‘Nothing can be a crime until it has been recognized as such by the law of the land’
A Michigan man charged with felony obstruction of justice and jury tampering for handing out a leaflet on jury nullification in front of a courthouse contends the local prosecutor’s objection to the contents of his material doesn’t make his actions a crime.
Keith Wood, a former pastor, was arrested Nov. 24 on the orders of Mecosta County District Court Judge Peter Jaklevic while he was handing out leaflets published by the Fully Informed Jury Association to members of the public on public property.
Wood was charged with felony “obstruction of justice” for giving members of a jury pool what prosecutors described as “a pamphlet that encouraged the jurors to violate their oaths and directly contradicted the instructions the jurors would be given thereby tainting the entire jury pane.” He’s also charged with attempting to “influence the decision of a juror in a case by argument or persuasion that was not a part of the proceedings in open court in the trial of the case.”
Jury nullification occurs when a jury believes a defendant is guilty but renders a “not guilty” verdict because it regards the relevant law as unjust.