Shellow & Shellow represented Native Americans who were charged with the takeover of the trading post at Wounded Knee to protest treatment of Native Americans; Michael Cullen and the Milwaukee 14 who burned draft records to protest the war in Vietnam; the Chicago Priests who burned draft records in Chicago for the same reason; Father James Groppi who was charged with contempt of the legislature for protesting the State’s treatment of the poor; the African Americans who were charged with blocking a sidewalk in West Point, Mississippi, when they were protesting that the local library only admitted Caucasians; bookstore owners and clerks who sold magazines depicting unclothed women; gay men who suggested intimacies to apparently interested undercover police officers; Daughters of Charity who were threatened with prosecution because they supported a doctor who had given marijuana to terminally ill cancer patients at St. Mary’s Hospital; a seventy-year old woman in West Allis who used a few grams of marijuana a week to abate intractable pain; the editor of an underground newspaper who was charged in Whitefish Bay with distributing papers without a license; a nightclub owner in Milwaukee who was charged with allowing a dancer to sit too close to a customer; a young man who was promised exciting sexual adventures if he gave drugs to an undercover female police officer.
Our Milwaukee Criminal Defense Attorney understands the complexity of the law
Michael Cullen, a former seminarian for whom the Archbishop of Colorado and the District Attorney of Milwaukee had testified as character witnesses, testified that he burned the draft records, intended to burn them, knew that it was a crime to burn the records, but that he could do nothing else, “So help me God.”
A jury has the power to ignore the instructions of the judge and acquit these defendants. May a defense lawyer argue “jury nullification” and that the jury should exercise its power and acquit these guilty defendants? These are the questions which torment the criminal defense lawyer.