I woke up this morning with a slight feeling of negative anticipation but the day turned out to be very interesting and even what I tentatively might call fun in a learning experience kind of way.
I had been summoned to court for grand jury selection like I have had to do about every three years for more times than I can remember. Living in a small county and having a drivers license and a voting record makes it a fairly frequent occurrence.
But I had never had my name drawn out of the can until today when I won the grand jury lottery and got to walk to the jury box. Out of maybe 125 called for potential selection I was one of 2 guys and 10 ladies chosen by the random method of civic duty. My first thought was that maybe the luck of the draw is turning my way and that I should buy a powerball ticket.
The judge gave us the history of the grand jury dating back to at least the 12th century. Created for the protection of individuals from false accusations and oppressive governments. Instructions were given and we had the chance to try and opt out by declaring that we were of unsound mind or a habitual drunkard or drug abuser. Nope, not going there but for weeks I had thought of how I could honestly get dismissed if I wanted to when the judge asked if there’s any other reason that might disqualify us from serving. I had always remembered the statement a Quaker man gave to the judge many years ago in a jury selection . He said:
“Your honor, my personal beliefs allow me to stand in judgement of my fellow man when they are accused of breaking the rule of law. But that duty also extends to my right and duty to also judge the law itself if I believe it is necessary. The concept of jury nullification of an unjust law must sometimes be taken into consideration.”
The judge said that was unacceptable and that a jury must strictly follow the law as it is. The old Quaker was dismissed but he made an impression on me with his words of truth. The judge was wrong. Jury nullification is a valid concept and should always be an option for keeping the justice and legislative system in check.
I decided to save this argument for another time if need be and kept silent.
I’m sworn to secrecy but in general the cases were typical rural south dumb redneck offenses. They ranged from attempted murder and arson to theft to child abuse to several for driving around with a ‘shake and bake’ meth lab in their car. Really dumb, really sad.
Grand jury members get to ask all the questions they want. Me being me, I did exactly that. The other guy did also. The ladies only had a few but I think most everyone felt a little sense of empowerment. How often does one get to question cops, investigators and accusers and bring up issues of law and enforcement? It all was very civil.
Of the 23 cases we unanimously returned 22 true bills with one thrown out because it seemed obviously bogus.
We were told that grand jury could initiate their own investigations if they so wished but no details were given. We were also given the opportunity to tour the county jail and the court house for the purpose of making recommendations for improvement but everyone passed on that so we could go on home.
At the ‘closing ceremony’ we were thanked for our service and given our pay for the day … $11 …
Anyway, this brings me around to the old idea that local grand juries do have the right to bring forth indictments against people outside of their locality if crimes have been committed that affect them. I’ve heard it argued that any District Attorney could present to a grand jury evidence of, for example, the false flag of 9/11 and a true bill could be issued against probable perpetrators along with required arrest warrants. That idea is only limited by the courage or lack thereof or the whims or the bought and paid for agenda of the DA but could involve a great number of infamous crimes and criminals from bankers to congressmen and presidents. In constitutional and common law a grand jury could even bypass the prosecutor and investigate and indict any number of criminal government officials and their financial handlers. Not likely to happen. The rigged judicial system tells us we can’t do that and will use force if necessary to keep the lies intact.
We lock up more people than any country in the world. Our jails are overflowing and yet at the highest levels the indictments rarely if ever come. We have the names, we know the crimes. We just need the ability to stop them using the power of a people’s grand jury.
See “If it’s not a runaway, it’s not a real grand jury” for the background story of how it’s supposed to work and how it got corrupted.
I think many of us would welcome the opportunity to serve on a truly independent ‘runaway’ grand jury. I know I would. You won’t even have to pay me.