SD Secretary of State says they're still
of the first initiative presented.
It'll be a while for them to
start processing the J.A.I.L.
Initiative next. It's just a matter of time--
J.A.I.L. will be on the 2006 South
An Open Letter to News
By Barbie, ACIC, National J.A.I.L.
The Code of Ethics of professional
journalists states in its preamble that the duty of
the journalist is to ... seek[ ] truth and provid[e] a fair and
comprehensive account of ... issues. http://spj.org/ethics_code.asp
The entire preamble reads as
Preamble: Members of the Society of Professional
Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and
the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends
by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and
issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve
the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the
cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. Members of the Society share a
dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society's
principles and standards of practice.
You are invited to go to the website cited
above and read it for yourselves. There is much more information after the
preamble. Surprisingly, none of the journalists involved in reporting on the
J.A.I.L. Amendment that I have seen have been faithful to their
journalistic principles-- NONE of them! What does this say about the
credibility of the newspaper companies, your bosses, in allowing these
reports to be published? Shouldn't they be responsible for your conduct in
reporting false information to the public?
I can understand why the legal fraternity (lawyers and
judges) would misrepresent the J.A.I.L. Amendment since they don't want to be
held to account for their conduct in violating the law. The cozy legal
profession, covered up by their brethren in black robes, would no longer be so
cozy if the judges had to be accountable to the People for their cover-ups.
They'll say anything to mislead the public in order
to try to maintain the status quo.
The legal fraternity is running scared! "Due process of
law" and other requirements of law is a Sword of Damocles threatening their
comfortable way of life. But I would expect
journalists to be more honest and objective in their reporting.
1. J.A.I.L. will enforce the
independence of the judiciary.
Among the most prevalent lies being reported is
that J.A.I.L. will interfere with "judicial independence." Since J.A.I.L.
enforces constitutional law, I conclude that "judicial independence" means
independence from the law-- independence
from accountability. Then I saw an article written by
one of your colleagues, which didn't mention J.A.I.L. directly, but hinted
at it after some remarks were made about J.A.I.L. by Chief
Justice Ronald George, as quoted in
the Sacramento Bee, "California has an 'outstanding and impartial'
judiciary and doesn't need 'extremists telling us how to change a system that
has served us so well and to substitute ... a highly politicized system for the
impartial process that we enjoy.'
The Wichita Eagle - posted Fri.
Dec. 02, 2005
Chief justice concerned about attacks on
By John Hanna, Associated
In that article, Kansas Supreme Court Chief
Justice Kay McFarland is reported as saying:
1. "Courts aren't
supposed to take polls or consult public opinions in ruling on the
2. "Their (judges')
duty is to uphold the rule of law, not do what's popular."
3. "Judges should not put
their fingers up and see which way the wind is blowing. That's at the heart of
4. "Courts have to have the
respect of the vast majority of the public, that if they have a problem, they'll
get a fair deal."
5. "We all have our personal
opinions, but our (judges') duty and obligation is to the
That's when I found out that J.A.I.L. would actually
enforce judicial independence, if it means independence
from popular opinion. If judges followed the above
five principles, J.A.I.L. would not be a threat to them.
But here's how the "J.A.I.L. interfering with judicial
independence" lie was formed: It is based on the false premise
that J.A.I.L. will allow people to sue judges
if they don't like the decision. If that
premise were true, then the conclusion quoted above would also be true. However,
nowhere does the J.A.I.L. Initiative say or even hint anything about liking or
not liking a decision. That's where you journalists have
departed from your own standard of ethics. You come up with that
statement out of thin air, because it fits your agenda of "finding" J.A.I.L.
lacking in integrity. You purpose to misled the public because they
depend on your honesty in reporting. Would readers buy your newspapers
if they knew you were pedaling deliberate lies and
propaganda? If you are unethical and willing to lie here, then what
about the ethics of your other news reports?
2. J.A.I.L. deals only with
enforcing the law on the judiciary.
Had you researched the source material, i.e., the
J.A.I.L. Initiative for South Dakota, you would have found, when reading the
Preamble, that the concern of the People is "when judges do
abuse their power" involving the "doctrine of judicial immunity."
It is only when that abuse occurs that "the People are
obliged - it is their duty - to correct that injury..." If it doesn't
occur, then there is no injury for the People to correct, and the
J.A.I.L. process has nothing to do in such case.
Then, if you further researched the source material,
you would have found by reading paragraph 2 that only specific
violations will trigger the J.A.I.L. process of removing judicial
immunity so that the judicial violator may be required to stand trial therefor.
NOTE: NOTHING IS SAID ABOUT LIKING OR DISLIKING A DECISION. Only the following
violations of law will involve the exclusion of immunity from a judge within the
meaning of paragraph 1b:
- any deliberate violation of law
- fraud or conspiracy
- intentional violation of due process of
- deliberate disregard of material facts
- judicial acts without jurisdiction
- blocking of a lawful conclusion of a case
- any deliberate violation of the Constitutions of South
Dakota or the United States, notwithstanding Common Law, or any other contrary
Do any of you reporters think judges
should be able to commit the above offenses with
Further researching the source material, you would have
found in paragraph 3 that the Special Grand Jury does
not accept subjective issues, such as "liking" or "not
liking" a decision. That paragraph states "Their responsibility shall be limited
to determining, on an objective standard, [emphasis added] whether any civil lawsuit against a
judge would be frivolous or harassing, or fall within the exclusions of immunity
as set forth in paragraph 2, and whether there is probable cause of criminal
conduct by the judge complained against."
So, if the judges' duty is to uphold the rule of law,
and not do what's popular, then J.A.I.L. will enforce that judicial duty. Thus
it will enforce "judicial independence" if that's what the term
3. J.A.I.L. is not based on the
amount of judicial corruption.
Another reason J.A.I.L. is needed by the People is
to be a guard against possible abuse of authority by judges. As in an
insurance policy, a policyholder can't wait until he becomes sick or has an
accident before getting insurance. Jus so, as a matter of nature, the
People must provide new guards for their future
security-- not wait until the damage is done. Your argument that
"little or no judicial corruption exists in South Dakota" does not excuse the
need for the establishment of J.A.I.L. in South Dakota.
However, Mr. Branson has found, when personally
collecting signatures, that South Dakotans do believe there is plenty of
judicial corruption in that state. Just two examples, found on the Opening Page
of our website, are:
- A renowned man in Sturgis by the name of John
Eggers, a 31-year veteran (now retired) Sheriff of Meade County, handed
Mr. Branson the front page of the current issue of the Black Hills Press
newspaper with his picture on it, in which he was being presented a plaque in
his honor. The caption read that the Mayor of Sturgis has proclaimed August
9th as "Sheriff John Eggers Day." Sheriff Eggers was very bold in his opinion
about the South Dakota judiciary, and allowed us to quote him as saying, "I am
well familiar with the judiciary in this State of South Dakota, and this
J.A.I.L. Initiative is very much needed here." Sheriff Eggers also said, and
we quote, "No one is above the law," referring to the judges of South
- A man in Deadwood, a small mountain community of about
a thousand in population, said "I know two judges who should be in prison, not
on the bench." When asked if he was speaking about the State of South Dakota,
he emphatically responded: "No! I mean right here in Deadwood!"
So, don't mislead the public, such as Keith Jensen
of the Madison Daily Leader who states: they don't
know squat about South Dakota and South Dakota's judicial system and I don't
care what the problems are in Texas or California or Florida. I read the initiative here several times, thoroughly,
and whether it is the same as the initiative being suggested elsewhere, or not,
matters not to me, but it is a shoddy initiative with all kinds of problems
created that really create more of a mess in a state where we have had hardly
any of the problems the initiative supposedly seeks to solve. It is a solution
looking for a problem here.
Does Keith Jensen know more about the court system
than Sheriff Eggers with 31 years experience therein? By Jensen's
arrogant words, "They don't know squat about South Dakota
and South Dakota's judicial system," it would appear he claims he
does. Perhaps Keith Jensen should challenge Sheriff Eggers to a open public
debate on their court experiences.
4. Imprisoned inmates will not serve
on the Special Grand Jury.
I'll cover one more piece of propaganda put out by you
reporters. That is, that prisoners serving time will be let out of prison to
serve on the Special Grand Jury. Other reporters said that felony drunk
drivers, convicted drug dealers and child pornographers, sexual deviates,
pedophiles (you name it) will be allowed to serve. Obviously, this is your
propaganda to seek to scare the public because you fear that J.A.I.L.
will be passed into law by the People next November.
The initiative states in paragraph 12: Those not eligible for Special Grand Jury service shall include
elected and appointed officials, members of the State Bar, judges (active or
retired), judicial, prosecutorial and law enforcement personnel, without other
exclusion except previous adjudication of mental
incapacity, imprisonment, or parole from a
conviction of a felonious crime against persons. [emphasis added]
If imprisonment is an exception to serving on the SGJ, then inmates will NOT be
I think that continued irresponsible
reporting of this kind, amounting to written emotionalism and not fact, will
cause the people to insist on some kind of consequences to the newspaper
companies and publishers. For instance, one reader states:
I would like for each of you to
read this article (see below) from the Madison Daily Leader, and send your view of the
truthfulness of the article. The email
address to send your response should be to the publisher, not the author of this
His name and email is
It is my opinion that we need a law
for fraudulent reporting of the facts by reporters with newspapers being