attribute its inception on the outcome of the WILLIAM PENN trial of 1670, in London England. Penn represented himself, presented a defense that the law was wrong and he was found “NOT GUILTY” by a jury. The jury was then prosecuted but ultimately the jury was found to have acted within the powers of the jury to VETO the laws. Forever since in western cultures jurors have been empowered to NULLIFY a prosecutors prosecution with a simple ‘NOT GUILTY’. This is why Mrs. KATZ had me arrested for knowing this, she herself quoted my knowledge of Jury Nullification as a PROBABLE CAUSE to have me arrested. Juries stand as the final bulkhead against tyrants, tyrannical Governments, oppressive laws and political trials. My trial should be a example of this.
Jury Nullification is the POWER of a jury to NULLIFY a law or render a defendant INNOCENT in the face of facts. A jury is empowered to vote its conscience if they reject the law or its application to a defendant simply by saying “NOT GUILTY”. They cannot be questioned or punished.
The Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights were all written in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The state of Pennsylvania was named after William Penn. Penn’s case was clearly on the minds of the founders. The Power of the Jury Nullification is clearly what the foundering fathers envisioned with the 6th amendment. The 6th amendment gives all defendants as a RIGHT(s)… “The right to a jury of one’s peers…the right to a defense…the right to face ones accuser and the right to assistance of counsel for his defense”. The clear intention of these founders was the GOVERNMENT couldn’t just charge someone with a crime, and send them to prison or the gallows without DUE PROCESS or the blessings of a unanimous jury.
Which is also why they put the RIGHT to Bail in the 8th amendment? “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted”. Innocent until proven Guilty and no pre-trial trial was to be imposed. – In my current case this is what is happening to me and I want my future jurors to know about it. I’ve been jailed with “NO BAIL”; if excessive bail is unconstitutional “NO BAIL” is mega-unconstitutional.
“Traditional Right to freedom before conviction permits the unhampered preparation of a defense and serves to prevent the infliction of punishment prior to conviction…”---“…unless the right to bail before trial is preserved, the presumption of INNOCENCE, secured only after centuries of struggle, would lose its meaning”. STACK vs BOYLE, 342 US 1, 4,72 SCt. 1, 3, 96L.Ed. 3, 6, (1951)
Prosecutors and Judges over the decades have conspired to keep the RIGHT of Nullification a secret. They do not like “we the people” to know about Jury Nullification. My current jailing for talking about JURY NULLIFICATION should alarm the public. Public dissent and the exercise of Political expression is no reason to jail someone. 15 years ago the state of New Jersey did the exact same thing arresting me for making POLITICAL AD’s. Federal Judge Irena’s then ordered the state of New Jersey to release me (FORCHION vs I.S.P. State of NJ, et al., 240 F. Supp.2d 302 (D.N.J. 2003)).
In the fall of 2016 I pissed off the Mercer County Prosecutors Office and Superior Court Judge Warshaw when I helped organize a Jury Rights demonstration in front of the Mercer County Courthouse. Jury Rights literature from the FULLY INFORMED JURY ASSOCIATION (www.fija.org) explaining Jury Nullification was distributed to the public, including sitting jurors passing by. In THE TRENTONIAN story about this I accepted responsibility and stated, “I would be empowering Jury Nullification awareness tactics in my upcoming marijuana case”. (http://tinyurl.com/njweedmansaysnullify)
I have publicity stated on numerous occasions that I did not think the state could get 12 jurors to say, “GUILTY” and further stated “I only need 1 juror to hang the jury”. To me, a hung jury is a victory. I’ve been promoting a hashtag - #NJcantget12.
The last line of the NJ Constitution at article 1 paragraph 6 says: “…the jury may judge a law as well as the facts.” My planned defense of the pending marijuana charges was always to present the facts that the marijuana laws are wrong not I; as my defense. It irritates the Prosecution that I openly believe I am unconvictable. Now that Mrs. Katz cited it as a reason to have me arrested in her PROBABLE CAUSE statement I get to have the JURY explained what Jury Nullification is.
I have been advocating for both, Jury Nullification and Marijuana legalization for 20 years. I know more than 50% of the “we the people” think marijuana should be legal and the current laws are wrong. I fully expect several JURORS to accept my reasoning as happened to me in two trials in Burlington County. Mrs. Katz knows I hung one jury in May 2012 and was acquitted by another in October 2012 re-trial. My jailing is a clear attempt to thwart my defense, and punish without conviction.
My defense scares tyrants like former Prosecutor, Judge Warshaw, so he jailed me unconstitutionally without Bail at the behest of Mrs. Katz on this BOGUS “witness tampering” charge. It was a lame attempt at silencing me about Jury Nullification and preventing me from preparing another Jury Nullification defense in Mercer County.
I refuse to sign any plea deal or willingly become a victim of mass incarceration. I have demanded a speedy trial. While this illegal/unconstitutional political imprisonment is personally hard on me I must resist as an example to the public – my peers. I look forward to the opportunity to defend myself at trial as a patriotic means to enlighten the public (“WE THE PEOPLE”) about Jury Nullification.
On June 22, 2017 Judge Massi approved my MOTION/PETITION to represent myself. This is the first step in my defense in which I plan on appealing to the Jury’s sense of consciousness. I have planned my defense as a DAVID vs GOLIATH situation and hope they say “NOT GUILTY” and propel me into the history books as a modern day William Penn.
My trial is set to begin sometime in Sept-Oct of 2017.