Vice Blog

Cry-Baby of the Week: A Man Was Arrested For Handing Out Fliers on Jury Rights Outside a Court

Also this week: A guy freaked out so hard when he saw a spider that his neighbors thought he was murdering someone.

by Jamie Lee Curtis Taete
Dec 5 2015, 2:40pm

It's time, once again, to marvel at some idiots who don't know how to handle the world:

Cry-Baby #1: Judge Peter Jaklevic

Keith Wood. Screencaps via Fox 17 and Google Maps

The incident: A guy handed out fliers about jury rights in front of a courthouse.

The appropriate response: Nothing.

The actual response: The man was arrested and charged with a felony.

Last week, 39-year-old Keith Wood handed out fliers from the Fully Informed Jury Association outside the Mecosta County Courthouse in Big Rapids, Michigan.

The fliers contained information on jury nullification, which is when a juror delivers a not-guilty decision for someone they believe is guilty because they think that person shouldn't be punished for the crime. This is usually when the juror thinks the law is immoral.

According to the Fully Informed Jury Association, most judges do not include information about jury nullification in the instructions they provide to potential jurors.

After handing out about 50 of the fliers, Keith told West Michigan'sFox 17 he was approached three times by various court employees and asked to go inside the courthouse. He says he declined the first two times, but went inside on the third occasion after being threatened with arrest.

Once inside, Keith claims he was approached by Mecosta County District Judge Peter Jaklevic. "Judge Jaklevic came out of his chambers, he looked at me, he looked down the hall, I didn't know who he was looking at, and then he looked back towards me and the deputy and he said, 'Arrest him for jury tampering,'" Keith said.

Keith was arrested and charged with felony obstruction of justice and attempting to influence jurors. The penalty for the obstruction charge is up to five years in jail and a maximum $10,000 fine. The influencing charge comes with up to one year in jail, and a maximum $1,000 fine. His bond was set at $150,000.

"When he told me the bond, again I was speechless," Keith told Fox."$150,000 bond for handing out a piece of paper on a public sidewalk? Speechless."

"It's free speech for goodness sake," Keith's attorney, Dave Kallman, told the TV station. "The judge directly ordered him to be arrested for jury tampering for tampering with a jury that didn't exist—now wrap your head around that."

"If you don't use your rights, you lose them," Keith told MLive."It's not illegal to fully inform jurors, it's just that judges don't do it anymore."

Cry-Baby #2: An unnamed man in Australia

Photos via Wikimedia Commons and Google Maps

The incident: A guy saw a spider in his house.

The appropriate response: Killing it, or escorting it from the building somehow.

The actual response: He freaked out so hard that his neighbors called the cops because they thought a woman was being murdered.

According to a post made on Facebook by the New South Wales Police Force, they received multiple reports of a violent domestic dispute in Wollstonecraft, Sydney, on the 21st of November.

According to the callers, they had heard a woman "screaming hysterically" from inside an apartment, followed by a man yelling, "I'm going to kill you, you're dead! Die die!" The sound of furniture being thrown around could apparently also be heard.

Police say they went to the man's apartment and asked to speak to his wife or girlfriend. He told them that he did not have either, and lived alone.

After explaining to him that they'd had reports of a domestic dispute involving the screams of a woman, police say the man "became very sheepish."

"It was a spider," he reportedly told them. "A really big one."

The noise had apparently been the man chasing the spider around his apartment with a can of insecticide. "I really, really hate spiders," he said.

After checking the man's apartment, the police left.

Who here is the bigger cry-baby? Let us know in this poll down here:

Previously: A woman who allegedly attacked a waitress in a dispute over all-you-can-eat pancakes vs. a person who vandalized the sign of a store called Isis.

Winner: The pancake lady!!!

Follow Jamie Lee Curtis Taete on Twitter.