Cannabis News The November Coalition
  Jurors Tell Ed Rosenthal They're Sorry
Posted by CN Staff on February 05, 2003 at 08:14:34 PT
By Josh Richman, Staff Writer 
Source: Oakland Tribune  

medical Half the jurors who Friday convicted pro-marijuana author and activist Ed Rosenthal of three federal felonies apologized to him Tuesday, saying they'd have voted differently had they known one more fact.

That key fact is that Rosenthal, 58, was acting under an Oakland ordinance as an officer of the city in growing marijuana to be provided to cooperatives and patients for medical use.

"It's the most horrible mistake I've ever made in my entire life," juror Marnie Craig of Novato said at a news conference outside the federal courthouse. "The city of Oakland attempted to give him immunity and he operated under that assumption.

"Ed Rosenthal is not a criminal, he should never have been convicted. He needs a jury that is allowed to hear all the evidence," Craig said.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer withheld the apparently crucial fact and other evidence of Rosenthal's medical motive from jurors because federal law makes no distinction for motive -- it bans any and all marijuana cultivation, possession and use, no matter what California's and Oakland's laws say.

Rosenthal faces five to 85 years in prison when he's sentenced June 4, but Breyer said he'll seek reasons to grant a lesser sentence.

Before that, Breyer will study a motion to toss out the indictment on which the whole case is based, said William Simpich, one of Rosenthal's attorneys. Simpich said transcripts show Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan told a grand jury Rosenthal violated state law as well as federal, and the indictment might never have been handed down if not for this falsehood.

The six jurors -- claiming to speak for at least two more who didn't attend -- plus about 50 pro-Rosenthal protesters and several elected officials had few kind words about the trial.

The jurors acknowledged they knew the case involved medical use -- they were told so during jury selection, and Rosenthal's lawyers mentioned it at trial over Bevan's objections -- but they insisted Rosenthal's protection by the Oakland ordinance would have made them refuse to convict, had they only known. Federal criminal verdicts must be unanimous, so even one hold-out on the jury would have caused a mistrial.

Juror Kimberly Sulsar of San Leandro called it "truly disheartening and shameful," and juror Pamela Klarkowski -- an emergency room nurse from Petaluma -- said she was "absolutely appalled" to realize what had happened.

Jury foreman Charles Sackett III of Sebastopol read aloud a letter of apology to Rosenthal and his family. "We as a jury truly were kept in the dark. ... I must plead ignorance and you must pay the price."

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez said Breyer violated the spirit of the U.S. Constitution and centuries of legal precedent saying citizens help shape the evolution of community standards.

And San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan said this is the first instance he recalls in which a majority of jurors insist they were misled and are publicly calling for a new trial.

Note: Some say having all facts could have influenced verdict in medical pot case.

Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)
Author: Josh Richman, Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, February 05, 2003
Copyright: 2003 MediaNews Group, Inc.

Related Articles & Web Sites:

Ed Rosenthal's Trial Pictures & Articles

Rosenthal Found Guilty on Cultivation Charges

Medicinal Pot Grower's Case Goes To Jury

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on February 05, 2003 at 12:31:02 PT
CNN Headline News
I just saw Ed and his family on CNN Headline News and the piece said the Jury wouldn't have convicted him if they had known! Finally on CNN!

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #2 posted by Ethan Russo MD on February 05, 2003 at 12:24:33 PT:

Swearing Oaths
Is not a witness required to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"

It is unconscionable that the court is not also required to tell "the whole truth." There ought to be a law.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by afterburner on February 05, 2003 at 09:12:11 PT:

FoM - Ed Rosenthal's Story from Canada
Here's Ed Rosenthal's story from Canada:

Jurors in pot case outraged [Associated Press] Say they would not have convicted man as drug dealer if they had known he was part of medical marijuana program

5:27 PM EST Tuesday, February 4 | FULL STORY

It's the same story posted on Cannabis News, but the news is that it's being published is Canada, not hidden.

ego destruction or ego transcendence, that is the question.

[ Post Comment ]

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