Father of 8 Sentenced to Jail for Distributing Jury Nullification Pamphlets

By Claire Bernish

A former pastor from Michigan discovered the hard way that informing people of their rights under the law as jurors doesn’t sit well with the U.S. government when a judge sentenced him Friday to eight weekends in jail, six months of probation, and fines — all for passing out pamphlets discussing jury nullification.

Keith Wood contends passing out the information is well within his constitutional rights to inform potential and selected jurors that, enshrined in the Bill of Rights lies the potent ability to find a defendant not guilty if the law in question is unjust, flawed, or otherwise untenable — even if the accused indeed technically violated.

Jury nullification thus arguably acts as citizens’ access to checks and balances: When legislators craft worthless, harmful, inequitable, or just plain ‘bad’ laws, jurors can, in essence, refuse to enforce any punitive measures — refusing to find a person guilty of breaking a law that never should have been inked into the books.

This tool shines most prominently when used consistently to thwart oppressive policy. Illustrative of this principle is continued federal prohibition of cannabis and transformed public sentiment, as anti-marijuana propaganda falls apart at its politicized roots for the incarceration nightmare it created — among many others. Jurors faced with a choice in guilt of sending a nonviolent drug offender to prison might instead find the concept of incarcerating this petty ‘criminal’ who had done no harm to another unethical and ill-conceived — and choose instead a finding of not guilty to compensate for the unjust law.

But most judges refuse to or have strict rules against informing jurors about the little-known nullification right; so, Wood’s education activism, handing out pamphlets from the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA), entitled “Your Jury Rights: True or False?” in front of the court in Big Rapids, led to a verdict of guilty for attempting to influence a jury in Mecosta County.

Initially, Wood had been charged with a felony — which was dropped last March — for obstructing justice, and a misdemeanor jury tampering, carrying potential sentences of five years and one year, respectively; but prosecutors ultimately sought a sentence of 45 consecutive days with fines.

District Judge Kimberly Booher concurred the father of eight, husband, and sole family breadwinner should serve time, but felt the requested sentence too harsh in light of the circumstances and for his lack of prior offenses, ruling instead he will spend eight consecutive weekends in jail and work 120 hours of community service — suspended — provided he completes six months of probation without issue.

But the judge wasted no time having Wood begin his sentence, stating, after delivering the verdict,

“He’s going straight to jail today.”

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According to RT,

Prosecutors argued that Wood was trying to influence potential jurors before they heard a case against Andy Yoder, an Amish man who was accused of draining a wetland that was on his property.

Yoder took a plea deal that day and the case never went to trial. Wood said he did not know Yoder, and he only wanted to inform potential jurors that they had the right to vote their conscience over the law.

In June, a jury found Wood guilty of ‘attempting to influence a jury,’ which Michigan defines as “[willful] attempts to influence the decision of a juror in any case by argument or persuasion, other than as part of the proceedings in open court in the trial of the case” — despite his lack of knowledge or interest in specific cases ongoing at the time, as well as his presence on a public sidewalk abutting the courthouse in question.

“This is not a person who made a one-time mistake, he hasn’t demonstrated that he has kind of shown that he realizes now the significance of what he’s done, in fact the testimony shows the contrary,” prosecuting attorney, Nathan Hull, told WMXI, of Wood’s pamphleting outside the courthouse.

Wood’s attorneys contended the father had not discussed specific cases, and had merely been exercising First Amendment-protected free speech in distributing pamphlets to willing takers in a public area.

That prosecutors, judges, and now, a jury, found the distribution of educational material not only an (albeit murky) violation of the law, but worthy of locking a father of eight in a cage for any amount of time at all, vivifies the sharp shift toward authoritarian thinking over subjective analysis, morality, and ethics — and, perhaps, further emphasizes the reasoning behind Wood’s attempt to educate the public, in the first place.

“He exercised what he believes are his free speech rights, did it out on the sidewalk before this court, and that because of that, that deserves 45 days in jail, let alone one day in jail?” David Kallman, an attorney representing Wood, told a local FOX News affiliate. “I totally disagree with that.”

Indeed, while the rights, freedoms, and their protections traditionally afforded every American seemingly vanish by the hour, this case — a father sentenced to jail for even informing juries they have rights indelibly inked into the Constitution — proves we’re losing the battle with a control-freak State.

If educating our neighbors of their rights thus entails a possible stint in the slammer, it may behoove all of us to hit the books — as what happened to Keith Wood could prognosticate a coming tourniquet on the free flow of information.

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Contributed by Claire Bernish of The Daily Sheeple.

Claire Bernish is a staff writer and reporter for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up – follow Claire’s work at our Facebook or Twitter.

Image: WZZM13/Twitter.


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36 Comments on "Father of 8 Sentenced to Jail for Distributing Jury Nullification Pamphlets"

  1. So he can’t appeal this? Go fund me page to pay for for defense? He must have been gagged on the explanation of FIJA. It is my understanding that these cases never go to court because judges know it will only inform more juries of the law.

    • I actually heard a judge several years ago threaten a holdout juror who declared he was invoking jury nullification.

    • Rev. Walking Turtle | July 28, 2017 at 7:09 am | Reply

      Hm. Only one way the Rest of Us might be able to help the Good Pastor’s cause: SPREAD THE WORD MORE!

      Have we no printers in good working order? Is there no paper in the House? What-EVER is every Document Preparation app from Microsoft Word® to LibreOffice to Aldus PageMaker® all the way down to the lowly-but-workable KWrite really FOR if not THIS, for Holy Heaven’s – even if not indeed for Indwelling Christ’s – true sake?

      Indeed, every voting-age adult living in America is a prospective juror, are they not? Such as these will indeed frequent bars, laundromats, liquor stores, supermarkets, public parks and parking lots as well as many other nigh-innumerable and divers places equipped with PUBLIC BULLETIN BOARDS that are NOT located directly in front of the local Court House, is this not so? And have they no hands, and Free Will to direct them, to pick up such informative materials as they will accept for NO MONEY and TAKE THEM HOME to their spouses, families, Significant Others and even their neighbors on the Left and on the Right alike?

      Are relevant pamphlet texts and Web sites dedicated to this ancient feature of OUR COMMON LAW entirely banned and censored off the Web, these days, even by the mighty mighty sleazy sleazy though ever-so-popular Googles? And even if such an infandous state of affairs as THAT were indeed in force, who of our number even remotely mistrusts, let alone fears the Given Word of the Dax over at http://DuckDuckGO.com, pray tell, Beloveds of Heaven?

      For truly, THIS is THE American field MOST ripe for the Harvest, Yours Truly most clearly perceives!

      Let us thus go forth in the Christlike and eternal Spirit, the Genuine Rule of the Genuine Law of the Land IN OUR HANDS, and POST IT EVERYWHERE the Statutes do not prohibit! For behold, the hour is late and the shadows loom ever larger day by day. Evil Dementors now stalk our fair lands in search of corporate-media-weakened human hearts and souls to utterly enslave and turn to the cause of even MORE odious statutes to FURTHER enslave us all! Yet the Statutes themselves do declare that they do NOT supersede, override nor overturn ANY part of our beloved and ancient COMMON LAW.

      In plain English: COMMON LAW STILL RULES. Let’s DO IT RIGHT. For by so doing, we shall come to NO HARM.

      Indeed, the content of the Stanford University Online Law Library DOES NOT LIE. Let us repair to the http://library.stanford.edu… Public Resource, poke about to our full satisfaction and thus GIRD OURSELVES WELL. For again Yours Truly tells one and all, IT IS TIME. The mere term “COMMON LAW” duly searched-for and those results sifted therefrom shall indeed prove what this Voice in the Wilderness has spoken for years on end to be the TRUTH. For that is where YOURS TRULY did find it, MANY years ago and at every looksee since!

      So: At this time, let us fasten our remaining courage to the Sticking Board – with MORE JURY NULLIFICATION FACTS and FAQ PAMPHLETS than even the most beefy force of Thought Police ever dispatched to plague us all can rip down and destroy! That which is not forbidden by Common Law nor Statute is STILL PERMITTED! And IT IS TIME.

      Let us all now rise to our feet for the duration of one HEARTY Doxology and then disperse to our homes – to PREPARE, then DELIVER the WORD of the LAW, one and all.

      For behold, Lawful Deliverance is HOLY! Rending that foul veil of Statutory Obfuscation and Entrenched Confusion is OUR HOLY MISSION. And that is all. 0{;-|o[

  2. “…Most Constitutionalists favor the jury system, provided jury nullification (a juror’s right to judge a law as unjust, oppressive, or inapplicable to any particular case) is in force. However, even if jury nullification were restored, juries would still render decisions based upon each jury’s collective standard of morality or immorality. “A jury drawn from the [Biblically] uninstructed population is no better equipped to administer the just requirements of God’s law than a corrupt judge.”35 A jury awarded $2.3 million to Stella Liebeck when she burned herself with McDonald’s coffee, and a jury found O.J. Simpson innocent on all charges. Although it might be argued that it only takes one juror to dissent and prevent a “railroad job,” most people lack the independence and resolution to resist the will of a majority. More often than not, today’s jurors reflect the type of people we are warned against in Exodus 23:

    ‘Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment.’ (Exodus 23:2)

    “Juries produce, at best, erratic justice. Without Yahweh’s law as the standard, jury decisions are based upon the capricious morality of its members….

    “The constitutional right of a trial by a jury of “impartial” peers is regarded by Americans – especially Christian Constitutionalists – as one of the last bulwarks against tyranny. If this is true, Yahweh (who is unquestionably a God of justice and liberty) would have included juries somewhere in His perfect law and righteous judgments. Surely, one of the reasons He did not provide for them is that juries (like elections) place government policy and juridical determinations in the hands of an unpredictable and unequally yoked public, the majority of whom are not Christian (Matthew 7:13)….”

    For more, see online Chapter 6 “Article 3: Judicial Usurpation” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.” Click on my name, then our website. Go to our Online Books page, click on the top entry, and scroll down to Chapter 6.

    • Louis Charles | July 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Reply

      This sort of “Romans 13” (incorrectly interpreted), crappola is precisely what got Christ murdered. The mob of jews yelled: CRUCIFY HIM, CRUCIFY HIM… and there was NO honorable trial. So tyrannical pharisees ruled the day. Just like we have now. Please, Mr. Weiland. The Founders knew what they were doing.

  3. This is not surprising. If he had distributed flyers at the coffee shop across the street from the court, on land where the court had no authority, he would have never have been arrested. Do it in front of the court and jury tampering is the first thing out of their authoritarian mouths. It’s kind of like the boundaries of privacy around a home, when a police investigator goes through your trash looking for evidence of a crime without a search warrant. The evidence will be thrown out as illegally obtained. They can only search your trash without a warrant after it has been dumped into a trash truck and blended with the trash of others, but then there’s no real proof of chain of custody, so that doesn’t work for the cops either. They have to follow the law like everyone else. Promoting jury nullification is fine, but pick your battle location carefully.

    • Jerry Buchanan | July 27, 2017 at 11:56 am | Reply

      hmm I thought as taxpayers we the people own the court house etc! so he should have the right to inform the jury as a concerned citizen of the united states of America…

      • Chris Legion | July 30, 2017 at 9:34 am | Reply

        We the people do own the local, state and federal buildings etc.. NOT because we are taxpayers, because we have the RIGHTS of LIFE, LIBERTY, PROPERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS which are bestowed upon us by our Creator – NOT by Government. 

        WE, the People CREATE Government and install presidents, representatives, senators and judges as OUR SERVANTS. 

        As CREATOR of Government, WE are the “MAJESTY”, and government is OUR SERVANT. 

        When these men and women, acting as members of a SERVANT Government, scheme to overthrow the “MAJESTY” of the MASTER and subjugate or destroy the SOVEREIGN PEOPLE, there exists the crime of HIGH TREASON.

        The present system of so-called justice makes traitors, murderers, kidnappers, unlawful confiners, assaulters, extortionists, mobsters and thieves of ALL men or women acting as royalty, politicians, presidents, governors, lawyers, judges, court clerks, police, prison guards, etc. There is no other catagory in which to place them.

        They have used United States Code of Laws to overstep the powers delegated by constitution and violated their oath to office.

      • Chris Legion | July 30, 2017 at 9:36 am | Reply

        Taxation is theft!

    • He was not on court property but a public sidewalk.

      • True but this man was doing it outside the courthouse to clearly try to influence the jury.

        • Free Man (NOT) | July 27, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Reply

          No he wasn’t.
          He was handing them out to anyone who wanted them.
          He didn’t ask if they were jurors.
          There are many other reasons to enter a courthouse.
          .
          That judge should be impeached.

        • “Influence”? How about “Educate”? Have you ever been called for jury duty? The instructions given to prospective jurors are contradictatory and full of omissions but most folks are totally “awe struck” and never question their “betters”. After one attorney’s grilling of a meek appearing woman as to whether or not she would be able to vote against the will of other jurors, the judge then instructed us that jurors must agree totally on a verdict. When I asked for the definition of a “hung jury”, guess who was the first person dismissed from my “duty”? Truth is, informed jurors are not welcome in our judicial system.

    • Louis Charles | July 27, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Reply

      The “Court” only has authority on the inside of that fence, inside the courtroom. Don’t give me this crap, Mark. Would we get a “tampering” charge if the local Libertarian Party membership made phone calls to the voting public (eligible jurors) informing them of FIJA? I mean, are you going to cite “FCC” regs, next? We have a FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT which extends on all public property…. Stop feeding tyrants!

    • “Promoting jury nullification is fine, but pick your battle location carefully.”

      I agree. This man was clearly trying to influence the jury by standing outside the courthouse.

    • Mark Cavendish is a disaster

  4. Drag the judge out of the courthouse and hang him.

    • Louis Charles | July 27, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Reply

      Yes. Give him a Trial, and see if he want’s to utilize JN. LOL But face it: Without a WELL REGULATED MILITIA the 3 branches are in collusion,and out of control. Deptutiz’m… and this crap comes to a screetching halt. Wake up, Libertarians!!! You people are asleep at the wheel.

    • Make him squeal like a pig first..

  5. Louis Charles | July 27, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Reply

    What is it going to take for Libertarians to realize the need for the Deputiz’m Plan, and the formation of a local, WELL REGULATED MILITIA? I don’t fault the communist judge here; that janetRenoWannabe bitch is living her dream. I fault the people who allegedly believe we have First Amendment Rights… who lay down at take this shit. This is especially true for the 18-45rs. WHERE ARE YOU PEOPLE?

  6. Does ANYONE still think that ‘we the people ‘ still have justice in our court system and more importantly , still have a FREE and Constitutional Republic…I think NOT….and if this is so than our MILITARY fighting around the globe for our values and Republic, is just a crock of manure…..imho

    • I believe the last threads of “justice” had their throats cut back in ’13 by the FED RES scam and their private collection agency, the IRS.

  7. I think the judge should consider getting some retraining. He obviously needs it.

  8. Rev. Walking Turtle | July 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Reply

    Hm. Only one way the Rest of Us might be able to help the Good Pastor’s cause: SPREAD THE WORD MORE!

    Have we no printers in good working order? Is there no paper in the House? What-EVER is every Document Preparation app from Microsoft Word® to LibreOffice to Aldus PageMaker® all the way down to the lowly-but-workable KWrite really FOR if not THIS, for Holy Heaven’s – even if not indeed for Indwelling Christ’s – true sake?

    Indeed, every voting-age adult living in America is a prospective juror, are they not? Such as these will indeed frequent bars, laundromats, liquor stores, supermarkets, public parks and parking lots as well as many other nigh-innumerable and divers places equipped with PUBLIC BULLETIN BOARDS that are NOT located directly in front of the local Court House, is this not so? And have they no hands, and Free Will to direct them, to pick up such informative materials as they will accept for NO MONEY and TAKE THEM HOME to their spouses, families, Significant Others and even their neighbors on the Left and on the Right alike?

    Are relevant pamphlet texts and Web sites dedicated to this ancient feature of OUR COMMON LAW entirely banned and censored off the Web, these days, even by the mighty mighty sleazy sleazy though ever-so-popular Googles? And even if such an infandous state of affairs as THAT were indeed in force, who of our number even remotely mistrusts, let alone fears the Given Word of the Dax over at http://DuckDuckGO.com, pray tell, Beloveds of Heaven?

    For truly, THIS is THE American field MOST ripe for the Harvest, Yours Truly most clearly perceives!

    Let us thus go forth in the Christlike and eternal Spirit, the Genuine Rule of the Genuine Law of the Land IN OUR HANDS, and POST IT EVERYWHERE the Statutes do not prohibit! For behold, the hour is late and the shadows loom ever larger day by day. Evil Dementors now stalk our fair lands in search of corporate-media-weakened human hearts and souls to utterly enslave and turn to the cause of even MORE odious statutes to FURTHER enslave us all! Yet the Statutes themselves do declare that they do NOT supersede, override nor overturn ANY part of our beloved and ancient COMMON LAW.

    In plain English: COMMON LAW STILL RULES. Let’s DO IT RIGHT. For by so doing, we shall come to NO HARM.

    Indeed, the content of the Stanford University Online Law Library DOES NOT LIE. Let us repair to the http://library.stanford.edu/search-tools Public Resource, poke about to our full satisfaction and thus GIRD OURSELVES WELL. For again Yours Truly tells one and all, IT IS TIME. The mere term “COMMON LAW” duly searched-for and those results sifted therefrom shall indeed prove what this Voice in the Wilderness has spoken for years on end to be the TRUTH. For that is where YOURS TRULY did find it, MANY years ago and at every looksee since!

    So: At this time, let us fasten our remaining courage to the Sticking Board – with MORE JURY NULLIFICATION FACTS and FAQ PAMPHLETS than even the most beefy force of Thought Police ever dispatched to plague us all can rip down and destroy! That which is not forbidden by Common Law nor Statute is STILL PERMITTED! And IT IS TIME.

    Let us all now rise to our feet for the duration of one HEARTY Doxology and then disperse to our homes – to PREPARE, then DELIVER the WORD of the LAW, one and all.

    For behold, Lawful Deliverance is HOLY! Rending that foul veil of Statutory Obfuscation and Entrenched Confusion is OUR HOLY MISSION. And that is all. 0{;-|o[

  9. Very important to be aware of such things.
    As we stay close to God, He will use us to help get our country back to operating more Constitutionally!
    Step by step, day by day. Fearless, and in LOVE!!

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