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#1 OhBehave

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:40 PM

Dear Legal Partisan,



As most of you in the legal profession are quite aware, our current federal and state court rules leave a lot to be desired. In fact, these rules are bias and unfair, giving the advantage to the government’s side of the legal dispute. As such, these rules are unconstitutional since they violate our Constitution’s amendments on “due process” and a “fair trial”. This makes them not only illegal and unethical, but a detriment to our society and our nation.

Please consider this my ‘shout-out’ for help. I am requesting your legal assistance to challenge the ‘Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures’ and the ‘Federal Rules of Evidence’. I wish to put these court rules on trial. I believe that a preliminary injunction is the proper legal vehicle to challenge these rules, but I am only a layman and do not know if I am correct. Your legal assistance would be greatly appreciated.

My research into these laws started approximately 9-months ago. Despite my limited resources, I have uncovered some interesting and deeply disturbing facts.






Fact Number One:

We have the ‘Administrative Conference of the United States’ (ACUS) formed in 1964, to thank for these rules. At least on the surface. If you read the statute that created the ACUS and gave them their mandate, you’ll find a clause that states the federal government must retain a majority of the seats on this “conference”. The clause gives them the controlling majority of votes, allowing them to vote in or out any court rules they choose with in the “conference”. Congress then “rubberstamps” these rules.



Fact Number Two:

Once in control, one of the first and most dramatic changes they incorporated into our new court rules concerned the jury’s function. No longer was the jury allowed to act as the “conscience of the community”. No longer were our juries allowed to perform their true and historic duty, to judge the laws themselves, the reasonableness of the punishment and the facts of the case. Instead, these court rules outlawed judging the laws themselves and even the reasonableness of the punishment the crime called for. Further, the facts of the case the jury was allowed to hear and see was reduced, when these new court rules deemed the other facts “irrelevant”. This change has reduced and limited the power and scope of our juries.

Our founding fathers set up our jury system as they did, to act as the common man’s protection from the tyranny and oppression of their government’s arbitrary laws and statutes. Our federal government has intentionally rewritten our courtroom rules in order to prevent this important and vital function, effectively nullifying our juries. Thus I find it ironic that our courts use the term “jury nullification” when describing the attempts of Americans to bring back (by educating) the juries to their original duties and historic function. Especially in light of the fact that it is these new court rules which have actually ‘nullified’ our juries. I am not 100 % positive, but I believe the term “jury nullification” was coined after the 1964 creation of the ACUS.



Fact Number Three:

A defendant’s First Amendment rights are violated under these new courtroom rules. A defendant is restricted, even prohibited from having their say in our courts. Despite the ‘swearing-in’ of a defendant or witness, neither is allowed to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” Any attempt to do so will be met with resistance. Under these new court rules, a defendant or witness is only allowed to narrowly answer the questions put to them. Attempting to expand on their answers in order to “tell the whole truth” will elicit a threat of “contempt” from the judge. Further, a defendant or witness can and will be removed from the courtroom for this violation. In the case of the defendant, the judge has the option of physically gagging them. So much for our First Amendment right of ‘free speech’.

Can you think of a time more important to retain free speech than when standing in front of a jury, accused of a crime?






These are only three facts concerning our government’s new court rules. As legal professionals, I am sure you have numerous other areas within these court rules, that you can site as bias and unfair, I know I can! The ‘Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures’, and the ‘Federal Rules of Evidence’ have been corrupted by our federal government. Because of this violation of our founding fathers’ trial by jury rules, they now enjoy a 98% conviction rate. This ridiculously high percentage rate shows how well their corrupted rules are working for them. This ridiculously high rate proves that defendants are not currently receiving “due process” or “fair trials”.

Please give my plea for your legal assistance serious consideration. I am a defendant in a non-violent victimless crime (marijuana). Because of the volume, it has been picked-up by our federal government. Whether you agree with the legalization of marijuana or not, you can agree that we must protect our Constitution.



Respectfully,

********

Edited by FindLaw_AHK, 16 November 2012 - 02:22 PM.
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator


#2 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:46 PM

As most of you in the legal profession are quite aware, our current federal and state court rules leave a lot to be desired. In fact, these rules are bias and unfair, giving the advantage to the government’s side of the legal dispute.


Those are your opinions, and you are entitled to them. But I don't happen to share them.

As such, these rules are unconstitutional since they violate our Constitution’s amendments on “due process” and a “fair trial”.


To the extent you are arguing that the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure are as a whole unconstitutional, you'll lose that argument. Note that while the Constitution guarantees "due process" in the 5th and 14th amendments, the phrase "fair trial" appears nowhere in the Constitution.

Most of what you state as "fact" in your post is not fact at all, but opinion and unsupported conclusion. As I said before, you are of course entitled to your opinions on these matters. It is difficult from your post to discern exactly what you think is unconstitutional.
However, I will provide a few comments on what things I see that you do raise.

From what I can tell, you've raised two objections. First, you think the rules of evidence (which is what is involved, not the procedure rules) that specify how testimony may be given at trial and that limits what may be presented at trial violate the First Amendment. They do not. The courts have never held that speech may never be restricted. In the context of court trials, if you just let everyone say whatever they wanted you'd have chaos in the courtroom and the trials would be less fair, not more. Rules are needed to ensure that the trial proceeds in an orderly fashion and that only relevant evidence that meets a minimum level of authenticity is presented. Part of these rules do that by regulating how testimony is given. These rules have a long history to them stretching back to the common law. So, if you try to argue that the First Amendment allows you to say whatever you wish in your trial, that will be a loser. What you present must meet the requirements of the federal rules of evidence when in federal courts.

Second, you evidently want to assert a right to inform juries of their power of jury nullification. You'll find that a very uphill battle. A divided U.S. Supreme Court over 100 years ago held contrary to what you want in Sparf v. United States, 156 U.S. 51 (1895). The court upheld in that case the trial court's decision to charge the jury that it must decide the case by applying the law given it by the court and against the defendant's requested instruction that the jury could determine the law for itself and, in effect, decide the case however the jury saw fit, i.e. jury nullification (though that was not the term used by the court, as that is a more modern phrase). In rejecting the notion that the jury may decide what the law is, the court engaged in a long review of the case law on the matter and then noted the following:

Any other rule than that indicated in the above observations would bring confusion and uncertainty in the administration of the criminal law. Indeed, if a jury may rightfully disregard the direction of the court in matter of law, and determine for themselves what the law is in the particular case before them, it is difficult to perceive any legal ground upon which a verdict of conviction can be set aside by the court as being against law. If it be the function of the jury to decide the law as well the facts,-if the function of the court be only advisory as to the law,- why should the court interfere for the protection of the accused against what it deems an error of the jury in matter of law?

Public and private safety alike would be in peril if the principle be established that juries in criminal cases may, of right, disregard the law as expounded to them by the court, and become a law unto themselves. Under such a system, the principal function of the judge would be to preside and keep order while jurymen, untrained in the law, would determine questions affecting life, liberty, or property according to such legal principles as, in their judgment, were applicable to the particular case being tried. If because, generally speaking, it is the function of the jury to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused according to the evidence, of the truth or weight of which they are to judge, the court should be held bound to instruct them upon a point in respect to which there was no evidence whatever, or to forbear stating what the law is upon a given state of facts, the result would be that the enforcement of the law against criminals, and the protection of citizens against unjust and groundless prosecutions, would depend entirely upon juries uncontrolled by any settled, fixed, legal principles.

Sparf at 101-102.

The U.S. Courts of Appeals that have considered the issue have all routinely upheld the refusal of the district court to inform a jury on jury nullification and have approved instructions to the jury that they must apply the law as provided to them by the court. You didn't say in what district your prosecution is taking place, so I cannot provide any information on what appellate decisions would govern in your case. However, given that for at least a 100 years the decision in Sparf and decisions in the courts of appeals have rejected any right for the defendant to inform the jury on jury nullification, you'd need something extremely compelling to convince the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals to change the long standing rule established by these decisions. Indeed, at least as the Supreme Court is currently composed, I feel pretty confident that if the Court agreed to hear the matter at all, it would be to reject any contention that a jury must be informed of jury nullification.

If I were you, I'd focus on whether you actually have any good defense to the marijuana charges rather than chasing the far fetched arguments you seem to be pursuing here. If your best shot to win acquittal is jury nullification, you may want to see about reaching a favorable plea deal with the Assistant U.S. Attorney rather than taking this to trial. I hope you have an attorney representing you. Going up against a U.S. attorney when you are not familiar with the law and the applicable court rules is a fast way to lose a case, even if you might have had a good defense to use.

#3 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:03 PM

Because of this violation of our founding fathers’ trial by jury rules, they now enjoy a 98% conviction rate. This ridiculously high percentage rate shows how well their corrupted rules are working for them. This ridiculously high rate proves that defendants are not currently receiving “due process” or “fair trials”.


Let me also address this, since I didn't get it into my earlier reply. The "founding fathers" simply provided in the Constitution that the accused in a criminal case has a right to a trial by jury; they did not specify any particular rules for how that would be done in the Constitution. Those details were left to Congress to provide by statute for federal criminal cases and, in the absence of a statute, the common law. Furthermore, the law is not stagnant. Whatever rules where provided for such things at the start of our Republic certainly were subject to change. Surely you're familiar with the idea that Congress can and does change its statutes to accommodate the needs of the current times. If we had to be stuck living under rules that applied in the 18th century things would be quite difficult indeed.

The high conviction rate does not itself tell you there is a problem with the justice system. Indeed, it could mean the justice system is working quite well by avoiding charging those who have not committed a crime. After all, if a lot of people were being charged with crimes and acquitted, wouldn't that suggest that perhaps we have a problem of police and prosecutors going after those who haven't committed any offense? Surely we'd want a system that, as closely as possible, would only result in the arrest and prosecution of those that are actually guilty of crimes. If we had such a system, the result would indeed be very nearly a 100% conviction rate, right?

So, just pointing to the conviction rate doesn't tell you whether the justice system is working well or not. It could mean either one. You'd have to dig deeper behind the conviction rate to know if there was a problem.




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