Thank you for your comments. First,
the focus of the JAIL initiative is Judicial Accountability. As
you may know, anyone submitting an initiative has to be careful not to cover
multiple subjects or issues. Your suggestions either go beyond the scope of
JAIL, or else they are already covered by the terms of our
JAIL is not about trial jury reform,
per se. However, the fact that JAIL will bring in a statewide Special Grand Jury
system that will have power to judge both law and fact, will influence the
current blocking of autonomous power of the County Grand Juries by the District
Attorney, their "advisor". I'm sure you know that for any Grand Jury to be
effective, it must be allowed to exercise its autonomous powers. After all, the
Grand Jury is the body that is supposed to speak and act For the People, and be
the watchdog over government. Under our current system, it is an arm of the
government (the prosecutor's office).
Also, we need statewide Grand
Juries, which JAIL establishes within its scope of reviewing complaints on
judicial misconduct. That too should have an influence on the Grand Jury system
generally. It will certainly bring attention to the shortcomings and flaws in
the current system.
Under JAIL, the number of jurors on
the SGJ is 25, with a simple majority of 13 deciding the issue. Also, under
JAIL, the jurors are rotated two seats every month (three in January) to bring
in "fresh blood" throughout the year.
JAIL does have an effect on the
trial juries too, as it relates to the criminal prosecution of judges. These
petit jurors are not allowed to be "voir dired" beyond personal relationship
(paragraph (r)) and they must be informed that they, too, must rule on both
the law and the facts. Once the judges are recognized as having this right under
JAIL, then arguably, equal protection under the laws will allow the same right
JAIL's focus on judicial
accountability zeroes in on breaking through the "doctrine of judicial immunity"
which is generally abused by the judiciary, and used as a shield behind which
they hide from accountability for their unlawful and tyrannical actions on the
bench. That judge-made doctrine (it's not even law)-- gets in the way of
Constitutional principles, and the way it is abused, it violates the
judicial oath of office.
JAIL is very basic, and must remain
so. The basic rudiments of JAIL will have a dramatic effect on many, if not all,
of the points you raise. It will certainly affect the way lawyers practice
before the courts, because the judges will no longer be able to cover up for
them. The same goes for all other government agencies that ultimately appear in
court for final determinations.
If judges are forced to comply with the Constitution
and laws in pursuance thereof (including court rules regarding due process
requirements), the rest of government will have to fall in line. It will also
have a dramatic affect on the corporate influence over the courts. Once JAIL is
passed, it'll be the LAW that governs, not money or politics.
Thank you very much for your
interest. Let me know if you have further questions or comments.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2000 6:40
Subject: Re: *** Atty. Responds to "Speak
Up For Your Judiciary"
You need to go to these pages on our site for our proposals
most closely related to yours:
proposals aren't bad so far as they go, but there are several points that need
to be covered in any reform effort that one can hope will not be easily
- Revival of private prosecutions, especially in public
- Getting legal issues argued before juries.
Ending juror oath to follow law as given by judge.
- Limiting jury
instructions from the judge to minimal procedural matters.
that any disablement of rights be made explicit in a final court
- Making it more difficult to stack juries, by such measures as
limiting questions to them.
- Ending the licensing of lawyers.
Not limiting public defenders to a pool of a few tame ones.
- Allowing pro per in appeals cases.
Expanding role of grand juries.
- Ending "vexatious litigant" denials
of petition right.
- Ending "sovereign immunity".
- Ending asset
- Ending "no knock" warrant abuses.
it easier to convene special grand juries by petition.
minimum time for each case before grand jury.
- Allowing public access
to grand jury.
Note that a standard grand jury must decide by a
vote of 12, so for it to decide by a bare majority, and to prevent ties, the
number needs to be
Society, 1731 Howe Av #370, Sacramento, CA 95825
08/14/00 Time: 17:40:51