Sam Walton and Daniel Woodhouse broke into a BAE Systems factory, intending to damage and thereby disable Typhoon fighter jets which were destined to be delivered to Saudi Arabia to assist in its brutal war in Yemen. The two were unfortunately detained by security before they could reach the aircraft, and then arrested and put on trial for “criminal damage.”
They were permitted to present a “necessity” defense, and presented evidence about Saudi war crimes in court. As a result, the judge found them not guilty.
It has proven much harder to present a necessity defense in American courts, and so you rarely hear stories like this in the U.S. However, there are some signs that juries are becoming willing to push back against the American legal system’s persistent attempts to turn them into a panel of twelve rubber stamps.
For example, the trials of the Bundy Ranch rebels have been extraordinarily frustrating for the government. Most recently, a jury returned exactly zero guilty verdicts on the many charges against four defendants. This was only one of a series of losses in court by prosecutors in these cases.