A little-known legal provision gives ordinary citizens immense power, although very few know about it and even less invoke it. That power is the ability to request a special grand jury -- with subpoena power -- to investigate misconduct by government officials and officers of the court.
First mentioned in England's Magna Carta, grand juries were intended to be independent of the Crown. English colonists brought the concept to the New World, where it was later enshrined in the Fifth Amendment as an important check on the judiciary that shields innocent citizens from overzealous prosecutors.
According to the Virginia Supreme Court's 2010 "Handbook for Grand Jurors," the special grand jury, "composed entirely of private citizens, is the one non-political body with legal authority" to investigate court corruption on behalf of citizens unfairly denied their due process rights. But having the right doesn't guarantee it will be easy to exercise.
On March 4, James Renwick Manship of Arlington (NOTE: Actually of Mount Vernon. In Arlington from1979 to 1982 and 2007) filed a second petition for a special grand jury with the Circuit Court in Winchester after his first petition was denied. The former Navy cryptologist and volunteer court observer has been trying to reopen a 16-year-old death penalty case prosecuted by former Winchester Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Thomson, who was arrested in January on unrelated federal charges of drug possession and witness tampering.
While Thomson was prosecuting 21-year-old Army veteran Jeff Washington for the murder of a local drug dealer 16 years ago, Winchester police reported that an informant told them that "Paul Thomson is skimming money from drug dealers." However, the allegations against Thomson were never investigated. Washington was convicted and sent to prison. (NOTE: Actually the police report was 4 years later on 02-17-99 while prosecution of Washington was 02-28-95, but there were indicators in 1995 well before the Police Report of 1999).
Washington's father painstakingly gathered evidence -- including altered court transcripts by a court reporter who was allegedly having an affair with Thomson -- pointing to possible conspiracy by Winchester judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and detectives that are the proper subject of a special grand jury investigation.
However, grand jurors declined to convene one on Feb. 15 after presiding Judge John Wetsel told them in his "Supplemental Grand Jury Instructions" that he had not seen any such requests in his 20 years on the bench.
However, Manship pointed out that Wetsel had become "actively involved" with a previous request for a special grand jury submitted by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund in a 1996 case involving a severed cow's head that was dumped on a car hood during a United Auto Workers strike.
Shucheng Huang, a Vietnamese mother of four, was targeted by union thugs for crossing a picket line; they even sent a photo of her face superimposed on the cow's to intimidate her family. Huang and other victimized workers eventually settled a lawsuit NRTW filed against UAW. Either Judge Wetsel "forgot" about the cow's head -- or he was deliberately misleading grand jurors.
Manship also maintains that grand jury foreman Michael Butler should have recused himself because the former Winchester vice mayor had been involved in closed-door "personnel" meetings regarding one of the detectives named in his petition.
On Tuesday, Manship's second attempt to get a special grand jury was unsuccessful, as were his efforts to get an expedited ruling from the Virginia Supreme Court. "The Winchester court is a bag of worms, and they don't want to touch it," Manship told The Washington Examiner.
Citizens must not be so squeamish. As the late U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist once said:
"Justice is too important a matter to be left to the judges, or even the lawyers."
Barbara F. Hollingsworth is The Examiner's local opinion editor.
The Founding Fathers considered the Jury in the Judicial Branch of Government like the "lower House" of the Legislative Branch.
We the People of a Jury balance the natural autocratic or tyrannical tendency of a Judge when given unchecked power, in the same way the House balances the natural aristocratic tendency of the Senate.
Without Jurors to FORCE accountability and integrity in the Courtroom by both Prosecutors and Judges, then Tyranny rules, and Citizen RIGHTS are raped.
Read Reaganomics guru Dr. Paul Craig Roberts book "The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Police and Prosecutors Are Trampling on the Constitution in the Name of Justice".
Jefferson said if he should have to choose between one or the other in which to have a vote, he should have to choose the Judicial Branch, for it is more important, yet in Virginia the "VOTE" in the Judicial Branch, use of the Jury, has DECLINED NEARLY 70 per cent from 1999 to 2008.
That Jury Use DECLINE is like a Canary in a Coalmine warning of the threat of Tyranny, and the Death of Liberty!
Jury Justice...per Jefferson !
“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man
by which government can be held to the principles of its constitution...”
Remember Jefferson's Words in the Declaration of Independence?
Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, one of the “organic elements” of our law in America even today, wrote: “The history of the present... is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, ...for depriving us in many cases of the benefits of Trial by Jury.”
TYRANNY of GOOD INTENTIONS
How Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Are Trampling on the Constitution in the Name of Justice
How to Win in Court - without a BARbarian...
Short Course to Long Term Plan to Reclaim Our Republic (click image)
Jury recorded by Jefferson Audio & Video System (JAVS) in Roanoke 23 Sep. a.d. 2009
Alleged Violators of Law are Indicted or Impeached... depending...
Indictment = Private Citizen Impeachment = Public Servant (NOT Public "Official") [Their DUTY is to SERVE YOU (and ME and ALL of US), not to be "officious" or "privileged" - Equal Justice for All.] Trial by Jury of Peers (fellow Citizens) for Private Citizen Trial by "Jury" of Senators for Public Servant ("Peers" being also Public Servants)
...and YES, JUDGES, PROSECUTORS & POLICE DO VIOLATE THE LAW and ALL TOO OFTEN VIOLATE CITIZENS' RIGHTS!
Trust People to right wrongs of government, if informed... - TJ
"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government;... whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Price, 1789. ME 7:253
Impeach Judges NOT Presidents!
Since the founding of our Republic, there have been 17 federal Impeachments. Most Americans know of President Clinton, and President Johnson, neither convicted in the Trial in the Senate, which is much like a Jury in its composition when performing the Impeachment Trial.
Of the rest 11 of the 17 federal Impeachments have been federal judges.Seven of the 11, or 63 per cent, have been convicted and removed from the Bench. One resigned from the Bench rather than face Trial by the Senate "jury" and likely be convicted, which raises the "success rate" for Impeachment of judges t0 72 per cent.
And fellow American Patriots, IMPEACHMENT is NOT "Ancient History". The last person IMPEACHED, CONVICTED and REMOVED as a PUBLIC SERVANT was... ... NIXON... NOT President Richard Nixon, rather... JUDGE WALTER NIXON of Mississippi in a.d. 1989... LESS THAN 20 YEARS AGO!
Three of the 11 federal judges IMPEACHED, CONVICTED and REMOVED from the Bench were in a.d. 1988 and a.d. 1989!!
So fellow Americans, TALK LOUDLY about IMPEACHMENT, but not to waste time against a President rather focus Citizens' and the Media's collective efforts against the irresponsible and dangerous biases of judges that threaten to destroy our Republic defined by this Constitution for the United States of America for which they show such disdain.