Keith Woods, a father of seven and former pastor, was distraught when he learned about an Amish farmer in Michigan who was being prosecuted for filling in some low lying property on his farm to grow some crops, an action which garnered his arrest and prosecution for violating wetlands laws.
Mr. Woods was not the only member of the community that was outraged at the injustice of being denied the use of one’s own property, but he decided that he would like to do something to help the case of the farmer. He found a brochure online published by the Fully Informed Jury Organization that instructed readers about a law enshrined in the legal annals and espoused by the likes of Thomas Jefferson.
Jury nullification is the legal principal that a juror, in spite of jury instructions given by the judge of a case, can vote his conscience if he feels an injustice or incorrect application of the law is being committed. It upholds the honor and duty of jurors to stand alone, if necessary, in order to see justice properly adjudicated.
Mr. Woods felt that it was important to inform community members, including potential jurors in this particular case, of their right to vote in whatever manner they felt would lead to a just and proper decision in the case. Mr. Woods he took some of the Fully Informed Jury pamphlets and stood in front of the courthouse, handing them out to anyone who would take a copy.
Some jurors who were called in the case of the Amish farmer took a brochure and were reading it in the courthouse when the judge became aware of the material. What happened next is almost unbelievable.
Mr. Woods was threatened with arrest unless he would come into the courthouse to be questioned. Fearing arrest, he entered and was confronted by the prosecuting attorney, with the judge ultimately ordering his arrest, and his bail was set at an unbelievable $150,000.
The violations of Mr. Woods rights, including his right of free speech and prohibition against excessive bail amounts, were clearly known by the judge, the prosecuting attorney, and official setting the bail, and yet Mr. Woods remains with a felony charge against him for simply passing out literature in a public forum.
Unfortunately, the tyranny that we are seeing from government officials comes from the top. How often have we seen Obama absolutely ignore the Constitution and simply decree his decision and demand subservience to his will? These petty tyrants and scoundrels are following his lead, and it is absolutely terrifying.
The idea that we agree to follow a set of rules like those set in the Constitution is what sets us apart and prevents chaos. Though some may bend the rules if permitted, the idea that most will abide by the words set forth in the Consititution provides us with a foundation upon which to build an orderly and functioning civilization. As we have seen with events like the rioting in Ferguson, if the government refuses to honor the central tenets of our Consititution, or to ignore the rights bestowed on all of those in this society, we risk destroying the foundation upon which our blessed nation was built.
As for Mr. Woods, his trial is still pending, here’s hoping that jury members in his trial have a chance to read the pamphlet that he was providing others and will have the courage to rebuke and reject this out of control judge and his law enforcement toadies.