First Amendment Protected Activity On Trial in Michigan - PINAC News
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First Amendment Protected Activity On Trial in Michigan

Keith Wood, was arrested and charged with jury tampering and obstruction of justice for handing out 50 FIJA fliers. These fliers are not meant to sway nor influence the jury’s decision, as would be required under the charges levied, but are meant to educate anyone who may take the flier, about the power of the jury to nullify the charges being brought by the state. Jury Nullification

A jury’s knowing and deliberate rejection of the evidence or refusal to apply the law either because the jury wants to send a message about some social issue that is larger than the case itself, or because the result dictated by law is contrary to the jury’s sense of justice, morality, or fairness.

Jury nullification is a discretionary act, and is not a legally sanctioned function of the jury. It is considered to be inconsistent with the jury’s duty to return a verdict based solely on the law and the facts of the case. The jury does not have a right to nullification, and counsel is not permitted to present the concept of jury nullification to the jury. However, jury verdicts of acquittal are unassailable even where the verdict is inconsistent with the weight of the evidence and instruction of the law.

See U.S. v. Thomas, 116 F.3d 606 (2d Cir. 1997).

Almost two years later Mr. Woods case is going to trial, not for the felony charges, those were dropped, but for the misdemeanor charge of jury tampering.

Mr. Wood’s Attorney gave these comments to FOX 17, “It’s not enough to hand out a general information pamphlet with somebody’s perspective, right or wrong, on what juror rights are,” said Kallman.

“Do we have the right to speak freely and express our opinions when it’s not directed at a specific case? That’s what this is about.”

The villain in this is Mecosta County District Judge Peter Jaklevic, former long-time Mecosta County prosecutor, he said he was “very concerned” when he saw some of his jury pool carrying the pamphlets into the courtroom.

“My concerns had to do with extra-judicial information, information being brought from outside the courtroom, ” said Judge Jaklevic.

“It appeared to me to be an effort to bring information to the jury’s attention that wasn’t from the court.”

The reality is that the courts and those who carrying the influence with the courts, do not want the citizens making the decisions, as if that is not exactly who should be making the decision based upon the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. As these powers and authority granted to these officials is done so only by the consent of the governed, and when the people no longer give consent to be governed, then the people will be governed by force.

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