WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 28, 2014) — The same McMinn County, TN grand jury which was prejudiced by its foreman in January issued a presentment in March charging CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) with extortion, harassment, stalking, and aggravated perjury.
On Tuesday, Fitzpatrick was convicted on the counts of extortion and aggravated perjury but acquitted of harassment. Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood, who was ordered to leave the bench in an unrelated case because of questions about his “impartiality,” dismissed the charge of “stalking” prior to the end of the trial.
On numerous occasions since late 2012, Fitzpatrick had attempted to submit evidence of crimes committed to the McMinn County grand jury in an exercise of his First Amendment right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
In Tennessee’s Tenth Judicial District, which includes McMinn, Polk, Bradley and Monroe Counties, the grand juries alternate months of service so that the January group skips February and is convened again in March, then in May.
In January, then-grand jury foreman Jeffrey Cunningham had “informed” the grand jury of Fitzpatrick’s “history” after Fitzpatrick attempted to submit evidence of misconduct on the part of public officials to include Cunningham, the criminal court judges, prosecutors, and local law enforcement. Fitzpatrick had asked Cunningham to recuse himself from the matter since he was named in the complaint, in accordance with state law, a point which Fitzpatrick’s attorney, Van Irion, raised during the trial.
One of the grand jurors said she voted to indict Fitzpatrick because she felt “intimidated” by him after what Cunningham had told the group in the grand jury room.
Cunningham refused to remove himself from presenting any of Fitzpatrick’s petitions to the grand jury while he served as foreman, reportedly resigning on March 4 of this year.
In February, Cunningham threatened Fitzpatrick with arrest if he should make another effort to bring a submission to the grand jury.
Blackwood was not impartial in Fitzpatrick’s case, as he had refused Fitzpatrick’s request without a hearing for a subsequent restraining order against Cunningham.
At issue was the hand-selecting of the grand jury foreman by the criminal court judges, a practice dating back decades in Tennessee but which is found nowhere in state code. The Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure mandate that the grand jury foreman, while chosen by the judge, “must possess all the qualifications of a juror.” A person chosen without the same vetting process as those selected in accordance with state law may or may not possess those “qualifications.”
The Fifth Amendment in the Bill of Rights is the only place in our founding documents which mentions the grand jury. One legal source notes it as a “protection against abuse of government authority.” When the Constitution was under deliberation, a Bill of Rights was insisted upon by the anti-Federalists, who feared that a central government created by the states would overreach its constraints and usurp power from the people.
Since Cunningham admitted that Fitzpatrick’s claims were accurate during testimony, it is unknown how the conviction on “aggravated perjury” materialized. In Tennessee law, “extortion” signifies an attempt to “coerce” someone to do something.
There must be a unanimous finding of guilt for a conviction. A legal analysis of the provisions of the Sixth Amendment, which includes the right to a trial by a jury of one’s peers, states:
The prosecutor, A. Wayne Carter, said that Fitzpatrick lied in his attempted grand jury submissions, but Cunningham said that Fitzpatrick’s statements were accurate.
Carter retired from the U.S. Army as a “full-bird” colonel and has asked that Fitzpatrick be sentenced as a “career criminal” with enhanced sentencing for attempting to exercise his constitutional rights to petition the grand jury. Carter excoriated Fitzpatrick for wearing his Navy uniform by asking, “How dare he wear his uniform here? How dare he?”
Title 10 U.S.C., Section 772 (c) permits the wearing of a military uniform by retirees. Fitzpatrick served in the Navy for 24 years and was honorably discharged.
In his submission, Fitzpatrick had attempted to inform the grand jury that its then-foreman, Jeffrey Cunningham, was acting outside the law by failing to inform them that he was a court employee hand-selected by Judge Amy Reedy rather than empaneled from a randomly-chosen jury pool as state law requires. No one objected when Irion stated in a pre-trial hearing that Cunningham was an employee of the Tenth Judicial District rather than an empaneled juror; however, during the trial, both Carter and Cunningham characterized his role as “a juror.”
Last fall, Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper’s office issued a brief to an appellate court which stated unequivocally that the grand jury foreman “is not impaneled” as the other grand jurors are.
In Monroe County, grand jury foreman Gary Pettway was described in an indictment against Fitzpatrick as “a juror.”
Cunningham was “selected” when Reedy called him “at home” one evening and asked him to serve as her “next grand jury foreman” for McMinn County beginning in 2012.
As the alleged victim of the crimes, Cunningham testified on the witness stand that the statements in Fitzpatrick’s criminal complaints were accurate. Carter insisted that they were not. Cunningham retracted his position as Fitzpatrick’s accuser at the pre-trial hearing, and no police report or sworn statement was produced.
How, then, did the jury reach its conclusions?
Innocent men and women have spent years, and sometimes decades, in state prisons in Tennessee because of corrupt judges.
During Fitzpatrick’s trial, a rally calling upon a raise in the minimum wage was held outside the courthouse. With last week’s jury verdict – that petitioning the Government for a redress of grievances is a felony – such future rallies will no longer be possible under the First Amendment.
The Obama regime targeted Tea Party, Second Amendment, pro-life, Christian, traditional-marriage groups and even a U.S. senator beginning in 2010 in an effort to quell their freedom of speech guaranteed under the First Amendment. Obama operatives have been actively involved in silencing anyone investigating Obama’s background, life story, birthplace, or the veracity of his statements. At the time of this writing, at least one of the operatives is facing criminal indictment for some of the same “crimes” of which Fitzpatrick was accused.
Beginning approximately three weeks ago, Fox News, Fox News Radio, and The Washington Times began to openly discuss the issue about Obama’s eligibility, birthplace, and life narrative, ending a six-year media blackout on the subject. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who launched an investigation at an undisclosed time after his Cold Case Posse declared that Obama’s long-form birth certificate and Selective Service registration form were fraudulent, has told The Times that he is “honing in” on the creators of the forgeries.
Now, almost daily, new revelations of corruption, intimidation, possible blackmail and illegal leaking of confidential information on the part of the regime are made by internet and broadcast media.
On March 17, 2009, Fitzpatrick filed a criminal complaint of treason against Obama for being a “foreign born domestic enemy.” After filing it on the federal level, Fitzpatrick attempted to take it to the Monroe County grand jury, where he resided at the time. It was then that he discovered that Tennessee grand jury foremen serve for years, and sometimes decades, at the pleasure of criminal court judges.
Five years ago, Fitzpatrick was a lone voice naming Obama in the commission of treason. Today he is not.
Adm. James A. Lyons (Ret.), formerly Commander, Pacific Fleet while CDR Fitzpatrick served in the Pacific Fleet, has described Obama’s actions as “the agenda an enemy would devise.” On June 23, Lyons wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Times:
…What’s happening to America’s standing in the world is not due to incompetence, as some have claimed. This is planned. We are witnessing the Obama administration’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood creed, which is to destroy America from within. Congress must be responsible to take back America. Nothing less is acceptable.
In January 2010, Fitzpatrick wrote of the corruption in the Tennessee courts:
Judges and prosecutors trashed our grand juries in favor manufacturing a dark, secret machine few know about or know how to operate. The state designed and manufactured the machine to take direct action against people the state criminally accuses.
The machine and its operation are necessarily cloaked and hidden in order to keep the machine running smoothing without outside interference. Secrecy further gives cover to government criminals self-absorbed in protecting themselves and government criminal cohorts operating similar machines throughout Tennessee State and throughout America.
In The Post & Email’s first report on Tennessee judicial corruption entitled “The Face of Treason,” Fitzpatrick described the criminality of a long-serving grand jury foreman as “breathtaking and beyond people’s ability to believe.”
At the Bundy Ranch in April, BLM agents retreated after a large group of people arrived to defend the Bundys’ property and right to graze their cattle on the land in dispute. Of the entrenched judicial corruption in Tennessee, Fitzpatrick has said, “It’s going to take large numbers of people standing up.”
“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” — John Adams
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.