I have given a good bit of attention to Florida’s Grand Jury issues recently, interacting with people who want to form a Common Law Grand Jury. SO I thought I’d review and summarize some related history.
I shall explain how disenfranchisement of Negroes and women led to the corruption, emasculation, and disenfranchisement of the jury systems throughout America. And I shall propose a solution that will restore their former luster.
For reference look at lawmen group articles mentioning grand jury here.
Take special note of one of those articles, appended below, from 2007. I pored over the several constitutions of Florida and noticed an devolution of the powers of the grand jury. By what common sense principle did the governments strip grand juries of their power? Well I believe common sense will tell us why:
GRAND JURORS ARE GENERALLY IGNORANT/ STUPID BECAUSE SO MANY REGISTERED VOTERS ARE IGNORANT/STUPID, and THE SMART ONES FIND A WAY TO GET OUT OF JURY DUTY.
Prosecutors cannot possibly tolerate a pack of dunces sitting on a grand jury. No wonder they and the judges lobbied the legislature to minimize GJ involvement in prosecutions. No wonder judges and prosecutors manipulate the juries now.
If I had my way,
- I’d let ONLY college graduates sit on the grand jury panel,
- I’d force them to study the constitutions till they can pass a related competency test,
- I’d not let them out of jury duty except under the direst of circumstances with strict proof, and
- I’d make sure they get paid the average prosecutor wage for their duties.
There. I have given you the solution to our grand jury system, and to the petite jury system as well. Pack it with sensible, intelligent, productive people and it will produce rational, appropriate results without becoming the “bitch” of either the judge or the State Attorney.
Bottom line, if you want fix a problematic system, make sure your fix retains the same benefits of the system you fixed.
Try to understand this clearly. Misguided idealists lobbied for the liberation of and suffrage by several classes of people:
- indigents, losers and neer-do-wells, the cognitively impaired (stupid, unable to graduate from high school) and other ignoramuses, welfare recipients and social derelicts, and other irresponsibles
- children (people under 21)
- women (including ignorant housewives)
- former slaves (see category 1 above)
- the impoverished (non-land-owners, see category 1)
In order to make all of these SEEM like legitimate voters, those idealists required that voters to swear a fraudulent and meaningless oath to support the constitutions of the US and Florida, without requiring any of them to read those constitutions.
The idealists did not mandate an IQ test, a responsibility test, a test of the responsibilities of citizenship, or a test of competency in the constitutions.
THAT resulted in (a SWAG here) upwards of 90% of the AVAILABLE jurors for the jury pool (those too stupid to get out of jury duty) comprised of people in the above 5 categories who should NEVER under ANY circumstances have suffrage rights. No, I don’t include all women in those groups, but I do include MANY women, not because of lack of intelligence, but because of lack of competent knowledge of the constitution that occurs as a consequence of a life mostly at home and caring for children (where most of the fecund women of America SHOULD be).
Without any means of qualifying people in the jury pool to guarantee a modicum of intelligence, education, and ability to make rational decisions and evaluate relative importances within the scope of constitutional obligations, idealistic do-gooders destroyed the validity and value of the jury systems, making judges and prosecutors see jurors as a pack of bumbling, incompetent bozos.
And so, we ended up with incompetent juries.
Losing respect of prosecutors and judges, jurors eventually lost the respect of legislators, and so the Legislature and courts contrived to diminish the power of the jury system, particularly the grand jury system, as follows:
- Judges do not allow juries to know they can nullify the judge’s orders
- Judges discharge and sometimes persecute jurors who don’t go along with the judge’s orders
- Grand juries act only in capital felony cases now, whereas they originally acted in all felony cases.
- The power structure (courts, prosecutors, county commissioners, and clerks) have gutted the power of grand juries to investigate extraneous evidence of crimes – ONLY THE PROSECUTORS can bring that evidence to the grand jury, and that means grand juries virtually never indict crooks in government.
I’ll echo Pogo:
We has found the enemy and he is US.
WE (actually the liberal idealistic do-gooders), by dumbing down the voter and juror pools, conspiratorially destroyed the jury system in America. I would not feel surprised to learn that was part of a Communist plot to destroy America and its system of government. Because NOW the incompetent juries result in NO jury-based investigations of government criminals, so crooks now run amok in office. Just look at State Attorneys and County Commissions for example.
Maybe THAT is the price of disenfranchising Negroes and women. The backlash effort to re-enfranchise them has certainly put utterly irresponsible people in the voter base and therefore the jury pool, that led to irresponsible juries, the courts and their officers said HELL NO you will NOT mess up our efforts, and they conspired to strip juries of their power.
Therefore, WE, must genetically re-engineer the jury pool or government will NEVER allow restoration of jury powers.
Like it or not, I agree with the judges, prosecutors, and legislators in stripping juries of their power. I AGREE WITH IT BECAUSE JURIES ARE BY AND LARGE STUPID AND INCOMPETENT.
You’ve heard the old computer programmer saying “Garbage In, Garbage Out” haven’t you? That means if you feed garbage irresponsibles into the jury system, you get such a garbage, corrupt result from the jury’s work that judges and prosecutors find it unacceptable. It’s like letting a 10-year-old drive the family car unsupervised. It’s stupid to do that.
We (WE!) have to FIX it by imposing very stiff requirements for jurors, and we can only do that with a change to the Florida Constitution. We Cannot do it with the Common Law Grand Jury because IT has the identical problems to the existing jury system (or worse).
Okay, now for the article…
Florida Petit and Grand Jury Powers
Copyright © 17 October 2007 By Bob Hurt http://bobhurt.com
I write this short article to give you a glimpse into the petite and grand jury powers and how the evolving Florida Legislature, controlled by the Florida Bar through its membership which comprises the bulk of the legal staff and about a third of the legislators, manipulated it to strip the powers from the petite and grand jury.
In reading my comments, refer to the excerpts from all of Florida’s Constitutions (hereinafter “fcon”) and Grand Jury statutes below.
PETIT JURY POWERS
According to fcons from 1838 through 1868, petit juries judge both the law and the facts. Since 1885, the fcons have ignored the right of the jury to judge the law. Now in all trials, the judge will tell the jury what the law means, and the judge will sanction anybody who tries to tell the jury it still has the right to judge the law.
We should work to get the word to all jurors that they still have that right.
GRAND JURY POWERS
very first fcon, that of 1838, made to qualify for statehood, does not mention a grand jury at all. However, it uses the term “presentment” and “indictment”. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary http://1828.mshaffer.com/ define those as:
2. In law, a presentment, properly speaking, is the notice taken by a grand jury of any offense from their own knowledge or observation, without any bill of indictment laid before them at the suit of the king; as the presentment of a nuisance, a libel or the like, on which the officer of the court must afterwards frame an indictment, before the party presented can be put to answer it.
3. In a more general sense, presentment comprehends inquisitions of office and indictments.
In the United States, a presentment is an official accusation presented to a tribunal by the grand jury in an indictment; or it is the act of offering an indictment. It is also used for the indictment itself. The grand jury are charged to inquire and due presentment make of all crimes, &c. The use of the word is limited to accusations by grand jurors.
My WordWeb Dictionary defines them as:
Presentment – An accusation of crime made by a grand jury on its own initiative
Indictment – A formal document written for a prosecuting attorney charging a person with some offense
Wikipedia and Wictionary say this:
Indictment – In the common law legal system, an indictment (IPA: /ɨnˈdaɪtmənt/) is a formal accusation of having committed a criminal offense. In those jurisdictions which retain the concept of a felony, the serious criminal offense would be a felony; those jurisdictions which have abolished the concept of a felony often substitute instead the concept of an indictable offence, i.e. an offence which requires an indictment. Traditionally an indictment was handed up by a grand jury, which returned a “true bill” if it found cause to make the charge, or “no bill” if it did not find cause. Most common law jurisdictions (except for much of the United States) have abolished grand juries.
So, you see, a grand jury creates the presentment on its own initiative without the instigation of the prosecuting attorney, and the grand jury writes an indictment for a prosecuting attorney based on the prosecutor’s charge that the accused committed a serious crime.
Therefore, even though the 1838 fcon does not mention grand jury, it nevertheless refers to a grand jury indirectly through the words presentment and indictment. And that means a grand jury had to decide from its evidence that the prospectively accused man, woman, or child had “likely” committed a crime of some kind, typically an infamous or serious crime.
Purpose of Grand Juries
Why do you suppose the People would ever need a grand jury? Do you think the prosecutors have the competence to indict a perpetrator of a crime based on the evidence? Well, of course the prosecutors have such competence, but consider this question: WHY should the People trust a prosecutor to come after one of their own fairly? Very simply, prosecutors have terrible, awesome power in their jobs, and they can on a whim completely destroy the fame, fortune, life, liberty, and property of one of the People. People have learned down through the ages, such as through the story of Robin Hood against the Sheriff of Nottingham, and through real life, that only a fool will trust a prosecutor to behave honorably. Prosecutors prosecute, just as snakes and bad dogs bite, regardless of the innocence or guilt of the accused.
So, We People require a grand jury of our own People to take a good hard look at the evidence before we allow a rabid prosecutor lay into one of our own. Therefore, for ALL serious crimes, we need the grand jury to protect the people from overzealous prosecutors, lest we find ourselves in the clutches of the prosecutor some day.
The Meaning of “Crime” and “Infamous” – Felony
Now, what do I mean by “serious” crime? Well, I mean something serious like stealing or embezzling a lot of money, beating somebody senseless, robbing a convenience store at gunpoint, running or working in a crime syndicate, blowing up somebody’s house on purpose, or raping or killing somebody. By convention the law has considered such serious crimes so infamous as to refer to them as felonies. In other words, a serious or infamous crime constitutes a felony.
Actually, the word crime traditionally means felony, and misdemeanor means a lesser offense like petit (petty) theft or giving somebody a black eye. Webster’s 1828 says this:
CRIME, n. [L., Gr. , to separate, to
judge, to decree, to condemn.]
1. An act which violates a law, divine or human; an act which violates a rule of moral duty; an offense against the laws of right, prescribed by God or man, or against any rule of duty plainly implied in those laws. A crime may consist in omission or neglect, as well as in commission, or positive transgression. The commander of a fortress who suffers the enemy to take possession by neglect, is as really criminal, as one who voluntarily opens the gates without resistance.
But in a more common and restricted sense, a crime denotes an offense, or violation of public law, of a deeper and more atrocious nature; a public wrong; or a violation of the commands of God, and the offenses against the laws made to preserve the public rights; as treason, murder, robbery, theft, arson, &c. The minor wrongs committed against individuals or private rights, are denominated trespasses, and the minor wrongs against public rights are called misdemeanors. Crimes and misdemeanors are punishable by indictment, information or public prosecution; trespasses or private injuries, at the suit of the individuals injured. But in many cases an act is considered both as a public offense and a trespass, and is punishable both by the public and the individual injured.
2. Any great wickedness; iniquity; wrong.
MISDEME’ANOR, n. Ill behavior; evil conduct; fault; mismanagement.
1. In law, an offense of a less atrocious nature than a crime. Crimes and misdemeanors are mere synonymous terms; but in common usage, the word crime is made to denote offenses of a deeper and more atrocious dye, while small faults and omissions of less consequence are comprised under the gentler name of misdemeanors.
FEL’ONY, n. [See Felon.] In common law, any crime which incurs the forfeiture of lands or goods.
Treason was formerly comprised under the name of felony, but is now distinguished from crimes thus denominated, although it is really a felony. All offenses punishable with death are felonies; and so are some crimes not thus punished, as suicide, homicide by chance-medley, or in self-defense, and petty larceny. Capital punishment therefore does not necessarily enter into the true idea or definition of felony; the true criterion of felony being forfeiture of lands or goods. But the idea of felony has been so generally connected with that of capital punishment, that law and usage now confirm that connection. Thus if a statute makes any new offense a felony, it is understood to mean a crime punishable with death.
A grand jury has traditionally had the business of investigating the evidence for felony crimes, not misdemeanors. And felony crimes include murders and other felonies And our fcons show this tradition. They start off demanding specifically that the grand jury will investigate ALL crimes.
Apparently the Legislature had difficulty understanding the above facts, so the Convention for the 1865 fcon required a grand jury for all capital crimes (any for which the penalty would take the perpetrator’s life). The 1868 fcon required a grand jury for “capital and other infamous crimes.” The 1885 fcon required the grand jury for any “capital crime or other felony.“
Florida Supreme Court Uses Florida Bar to Run Oligarchy
Then in 1949 the Florida Supreme Court absorbed the Florida Bar, and after that the grand jury powers went to hell in a handbasket. As a consequence the 1968 fcon said “No person shall be tried for a capital crime without presentment or indictment by a grand jury, or for other felony without such presentment or indictment or an information under oath filed by the prosecuting officer of the court.” And the right to trial by jury had become so watered down that it contains NO reference to the jury judging law and fact.
Bar Members Try to Steal YOUR Grand Jury
now, the State Attorney will assert that the constitution does not require him to consult the grand jury before bringing a felony charge against one of their People (we the people from whom all sovereignty flows). By 1968, the voting population had become so dumbed down, ignorant, and derilect, that it didn’t even notice the destruction of their most important safeguard from malicious and whimsical prosecution: the Grand Jury.
Rights of Accused
that the 1968 fcon Article I Section 16 specifically gives the victims and their family the right to attend ALL proceedings. That article does not except the grand jury proceedings. And yet Florida Statute 905.17 (1) does does not allow victims to attend. Do you see a problem with that statute?
Summary and Conclusion
I have not done a full study of the constitutionally compliant process for amending the Constitution, nor to find which sections the Constitutional Convention delegates actually repealed. However, I believe the 1838 Constitution still stands except where specifically repealed. And I do not believe the conventions ever repealed the foregoing requirements for grand juries to investigate all felony allegations for validity, and for juries to judge matters of law as well as fact.
So, I encourage all of you to challenge those matters vociferously and hard, in court if you must. I encourage you to seek out the grand jury and present evidence of public employee crimes to the foreman, for even Florida Statutes require them to investigate all crimes reported to them.
And, as God knows oh-so-well, plenty of people in our government do indeed commit plenty of crimes.
Truly and sincerely,