By The People

There are fundamental flaws in how American government operates today,
contrary to the Constitution and the vision of a representative republican form of governance.
I intend doing something about it: by educating and informing others who
are not even aware of the dangers.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fixing Government: Grand Jury Presentments

UPDATED:  7/10/2016

What recourse do the people of America have when every branch of government, and the bureaus, departments and agencies we have entrusted with maintaining law and order under the the US Constitution are filled with incompetent and negligent elected and appointed officials to such an extent that many should be considered criminals, who have no regard for the rule of law?

Obama has stated on several occasions how he will bypass Congress by Executive Order (and has done just that on many occasions), to accomplish his social Utopian policies and goals. Just as Congress passed the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act in 1913, so to did they pass the unconstitutional Affordable Care Act, never having read or vigorously debated it, which was then signed into law by the President. It even survived a Supreme Court challenge, after Justice Roberts changed a few words and then declared the act a tax; even though, a first year law student can see how blatantly unconstitutional the act is, as was covered in Power Grab by Dictator of National Healthcare.  

There is much less about healthcare in this Act-Law-Tax and much more to do about taking your freedom of choice and depriving citizens of their rights and money.

Scandal after scandal has hit this nation since 2008 and yet the privately owned major media ignores the atrocities and instead focuses on any trivial event to distract and deflect any interest in the important issues facing this nation. The owned major media needs to focus on the boy, as his handlers groomed him to be, who would be King.

Now, the issue at hand is what We the People can do to correct many of these problems.

The answer lies within the Constitution. Contained within the Fifth Article of Amendment is the method by which the People have the right and the ability to bring charges against a criminal within the government. Any government official at any level within government can be brought up on charges by the People through a convened Grand Jury.

"With government corruption and treasonous acts running rampant, particularly with regard to President Obama and his administration, many have asked what ordinary American citizens can do to legally mete out justice. Short of violent revolution, there is only one strong legal mechanism that can be invoked. That is the so-called "citizens grand jury," by which Americans themselves can enforce the law. This is our only recourse to hold the president and his accomplices truly accountable for their actions. Over the years, impeachment has not worked, nor has any other means to address crimes at the presidential and other high levels of government.

In this regard, the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution establishes that "no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury." A proper understanding of the effect of this requirement begins with the common law, since, as Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand stated in In re Kittle, "we took the [grand jury] as we found it in our English inheritance, and he best serves the Constitution who most faithfully follows its historical significance."

The grand jury dates back at least to 1166, under the Norman kings of England. These earliest grand juries were convened to provide answers from local representatives concerning royal property rights, but developed into a body of 12 men who presented indictments at the request of either private individuals or the king's prosecutor. (Susan W Brenner & Gregor G. Lockhart, "Federal Grand Jury: A Guide to Law and Practice," 4 [1996]). The Magna Carta granted individuals the right to stand before a grand jury to be charged of their crimes. (Id)

By 1681, an important characteristic of the grand jury had developed: the rule of secrecy. This characteristic set up the grand jury as a bulwark against government abuse. Grand juries were designed to exclude all outside persons, including the government's prosecutors, ensuring that all phases of an investigation (not just deliberation) remained secret. Thus, English grand juries functioned to prevent prosecutorial abuses by blocking the king's attempts to prosecute.

This tradition was continued and expanded by colonial grand juries. In America, the grand jury originally began as a defense against the monarchy and was arguably even more independent than the English grand jury of the 1600s. American grand juries initiated prosecutions against corrupt agents of the government, often in response to complaints from individuals. For example, a Massachusetts grand jury refused to indict the organizers of the Stamp Act rebellion. (See Roger Roots, "If It's Not A Runaway, It's Not A Real Grand Jury," 33 Creighton L. Rev. 821, 832). Four years later, another Massachusetts grand jury indicted some British soldiers located within the city boundaries for alleged crimes against the colonists, but refused to treat certain colonialists who had been charged by the British authorities for inciting desertion in a like manner. Similarly, a Philadelphia grand jury condemned the use of the tea tax to compensate British officials, encouraged a rejection of all British goods and called for organization with other colonies to demand redress of grievances.

By the dawn of the 20th century, the powerful role of the grand jury had come to be established law. In 1902, a Minneapolis grand jury, acting on its own initiative, hired private detectives and collected enough evidence to indict the mayor and force the police chief to resign.

In Frisbie v. United States, Supreme Court Justice David Brewer declared that "in this country it is for the grand jury to investigate any alleged crime, no matter how or by whom suggested to them, and after determining that the evidence is sufficient to justify putting the suspected party on trial, to direct the preparation of the formal charge or indictment." [157 U.S. 160 (1895)]

Again, in Hale v. Henkel, Supreme Court Justice Henry Brown stated that "we deem it entirely clear that under the practice in this country, at least, the examination of witnesses need not be preceded by a presentment or indictment formally drawn up, but that the grand jury may proceed, either upon their own knowledge or upon the examination of witnesses, to inquire for themselves whether a crime cognizable by the court has been committed." [201 U.S. 43 (1906)]

More recently, in United States v. Williams, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia held, writing for the majority of the court, that "[t]he grand jury's functional independence from the Judicial Branch is evident both in the scope of its power to investigate criminal wrongdoing and in the manner in which that power is exercised. 'Unlike [a] court, whose jurisdiction is predicated upon a specific case or controversy, the grand jury "can investigate merely on suspicion that the law is being violated, or even because it wants assurance that it is not."'" [504 U.S. 36, 48 (1992) (quoting United States v. R. Enterprises, Inc., 498 U.S. 292, 297 (1991)]

Speaking of the origins of the grand jury, Scalia also found that "the grand jury is mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but not in the body of the Constitution. It has not been textually assigned, therefore, to any of the branches described in the first three Articles. It is a constitutional fixture in its own right. In fact the whole theory of its function is that it belongs to no branch of the institutional government, serving as a kind of buffer or referee between the government and the people. Although the grand jury normally operates, of course, in the courthouse and under judicial auspices, its institutional relationship with the Judicial Branch has been, so to speak, at arm's length. Judges' direct involvement in the functioning of the grand jury has generally been confined to the constitutive one of calling the grand jurors together and administering their oaths of office." [ Id. at 47]

Although the customary practice for summoning a federal grand jury is by a court (see Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, or FRCP), such action is mandatory "when the public interest so requires." Regardless, the FRCP does not preclude citizens from exercising their own rights to impanel grand juries under the Constitution. [See, i.e. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), establishing the doctrine of judicial review.] Thus, it is clear that citizens themselves can impanel a grand jury, and if a true bill of indictment results, the courts are technically required to commence proceedings and the executive branch to enforce the court's edicts. However, if the courts refuse and the executive branch does not carry out its duties by, for instance, arresting the criminally accused, Americans do have a right to make "citizens arrests," hold trials and legally mete out punishment in their own right. Indeed, this is what occurred in the western part of the United States, in particular, during our early years as a nation — before there was a developed federal court system and executive branch.

Given the increasingly corrupt and treasonous actions of our public officials, which have nearly destroyed our republic, and the almost complete breakdown of the justice system as run by the government, the time has come for we Americans to rise up and use the God-given rights left to us by our founders. We can do this by using citizen-impanelled and administered grand juries to hold presidents like Obama and others at the highest levels of government accountable for the crimes that have driven our nation to the brink of extinction.", by Larry Klayman.

The post How To Bring Back Real Grand Juries explains this in some detail. There is Supreme Court precedence to validate the authority of We the People.  In that article it references Larry Klayman who was interviewed to see if there was any merit to this claim of Grand Jury presentments by ordinary people. It was assumed that a Grand Jury could only be convened on the order of a prosecutor or court order. But Mark, the author of the post at The Daily Paul, quotes the explanation of Mr. Klayman:

"We the people have been providentially provided means of legal recourse to address the criminal conduct of persons themselves entrusted to dispense justice," Klayman told WND.

He said in the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Williams, in 1992, "Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, confirmed that the American grand jury is neither part of the judicial, executive nor legislative branches of government, but instead belongs to the people. It is in effect a fourth branch of government 'governed' and administered to directly by and on behalf of the American people, and its authority emanates from the Bill of Rights."

Klayman said the Founding Fathers wanted the grand jury to not be part of the judicial branch, and they wanted a path citizens could follow to seek redress of their grievances without having to ask permission of the state, as the state will nearly always seek to protect its own establishment interests.

"Thus, citizens – ordinary Americans – have the unbridled right to impanel their own grand juries and present 'True Bills,' which are indeed indictments, to a court, which is then required to commence a criminal proceeding upon which the accused has full constitutional right to present a defense and seek to prove her innocence," Klayman said.

"Importantly, even the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which allow federal prosecutors to present indictments after a grand jury has issued them, does not preclude citizens from so doing."

Grand Juries are pivotal to keeping corrupt government in check. They are the ones that charge corrupt public servants with crimes.

Klayman quoted from the Williams decision: "Rooted in long centuries of Anglo-American history … the grand jury is mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but not in the body of the Constitution. It has not been textually assigned, therefore, to any of the ... branches described in the first three Articles. It 'is a constitutional fixture in its own right.' … In fact, the whole theory of its function is that it belongs to no branch of the institutional Government, serving as a kind of buffer or referee between the Government and the people."

"In this way, the 'Rule of Law,' not violence, may seek to preserve the Republic, and to avoid armed revolt among the people as occurred in 1776," Klayman said.

The 1992 case brings important tools to the American People, both local and federal grand juries under the Bill of Rights, are needed to investigate the crimes being carried out by government! 

The questions for my fellow Americans is this:

When will people realize that Grand Jury presentments are the tools of Last Defense and begin convening? Who will charges be drawn against?

Reference Manuals for Citizens Grand Juries:

Citizens Grand Jury ManuaL for the Court

Citizens Grand Jurors' Handbook

Common Law Restoration

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