Why Ed Rosenthal was found GUILTY.

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by ganjaphish, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. This is one of the most important stories going on in medical marijuana news at this moment, especially for those of us in California and states where medical marijuana cultivation/posession/prescriptions are legal. I was SO FUCKING SAD to hear about Ed Rosenthal's conviction, and found myself questioning WHY?! WHERE THE HELL DID THEY FIND THESE JURORS? Well here you go... I found again on www.ktvu.com (my local news)...
    I bolded the information that proves to me, that once again, the US government is trying to hold down a GOOD cause. It's so sad, especially considering pertinent evidence was BLATANTLY ignored during this entire trial.

    "Jurors who convicted marijuana guru Ed Rosenthal of cultivation and other drug charges said Monday they would have acquitted him had they been told he was growing medical marijuana for the city of Oakland.

    "I feel like I made the biggest mistake in my life," said juror Marney Craig, a 58-year-old Novato property manager. "We convicted a man who is not a criminal. We unfortunately had no idea of who he was or what he did."

    Other jurors reached by The Associated Press agreed. They plan an unusual gesture: writing Rosenthal to apologize.

    Rosenthal, 58, the self-described "Guru of Ganja," faces up to an 85-year prison term when sentenced June 4. Prosecutors on Tuesday are scheduled to ask U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer to revoke Rosenthal's bail.

    After a two-week trial Friday, a 12-member federal jury unanimously concluded that Rosenthal, a world-renowned marijuana advocate, was growing more than 100 plants, conspired to cultivate marijuana and maintained an Oakland warehouse for a growing operation. He was painted as a major drug manufacturer and put on little, if any, defense.

    The jury was not told that Rosenthal was acting as an agent of the city of Oakland's medical marijuana program, which was an outgrowth of a 1996 medical marijuana initiative approved by California's voters.

    "I really feel manipulated in a way. I feel the jury was railroaded into making this decision," said juror Pam Klarkowsky, a 50-year-old Petaluma nurse. "Had I known that information, there is no way I could have found that man guilty."

    Throughout the two-week trial, Rosenthal's defense team had repeatedly tried to call witnesses to testify that Rosenthal was growing medical marijuana. The judge denied those requests. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the judge twice during mid-trial appeals.
    During the trial, Rosenthal told reporters the judge should have removed himself. After the verdicts were read, he called Breyer's courtroom a "kangaroo" court.

    Still, legal experts said Judge Breyer, brother of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, had federal precedent on his side when excluding defense witnesses.

    "A bank robber is not allowed a defense that he was stealing money for his starving children, even if he was," said Rory Little, a Hastings College of the Law professor. "The general principle is: Motive is not a defense to a crime."

    The reason is simple -- to prevent jurors from acquitting because of personal feelings. A hung jury in Rosenthal's case required only one holdout.

    Also backing Breyer, experts say, was a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court two years ago prohibiting advocates for the sick and dying from doling out marijuana to those with a doctor's recommendation. That decision prompted a string of raids on medical marijuana growing operations throughout California. In addition, the federal government does not recognize the medical marijuana laws in nine states that have them.

    Even so, some of the jurors on Rosenthal's case feel duped.

    Juror Debra DeMartini, a 45-year-old Sonoma restaurant manager, said she would have acquitted had she known what the media was reporting during the trial. Breyer ordered the jury not to listen, read or watch any news accounts of the trial.

    "I'm hearing all of these things after the fact," she said. "That sheds a whole new light on it."

    Jury foreman Charles Sackett, 51 of Sebastopol, said he hopes Rosenthal's case is overturned on appeal.

    "Some of us jurors are upset about the way the trial was conducted in that we feel Mr. Rosenthal didn't have a chance and therefore neither did state's rights or patient's rights," the landscaper said. "I would have liked to have been given the opportunity to decide with all the evidence."

    it's a damn shame.
  2. You're right, it is a damn shame!

    I got an email a few minutes ago from SSPD and here's part of it.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------We're glad to report that Ed Rosenthal remains a free man pending his sentencing hearing June 4. I wish I could describe the looks on the prosecutor's and Judge Breyer's faces when they recognized the 6 jurors sitting in the front row of the courtroom!

    Afterwards the 6 jurors present joined Ed and defense counsel and a few others for a meeting post-hearing, and then went out and did an absolutely historic press conference all together with Terrance Hallinan, SF DA, and 2 SF Supervisors. The jurors, including 2 not present, issued a statement, and joined the defense team in demanding a new trial for Ed, a solution in Congress to end this problem, and a recognition by all potential jurors of their real rights and responsibilities. It was well-attended by both print and TV media, all the major networks, CNN, so I would expect good converage tonight and tomorrow. Here is the AP wire story.

    Rosenthal remains free as pot case jurors decry their own verdict.
  3. By Adam Tanner

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - First the jury convicted one of America's most outspoken marijuana advocates on drug charges. Now, just days later, jurors are praising him, expressing unusual regret about their verdict and saying vital evidence was withheld from them.

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    The San Francisco Federal Court jury found Ed Rosenthal, 58, a columnist who has written many books on marijuana, guilty on Friday on three counts of growing marijuana. The judge in the case refused to let jurors hear Rosenthal's defense: that he was growing the drug for medical use, something legal under state law while illegal under federal law.

    "We obviously came up with the wrong verdict," jury member Marney Craig said in an interview on Wednesday. "Ed Rosenthal did not get a fair trial.

    "Nothing we can do can make up for the fact that we are sending him to prison."

    Craig, a property manager who is also 58 years old, is one of several jurors who complain that they were not told that Rosenthal was cultivating the weed as an "officer" for the city of Oakland's medical marijuana program.

    Judge Charles Breyer did not allow defense lawyers to introduce testimony on that issue because growing marijuana for any reason is a federal offense.

    He did not return calls on the case. One of the prosecutors in the case, Geoffrey Hansen, also declined to comment.

    Experts say a change of heart by the jury does not have legal significance, although it could win public support for the defendant. "It is rare but not unheard of," said Peter Joy, director of trial and advocacy program at the Washington University in St Louis School of Law.

    "It typically happens when there has been some information that has been withheld from them that they feel would have affected the decision that has been made," he said. "In and of itself, it does not have any legal significance."


    Rosenthal, who is free on bail pending a sentencing hearing in June, praised the jury on Wednesday even though its original verdict could mean spending the rest of his life behind bars.

    The judge denied a government motion on Tuesday to imprison Rosenthal immediately, saying there were important legal issues to consider in the appeal.

    "I am really grateful to the jurors," Rosenthal told Reuters. "It was very brave of them to come out and express their views."

    "It does show that I did not get a fair trial."

    At the same time, he said their statements did not change the verdict. "Right now I am still convicted of three felonies," said Rosenthal, whose books include "Marijuana Grower's Handbook: The Indoor High Yield Guide" and "Marijuana Question? Ask Ed."

    "What they did has no legal ramifications ... But by the end of the case I believe will be found innocent," he said, referring to his efforts to overturn the decision on appeal.

    The Rosenthal case marks the latest battle over medical marijuana between the nation's most populous state and the federal government, which has recently been cracking down on California clubs providing the drug to ill patients.

    Nine states, including California, allow medical use of marijuana under state law, but the federal government prohibits such use
  4. yes, how convenient to feel sorry now
  5. There is a medical marijuana "gag" order that the government places on defendents in federal court. It may seem convenient for them to feel sorry but I believe that it's genuine on their part due to the fact that so many facts were excluded from the trial due to the gag order.

    If you believe that people who are arrested for marijuana should be able to argue their case in court without being gagged by a judge and trampled by prosecutors, please visit http://www.mpp.org/USA to fax a pre-written letter to your three members of Congress, urging them to change federal law.

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