All charges have finally been dismissed against Laura Kriho, a Colorado juror found to be in contempt of court in 1997. Kriho was the lone juror to hold out for acquittal in the trial of a 19-year-old woman charged with possession of methamphetamine.?
The judge declared a mistrial after another juror informed him that Kriho had talked to fellow jurors about nullification, warned them of the mandatory minimum the accused would face, and encouraged them to issue a verdict based on the immorality of the law.
Kriho was initially fined $1,200 for obstructing justice by failing to admit her political beliefs and background during jury selection.
In April 1999, the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed Kriho’s contempt-of-court conviction. The Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear the State Attorney General’s appeal. The District Attorney could have re-tried Kriho, but on August 4 all charges were completely dismissed.
“I hope that by fighting and winning against this persecution that I have helped protect other jurors from going through what I did,” said Kriho. “The jury is meant to be the conscience of the community.?Jurors should be free to deliberate and to vote however they deem fit, without fear of later prosecution.”