Michigan Activist Sentenced to Jail for Distributing Pamphlet About Juror Rights

Michigan Activist Sentenced to Jail for Distributing Pamphlet About Juror Rights”

A man accused of jury tampering by distributing pamphlets outside a MI courthouse has been sentenced to eight weekends in jail. He must also serve six months of probation, perform community service for 120 days and pay $545 in fines and court costs, according to the court.

Prosecutors say he was trying to influence potential jurors in a case involving an Amish man charged with illegally filling in wetlands. Kallman said any jail time, let alone the conviction, violates Wood's right to free speech.

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Wood initially faced a felony charge for obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor for attempting to influence jurors.

During his trial, Wood testified that Mecosta County District Judge Peter Jaklevic ordered his arrest November 24, 2015 moments after Wood handed out about 50 juror rights pamphlets on the public sidewalk outside the courthouse. After Wood's arrest, Mecosta County Prosecutor Brian Thiede said the FIJA pamphlet is unsafe because "we would have a lawless nation if people were to vote their conscience". The felony charge was dismissed in March 2016. But Wood testified that he had taken an interest in the case and ordered the FIJA pamphlets after hearing about it.

He was there the same day as a jury was being picked for a land use case against an Amish man and prosecutors say he was aware of the court case. Then, in June, a jury of six found Wood guilty of attempting to influence a jury, which, according to MI law involves someone who "willfully 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".

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