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*** An Open Letter to News Reporters ***

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  • victoryusa@jail4judges.org
    J.A.I.L. News Journal ______________________________________________________ Los Angeles, California December 13, 2005
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2005
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      J.A.I.L. News Journal
      ______________________________________________________
      Los Angeles, California                                     December 13, 2005
      ______________________________________________________
      SD Secretary of State says they're still verifying signatures
       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 Dakota ballot!
       
      An Open Letter to News Reporters
      By Barbie, ACIC, National J.A.I.L. Administration
       
      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 follows:
       
      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 judiciary
      By John Hanna, Associated Press
       
      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 law."
      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 judicial independence."
      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 law."
       
      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 law
      • 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 statute.
      Do any of you reporters think judges should be able to commit the above offenses with impunity?
       
      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 means.
       
      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:
      1. 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 Dakota.
      2. 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 serving.
      ______________________
       
      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 "blatant misreporting." 
      His name and email is
      Jon M. Hunter jon@... 
      It is my opinion that we need a law for fraudulent reporting of the facts by reporters with newspapers being liable.
       
      -Barbie

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      "..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 root."                         -- Henry David Thoreau    <><
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