Citizens across this country are fed-up and angry at the legal establishment of lawyers and judges who blatantly lie, file false reports, tamper with evidence, suborn perjury, commit perjury themselves and violate every element of the ethical rules of conduct that these lawyers and judges are to obey.
REPORT: Jury Rights Billboard Campaign Infuriates Prosecutors
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Published on Nov 7, 2013
WASHINGTON DC | A new billboard in Washington, DC is causing controversy with its call to jurors, informing them of their right to jury nullification. The illuiminated advertisment appears at the Juciary Square Metro Station in the nation’s capitol.
The billboards say “Good Jurors Nullify Laws” and “You have the right to ‘hang’ the jury with your vote if you cannot agree with other jurors.” It is in an area where jurors pass on their way to federal courtrooms.
This has upset prosecutors, who believe widespread practice of jury nullification could lower their conviction rate. In courts around the country, government lawyers are asking judges to instruct jurors to judge just the facts in a case to determine guilt and innocence.
Jury nullification allows a juror to judge not just the facts in a case, but the legal basis of the law as well. Jurors have found defendants innocent of crimes throughout western history based on the law being unjust.
The billboards went up in October, and a fury erupted almost immediately.
The controversial ads were designed by graphic artist James Babb. The Philadelphia native organized a fund-raising campaign that collected $3,000 to run the advertisements. Babb is now placing similar ads near courtrooms in cities around the nation.
James Babb is our guest on the show today. He is here to talk to us about his ad campaign, the history and rise of the jury nullification movement, and opposition to his ads.
Another such individual who is taking on these corrupt lawyers and judges is John Darash of New York. Darash believes that any citizen can call a grand jury to weigh evidence and hand down indictments. This would take “power” away from the lawyers and judges who at this time are the only ones able to call a grand jury. Darash believes that a grand jury callable by a citizens is the only TRUE FORM of citizen oversight of government.
Published: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A citizens group filed court documents on Friday seeking to convene a common law grand jury in Westmoreland County, but legal experts say such a body has no real authority.
It’s the latest of a number of similar filings throughout the nation by people wanting to empanel investigating grand juries that are separate from the government. Citizens in the group would seek jurors from the local population, then make presentments to prosecutors.
Locally, groups in Allegheny and Beaver counties have issued the same call.
The move, however, is not backed by the law, according to a local official and a legal scholar.
“This is a rogue band of citizens with no legal authority,” said Wes Oliver, associate professor and director of the criminal justice program at Duquesne University School of Law. “To what extent there was ever a common law grand jury system that was self-creating, there no longer is.”
The Westmoreland group, founded by Tom Altman of Greensburg, wants to convene a grand jury that is not presided over by a judge and/or convened by county or state prosecutors.
Altman claims his grand jury is legitimate under the law and the Constitution.
But legal experts say that in 1946, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure were established, doing away with the common law grand jury model.
District Attorney John Peck said grand juries must be approved by the courts.
“I don’t know there is a statute or procedural rule that allows citizens to convene grand juries,” Peck said.
Altman filed documents with Clerk of Courts Bryan Kline seeking to formalize the grand jury process. Kline said he was required under state law to accept the filing.
Altman said he paid the $21.40 filing fee under protest.
“We’re working to undo tyranny that’s been done,” he said. “We’re stirring a pot that’s real big, but it has to be stirred.”
Unless common law grand juries are officially recognized by the courts, prosecutors offered presentments or individuals subpoenaed by the self-formed grand juries would not be legally compelled to cooperate, Oliver said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/5031867-74/grand-jury-law#ixzz2l0rtu0T4
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