Archive for the Category » justice «

April 07th, 2010 | Author:

If your car displays a “Support Our Troops” decal, you need to watch this video.

If your church displays an American flag, you need to watch this video.

If you call yourself a human being, you need to watch this video.

It’s graphic.  It’s appalling.  And it’s been approved by the US military.  From the special Wikileaks website:

5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.

Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.

After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own “Rules of Engagement”.

[Note: The video is best viewed full screen, and be sure your audio is turned on. The conversation of "our troops" is quite enlightening.]

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness.
No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly.
They trust in confusion and speak lies;
They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.
They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth.
Their webs will not become clothing, Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity, And an act of violence is in their hands.
Their feet run to evil, And they hasten to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
Devastation and destruction are in their highways.
They do not know the way of peace, And there is no justice in their tracks;
They have made their paths crooked, Whoever treads on them does not know peace.
Therefore justice is far from us, And righteousness does not overtake us;
We hope for light, but behold, darkness, For brightness, but we walk in gloom.

(Isaiah 59:1-9)

Update: Huffington Post has more details on this story.  NY Times has information on another cover-up in Afghanistan, “including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the true nature of their deaths.”

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January 27th, 2010 | Author:

Speaking so softly that he was often inaudible, Justice Thomas J. Murray accepted ‘not guilty’ pleas from Richard and Margie Cressy.  Margie thanked him for releasing them in their own recognizance with no bail set.  They are scheduled to return to Glen town court on March 18th at 2 pm.

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January 23rd, 2010 | Author:

Do you feel powerless to stop the encroachment of our civil rights?  Are you outraged at laws that get rammed through to criminalize anything that doesn’t support big government power?  Do you want to take back your life and our Bill of Rights, but just don’t know what to do?  Well, here’s an idea.

Jury duty? Yes, jury duty. If you are called, don’t complain or try to get out of it. Use that opportunity to effect change where it matters most – right in your own community.

I learned with amazement about jury nullification a few years ago. They sure don’t teach it in public schools, and you won’t hear about it from a judge when he’s charging the jury. You won’t even see it on TV. But it’s the truth about our jury system, and I encourage you to learn just what it means.

The following quiz is taken directly from the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) website.  See if you’ve believed any government lies.

THE JURY QUIZ

TRUE OR FALSE?

1. The primary purpose of the jury is to prevent oppression by the government.

2. The jury is an independent arm of government.

3. The defendant is innocent of any criminal charge until proven guilty by the government.

4. The judge can require the jury to find the defendant guilty.

5. The jury can find the defendant not guilty, even if the defendant broke the law.

6. If the jury finds a defendant not guilty when he is clearly guilty, the judge can punish the jurors.

7. The judge decides all questions of law.

8. The jury is not required to reach a verdict.

9. The jurors can vote according to their consciences.

10. The jury must take the law as the Court gives it, whether they believe the law is right or wrong.

11. The jury can find the defendant not guilty, because they believe the law is unjust.

12. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS

1. TRUE: The criminal trial jury was created by the constitutions of the Federal and State governments to be a guardian of the individual’s rights.

Its purpose is to prevent oppression by the Government.. A right to jury trial is granted to criminal defendants in order to prevent oppression by the Government. – Justice Byron White, U.S. Supreme Court Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 US 145, 155 (1968)

The purpose of a jury is to guard against the exercise of arbitrary power….– Justice Byron White, U.S. Supreme Court Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 US 522, 530 (1975)

2. TRUE: The Constitution divided the government into three branches –the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial – in order to prevent an unhealthy concentration of government’s powers. And it created the Jury – the Fourth Branch of Government – in order to hold the first three branches in check. In order to fulfill its purpose, the Jury must be independent of the other branches of government.

I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.– Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Paine, 1789

3. TRUE: Under our system of government, it is a sacred principle of criminal law that the government has the burden of proving every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt and that the defendant has no burden to prove his innocence. The government makes the criminal accusation and must prove its accusation to the satisfaction of the jury.

4. FALSE: Not legally! The judge has no authority at all to compel the jury to find a defendant guilty. The jury is absolutely independent in this function.

If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognize the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by a judge, and contrary to the evidence…If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision. – 4th Circuit Court of Appeals United States v. Moylan 417 F.2d 1006 (1969)

5. TRUE: The jury can find the defendant not guilty, regardless of what the law says, and regardless of the facts. The jury has the power to find the defendant not guilty for any reason which appeals to them. This is usually called “jury nullification” of the law. In short, the jury has a veto power over bad law and bad judges.

The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact. – Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Horning v. Dist. of Columbia 249 U.S. 596 (1920)

In criminal cases, a jury is entitled to acquit the defendant because it has no sympathy for the government’s position. – U.S. v. Wilson 629 F.2d 439, 443 (1980)

6. FALSE: No one has any authority to punish a juror because of his vote. Period. This issue was resolved in 1670 in London in the case of Edward Bushell – one of the jurors in William Penn’s trial.

But juries are not bound by what seems inescapable logic to judges. – Justice Robert H. Jackson Morisette v. United States, 342 U.S. 246

7. FALSE: The judge has the authority to declare to the jury what he believes the law to be. But the jury has the authority to ignore that advice, to determine for them what the law says, and to judge for themselves the justice of the law.

It is universally conceded that a verdict of acquittal, although rendered against the instructions of the judge, is final, and cannot be set aside; and consequently that the jury have the legal power to decide for themselves the law involved in the general issue of guilty or not guilty. – Justice Gray, U.S. Supreme Court, Dissenting Sparf v. U.S., 156 U.S. 51, 172 (1894)

8. TRUE: A verdict is the guilty or not guilty decision of a jury. All jurors must agree to the verdict. Otherwise, they must report a “hung jury.” That means that the jury was unable to agree upon a verdict. Each juror is free to vote in accordance with his or her conscience and cannot be forced to vote for conviction or acquittal just to reach a verdict. In the event of a hung jury, the government may bring the defendant to trial again in front of another jury.

9. TRUE: The jurors have not only the right, but the obligation to vote according to conscience. If the jurors believe that the law itself is unjust – for any reason – they have the power to do justice by simply voting not guilty. Every juror has a right to leave court with a clear conscience.

…it is the conscience of the jury that must pronounce the prisoner guilty or not guilty. – Lord Chief Justice Mathew Hale 2 Hale PC 312 (1665)

10. FALSE: The court has no authority to dictate the law to the jury. However, many courts will force jurors to swear an oath to accept the law as the Court dictates. Such an oath violates the Constitution. But anyone refusing to take the oath will be excluded from the jury, thereby depriving the defendant of an independent jury. Such an oath is taken under duress. And nothing agreed to or sworn to under duress is binding. It is ironic that the same judge who demands that jurors take such an oath is violating his own oath to uphold the Constitution.

The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy. – Chief Justice John Jay State of Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 DALL. 1,4

The right to trial by jury shall remain inviolate…. In criminal cases, the defendant shall have a public and speedy trial by an impartial jury; and the jury shall be the judges of the law and the facts. – Georgia Constitution Art. I, § I, Par. XI (a)

11. TRUE: To be faithful to their duty, the jurors must vote not guilty, if they think the law is unjust.

It is not only [the juror’s] right, but his duty…to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court. – John Adams (1771) Yale Law J. 74 (1964): 173

12. FALSE: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” may have made sense centuries ago when the law confined itself to real crimes with real victims. Everyone knew that murder, rape, robbery, arson, and other such crimes were crimes. Today, with government passing thousands of new laws each year, no one can understand all his obligations under the law. If the jury does not believe that the defendant knew of his obligations under the law, it has the power to find the defendant not guilty. Ignorance of the law is an excuse if the jury says it is.

This preposterous doctrine, that “ignorance of the law excuses no one,” is asserted by courts because it is an indispensable one to the maintenance of absolute power in the government. –Lysander Spooner Massachusetts Attorney An Essay on the Trial by Jury, 1852

* * *

So, did you learn anything?  If you did, and you know other people who are ignorant of jury nullification, the FIJA website is a gold mine of information, including:

Help spread the word and maybe justice can prevail … at least in your neck of the woods.

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January 13th, 2010 | Author:

Details have begun to emerge in the case of homeschoolers Richard and Margie Cressy, who were arrested for child endangerment by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office because they didn’t submit the proper paperwork.

Two stories have piqued my interest.   The first is by Trina Darling who paraphrased the conversation of Richard Cressy when he called and spoke with local talk-show host Al Roney.  Darling has done a good job of covering this story from the beginning. The second is a letter to the editor written by the sheriff of Montgomery County, Michael Amato, who felt compelled, like Fonda-Fultonville Central School Superintendent Hoffman, to “clarify” misconceptions about this story since it’s gone national.

As these two versions of events appear to be in conflict with one another, I’m taking quotes from each story and re-arranging them to highlight the differences.  Those headed “Richard Cressy” are from the Trina Darling paraphrase.  Those headed “Sheriff Amato” are from his letter to the editor.  I have also interspersed my own comments because … it’s my blog and I can.

Sheriff Amato

These arrests were made for not meeting the responsibilities required by the state of New York for home schooling and for the protection of minor children.

Richard Cressy

Cressy said that when they moved to the town of Glen, they did not register with the Fonda-Fultonville School district.  His reason was because when they lived in the Gloversville School district, the GSD didn’t really get involved with them, or seem to care much about it.

Everyone, including the Cressy’s, acknowledge that they had not submitted paperwork, which could be stretched to fit Amato’s “not meeting the responsibilities required by the state of New York for home schooling.”  The “protection of minor children” and the child endangerment charges themselves, however, have not been justified.  Amato’s own letter confirmed that the children were not removed from the home, which would have happened if they had been in any danger.  In fact, from the same Darling article, Cressy stated that when they were arrested, they had already satisfied all the requirements of the school, and CPS was satisfied.  The sherriff’s department would not let it go.

Sheriff Amato

It is alleged that the Cressys … could not provide adequate proof that the education of their children had taken place.

Richard Cressy

Cressy was especially upset that the investigator [Gilston] reported to the media (Schenectady Gazette) that he had seen very little sign of schooling at the Cressy home, because when Gilston was at their home, they tried to show him their home school materials, and started getting out books and supplies, and he responded to them that he didn’t need to look at it, and then turned around and reported that he had seen very little evidence.

People usually see what they want to see, as any good investigator who has interviewed witnesses will confirm.

Sheriff Amato

The Cressys were simply issued appearance tickets to appear in court for violating a law

Richard Cressy

Richard and Margie met with the FFSD and got everything set for “now on”. In spite of that, Investigator Gilston told them that it was quite possible that the sheriff’s department would make an example out of them, and this way, it won’t happen in the future. Cressy said that Gilston made this statement a few days before their arrest. He also stated that the sheriff’s department had wanted to arrest them right before Christmas, but that Montgomery County CPS had talked them out of it, so they had waited until after Christmas. Cressy continued by saying that CPS had been very helpful to his family, helping them to get back on track, legal with the school board and the state, but that the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department just wouldn’t seem to let it pass, or let it go.

“Simply issued appearance tickets” sounds so innocuous.  In fact, they were fingerprinted, their mugshots were sent with a press release to several local news outlets, and Investigator Gilston was giving interviews – all to make a point.  The Cressy’s now have an arrest record, they have lost their privacy, and  their lives have been completely disrupted – not to mention the effect this all has had on their children.

Sheriff Amato

The sheriff and staff of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office are required to enforce the law. It is the sworn duty to investigate reported violations and make arrests when that law is violated. The goal of enforcement is to hold those in violation accountable for their actions and attempt to prevent it from occurring in the future.

Quite frankly, this is a load of hogwash.  Every sheriff’s officer has the discretion to arrest, to warn, or to ignore.  In addition, there are multiple laws on the books that are rarely, if ever, enforced – including adultery.  If they decide to enforce that one, then half the sheriff’s department will probably wind up in jail.

It’s worth noting that this is the same Sheriff’s office, with the same Sheriff, who cost Montgomery County millions in a class-action lawsuit over their policy of strip searching everybody they could get their hands on.

A class action lawsuit was filed against the county on behalf of people who were strip searched in jail while facing only minor charges. U.S. District Judge David Hurd issued a permanent injunction barring the Montgomery County Jail from routinely requiring inmates charged with minor crimes to strip and shower in front of a guard. Montgomery County agreed to put $2 million into a fund to pay claims from people strip searched between April 29, 2000 and March 25, 2005. Inmates jailed on misdemeanors, violations, traffic infractions, probation or parole violations or other minor crimes and civil matters are eligible to make claims. (Aug-23-06) [NEWSDAY]

Shame on you, Mike Amato.  Shame on you, Bill Gilston.  Go find some real criminals and leave the Cressy’s alone.

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January 03rd, 2010 | Author:

The stench of death is everywhere for those who bother to notice.

  • Our economy cannot help but collapse at some point under the weight of a national debt over $12 trillion, or almost $40,000 for every man, woman, and child.  This number continues to increase at an average of $3.81 billion per day, and someday the Chinese will either quit investing in a losing proposition – or they’ll own it outright.
  • Al Quaeda has won the war on terror.  You won’t see that headline on the nightly news, but you can read an excellent article on the subject by Fred Reed.  Granted, the man is more than a little crude, but he’s honest in pointing out that the goal of a terrorist is to terrorize.  On that point alone, they have won hands down. [HT to Jim.]
  • So little is necessary to terrorize the world’s hyperpower. A free-lance dingaling secretes a bomb of sorts in his shoe, whereupon the US goes into convulsions and long lines of Americans stand comically barefoot in airports. Dingaling Two popularizes liquid explosives, and so Washington frenziedly confiscates toothpaste. Yes, the world’s hyperpower is afraid of Colgate, with fluoride. Dinglaling Three hides the infernal machine in his skivvies, so Obama makes Firm Pronouncements, and we will now have to undergo examination by panty scanners. Always, over and over, the terrorists have the iniative. The country reacts hugely and predictably.

  • We routinely kill and maim innocent men, women, and children all over the world, and can’t even be bothered to keep a tally, because as General Tommy Franks said, “We don’t do body counts.”
  • We have murdered over 50 million innocent, unborn babies in this country calling it choice, when in actuality it’s a result of the demand for freedom from the consequences of our personal actions.
  • The Bill of Rights is swiss cheese.  We willingly submit to arbitrary searches at airports, train stations, and driving anywhere within 100 miles of an external border – which includes more than 2/3 of the population; we have politically-correct hate laws to prevent Christians from speaking the truth of scripture; our every electronic transmission from private phone calls to internet searches are arbitrarily monitored and sold to the government; we need “permits” to gather in protest of the latest government outrage;  habeus corpus and the Posse Comitatus Act have become quaint historical traditions; and the list goes on.
  • Government officials at every level have run amok.  They ram every imaginable law down the throats of an unwilling populace; they defend bribery, blackmail, and coercion as normal political practice; and their personal, financial, and sexual “scandals” have become commonplace.

So how did this happen?  Why is America dying?

We can blame the public school system that is hell-bent on indoctrinating our children with feel-good, anything-goes secular humanism, but neglects the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the historical significance of these documents.

We can blame big business, who courts corrupt politicians to pass laws to give them an unfair advantage over the competition.

Or we can blame the power-hungry politicians, who care not about the people they are elected to represent, but only about their own positions.

Or … we can look a little deeper and recognize that the above are just symptoms of a much deeper problem, one that we have been warned about from the beginning:

… there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; George Washington, his first inaugural address, 1789

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams, speech to the military, 1798

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America . . . America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835, 1840

Above all, I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid. Grover Cleveland, Second Inaugural Address, 1893

We do not need more national development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen. Calvin Coolidge, President 1923-1929

The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself, is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted. Ronald Reagan, speech 1983

This sampling of wisdom is based, of course, on the Bible – that same Bible that is largely rejected or ignored in today’s America.  The latest evidence of this fact, and the one that prompted this post, comes from a recent Rasmussen poll.  These answers cannot come from Christians who put their faith in God.

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted December 30, 2009

By Rasmussen Reports

1*Some people say that there is a natural tension between protecting individual rights and national security. In the United States today, does our legal system worry too much about protecting individual rights, too much about protecting national security, or is the balance about right?

43% Legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights
17% Legal system worries too much about protecting national security
28% Balance is about right
12% Not sure

2* In light of the recent attempt to blow up an airliner as it was landing in Detroit, should the United States take full control of security measures at foreign airports so that anyone flying to the U.S. would have to go through U.S. security?

54% Yes
29% No
16% Not sure

3* Should the attempt to blow up the airliner be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act or by civilian authorities as a criminal act?

71% By the military as a terrorist act
22% By civilian authorities as a criminal act
7% Not sure

4* Should waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques be used to gain information from the suspected bomber?

58% Yes
30% No
12% Not sure

5* How do you rate the U.S. government’s response to the attempted airline bombing – excellent, good, fair or poor?

5% Excellent
29% Good
27% Fair
35% Poor
4% Not sure

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

Whether you agree or disagree with the majority, understand that these attitudes do not reflect Christianity.  They do not reflect the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.  And ultimately, God will give us what we ask for.

If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God. If you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the command of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers. (1 Samuel 12:14-15)

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