IS IT TIME FOR VETERANS TO MAKE THEIR VOICE HEARD?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 8, 2014) — Over the past nearly-five years, The Post & Email has reported on systemic corruption in the Tennessee courts which maintains grand jury foremen for years as an assistant to the judge. Criminal Court judges select the foreman “from wherever they choose,” causing him or her to carry out the judge’s wishes instead of serving as an unbiased member of the grand jury.
The Fifth Amendment to the Bill of Rights states:
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.
Thousands of Tennessee residents have been indicted by improperly-formed grand juries over decades in which the climate of judicial corruption has thrived and an accuser is not considered necessary for charges to go forward. Rather, Tennessee courts allow the prosecutor’s office to double as the accuser.
CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) inadvertently discovered the tainted grand juries in the fall of 2009 after he submitted a criminal complaint of treason against Barack Hussein Obama to the Monroe County, TN grand jury, whose foreman at the time was Gary Pettway.
Fitzpatrick is a 24-year Navy veteran with a distinguished service record who in 1990 was unjustly court-martialed out of retaliation by a politically-motivated admiral, his staff and a dishonest defense attorney. A forgery of his signature affixed to a confession letter which Fitzpatrick never saw until receiving it through a FOIA request years later remains in his service and court-martial records nearly 24 years later. The Navy has refused to investigate or communicate with The Post & Email about its malfeasance and subsequent cover-up of the crimes committed, which now involves dozens of officers.
Fitzpatrick’s accuser and prosecutor were one and the same: Adm. John Bitoff.
Pettway was eventually discovered to have served for 28 consecutive years without an appointing order or any evidence that he had ever taken an oath of office, as revealed by an open records request Fitzpatrick filed with Monroe County Chief Court Clerk Martha M. Cook.
Hand-selected grand jury foremen are able to unduly influence the grand jurors, who are presumably chosen by legal, “automated” means, thereby affecting the outcome of their vote to either indict or issue a “No True Bill” against a person suspected of having committed a crime in the county.
Monroe County is one of four counties in the southeastern corner of Tennessee which comprise the Tenth Judicial District. The practice of judges appointing foremen who serve as long as the judge pleases is carried out not only in the Tenth District, but is also condoned in the remaining counties of the state by the Tennessee Attorney General and Administrative Office of the Courts. However, state law mandates that all 13 jurors be chosen by automated means and makes no provision for a foreman who is in actuality a county employee working for the judge.
The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference states that a grand jury contains 13 members chosen at random from the community, “one of whom is the fore person.”
After speaking with local, state and federal law enforcers about the illegally-formed grand juries in 2009, Fitzpatrick took out an advertisement in the local newspaper to inform the people of the community that “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.”
On April 1, 2010, Fitzpatrick attempted to place Pettway under citizen’s arrest, which is legal in Tennessee, for over-serving a juror’s legal term of one year. Instead, Judge Carroll Lee Ross ordered him jailed, and Fitzpatrick was charged with “riot,” “disorderly conduct,” “intimidation,” and “disturbing a public meeting or procession” following a “grand jury” indictment.
The indictment was signed by one-day foreman Angela Davis on June 3, 2010, who not only knew of Fitzpatrick but had served on a petit jury in 2009 in violation of TCA 22-2-314. Although Fitzpatrick informed assigned Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood that Davis was serving a second consecutive term, Blackwood did not dismiss the indictments she had signed as foreman.
Blackwood has been accused of “‘playing fast and loose’ with the rules governing the public’s access to court information.”
An observer at Fitzpatrick’s arraignment hearing of June 28, 2010 stated that when Fitzpatrick tried to ask who his accuser was, “the judge repeatedly cut Walt off. It seemed as if Walt’s arraignment took forever, and its only purpose was to try to discredit Walt’s character.”
“There is no justice in a dictatorship,” Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email in October of that year.
On December 1, 2010, Fitzpatrick was convicted of two of the four charges, with Blackwood presiding. Before the trial ensued, Blackwood had attempted to force Fitzpatrick to sign a consent form for sheriff’s deputies to enter his home and retrieve street clothes for the trial, something Fitzpatrick refused.
Jailed since October 27 of that year by means of a warrant lacking a judge’s signature for allegedly failing to appear at a hearing to update his attorney-of-record, Fitzpatrick was released on December 30 but jailed on five more occasions by Monroe County in retaliation for his continued exposure of the corruption within the judiciary, sheriff’s department, and local police.
Currently, Fitzpatrick is facing sentencing on August 19 for having attempted to submit a petition with evidence of wrongdoing committed by judges, a grand jury foreman and others to the McMinn County grand jury on March 18. The grand jurors were admittedly compromised from prejudicial information they received from then-foreman Jeffrey Cunningham; Blackwood refused to recuse himself or the Tenth Judicial District for prejudice against Fitzpatrick from prior knowledge of him; prosecutor A. Wayne Carter misrepresented the facts during the trial; and Cunningham, who was first identified as Fitzpatrick’s accuser, denied having lodged any formal complaint against him.
On June 24, Fitzpatrick was convicted of “extortion” and “aggravated perjury” by a jury of seven men and five women. On a previous occasion, Fitzpatrick claimed that Cook selected the trial jury members herself after testifying at his probable cause hearing.
Article I, Section 9 of the Tennessee constitution states:
§ 9. Rights of accused
That in all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath the right to be heard by himself and his counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, and to have a copy thereof, to meet the witnesses face to face, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and in prosecutions by indictment or presentment, a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury of the County in which the crime shall have been committed, and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.
Fitzpatrick has long said that Tennessee judges are “running their own government” and has described the “dictatorship of the judiciary” as having incarcerated hundreds, if not thousands, of people without due process because of rigged grand juries, trial juries, and judicial misconduct and criminality.
As to why the courts are steeped in corruption, Fitzpatrick told us after his 2010 conviction:
They’re feeding on the local community to send as many innocent people to the grand jury and then to the judiciary. They’re feeding them to the judges. This is a profit center. They’re preying on people in the community whom they know cannot afford high-priced attorneys, and they know that the attorneys and public defenders are in on the fix. They’re feeding on the people, and the profit center here is the sheriff working against these local citizens to generate revenue for the government. The more cases that come into the courthouse, the more people have to pony up to the government for one thing or another. And then, once they lock them up, you become like a slave. They get paid for putting prisoners into the jails and the prisons. This is nothing but a profit center. This is extortion; that’s what it is.
In Hitler’s Germany, the deceptively-named “People’s Court” held trials without a jury of citizens for those it deemed “terrorists” who had been acquitted by constitutional courts. Of the role of the People’s Court, Media With Conscience News reported:
Proceedings before the People’s Court would easily serve as a model for U.S. advocates of a national security. The trial of Hans and Sophie Scholl was over in less than an hour. Criminal defense lawyers were expected to remain silent during the proceedings, and did so. Defendants were presumed guilty and treated as such. Hearsay was permitted, as was evidence acquired by torture. There was no due process of law. Confessions could be coerced out of defendants. The judges on the tribunal would berate, humiliate, convict, and then swiftly issue sentences, including the death penalty.
The Jewish Virtual Library states that “the People’s Court committed judicial murders” and that “ridicule” was routinely used against the defendants, claims that are well-supported by historical footage.
Toward the end of Fitzpatrick’s June 24 trial, prosecutor A. Wayne Carter berated Fitzpatrick for having worn his Navy uniform to the trial even though as a retiree, Fitzpatrick earned the right to wear the uniform in public by congressional statute.
The People’s Court defendants had comprised “the Resistance” against the National Socialist movement in Germany and planned an assassination attempt against Hitler on July 20, 1944. Hitler survived and vowed revenge against those who attempted to take his life.
German attorney and member of the National Socialist Party Roland Freisler was appointed judge of the People’s Court after rising within Hitler’s inner circle over more than a decade.
After Hitler stamped out constitutional rights and freedoms in Germany, all opponents were prosecuted and persecuted. “‘Lawful‘ means whatever was useful to the nation,” states a documentary on the rise of the Nazi Party (11:31).
“Was there still justice? There were still judges,” the narrator said of the new Germany. “Was Hitler’s Germany still subject to the rule of law?” “Dealing with them means putting the opposition behind bars.”
The majority of those killed as a result of their participation in the July 20 plot were murdered 70 years ago today (Warning: graphic details).
The verdicts from the People’s Court were “Death for all.”
On Thursday, defense attorney Van Irion advised The Post & Email that recent contributions to the Fitzpatrick Legal Defense Fund established by his office approximately two years ago have allowed him to purchase the court transcript from the trial held on June 23 and 24. Irion said that more funds will be needed to file an appeal of the convictions. A second fund launched by Linda Jordan for Fitzpatrick’s defense will provide its proceeds to Irion at designated intervals.
Although the jury voted to convict on the charges of aggravated perjury and extortion, no one identified where Fitzpatrick had been dishonest in any of his several submissions to the Monroe or McMinn County grand juries over a more-than-four-year period. “Facts are stubborn things,” Fitzpatrick told a local reporter, who asked him no questions after Fitzpatrick related his side of the story following the trial. The same reporter did not answer The Post & Email after we attempted to inform him of the local judicial corruption which is preying on the community.
Irion also represents Fitzpatrick in a case originating in Monroe County which he appealed last month to the Tennessee Supreme Court, as last November, the Appeals Court failed to address the issue of the grand jury foreman’s successive years of service.
On December 3, 2012, the trial court presided over by Judge Walter C. Kurtz denied Irion Fitzpatrick’s constitutional right to present a defense. At a probable cause hearing for the same case, Judge J. Reed Dixon stated openly that “the judge picks the grand jury.”
Irion believes that the First Amendment rights of all Americans have been criminalized as a result of the jury’s decision to convict Fitzpatrick on June 24. When Athens resident Eugene Whiting attempted to approach Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday about the judicial corruption in McMinn County, Haslam’s security force consisting of Tennessee Highway Patrolmen denied him access in a move which THP spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals deemed “professional and courteous.”
Irion has also been defamed by local attorneys whose paid advertisement closely resembled that of his opponent in the primary election for criminal court judge this past spring.
Intelligence analyst and former Marine pilot Lt. Col. Field McConnell (Ret.) plans to travel to Athens, TN on August 17 to lend support to Fitzpatrick by means of a prayer breakfast and barbecue on Monday, August 18, the day before the sentencing. On July 30, McConnell stated on his radio show that if Blackwood does not vacate the jury’s verdicts, he will file a wrongful death lawsuit against Obama for the approximately 2,000 U.S. soldiers who have died while Obama has occupied the Oval Office illegitimately.
McConnell has been broadcasting Fitzpatrick’s story on his “Abel Danger” radio show three times weekly and is calling veterans and others to stand with him on August 18 and 19. McConnell has noted that veterans in general have been treated poorly by the Obama regime, which considers them “Sovereign Citizens” and “potential domestic terrorists” and has overseen the deaths of dozens of veterans who did not receive medical treatment from Veterans Administration hospitals in time.