Unhappy Jurors Rule for County in Marijuana Suit

Unhappy Jurors Rule for County in Marijuana Suit
Posted by FoM on April 22, 2001 at 07:34:22 PT
By Rod Thompson, Star-Bulletin
Source: Star-Bulletin
Jurors walked up to marijuana seed advocate Aaron Anderson this week and told him they thought he had been mistreated by the Hawaii County prosecutor. Anderson was charged with marijuana possession in 1992 for ordering sterilized marijuana birdseed, which was legally imported into the United States. The criminal case ended with a hung jury.Despite their sympathy, jurors in the resulting federal lawsuit against the county told Anderson they had to decide against him because of the narrow wording of instructions to them by U.S. District Judge Kevin Chang.
Anderson, 62, this week lost his lawsuit accusing the prosecutor and the county of violating his constitutional right to equal protection. The suit accused the county of selective prosecution for filing charges against him but not against others with similar seeds, such as Wal-Mart."It was like being hit by a 4-by-4," Anderson said of the verdict. About six members of the eight-person jury expressed their sympathy after the trial, he said.Anderson's attorney, Steven Strauss, said he may appeal because of the jury instructions and other reasons.Besides the federal lawsuit, Anderson has a similar lawsuit pending in state court, based not on inequality but on alleged maliciousness of the prosecutor.Unlike federal law, which says sterilized seeds are legal, Hawaii law has two parts, one saying they are legal and the other saying they are not.U.S. Judge David Ezra eventually ruled that the two parts have to be read together, and doing so shows sterilized seeds are legal.Defending the county, attorney Joseph Kamelamela argued that Anderson's seeds were capable of germination and did so in tests. Strauss said the tests were not scientific and the germination was abnormal.A key point was whether Prosecutor Jay Kimura intentionally allowed deputy Kay Iopa to conduct selective prosecution.Kimura testified he told Iopa to check whether stores were selling sterilized seeds, but he did not follow up with her.Strauss called that "deliberate indifference," showing Kimura's intent to permit selective prosecution.Complete Title: Unhappy Jurors Rule for County in Marijuana Seed LawsuitSource: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)Author: Rod Thompson, Star-BulletinPublished: April 21, 2001Copyright: 2001 Honolulu Star-BulletinContact: letters starbulletin.comWebsite: Articles:Public Defenders Testify Anderson was Targeted Shots Traded in Hemp Case Hemp Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by lookinside on April 22, 2001 at 15:10:05 PT:
i certainly hope this gentleman sounds as if thejuries instructions were illegal of themselves...
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Comment #2 posted by JJM on April 22, 2001 at 12:28:33 PT
drug war is treason
drug war is treason
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Comment #1 posted by Thomas on April 22, 2001 at 09:02:57 PT
Jury Excuse
The jury never has to do anything it does not want to do. It seems to me this jury was not aware of its rights.
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