Thursday, October 17, 2019

Statutory Construction, Juries, and Staying Out of Trouble (rev. 1)


Why Patriots Get Into Legal Trouble

Patriots often make huge mistakes in their estimation of the meaning and applicability of laws of any and all kind, from the Constitutions of the US and States, through the statutes of legislatures, to administrative rules.  As a consequence, they run afoul of government and find themselves in trouble. Many of their errors come from not knowing the rules of statutory construction and interpretation while thinking that they have perfect ability to read and comprehend.  Many suffer from cognitive delusion, overestimating their own ability and underestimating the ability of law makers and jurists.

I have provided four links in item 1 below to an education on the rules of statutory construction/interpretation, the item 2 link to a Florida Bar Journal on Florida Common Law Jurisprudence.  I encourage all with an interest in law to read the articles at those links, and to use the other links for reference.

A CASE IN POINT - COMMON LAW / CITIZEN GRAND JURIES.

A few years ago, a court in Dixie County Florida sentenced septuagenarian Terry Trussell to over 8 years in prison for simulated service of process - serving a Citizen Grand Jury indictment to the local sheriff. 

On Sat, Jul 23, 2016 at 5:02 PM, Bob Hurt <bob@bobhurt.com> wrote:
Terry Trussell just got sentenced to 105 months in prison for his citizens grand jury actions, which the government and a jury of 6 considered crimes.

Trussell and his enablers and supporters believed that they had the right, descended from the Magna Carta, to form a common law grand jury to petition for redress and do the job that the real grand jury would not do, and thus to operate the common law grand jury outside the control of the Chief Judge of the Circuit.  Trussell learned the hard way that no such right exists.  He died in prison.

The US and Florida Constitutions acknowledge the power of, but do not specifically authorize grand juries. Yet, grand juries have been connected to courts throughout their history in English and American law.  Chapter 905 of the Florida Statutes delineate the powers and duties of Florida grand juries.  Florida Statute 2.01, one of the first laws enacted by the Florida Legislature, provides this:

2.01 Common law and certain statutes declared in force.The common and statute laws of England which are of a general and not a local nature, with the exception hereinafter mentioned, down to the 4th day of July, 1776, are declared to be of force in this state; provided, the said statutes and common law be not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and the acts of the Legislature of this state.
History.s. 1, Nov. 6, 1829; RS 59; GS 59; RGS 71; CGL 87.
The foregoing make it crystal clear that Florida Statutes Chapter 905 supersedes corresponding provision of English statute and common laws regarding grand juries.  Thus, Florida law, by providing for formal grand juries, excludes and disallows a separate, spurious "common law grand jury" or "citizen grand jury" put together by people of a local community.  A basic grasp of the rules of statutory construction would have made this clear, had Trussell studied them.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT CROOKED GOVERNMENT

If the citizenry feels the spunk to create their own grand juries outside the reach of the courts and the prosecutors, then they ought to feel spunky enough to do it right. 

  1. DO NOT listen to your all-knowing chums, for they will get you in trouble.
  2. Beware of the Dunning-Kruger Effect (see link below) in yourself or your advisors.
  3. Start by finding and reading law related to the issue.
  4. Continue by finding binding appellate court opinions regarding the issue.
  5. Call your county's Bar association, get a referral to an attorney competent in your area of concern, then pay the attorney his hourly rate for a written opinion regarding your rights/powers in the issue.  If you act according to the opinion and get hauled before the court, you can show the judge that you followed the opinion of an expert in the law and therefore did not intend to commit a crime.
  6. File a declaratory judgment lawsuit asking the court to declare your rights/powers in the issue, then behave accordingly.

Had Terry Trussell and his compatriots followed the above commonsense procedure, they would have long abandoned their dreams of a common law grand jury.  The would have realized that they should use the political process for improving Florida's grand jury system.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT YOUR DUNNING-KRUGER PATRIOT MYTH MONGER FRIENDS

Patriot Myth Mongers typically suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect, grandly overestimating their competence in law, history, litigation practice, government, etc.  Many are scammers who sell their cockamamie legal theories via books, memberships, and lectures.  And many truth-hungry patriots waste time, attention, and money on frivolity, nonsense, and "cow plop" disguised as legal truth.  See Problems for examples.

If you were to ask me what to do about them, I'd tell you to disconnect from them and put much distance between you and them because associating with them or following their teachings will get you in trouble and make you look like an idiot.

FIXING THE JURY SYSTEM

Florida's early constitutions permitted private right to prosecute criminal defendants, acknowledged the power of petite juries to judge both fact and law, and acknowledged the power of grand juries to investigate all felony crimes. 

After the Civil War era, Florida's constitutions gave prosecution rights only to State Attorneys, and acknowledged the power of petite juries to judge only the facts, but not the law, and of grand juries to investigate capitol crimes. 

State officials have taken those changes to mean petite juries may determine only the facts of a case, with judges determining the law, and grand juries may investigate only capitol crimes (albeit the related statute 905.20 permits grand jurors to investigate any offense of which they have knowledge within the county).

I have theorized that the foregoing changes occurred because the 15th Amendment gave Negroes the right to vote, which meant Negro men would sit on juries, and that meant the Negro jurors would automatically vote for Negro defendants and against Caucasian defendants because of their inherent racial prejudice, and naturally, Negroes would jump at any chance to prosecute Caucasians for any imagined offense.  In other words, sitting on juries would give Negroes a way finally to get even with Caucasians for mistreatment during and since slavery.  I believe this put fear into the minds of the Caucasian men in government that Negro jurors would turn trials into a laughing stock, so they intentionally stripped juries of important powers.

The people of the land can use the political process to restore full jury powers - to eliminate judicial and prosecutor interference in grand jury proceedings, to allow private prosecution, to allow the citizenry to present evidence of crimes to grand juries, and to let petite juries judge both law and fact.

Culling and Training of Prospective Jurors

People of good sense in government intuitively know that the citizenry has a huge responsibility to gain the knowledge necessary to understand the ideals of good government and the importance of an educated, intelligent electorate to the advancement of good government and civilization.

Unfortunately the USA population includes about 80 million people too stupid to graduate from high school, many of whom have the right to vote.  Axiomatically, the vast majority of them, and many millions nearly as stupid as them, will make stupid choices at the polls, and stupid decisions as jurors.  Therefore, they should not have the right to become electors or jurors. 

The court clerks, in selecting jurors, cull out those too ill or feeble to serve.  For petite jurors, the judge culls out biased jurors.  So we already have rules showing that some electors should not and may not sit on the jury.  But even  more electors should be culled from the jury pool.

Electors should demand that clerks administer IQ tests to all prospective jurors, and cull out those with IQ below 90 or 100. 

Electors should also demand that the clerks administer training courses in which prospective jurors learn the ideals of good government, the constitutions of the US and the State,  and the power of petite juries to nullify bad or inscrutable law and of grand juries to investigate any and all crimes.

PRIVATE RIGHT OF PROSECUTION

Electors should further demand restoration of the private right of prosecution and acknowledge the power of all grand jurors to receive evidence from crime victims and other citizenry and to indict according to the evidence.  Finally, electors should demand that private parties may prosecute any indicted defendant in the event the government prosecutor declines to prosecute.  Private prosecuting attorneys should undergo additional training and testing to minimize waste of court resources.

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