J.A.I.L. News Journal
Angeles - January 2,
Listen to HotSeat4Judges daily on
Internet Radio M-Th, 6-7 pm
For a beautiful
navy blue T-shirt with "J.A.I.L." on the back and www.jail4judges.org large and visible over
the pocket, imprinted in a bright yellow-gold lettering, send your check payable
to J.A.I.L. for $11.95 plus $4 S&H. (Discounts on volume quantities.) Wear
them to your next courthouse function and watch the
THREE STRIKES FOR
JAIL has just received the current edition
of "Ecobyte" January 2001, Volume 4, Number 1, out of San Anselmo, California
94979. On page 14 are two articles: Three Strikes for Law-Breaking
Judges, and J.A.I.L. Update. If the
former title sounds familiar to you, it is. It is a reprint of the article
written by Peter Blumberg in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the largest legal
newspaper in the country. For the benefit of those who have not had the
opportunity of seeing the former article, we are below giving an edited
THREE STRIKES FOR LAW-BREAKING
.... You've heard of the
"Three Strikes You're Out" law? The Judicial Accountability Initiative Law
(J.A.I.L.) is Branson's version of "three strikes" for judges allowing special
nonlawyer tribunals to criminally sanction and permanently remove jurists who
repeatedly break the law...
..."This will become the hottest initiative
in time that ever happened in the History of California."
The state's judicial
establishment isn't exactly holding its breath.
"We're not going to be
lying awake worrying about this," said Constance Dove, Executive Director of the
California Judges Association. "I think the voters have more sense than
It was only five years
ago that [California] voters strengthened public oversight of judges with
Proposition 190, which revamped the Commission on Judicial Performance. ...
[We wonder what motivated the voters to do that.]
... J.A.I.L. will
go quite a bit further-- further, in fact, than any judicial watchdog agency in
It would eliminate the
broad civil liability immunity that jurists currently enjoy and would establish
three statewide 25-member grand juries empowered to investigate, indict and,
through a special trial jury, sentence judges for criminal misconduct. The grand
jurors could dismiss frivolous complaints, but would also have authority to
remove any judge from office who receives three adverse immunity decisions.
To finance the $17
million that the Secretary of State estimates the grand juries would cost,
Branson has proposed deducting 2-1/2 percent from the gross annual payroll of
all the state's judges, magistrates and commissioners.
Branson said the
independence of the grand jurors-- citizens over 30 years old chosen by lottery
from the state's voter rolls (excluding all members of the State Bar, public
officials and law enforcement personnel)-- will insure both tougher scrutiny and
impartial judging of the judges.
... "The Jurors shall
keep in mind, in making their decisions, that they are entrusted by the People
of this State with the duty of restoring a perception of justice and
accountability of the judiciary, and are not to be swayed by artful presentation
by the judge," it states. "They shall avoid all influence by judicial and
Branson's own run-ins
with the law-- including 13 cases he has unsuccessfully pursued all the way to
the U.S. Supreme Court-- have consumed thousands of hours of his time, but he
complains that California's highest elected officials have ignored his calls for
... The opposing lawyers
in Branson's parking ticket case could not be reached Tuesday, but his secretary
seemed unfazed to hear about Branson's J.A.I.L. campaign. "Oh, he never stops,"
she said. [Yes, she is right, we shall never
Branson's partners in the initiative campaign include Costa Mesa
attorney Phillip Putman and Newhall sole practitioner Gary Zerman, both of whom
profess such profound disenchantment with the justice system that they
specialize in legal malpractice litigation and are ever closer to dropping out
of the Bar altogether.
Putman [stated]... "The
state courts have gotten so outrageously vindictive, vigilantist and
vituperative toward and parties and attorneys" he said. "I'm about ready to
resign. I just refuse to go into the courtroom and allow these jackasses to spew
their venom at me, which they do all the time."
Zerman [said] ... "The
system is not holding judges accountable."
But as passionately as
Branson, Putman and Zerman believe in their cause....
... "I think the internet
has made it easier for disgruntled litigants to join forces" said Gerald F.
Uelman, professor at Santa Clara School of Law. "This may be a reflection of
that, but I don't think there's any grassroots movement that could provide the
support needed to qualify an initiative measure."
Besides, Michael Belote,
a Sacramento lobbyist for the CJA [Commission on Judicial Performance], said the
proposed ballot initiative is patently unconstitutional. [Not to speak of the great embarrassment JAIL is bringing to the
CJP, since that agency is charged with the responsibility of maintaining
judicial integrity, the failure of which JAIL is exposing.]
"One could almost pick at
random every element of the California Constitution and the United States
Constitution that this violates," he said. "What about a jury of one's peers, a
right of confrontation, the fact that you can't have lawyers or judges on the
The J.A.I.L. proponents
fully expect the establishment to fight back-- and that's exactly what they hope
for to jump-start their low-budget campaign.
"Once we get them to
holler 'ouch,' they've done our advertisement for us," Branson
* * *
In Congress, JAIL
is being proposed as a legislative Bill. Among the states there are two
approaches, a Constitutional Amendment by legislation, and the initiative
states, as a Constitutional State Initiative. The states are free to file or
refile repeatedly at will. California is now between initiatives and will have
The drawback for JAIL at
this time is lack of funding. JAIL hopes to catch the eye of financial backers.
All of the JAIL Chapters will file and refile or labor until the necessary funds
are received to get JAIL passed. By getting JAIL passed in just one state will
start the domino effect until it's passed throughout the nation.
JAIL may be supported at
P.O. Box 207, N. Hollywood, CA 91603.
* * *
Our thanks to Jo Ann Fawcett, Editor
Ecobyte: P.O. Box 2523, San Anselmo, CA
(415) 259-0118; Fax: (415) 259-0120
J.A.I.L. is an acronym for (Judicial Accountability Initiative
JAIL's very informative website is found at www.jail4judges.org
JAIL proposes a
unique new addition to our form of government.
JAIL is powerful! JAIL is
dynamic! JAIL is America's ONLY hope!
JAIL's is spreading across America like
a fast moving wildfire!
JAIL is making inroads into Congress for federal
JAIL may be supported at P.O. Box 207, N. Hollywood, CA
To subscribe or be removed: add-remove-jail@...
All E-Groups are encouraged to sign on at email@example.com
to make your voice heard JAIL-SoundOff@egroups.com
"..it does not require a majority to prevail,
but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's
minds.." - Samuel Adams
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of
evil to one who is
striking at the
-- Henry David Thoreau