“THEY ARE NOT OPERATING UNDER THE LAW”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 22, 2011) — The grand jury in Monroe County, TN is nothing more than an appendage of the government and does not function as an investigative body seeking to examine and weigh evidence of a crime, The Post & Email has found.
Grand juries are not mentioned anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, but rather, in the Fifth Amendment. U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has called the grand jury “a constitutional fixture in its own right” and recently cited the Fifth Amendment as regards the role of a grand jury in advancing accusations and prosecutions of crime.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The grand jury has been described as:
The grand jury is an integral part of our constitutional heritage which was brought to this country with the common law. The Framers, most of them trained in the English law and traditions, accepted the grand jury as a basic guarantee of individual liberty; notwithstanding periodic criticism, much of which is superficial, overlooking relevant history, the grand jury continues to function as a barrier to reckless or unfounded charges.
The oath which Tennessee grand jury members are given, if it is administered at all, does not meet Tennessee constitutional requirements, but rather, defers to the “skill and ability” of each grand juror.
Tennessee was the last Southern state to decide to leave the Union, seceding after hostilities had begun, and the first to be readmitted at the end of the war. In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment abolished “slavery and involuntary servitude.”
But how many people are in a state of slavery in Tennessee today?
It has recently been discovered that there is no appointing order for a man who allegedly served as foreman of the Monroe County grand jury for at least 20 years, nor any evidence that he was ever sworn in as required by the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure. No identification for Gary Pettway can be produced by the Monroe County clerk’s office. The alleged current grand jury foreman’s first name is misspelled, perhaps purposely. Court personnel are aware of it, and similar “errors” have occurred multiple times in the Tenth Judicial District of Tennessee.
When a citizen brings evidence to present to the Monroe County “grand jury” for its consideration, court personnel “Mirandize” him or her, and the witness must sign a Waiver of Immunity form acknowledging that he can be prosecuted for lying to the grand jury. “They require of you that you sign a Miranda warning, and you have to give a written statement and swear to it. I wasn’t put under oath by the foreman, nor was I put under oath by anyone from the Tenth Judicial District. The person who witnessed it was (Deputy Clerk) Darlene Moser.” said one witness.
A sentencing hearing for Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 23, 2011 on the charge of resisting arrest relative to an incident from October 27, 2010, when Fitzpatrick’s door was broken and he was tasered multiple times by four sheriff’s deputies.
A charge of assault resulted in a mistrial and could be tried again. The indictments for the two charges were produced on January 5, 2011 by a grand jury for which the appointing order for the foreman was either deficient or absent. The conviction pronounced on June 23, 2011 stemmed from an arrest for “failing to appear” at a hearing about which Fitzpatrick had not been properly notified, but the actual charge of “failing to appear” was not prosecuted.
Charges arising from another tainted grand jury on June 3, 2010 resulted in Fitzpatrick spending 65 days in the Monroe County jail, from which he issued reports describing lack of heat, raw sewage, overcrowding, uncontrolled illness, and information gleaned from other inmates about the murder of Jim Miller in July 2010. Other former inmates have corroborated the information about conditions in the jail and related stories of Gestapo-like sheriff’s deputies having inflicted serious physical injuries on their chosen victims.
The Virtual Jewish Library states that “The Gestapo, during its tenure, operated without any restrictions by civil authority, meaning that its members could not be tried for any of their police practices. This unconditional authority added an elitist element to the Gestapo; its members knew that whatever actions they took, no consequences would arise.”
The June 3 indictments were produced after Fitzpatrick tried to place Gary Pettway, who had been acting as grand jury foreman for at least 20 years but possibly as long as 27 years, under citizen’s arrest on April 1, 2010. At that time, Fitzpatrick was not aware that there was no official appointing order for Pettway and therefore no evidence that he had ever been administered an oath of office. He had previously been told by Chief Court Clerk Martha M. Cook that appointing orders were used to designate the grand jury foreman. Such documents have been located in other county courthouses in Tennessee.
Prior to carrying out the citizen’s arrest, Fitzpatrick had visited the offices of the FBI, TBI, sheriff, local police, and district attorney. All responded that it was not within their purview to remove Pettway from his post or to take any action pursuant to following the law.
Although Fitzpatrick told the judge at his arraignment hearing on June 28, 2010 that at least two jurors on the grand jury were compromised according to state law, Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood allowed the indictments to stand. Court transcripts have been found to be routinely doctored.
If the Monroe County grand jury were legally convened and functioning as intended, it would be following Rule 6(e) of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, which states that grand jurors have the responsibility to:
(3) inquire into the condition and management of prisons and other county buildings and institutions within the county;
(6) inquire into any state or local officers’ abuse of office…
Instead, the grand jurors are under complete control of the court, and, working at the court’s behest, indicting members of the community for crimes that they did not commit so as to fill the county jail and state penitentiaries in a “prisoners-for-profit” scheme.
The grand jurors are therefore guilty of crimes themselves and could be prosecuted if an honest prosecutor were to be found.
A writer for Prison Legal News claims that “there is probably no sector of the economy so abloom with money as the privately run prison industry.” The June 1, 2000 article states that privatization of prisons was increasing, and that “Roughly half of the industry is controlled by the Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America.” The CCA operates juvenile detention facilities in Memphis, TN; Crowley County, TN and Shelby County, TN as well as in the states of New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Texas and others.
The FBI launched an investigation into an Idaho prison operated by CCA where in November 2010, an inmate attacked another inmate and the guards looked on, refusing to intervene. A report from NPR states that CCA played a part in writing Arizona’s SB 1070, the controversial illegal immigration bill which the Obama regime has challenged by suing the state of Arizona.
A May 2008 PBS report stated that 1% of the American population was imprisoned. In 2007, CCA reportedly realized revenues of about $1.4 billion. CCA describes itself as “America’s Leader in Partnership Corrections.”
The entire judiciary in Monroe County has been described as “hopelessly corrupt” by Fitzpatrick’s former defense attorney, Stephen Pidgeon. Judges, court reporters, clerks, deputy clerks, law enforcement, and grand jury members all appear to be working together to bring in as many people as possible who will then be subject to fines, jail time, and state penitentiary. Local defense attorneys are aware of the corruption but have taken no action to expose it.
Other investigators have reported rampant corruption in the Tennessee courts and had their lives threatened for doing so. Corruption in other Tennessee counties is widely discussed on the internet forum Topix.com. A citizen of Iron City, TN states that after having acquired several police officers following a period of “at least 20 years” without them, “Now we are all living in fear of our freedoms and the rights given to us by this great country we live in.”
In August 1946, after asking repeatedly for federal intervention in McMinn County, as Fitzpatrick has today in Monroe County, citizens took action against a corrupt sheriff to eliminate election fraud. Soldiers who had returned from World War II stated their reason for waging the battle as “The principals [sic] that we fought for in this past war do not exist in McMinn County. We fought for democracy because we believe in democracy but not the form we live under in this county.”
An editorial reportedly written by Eleanor Roosevelt on the Battle of Athens reads, in part:
In this particular case, a group of young veterans organized to oust the local machine and elect their own slate in the primary. We may deplore the use of force but we must also recognize the lesson which this incident points for us all. When the majority of the people know what they want, they will obtain it.
Any local, state or national government, or any political machine, in order to live, must give the people assurance that they can express their will freely and that their votes will be counted. The most powerful machine cannot exist without the support of the people. Political bosses and political machinery can be good, but the minute they cease to express the will of the people, their days are numbered.
Another article on the Battle of Athens states:
Having fought to free other countries from murderous regimes, they rejected vicious abuse by their county government.
Regarding Monroe County witness procedures, Fitzpatrick said, “Why are you mirandized and have to fill out a sworn, written statement before you walk in? I’ve never understood why that is, but now I do.” He continued:
Mr. Pettway has never been a grand jury foreman in law; he’s just been a civilian. Because he hasn’t taken the oath himself, and because he’s not the appointed grand jury foreman, he’s not authorized to give the oath. He is not a lawfully-positioned foreman. They put you under oath outside of the jury room. Nobody from the grand jury places you under oath in your testimony to them. They’re trying to make it look as if it’s lawful, and it’s not. The reason they mirandize you at the beginning is so that if you do give false testimony, you can be prosecuted, but not because you’ve been placed under oath by the grand jury, but because you’ve placed yourself under an immunity waiver. That’s why they make you sign these papers.
If you were to go in there cold, as I did on September 7, no one in that room – including Ms. Tennyson – could have lawfully placed me under oath. The jury is legally prohibited from issuing a witness an oath, so they have to do it in a different way. They have you waive your protection in your testimony so that if anything is faulty in your testimony, they can prosecute you because you waived your protection. You waive your protection in the testimony that you’re giving so that no one in the grand jury has to put you under oath.
Mr. Pettway is the announced foreman for 2011, but it’s not his signature that appears on my indictment. So you cannot make the assumption of harmless error when you have these kinds of difficulties. If you had a lawfully-standing grand jury and they said an appointing order isn’t required, but in Tennessee, it seems to be the practice because they’re out there. If we have appointing orders in place then there should be an explanation as to why there aren’t appointing orders that go back into 2010, for example. And we have one from 2010; we have Angela Davis’s. Why do we have that one? There’s no one coming out to say that there’s no requirement for an appointing order; we are told that that’s what they do.
These people are appointed by a judge. I asked Martha Cook “how do you know who’s serving as foreman?” and she said, “We have an appointing order.” We have some, but we don’t have them all. Their practice is that they do use appointing orders, but now Martha Cook says she doesn’t have the records.
They’ve given themselves up.
Then you have the issue of Mr. Pettway being there 28 years. That cannot be defended on any level. Now we know the reason. This is a setup. You are not appearing before a grand jury; you are appearing before a group of people that have appropriated the name “grand jury,” and they are not using any of the processes that a normal grand jury would use. The grand jury foreman is not putting witnesses under oath. You sign a statement before you come in or you’re not put under oath at all.
They have control over the entire process and are making it look as if it’s lawful. There is nothing binding on them. Their cooperation with the government is non-binding. They’re not held to the law or the Constitution. This is not a grand jury. We have ways to prove that. We know that two people who were in the grand jury in Monroe County, TN in 2010 weren’t supposed to be there. I have to show that only one person in there is corrupt, corrupted or illegitimately placed to prove the point that the entire jury has been contaminated. We have two. If any law enforcement agency which came in to take a look at this, we’d have more. And you wouldn’t know this except for people actually going through the process.
A grand jury foreman’s duty is to place you under oath. That’s not what’s happening here. The grand jury foreman isn’t putting anyone under oath; it’s run by another part of government, and if you tell a lie, the government can say, “Well, didn’t you sign this immunity grant?” You’ve waived your protections with the Immunity Waiver. If you’re under oath to the grand jury, the foreman has to give it. The foreman is not issuing oaths to witnesses in Monroe County. You are waiving a constitutional protection against self-incrimination, which is that if they ask you a question, you’re not protected by the Fifth Amendment. You’re walking in suspected of being a criminal; that’s why you’re mirandized. It’s an illegal form of intimidation.
What happens when you’re arrested out in town? You’re cuffed and given a Miranda warning. What they’re telling you is that anything that you say at that point can be used against you in a court of law. Anything you say can be used against you. In other words,, they mirandize you instead of putting you under oath to the grand jury. They make you write out a statement and you have to swear to that, but not to a person in the grand jury. You’re never under oath to the grand jury. They don’t have to put you under oath because you’ve been mirandized. It’s a stripping of that person’s protection under the Constitution which is not warranted. You don’t have to mirandize someone unless you’re placing him under arrest. It’s influencing a witness.
The Monroe County grand jury is all make-believe. It’s courtroom theater. It’s a play. The government does this to you so that the grand jury is not the organization that places you under oath. Why? Because nobody in that group of people is legally allowed to put you under oath. No one. That person should be the foreman; that’s what the foreman does. That’s what we’ve found.
This is why Pettway is not allowed to put anyone under oath: because he’s not the foreman. He’s just a play-actor. He’s a stage guy, a puppet. This is what makes it so tough: it’s not a grand jury. That’s why you waive your immunity, so that no one has to put you under oath. Two of the three times that I was in the grand jury, I wasn’t put under oath.
It’s all controlled by the prosecutor and the judges.
They’re not operating under the law. The foreman hasn’t taken an oath of office or to the constitution because they’re never going to be placed in a position where they have to act as a law enforcement officer. They are the tool of the government, and the government controls everything that goes on in there through these non-binding, silent agreements.
I’ve never been placed under oath by somebody from the Monroe County grand jury. I was there on 3 September 2009; I went back on 1 December 2009, and I was there on the third of June 2010.
They’ve worked very hard at keeping it this way, and they’ve never had to explain themselves until now. And now, the silence is just…everybody knows. They control everything.
Mr. Pettway is the traffic cop. The people in the grand jury don’t get to ask questions unless the “foreman” allows it. They are not under any kind of binding agreement to follow the law. Their oath is not binding. These assemblies that are being called “grand juries” are a stage show. Mr. Pettway has never been invested with the authority to issue an oath. We know that, because there is no record that he ever has been.
The reason that they require an individual to submit a sworn affidavit before they ever walk in to the grand jury room is so that no one in the grand jury has to administer the oath. They’re handed a sworn statement. Then they can say, “No, we don’t want to listen to this case,” or “Bring him in.” But you’re never placed under oath by the foreman. This explains a lot.
Mr. Pettway is a dog on a leash and muzzled. The sheriff’s department, the prosecutors, and the judges have complete control over how a case moves from the crime scene into a trial court. Everything that we’ve seen is rigged. What they’ve put in place here is make-believe. It’s a charade.
The FBI has been trying to give some credence to the grand juries, thinking that the foreman has been appointed legally, and he’s not. According to Marty Cook, the judges appoint the foreman. We know that they’re also placing other people illegally in the jury. They’ve written it down; we have the documents. If you’re locked up tonight in the Monroe County jail and were put there by a jury that Mr. Pettway was on, you get to go home.
The Monroe County grand jury is nothing but a Potemkin’s Village.
Update, September 23, 2011: The Post & Email has been informed that Walter Fitzpatrick was arrested at his sentencing hearing today. A statement from Fitzpatrick prior to the hearing reads:
It will be an act of ATTAINDER in pure form should I be taken into custody and locked up. It represents also a aggravated kidnapping, a kidnapping employing the use of a gun.
An observer reported that Fitzpatrick read the following prepared statement to the court:
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.