Washington State has a law (RCW 9A.76.180) making it a crime (class B felony) to threaten/intimidate a public official. The law makes reference to and spells out exactly what is meant by ‘threat’–it’s not a subjective ‘feeling’ by the official/government employee. No matter–prosecutors aren’t above ignoring such precise legislative intent. They routinely prosecute citizens for what they and/or their cronies pull out of their ass, substituting their personal biases and prejudices for the law, then persuading lazy judges and ignorant jurors that their spin *IS* the ‘law’!
Jury Nullification (article detailing 78yo citizen’s arrest for pamphleting) is an American tradition of democracy in action in the 3rd branch (judicial) of government. Judges (“The monarchists will hide in the judiciary!” -B. Franklin-) revile Jury nullification, a practice dating back to when colonists refused to convict neighbors on charges trumped up by the British. The British would then transport the acquitted defendant to be re-tried by an English jury more inclined to hand the government the conviction it sought. This egregious abuse gave rise to one of our Constitution’s cornerstones of protection against Double Jeopardy along with the right to a speedy trial. Today, it (Jury Nullification) is the last bulwark against judicial incompetence, corruption, excess, and abuse of process. Perhaps to avoid even this safeguard, Washington State has no provision for jury trials in important proceedings such as divorce, anti-harassment suits, emancipation, dependency hearings, adoptions, and CHild In Need of Services petitions. Grand Juries, originally intended to provide a measure of protection against prosecutorial excess, have become little more than rubber stamps as have judges who routinely issue ex parte orders where no genuine emergency justifying it exists.
RCW 9A.78.180 makes it a class B felony to threaten/intimidate a public official. But it takes care to define what the legislature intended when using the term ‘threat’ along with the purpose of any such communication. But too many prosecutors and judges care little about such details. They bend the law to whim, prejudice, and personal agendas confident in the knowledge they have ABSOLUTE IMPUGNITY from liability/prosecution when, in fact, what’s sorely needed is a law making it a class B felony for the arrogant SOB’s who are (in theory) working for (and paid by) we, the people (having created these agencies and instruments of government to serve US!) to threaten/intimidate the public/citizens!
Jury Nullification remains a lawful purview of jurors though a judge will never allow the defendant or his attorney to tell them about it. It is up to citizens to spread the word and ensure justice is provided fairly despite government/prosecutorial excess/abuse.