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159063 - People v Keith Eric Wood

The People of the State of Michigan,

 

Brian Thiede

 

Plaintiff-Appellee,

 

v

(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)

 

 

(Mecosta – Janes, E.)

 

Keith Eric Wood,

 

David Kallman

 

Defendant-Appellant.

 

Summary

On a day in November 2015 when the only case on the docket of the Mecosta District Court was a jury trial in a criminal matter, defendant stood on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse and passed out “jury nullification” leaflets to prospective jurors. He was arrested and charged with felony obstruction of justice and misdemeanor jury tampering. The obstruction of justice charge was dismissed. Defendant attempted to seek interlocutory appellate review of the remaining jury tampering charge, but the circuit court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court denied his applications for leave to appeal. After a jury trial in district court, defendant was convicted of jury tampering. He appealed and the circuit court affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed in a split published opinion, rejecting defendant’s arguments based on statutory construction (meaning of “juror”), the First Amendment, and due process. The dissent concluded that the jury tampering statute did not apply to defendant’s conduct because no trial had been conducted in the case for which the prospective jurors in question were called. The Supreme Court has granted defendant’s application for leave to appeal. ​