The Background of the J.A.I.L. Organization
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California January 29, 2002The Backgroundof the J.A.I.L. OrganizationAll good endeavors start with an idea. Ideas develop into goals, and goals develop into realities. -Ron Branson, July, 2000"If We the People ever come to our senses, we will do whatever is necessary to force government and its agents to obey the undistorted law of the land. If we do this, it will hardly matter who holds office."
- Bastiatlaw@...Mr. Branson,
This week, we interviewed Terry Lynn Day about J4J.
I would like to run a background on your organization. Do you have a
pre-fab background that you can direct me to on your web site? Any
information would be greatly appreciated.
Editor, American Free PressDear Christopher Petherick:In response to your request, I am unable to direct you to any certain place on our website that particularly deals with the background of the J.A.I.L. organization, although I am sure it could be ferreted out. I shall be happy to give you all the details you need, and your inquiry will be the springboard for accommodating this objective on our website for future inquiries.J.A.I.L. was written by myself in April of 1995, although not by that name, but "The Judicial Reform Act of 1996." J.R.A. first became official with its filing on November 30th of 1995 with the California Secretary of State. There were two prominent attorneys who took up the banner of J.R.A., giving it a sense of credibility, they being Attorney Gary Zerman, and Philip Putman, both of whom acted as public relations to the media.Having no finances, and at that time, no internet, J.R.A. failed to collect the requisit signatures needed, and dropped the extension "Of 1996" from its title following that effort. Though without funding, JRA remained very much alive, awaiting an outlet. At a meeting held in Mission Hills, California, at the Gulpin Ford Horseless Carriage Restaurant in 1999, it was decided to officially drop the name "Judicial Reform Act," and adopt "Judicial Accountability Initiative Law."It was later that year that J.A.I.L. was contacted, and interviewed by the "Daily Journal," the largest legal newspaper in the nation, for an article that was published on August 13, 1999. This article set forth a very accurate presentation of the history and goals of J.A.I.L., and enhanced our credibility greatly. Because it well lays out the foundation of J.A.I.L., a copy of this article is below as follows:
LOS ANGELES DAILY JOURNAL
Friday, August 13, 1999
Three Strikes For Law-Breaking
Backers Predict the Hottest Initiative in History of California
__________________________By Peter BlumbergDaily Journal Staff Writer
SACRAMENTO – Ronald Branson has picked a lot of fights with judges and lost.
Now the vexed Los Angeles County litigant is going to voters with a proposed ballot initiative aimed at cracking down on a judicial system he regards as out of control.
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 for special nonlawyer tribunals to criminally sanction and permanently remove jurists who repeatedly break the law.
If Branson, a trio of Southern California lawyers and a handful of other sponsors can gather signatures from 670,816 California voters over the next five months – a feat that eluded him when he carried a similar petition three years ago – his proposed constitutional amendment could qualify for the November 2000 ballot. The sponsors' first step was to create a Web Site (www.wisr.net/artist/Jail4Judges) that will eventually display some of the horror stories of their experiences with the legal system.
"We believe there are some people out there who are nearly as agitated as us who want something to happen," Branson told the Daily Journal. "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 that."
It was only five years ago that voters strengthened public oversight of judges with Proposition 190, which revamped the Commission on Judicial Performance to give majority control to nonlawyer "public" members and give the disciplinary panel more power to make up its own rules.
Civil Immunity Eliminated
J.A.I.L. would go quite a bit further -- -- further, in fact, than any judicial watchdog agency in the nation.
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 the 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
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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 ensure both tougher scrutiny and impartial judging of the judges.
The text of the initiative, however, explicitly instructs the unpaid jurors not to believe everything judges tell them.
"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 government entities."
For Branson, a 53-year-old Baptist minister who has taught himself the law, the objective is to give power back to the people over a bench that has grown arrogant.
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 reform.
"I've taken so many complaints against judges and all I get is a form letter back," he said.
He is still angry that his false arrest lawsuit against half a dozen Los Angeles police officers stemming from a 1986 alleged burglary was never satisfactorily resolved in the county court system. And he is currently fighting a city of Los Angeles parking ticket in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals while fending off a motion that seeks to bar him from the federal courts for filing too many frivolous appeals. (Branson denies liability for the $112,000 in attorney fees and court costs that he says his opponents are trying to recover from him.)
The opposing lawyer 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.
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, who for 10 years has championed legal reform through the Patriot Movement, does not mince words while recounting his frustration with judges whom he blames for verdicts that have cost him millions. He is now trying to launch a Pro Se University that would teach people how to fight parking tickets, file divorce papers and handle other legal matters without help from lawyers.
"The state courts have gotten so outrageously vindictive, vigilantist and vituperative toward the 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, who has practiced for 15 years and has had his own showdowns with judges, said he is troubled that there seem to be few consequences for even the most blatant cases of judicial corruption and misconduct.
"Just look at CJP's 10-year summary of enforcement actions. It's amazing the number of goose eggs there are," he said. "The system is not holding judges accountable."
But as passionately as Branson, Putman and Zerman believe in their cause, veteran court observers and players in California's judicial establishment say they have not gotten much chance of success with the J.A.I.L. initiative.
"The phenomenon, of course, of disgruntled litigants is not new. I think the Internet has made it easier for disgruntled litigants to join forces," said Gerald F. Uelmen, professor at Santa Clara University 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, said the proposed ballot initiative is patently unconstitutional.
"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 cannot have lawyers or judges on the grand juries?"
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 advertisements for us," Branson said.At the time of this publication, J.A.I.L. still did not own its own website, or internet service, but its initiative was placed upon the website of a volunteer. Soon thereafter, J.A.I.L. preserved the website to itself of www.jail4judges.org, and acquired its internet service.J.A.I.L. started out with absolutely no mailing list, and had to conquer the learning curve of using the internet. It did not take long before J.A.I.L. was off and running with volumes of email coming its way, and people subscribing.Other states commenced asking if they could champion the cause of J.A.I.L., and so it was modified for state after state until J.A.I.L. has presence in forty-seven of the fifty states, and a proposed Federal Bill for Congress.With the establishment of the "J.A.I.L. News Journal," an internet centric news source, J.A.I.L.'s reputation and name has grown to untold bounds. People have said to us, "Mr. Branson, you have no idea the extent of the circulation to which your news articles are going." And it is to this we agree. It is open for anyone's imagination, although we do know that we are forwarded, forwarded, and re-forwarded, and quoted prolifically.J.A.I.L. has now caught the eye of the nation's independent news media, radio stations, and cable networks that are constantly contacting us for interviews oftimes beyond our ability to meet the demand.J.A.I.L. has now established its own internal chain-of-command that provides leadership and participation for everyone in this nation, right down to the local area. Unique to J.A.I.L. is the fact that it is legislation; it is an organization; and yet it is a nationwide grass-roots movement. People are getting involved in the J.A.I.L. movement unofficially everywhere; people who are unidentified, unnamed, and faceless. The J.A.I.L. concept is spreading like a forrest fire.There is a saying that no army on earth can stop an idea whose time has come, and J.A.I.L. is that idea whose time has come! Like a birth, it is all but a matter of time before J.A.I.L. becomes a household word, all bocks to resist it notwithstanding! The gates of its enemies shall be powerless to prevail against it.Once J.A.I.L. has obtained its goal of judicial accountability in all fifty states and Congress, it will use its muscle to alter the direction of politics of this country back to what was envisioned by our Founding Fathers in the inception of our nation.J.A.I.L.'s future concept is based upon the premise that "everyone loves success," and when J.A.I.L. is successful, everyone will love and support it, and the people will rejoice.Please call Attorney Gary Zerman, our Chief Legal Counsel, and Lt. Commander-In-Chief, for any further details at (661) 259-2570.-Ron Branson-Author/FounderNational J.A.I.L. Commander-In-ChiefJ.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 accountability!
JAIL may be supported at P.O. Box 207, N. Hollywood, CA 91603
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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 <><