* * * Terri Schiavo & J.A.I.L. * * *
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California March 26, 2005
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______________________________________________________Terri Schiavo & J.A.I.L.(By Ron Branson - National J.A.I.L. CIC)I have been asked to state how J.A.I.L. could be of assistance in the Terri Schiavo case. First allow me to state my personal opinion regarding this matter. I have heard so many serious allegations that raise high concern with me that calls for an immediate replacement of the means to restore hydration and nourishment to Terri, if for no other reason than to hear the witnesses and to address all the allegations. If anyone thinks these allegations will die with Terri, they are kidding themselves. These witnesses will be the subject of books, documentaries, internet chatter, and will surely gender further distrust in government, and especially the judiciary. This latter result is not bad, but unfortunately it will be at the expense of the life of Terri Schiavo.History is replete with instances where meaningful change has come about in civilizations when governments became so abusive and egregious so as to shock the consciences of the people and outrage the masses.Just a while ago I entered an electronic store where I conducted business, and during that transaction I offered the sales clerk my www.jail4judges.org business card. Instantly he smiled as he viewed it, and without comment from me, he centered his attention to Judge Greer and Terri Schiavo. Perhaps the instant question more appropriately should not be what J.A.I.L. could do for Terri Schiavo, but rather what Terri Schiavo is doing for J.A.I.L. and for America. Notwithstanding that fact, I have been asked to address the former question, and so will I do.The Terri Schiavo matter is justifiably inflamed with emotions, but J.A.I.L. is not designed to deal with emotions, but rather deliberate violations of black and white written laws, such as constitutional provisions, processes and procedures, fraud and avoidance of material issues of fact that if considered, would change the outcome of a court decision.Yes, yes, yes, I know many of you are ready to pounce on this and say, "This is exactly what has happened in the Terri Schiavo case." But since J.A.I.L. has not passed and become a constitutional amendment in the State of Florida, these are all moot questions. As a practical matter, I fear that Terri is doomed to die a horrible death of dehydration, and I do not buy the line that such death is painless to her. If our system decided to put to death Scott Peterson by capital punishment in this manor, there would be screams of "cruel and unusual punishment," and such screams would be correct, and the courts would surely declare such manner of death unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. The argument that Terri did not commit a capital offense, and therefore is not entitled to such right is unavailing. Are the courts saying, if Terri took out a gun and killed everyone in sight, she would be entitled to rights under the Eighth Amendment? If we are so gracious so as to entitle murderers to a merciful death, would not Terri also be entitled to the same degree of mercy? And what kind of precedence are we setting in America?Were J.A.I.L. to be passed in Florida in this next election cycle of 2006, would it open a possible remedy to Robert Schindler based upon fraud? Perhaps it would, but Terri would already be dead, and J.A.I.L. cannot raise the dead to restore rights to them. The best it could do is vindicate the Schindlers.We have all heard the saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." How true this is! Now let us turn to "What if." What if the People of Florida had placed J.A.I.L. on their past ballot and passed J.A.I.L. in 2004, and it was now an amendment to the Florida Constitution? What would be the potential scene today in the Terri Schiavo case?First off, it is doubtful that there would even exist a Judge Greer on the Florida bench today, for his attitude would likely have forced him to choose to either take an early retirement in order to avoid the "Three Strikes and You're Out" provision of J.A.I.L., or he might be dismissed under its provisions in disgrace. But for the moment, let's suppose that Judge Greer was still on the bench today. Does anyone doubt that Judge Greer would be much more considerate of the Terri Schiavo matter if he knew he could be drawn before 25 citizens who could decide his judicial fate? Would he risk a potential indictment by the J.A.I.L. Special Grand Jury, and a subsequent trial that could potentially land him in prison by a conviction and sentencing of the people? Neither you nor I could answer these "What if," questions, but I know where my money would go on these questions.J.A.I.L.'s greatest benefit is the fear by judges of being held accountable directly to twenty-five citizens in which their judicial immunity would avail them nothing. In other words, J.A.I.L. is the "Ounce of prevention, rather than the pound of cure," although if the judges wish to test the teeth of the tiger, the Special Grand Jury's message will be, "Go ahead! Make my Day!"Our problem today is that too many people still trust government to be "reasonable." However, this defies the foundational words of George Washington, "Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force; and, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master!" I have listened to people time and time again who say, "But ..." and try to make a case for reasoning with government. I ask, how many fires have been extinguished by reasoning with the fire?Ultimately, it is necessary, by the nature of government, that there arise absolute showdowns between it and the people. "Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops
without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle! Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." --Frederick Douglass, August 4, 1857.If is unfortunate that Terri Schiavo has to be the focus of this confrontation, and we are likely to lose Terri, but you can rest assured that there will be many more "Terri Schiavos" in the future, in which we shall face near identical questions. The real question is, "Have we learned anything from this Terri Schiavo case?" It is true that we have a right to petition government, including the courts, for redress of grievances! Not even the government at any level denies that, but they say, "Go ahead and petition all you want, but we're not obligated to respond."Notice in our Declaration of Independence, passed unanimously by our Forefathers, it does not say, "if a long train of abuses," but rather, "...when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."J.A.I.L. is America's new experiment in settling the People's confrontation with government in resisting injustices by words rather than blows. J.A.I.L. is absolutely necessary for the future tranquility of America as the line of conflict falls between the People and the judges. The choice is either tranquility or tyranny -- we can't have both.-Ron Branson
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