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by Sharon Rondeau

The Fifth Amendment to the Bill of Rights is the only place in our founding documents which mentions the grand jury

(Jun. 24, 2012) — In recent weeks, The Post & Email has been reporting on the discovery of laws passed in 1984 in Tennessee which ordered a reorganization of the trial courts.  The judiciary never complied, leaving the state with illegally-convened county grand juries issuing indictments which have led to the convictions of perhaps tens of thousands of people over the course of the last 28 years since the laws’ passage.

Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III had found the laws,which are still current, while performing research in a local library for his upcoming hearing on June 28, 2012.

Recently Fitzpatrick found a hard copy in his files of an article in a local newspaper, The Advocate & Democrat, which reported, in some places inaccurately, on Fitzpatrick’s incarceration of April 1, 2010 following his attempt to arrest the Monroe County grand jury foreman for over-serving his term.  Fitzpatrick had initially asked for assistance from local law enforcement regarding the long-serving foreman but had received no response.

The article contains some factual inaccuracies.  Fitzpatrick stated that he never told anyone that he was 52 years of age at that time.  He had filed a treason complaint with the Monroe County grand jury in the fall of 2009, but it was not based on whether or not Obama was a “natural born Citizen.”  Fitzpatrick determined that Thomasson had also misstated the source when he referenced “Tennessee Criminal Court Rules of Procedure” and meant “court rules.”

The 1983 appeal of a murder conviction by William T Hailey was filed based on Hailey’s contention that there had been racial discrimination in the appointment of the Robertson County grand jury foremen over the years 1947-1975, for which he provided statistics to the court.  However, Michael Thomasson wrote that Monroe County Attorney Jerome Melson cited that the complaint of the appellant was that only three people had served as foreman over that 28-year period in Robertson County.  Part of the Appeals Court in Nashville opinion reads:

We believe, however, that the appellant has failed to prove that blacks have been underrepresented as forepersons in comparison to the proportion of blacks in the county population. Although 28 years passed between 1947 (the first year for which Hailey provided evidence of the race of the grand jury foreperson) and 1975 (the year in which the appellant was indicted for this offense), only three individuals were appointed during that period to preside over the Robertson County grand jury.

The Appeals Court also said:

Given the fact that any foreman was not limited in the number of 2-year terms he could serve, and given the inclination on the part of the Judge to reappoint, it is likely that during the period in question only a few persons in actual number served as foremen of the grand jury. If the number was small enough, the disparity between the ratio of Negroes chosen to be foremen to the total number of foremen, and the ratio of Negroes to the total population of the county, might not be “sufficiently large it is unlikely that [this disparity] is due solely to chance or accident.

The court did not say where state law permitted a foreman or any other juror to serve consecutive terms, but it was not the point of the case. Melson was quoted as having said, “As I understand this ruling, the Tennessee rules concerning the service of a grand jury foreman contains no term limits.”

However, the following year, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a set of laws addressing how the criminal courts would be organized and the manner in which the grand juries were to be selected, empaneled and dismissed, including the foreman. Rule 6(a)(1) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure states:

(a) Formation of the Grand Jury.

(1) Formation at a Regular Term. On the first day of each term of court at which a grand jury is required to be impaneled, the judge of the court authorized by law to charge the grand jury and to receive its report shall direct the names of all the qualified jurors in attendance for the criminal courts of the county to be written on separate slips of paper and placed in a box or other suitable receptacle and drawn out by the judge in open court. The foreperson and the twelve qualified jurors whose names are first drawn constitute the grand jury for the term and shall attend the court until dismissed by the judge or until the next term. [Emphasis ours]

In 2008, another law was passed which stipulated that no juror with recent service could serve again until a 24-month period had elapsed.  The Tennessee courts have not observed any of these laws, as evidenced by our extensive repository of reports on the subject, but rather, have continued to operate county criminal grand juries with foremen serving for decades, in some cases.

References by the Appeals Court in Hailey to the 1979 case of Rose v. Mitchell, which reached the U.S. Supreme Court, reveal that blacks had sued the state of Tennessee for alleged racial discrimination in the selection of the grand jurors who reviewed the evidence against them.  In that case, the U.S. Supreme court held that “Because discrimination on the basis of race in the selection of members of a grand jury strikes at fundamental values of our judicial system and our society as a whole, a criminal defendant’s right to equal protection of the laws is denied when he is indicted by a grand jury from which members of a racial group have been purposefully excluded. Pp. 443 U. S. 551-557.”

The Supreme Court reversed the federal appeals court’s decision, remanding the case back, concluding:

As a matter of law, respondents failed to make out a prima facie case of discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause with regard to the selection of the grand jury foreman. Respondents’ case rested entirely on the testimony of the two former foremen and the current foreman, since they were the only ones who testified at all about the selection of a foreman, and their testimony was insufficient to establish respondents’ case. Absent evidence as to the total number of foremen appointed by the judges in the county during the critical period of time, it is difficult to say that the number of Negroes appointed foreman, even if zero, is statistically so significant as to make out a case of discrimination under the “rule of exclusion.” Pp. 443 U. S. 564-574.

There is evidence that the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure and state laws have conflicted in the past.  Constitutionally, just as Congress has oversight responsibility for the federal judiciary, the state legislatures, including that of Tennessee, provide oversight of the state courts.

The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights states that a grand jury must review the evidence before a person can be brought to trial on a criminal charge.  In colonial days through the 1940s, grand juries had operated without the oversight of a prosecutor.  In 1946, Congress enacted the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which altered the function of the grand jury such that a government official would always supervise its activities.  Note 4 of Rule 7 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure declared presentments, which grand juries used to issue on their own, “obsolete” to the federal courts.  Much of the FRCP is based on case law and other laws passed by Congress.  However, the Fifth Amendment has not been amended or repealed, and according to Atty. Leo Donofrio (now retired), the Framers intended that the grand jury was to have the ability to “instigate criminal charges” independently of a government official.

According to the Fully Informed Jury Association, the grand jury serves the purposes of investigating reports of criminality and to act as the “first line of defense” between citizens and the government.  Jurors can also nullify charges against a person based on laws which they deem unconstitutional.

The Battle of Athens refers to an incident when approximately 3,000 returning World War II veterans revolted against election-rigging and government corruption in McMinn County, TN, which is part of the Tenth Judicial District.

Expounding further on the Advocate & Democrat article, Fitzpatrick said:

I was arrested on April 1, 2010 and released on April 6, so this article was dated two days later.  The headline is “Lawyer: No term limit set for grand jury foreman.”  This is the operative paragraph:

Monroe County Attorney Jerome Melson said there is legal precedent showing Pettway has broken no rules serving as grand jury foreman for 27 years. He cited a case from 1983 in Robertson County where William Hailey claimed he had been wrongly indicted in 1975 due to the fact only three people had served as grand jury foreman in 28 years. In 1983 the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled there is no language in Tennessee Criminal Court Rules of Procedure stating a grand jury foreperson is limited in how many terms they can serve.

Melson claimed that there were no term limits for a grand jury foreman.  “What he’s saying is that there was a court decision in 1983 from a 1975 indictment.  He’s not citing the Rules of Criminal Procedure; they’re talking about court rules, which are different,” Fitzpatrick said.

He continued:

People have been asking why in 1984 the legislature took the action that it did.  One of the answers to that question is because of this 1983 ruling.  The legislature was outraged that they had discovered in 1975 that going back 28 years to 1947, the judges had been picking and keeping their grand jury foremen. This was right around 1946, when the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure were put in place.

So this is right after World War II.  They’ve been operating these county grand juries since 1947.  Now we have another date.  That’s when the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure went into place, and I’m sure that’s when the criminal rules for the State of Tennessee went into place.  And the court that we’re talking about is not even looking at the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure.  What they’re looking at is the rules for the court.  I’m sure in that day, they were talking about the county court.  We don’t have that, but we don’t need it.  So Melson, the county attorney, is defending Pettway’s stance because this activity had been going on since the period 1947 to 1975, with three people in 28 years, and with Pettway as one person in 28 years…they’ve been doing this since 1947!

This answers the question, “Why did the legislature do what they did in 1984?”  They made sure that you couldn’t have a permanent jury foreman.  This is why they changed the law.  So the judges have been running their own government from 1947, and they’ve been giving themselves a pass on this.  This gets us to the heart of the matter:  The judges were ruling the roost from 1947 to 1975.  In 1975, they were challenged, and the case went to the appellate court.  The legislators would have known about this; they would have tracked it whenever the challenge was issued.  So for eight years, this thing was swirling around.  Then in 1983, the state appellate court said, “It’s OK for only three people in 28 years to be heading the grand jury in Robertson County.”  The legislature saw this and said, “No.”  They passed a law, and the judges ignored the law!  They kept doing what they were doing before.  Now we’ve got another missing puzzle piece!

Now we know.  This became a forcing function for the state legislature to act to stop the practice. The law was to go into effect on 1 June 1984, and it’s never, ever been obeyed.  The judges had gotten  so used to their position and the money they were collecting…this goes back to the end of World War II!  The judges have been completely out of control.

We now have a case that was at least one reason why the state legislature acted as it did, and the judges kept doing what they were doing, keeping the county system in place.  So now we have the history.

We just found out about the 1984 law six weeks ago.  We’ve had a ton of information leading up to this moment, and now we’re going back and re-reading it.  When we read this article for the first time back in April 2010, we didn’t understand what its significance was completely.  Now that we have the 1984 law, and the 1983 date, and the 1975 date, and we see that this goes back 28 years from 1975, taking us back to 1974, this really is the Second Battle of Athens!  Holy smokes!  These judges have been operating their own government certainly since 1984, when the law was changed.  They were told to change the way that the trial court system worked, and they never did.  So we can say with completely certainty, that since 1984, the judges have been in commission of the crime of treason, operating their own competing and rival government in opposition to statute law.

There is no excuse for this at all.  This is how the government is working at the top end of the federal level; this is how it’s working at the local level.  The judges have taken over our country; they have laid down so many threats against people.  Judges get people arrested and locked up.  They have people destroyed.  Judges have been destroying this country since 1947, at least here in the state of Tennessee, and they were told to stop in 1984 and they did not!  They kept doing it, and the reason is that nobody can stop them.

Remember the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure were put in place in 1946.  That’s when the grand jury at the federal level was taken away from us.  I’ll bet you dimes to donuts that the Tennessee rules for the state went into effect right around 1946 or 1947, which means that the grand juries were taken away from us then.  The judges ruled the roost from then until 1975, when they were challenged in court.  The appellate court said, “It’s OK; they’re doing alright.”  The legislature got angry about that and said, “No, that’s not how our government works. We’re going to take control of our judiciary,” and in 1984 they they put the law down which was to go into effect on June 1, and the judges said, “NO!”

There is no grand jury!  They took the grand juries away from us!  This is what happens when you don’t have a grand jury that can act against a judge!  The grand jury is the organization that was given to us as a gift by our Founders in the summer of 1787 with the scratch of their pen.  They said, “The grand jury is how you are going to maintain the republic.”  “What have you given us, sir?”  “A Republic, ma’am, if you can keep it.”  Well,  in order for us to maintain our republican form of government under the Constitution as we know it, we must have the grand jury in place.  Once the grand jury was taken away from us, all bets were off and the judges took over.  And that’s what’s been going on since 1946 and 1947 at the state and federal levels.  When the state of Tennessee tried to put a stop to that in 1984, that’s when the judges said, “No.  There’s nobody who can stop us.”  This is huge!!

And the federal judges are protecting the state judges, because judges are going to protect judges.  There is no judge we can go to in the country.  We’ve tried to go to judges to take Obama out.  Mr. Obama has ascended into his residency at the White House because of judges; he has been sustained in his position because of judges.  This is what’s going on!  Now we have real proof.

Remember I told you that I should go back and review all of the things that people said in the day, that everything was OK?  Well, I realized I had to go back and get this article, and here it is.  Now we can tie it all together.  And there’s no excuse for the judges not obeying the law since 1984, and we now know why the law was put in place.  So when Martha Cook said it was OK for Pettway to be there, that was a lie.  When Stutts said it was OK for Pettway to be there, it was a lie.  When anybody said it was OK for Pettway to be there for 28 years in a row, no, no, NO!

This is what I wrote about with Tim Harrington which will be coming out in Terry Lakin’s book, due out this week.  In 1946, the grand juries were taken away from us at the federal level and the same thing happened at the state level.  The judges began to rule the roost; they were called on it in 1984, and by that time, they had acquired so much power, and there was no grand jury to keep them in check.  I don’t know when the Court of the Judiciary was put in place by the legislature to take the place of the grand jury…This is what happens when the grand jury is killed!  Who killed them?  The judges!!

People have been asking why they passed the law in 1984, and now we have the answer, and it dates back to 1947.  It says in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that presentments are “obsolete;” well, excuse me, who said that, why, and how does that trump the Fifth Amendment?  They put these rules in place, and when the rules were condemned by the legislature in 1984, they said, “No, you have to pick two grand juries from the district each year; you have to do this differently” to stop the rigging.  And the judges just said, “No!”  And then they said, “What are you going to do about it?  We control this completely.  We’re going to do whatever we want.”

We’re going to find this at one level or another in every other one of the 49 states and the U.S. territories.  We’re going to find this wherever we find judges.  We cannot describe or demonstrate it any better than we can right here in the state of Tennessee where the state legislature tried to stand up to the judges and stop it, and the judges came back and said, “No.  What are you going to do about it?  You don’t have a grand jury anymore.”

God’s got His hand on this.  We know He’s at work here.

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  1. Google the “superb” written opinion by Justice Anton Scalia in 1993 about this very topic. The attempt to OBSOLETE the 4th Branch of Gov’t by the FRCP is non-sense. The People’s Grand Jury is STILL valid.
    But now you need the second amendment to take it back.

  2. Now it is clear that the issue is that of unlawful courts powered by unlawful grand juries and protected by sheriffs who act unconstitutionally.

    I first saw this in NY after a cop severely beat me to get even with my father over a fight they had many years before he was a cop. Eleven complaints were filed against the policeman, the injuries documented by a hospital and the result was the judge telling me to leave the state or risk death. It didn’t end there. False charges were made just to make me unable to defend myself. These people can follow you across this country and impose their will simply by making phone calls and exchanging favors. The use of the criminal justice database to abuse you has now gone federal (FBI-firearm background checks are not based on convictions but having been fingerprinted requires you to pay them and you to provide a judges signature that says you can have a gun). The local police & courts can easily make you look like a problem criminal, just as they are doing with Walt. They eventually make you a felon, remove your second amendment and wait for you to either be killed or jailed for violating it. The best part is they can keep you out of all elected posts by this method. You either go along or get put down. Power corrupts without question.