August 13, 2001
A Long, Uphill Journey
What you are about to read is one side of a
conversation between a contemplating Ventura County (California) Warden, and a
contemplating JAILer, both of whom are very intelligent and well gifted, which
brings me to say that the quality of our JAILers throughout America speak well
of J.A.I.L.'s cause. Outside of judges, you can hardly name a
professional title that is not represented among our JAILers.
While we were minded to pare down the
following letter because of length, in so doing, we found it
difficult not to deprive our readership of valuable and thought-provoking
insight. Mr. Nicolle has described the operations of J.A.I.L. in a manner that
could hardly be excelled, and you will quickly appreciate his literary
talent. -Ron Branson (CIC)
* * *
I am Henry Nicolle, the other Ventura JAILer...
How do you do? Pleased to meet you!
Barbie has forwarded to me your note
and asked me to get in touch with you. I hope that you will look into
JAIL4Judges and appreciate what we are beginning... and that you will find us
worth throwing in with.
.... [O]ur first impressions of your capabilities
are very positive! Your message was well-written, to the point(s) and
demonstrated your ability to communicate with grace and good conversational
grammar. (In their rush to "communicate," most people don't even check their
O.K. ...that's all the flattery I can dish out at one sitting!
You have my
vote. But seriously Carolyn, JAIL4Judges desperately needs
communicators. We especially need communicators who can be counted
upon to not garble the facts, bore the audience or appear to be illiterate
yokels... Please help us!
Later, if you agree, I'll address the
logistical problems we face in the
county, at the state level and at the
national level, but for this initial note, let me tell you the strength of
JAIL4Judges and then a little about my own primary political work here in
Ventura county. They are very cooperative
and co-supportive in their
First off, JAIL4Judges is founded on the premise that we have a
system that works... the problem is that all too often, we have
personnel in the judicial system who think they have a better idea of how to
"justice" to the community, or who have yielded to the Sirens of
status and privilege.
This is only one indication of a much
greater general problem infecting
every branch of government at every level.
JAIL4Judges addresses remediation at a fundamental source of this infection,
i.e. corruption of our courts and judicial institutions.
Although we have
statutory processes to enforce ethical and lawful conduct by our officials,
these institutions for enforcement have been corrupted and rendered impotent for
their intended purpose. Corrupt judges corrupt judicial processes and thus we
have denial of justice.
The buck stops with us, however. If our systems
do not function properly, our representatives have failed in their
responsibilities or neglected their duty. We have the ultimate power and the
immediate duty to install the tools of repair.
JAIL4Judges' Special Grand
Jury remedy intends to restore justice-seeking institutional processes by
bringing to account the corrupted individuals who spoil the institution.
JAIL4Judges offers this new remedy outside of, and mostly independent of normal
Here is the essence of the proposed remedy: (See the
California Amendment Draft for more detail.)
Special Grand Juries, whose
paid members are composed of Citizens not
holding positions of trust in
government, are established by Constitutional Amendment in California and some
other states or by Legislative Act in states without a process for
Constitutional Amendment by Citizen Initiative.
The normal processes of
justice (civil and criminal) are unimpaired until a
complaint is filed with
the (JAIL4Judges) Special Grand Jury. The Special Grand Jury cannot be invoked
until ALL ORDINARY REMEDIES AND APPEALS ARE EXHAUSTED. The JAIL4Judges proposal
is not intended to interfere with ordinary course of due process
If a party believes justice has been denied by extra-legal
of the court, AND the party can substantiate the claim to the
of a Special Grand Jury, the case will be scheduled for
investigation under the investigating powers of the Special Grand
In the event that potential wrong-doing is confirmed by the
the Special Grand Jury will proceed to further action to
correct the source of the complaint. The Special Grand Jury has sufficient
powers to coerce obedience to its deliberations and conclusions.
repeating that the actions of the Special Grand Jury DO NOT affect the judicial
acts leading to the involvement of the Special Grand Jury. The Special Grand
Jury has no authority to alter decisions already made. The Special Grand Jury's
duties do not directly touch the institutions or processes for
However, if a Special Grand Jury finds direct and specific
miscarriage of justice and if a prosecution (civil or criminal)
resulting in discipline or removal of a specific judicial
officer responsible for the complainant's injury, then it is clear that the
complainant has (or should have) the ability to reopen his own case and to
pursue justice under more unbiased and non-prejudicial conditions. That is how
the courts are intended to work!
JAIL4Judges is not the perfect response
to institutional and individual
judicial misbehavior and I believe that the
Special Grand Jury's powers
could be easily abused... but it is a good tool,
however limited in its
temporal usefulness, that returns an effective portion
enforcement of political powers to the Citizens. It would be a
effective moderating power against the administrative, prosecutorial
judicial establishment's abuse of powers and usurpation of authorities
delegated to them.
Well, Carolyn, are you still with me? (This is
about where people's eyes
glaze over and they need to change the subject...
ha ha...) O.K., that's
enough about JAIL4Judges for the moment. Here's the
brief version of my work and a summary of how they inter-relate:
been increasingly concerned about the blatant lawlessness in our
the administrative halls of government, on the streets by police
public. After a few personal experiences helping friends, (not
personally), I could not watch passively any longer. Writing
talking... they simply do not work within a corrupted
environment. I gave the
problem of where individual political power resides and how to wield it and
decided to run for Sheriff for Ventura county ... That began my practical law
and political education. Carolyn, that was four years ago. I discovered first,
that the only county office you and I as ordinary Citizens are qualified to be
elected to are Clerk and Supervisor. ALL THE REST OF THE OFFICES ARE FORBIDDEN
TO US! Wow! What a revelation that was for me. I couldn't believe it at first.
But, I learned. I have learned a lot.
I had started a campaign titled
"SheriffHenry" and set up a url named
"...sheriffhenry.com." I did not want
to be mis-identified as a "sheriff",
but I did want the inherent authority
(part of the Citizen's authority)
associated with the office to be associated
with my candidacy for the
office. It was after I started the url that I
discovered I had launched into
a dead-end under conventional electoral
Since I couldn't run for Sheriff under the 1879 California
concluded that the next most effective effort would be to
recall process... In California, anyone can initiate a recall
the reason for recall CANNOT be questioned by government, and a
special election MUST be scheduled to hear the Citizens within about 150 days of
certifying the signatures authorizing the ballot question. In other words, we
can call an election, we can put anyone we wish on the ballot and NO-ONE in
government can stop us, nor can they interfere with the wording of the ballot...
In Ventura, I have organized a "General Recall" consisting of 37 of
county elected officials. No particular reason for recall is given,
that those in government have unlawfully separated their
accountability and powers from control by the Citizen/constituents in whom the
authority and powers for governing rightfully belong. It is a non-partisan
Here is the immediate effect of a general recall.
judges (appointed mostly from the District Attorney's office) who have held
elected office without EVER BEING ON A BALLOT, the Sheriff, District Attorney
and other officers who have NEVER BEEN OPPOSED ON A BALLOT, and the remainder of
the county's primary elected officials will be, indiscriminately, on a YES/NO
ballot for recall.
You have probably noted as I wrote, that most of the
officials who will find themselves on this ballot will be facing the voters for
the very first time in their elected careers! That is what I seek... a valid
vote with immediate effect. I want to crack open the corrupted "good-ol'-boys'
club" that has closed Ventura elected offices to participation except by only
the approved initiates.
I believe that this recall program has already
had a good effect, merely
from the concern that our county officials have
expressed over my public
advocacy. We have had one Supervisor abruptly
retire, two more seem to be leaving office, one of our financial officials
retired abruptly and his
deputy (replacement) may be facing
administrative/criminal charges related to his complicity with his predecessor's
improper acts. The District Attorney is trying to get appointed as a U.S.
Attorney, thus escaping a face-off with the voters and so it goes. It is the
judges and members of the District Attorney's office who have demonstrated the
most reluctance to accommodate the recall process. I'll be happy to "tell all"
if you ask. Hints: "You can't serve a JUDGE!"... (sez who?, sez I, ..."Counsel
for the Superior Court" sez they)... Foreman of Grand Jury fined $15,000 for
filing the wrong form in applying for a farming permit" (Ventura County Star
article headline... guess who led the Grand Jury that had just won a law battle
with the County Clerk on my behalf?)... "We're very sorry to have bothered you,
Sir, Have a nice day. Will you be leaving the Hall of Justice soon?" [Various
Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs in response to judges' complaints over my
Recall (for judges) handouts] etc...
Both my recall effort and
JAIL4Judges call the elected officials to account for their corruption. By
calling public officials to personal
accountability, we indirectly correct
the corrupted administrations and
control the institutional policies which
allow, promote and protect the
Your comments and suggestions for the J.A.I.L.
website are focused well. You have broken the ice for fundamental structural
aspects that I will bringing to Ron and Barbie's attention later this weekend.
We have a LOT of ground-level consideration and work to do, Carolyn. Those of us
who are "plank-holders" will be over-taxed... and there is no pay, only the
satisfaction of being in the midst of progress.
As an aside, Ron has
asked if I would be the county Warden... and I have asked for time to consider
the requirements for success at the task. I am about to accept the position on a
tentative basis, until and unless we can find someone more qualified and
resourceful to pick up the reins. I hope that you would not think of me as
"grabby," since there is only me in Ventura [J.A.I.L.]
right now... and I hope, YOU, too! We need to get started in
Ventura, at least to build something that can be "led" when we find a real
leader. What do you think, Carolyn? Are you interested in a long, uphill journey
Please join us... bring your skills, your intellect and your
Don't forget your patriotism... drag that out of storage,
Very best regards,
WE are still OUR government
But, our Public Officials are in
Help Restore Constituent Authority!
J.A.I.L. is the new means of a peaceful
revolution in this country.
J.A.I.L. is an acronym for Judicial
Accountability Initiative Law
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 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
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does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority
keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." - Samuel Adams
are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is
striking at the
-- Henry David Thoreau <><