JACKSON COUNTY, MO — A woman is facing legal penalties because of placing her role as a mother before her obedience to the state. Not wanting to interrupt her infant son’s breastfeeding schedule, she says she is unable to serve as a juror unless her little boy comes with her. But according to state law and a presiding county judge, if she doesn’t make arrangements for child care and comply with mandatory jury duty, she could be fined or arrested.
“The issue is the timing,” said Laura Trickle, of Lee’s Summit, MO. “I just can’t do it right now.”
Trickle is the stay-at-home mother of an infant son, Axel, who was born in March and depends on her to eat. “Axel doesn’t take a bottle,” Trickle said.
According to the Kansas City Star, after being summonsed on August 9th for jury selection, she informed the court of her situation, to no avail. The court demanded that she show up and arrange for child care.
So on September 3rd, Laura Trickle showed up for jury selection — with her son.
According to the court order that soon arrived, she “willfully and contemptuously appeared for jury service with her child and no one to care for the child.”
Now Trickle will face Jackson County Presiding Judge Marco Roldan this Thursday at a hearing at the Jackson County Courthouse downtown. There she could be fined or jailed for her “contempt.”
Missouri is one of 39 states that does not exempt breastfeeding mothers from compulsory jury duty.
In a free and voluntary society, jury duty would not need “exemptions”. It would not be compulsory for any reason. If people decline to participate, they should be dismissed immediately. There should be no need for anyone to plea for an exemption, or to purposely say controversial things in an attempt to be dismissed. Juries should be completely voluntary.
Jury duty should be a privilege for citizens to participate in a process that could either penalize a predator or vindicate an innocent person.
In a society plagued by onerous prohibitions, freedom-depleting mandates, nanny state regulations, and all other manners of tyrannical legislation, freedom advocates should be leaping at the opportunity to serve on a jury. There, we as jurors can utilize a powerful tool to counter the police state: Jury Nullification.
Jury Nullification is the process whereby a jury in a criminal case effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless of the weight of evidence against him or her. No matter how the trial goes, or what the judge claims, each juror is free to use his conscience in determining his vote. A judge cannot bully a juror into voting for a conviction. A juror has the obligation to consider not just the facts of the trial, but the merit of the law itself. If the law is unjust, the jurors should vote their conscience and release the defendant — regardless if he “broke the law” or not. This is an essential check and balance in the system that the establishment doesn’t want people to exercise or even know about. Jury Nullification is perhaps the last peaceful line of defense against tyranny. No one can be oppressed if juries refuse to convict.
Corrupt, liberty-hating prosecutors and judges don’t want people to know about their rights as jurors. The system prefers ignorant, compliant jurors who can be convinced to punish their fellow citizens to the fullest extent for breaking any of the countless laws on the books. The mere mention of jury nullification in a courtroom could get a potential juror dismissed. Some subtlety needs to be exercised by nullifiers.
If the public was educated and aware of Jury Nullification, we would live in a very different society. Groups like the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) dedicate their efforts toward making people aware of their rights as citizens serving on a jury. With your help they could reach more people.
Laura Trickle, and any other person who wishes to be dismissed from a jury, should be released without penalty. Pro-liberty activists should be lining up and volunteering. Just remember: “No Victim, No Crime.”
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Tell the judge to use some common sense and dismiss Laura Trickle.
Judge Marco Roldan, Presiding Judge, Circuit Court Div. 16
Jackson County Courthouse
415 E 12th Street – 5th Floor
Kansas City, MO 64106
Jury Nullification Resources