PETITIONING GOVERNMENT NOW A CRIME PUNISHABLE WITH PRISON TIME
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 30, 2014) — 12:40 p.m. EDT – The petition launched at change.org on Sunday calling upon the Tennessee judiciary to cease and desist its illegal arrest, charging and conviction of innocent citizens for attempting to expose government corruption has garnered 55 signatures as of this writing.
The petition specifically demands that Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood vacate the verdict of a jury from last Tuesday which convicted CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) of “aggravated perjury” and “extortion” after attempting to petition the McMinn County grand jury with evidence of crimes committed by the judges, prosecutors and grand jury foremen of Tennessee’s Tenth Judicial District.
One of the signers, Col. Harry Riley (Ret.), is founder of Operation American Spring (OAS) and has called upon numerous federal officials to resign their posts for violations of their oaths to the U.S. Constitution. In a comment left under his signature on Monday, Riley stated:
Judicial illegal activity has become tyranny in the U.S. What is the matter with “we the people” in Tennessee?? These judges, prosecutors, jury foreman are criminals that should be prosecuted.
Since late 2009, Fitzpatrick has exposed systemic corruption in the Tennessee courts which has been borne out by many other victims and members of the Tennessee House of Representatives and Senate. In Tennessee, no private citizen can bring evidence or a criminal complaint to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) or the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, as The Post & Email has recently re-confirmed.
For decades, criminal court judges have been appointing grand jury foremen, who often exert undue influence on the grand jury, which affects whether or not they issue an indictment against an accused. Last Tuesday, Fitzpatrick’s conviction was issued as a result of of a tainted grand jury which, in January, had been prejudiced by then-McMinn grand jury foreman Jeffrey Cunningham and then voted to indict Fitzpatrick in March.
Blackwood refused to consider that the grand jury’s indictment of Fitzpatrick was affected by Cunningham’s informing of them of Fitzpatrick’s “history” in January and the escorting of the grand jury members out of the courthouse after Fitzpatrick was asked to leave, giving them the impression that he was a dangerous person.
One grand jury said in sworn testimony in a pre-trial hearing in the Fitzpatrick case that she voted to indict because she herself felt “threatened” by Fitzpatrick based on what she had been told.
Blackwood upheld the indictments and the convictions.
Prosecutor A. Wayne Carter claimed that Fitzpatrick lied in petitions he attempted to submit to the grand jury over a period of months and which were blocked by Cunningham, but in sworn testimony last Monday, Cunningham stated that Fitzpatrick made no misstatements.
Fitzpatrick’s attorney, Van Irion, claimed that Fitzpatrick had exercised his constitutional right to petition his government for the redress of grievances under the First Amendment, “to do what the law plainly allows.”
During his closing argument at the trial, Carter objected to Fitzpatrick’s having worn his Navy uniform to the trial, although a congressional statute allows retirees to do so.
The Post & Email launched a second petition at whitehouse.gov here:
urging that the FBI be tasked with launching a criminal investigation into public corruption in Tennessee, which has been ranked third in corruption in a recent research study.
Since at least 1980, Blackwood has participated in choosing grand jury foremen who have worked for years and sometimes decades in violation of Tennessee code.
The conviction of a citizen without a proper trial is called “attainder.”
Assaults on the First Amendment have increased under the Obama regime to include as targets veterans, homeschoolers, religious freedom groups, Second Amendment advocates, Tea Parties, traditional marriage and pro-life groups.
As a result of Tuesday’s verdict, in Tennessee and the nation as a whole, petitioning the government for redress is now a crime punishable by prison time. How many are willing to live with that?
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.