Pleading or Venting? It's worth a few minutes
- Forwarder's note: Tommy Cryer is a lawyer in practice in Shreveport, Louisiana, who recently won the case against himself for tax evasion.
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Ladies and Gentlemen,I am sickened, frustrated, saddened, guilt-ridden, and consumed with a sense of helplessness and insignificance. I don't know whether to scream "Rally and Charge", "Run and Hide" or just explode.In the first thirty something years of my practice prior to my getting into this movement I was able to win acquittals of no less than a dozen innocent men and women and as many guilty ones where the evidence was lacking. I don't remember all of them, much less their names, but I do remember the two innocent men who were convicted notwithstanding my best efforts and I will never forget the looks on their faces when the verdicts were read. Those names and those faces weigh on me like millstones even though I was able to prevent one from going to prison and to minimize the impact on the other. They haunt me.Our system, a system I am personally responsible for making work, at best failed them and at worst betrayed them. That makes it personal.But in the last eighteen months I have a truckload of new millstones. Lucky Bennett, an innocent man, Tony Dorsey, an innocent man, Dale Chastain, and innocent man, Clifford Kidd, a relatively innocent man, Frank McLain, Bruce LaPierre, Al and Lorraine Martin, Garland Miller, Dickie Arceneaux and just his week another, Malcolm MacHauer, all innocent, but branded felons, their lives in shreds. Patriots whose only crime was to learn the truth and dare to confront their servants with it. All on my watch.And I've witnessed countless others, Gebauer, with his reconstituted (rigged) jury, Genard, Cruickshank, Atwell, Aldridge and more. In the last twenty-four hours I've received a heart rending email from Dickie Arceneaux's wife, Mitzie, in a state of terror due to his upcoming sentencing and another from Malcolm MacHauer, convicted this week. What can I tell them that would make the senseless make sense?My system of justice, a system I've devoted my entire life to, is dying, my country and all it stands for is dying and all I can do is watch. I haven't felt this kind of pain, this sense of loss, this kind of grief, guilt and helplessness since Carolyn died.I can't stand another hole in me like that one caused. I'll die if that happens, and if I do I'll surely spend eternity in hell for letting my country, my people and my system down. Success requires no explanation, but failure permits no excuse.So I've got to fight, I have to do something, even though I'm not sure what. We can't keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. If we want the world to change we must first change. I've spent the last 48 hours without sleep, poring over this problem unable to close my eyes without seeing those faces. I have four accused innocents looking to me for help and I can already see the look on their faces when the inevitable happens, haunting me in advance.What can we do? It's one a.m. in the middle of my third sleepless night, so maybe this is dementia, but I've come up with a few ideas. It will take your help. That is why I'm sending this out to all of the attorneys and all of the capos.I've listened to a lot of gifted and devoted attorneys in this arena and one of the things that weighs heavily on all of us is the knowledge that the bar and the bench would love to see all of us banished. So we guard against that, playing it safe because we can't help from the penalty box. We can't afford that luxury anymore. What are we risking in comparison to what our clients have shoved into the middle of the table?I believe that our fear of sanctions and exile is exaggerated. George signed and filed my motion based upon all of the tax issues. Alan chastised a judge for repeatedly belittling both attorney and client in front of the jury, moving for mistrial because he apparently considered counsel inept and, again, in the same case accused the judge of jury tampering. Joe called another on directing a verdict as to an element and for grandstanding, waiving a totally unrelated paper in the air and proclaiming "The IRS has already found them guilty" within hearing of the jury. Jeff looked an entire panel of godlets in the eye and admonished them that they could kill the messenger, but that the truth will never, never die. These acts of courage produced no sanctions, no exiles.I've replayed all of the cases that haunt me and in all of them there is no competent evidence of guilt, much less proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet juries convict time after time. And it occurred to me that, just as in most cases, the problem contains its own solution.The law and justice are on our side, but we don't allow them to fight alongside us. We cannot win without them, so our losses finally make sense. We have to bring the law to bear on the courts and justice to bear on the juries.We have to confront the courts with the law. In the Dorsey case we found a judge that may very well have granted a motion to dismiss for lack of any liability provision, but we will never know if that might have been favorably received because we did not raise the black letter law.We cannot continue to bow and scrape to inferior court decisions and dictum, and, yes, that includes Circuit Court cases. The federal legal system is a CIVIL LAW system, not a common law. Judges are merely processors, not originators of law. How can we expect them to see that when we treat them as though they are the source, the font?We cannot continue to cower and grovel, pulling punches we wouldn't hesitate to let fly in any other kind of criminal case, because of what the IRS MIGHT do if we do the right thing. The government is putting on opinion evidence regarding legal conclusions and we are neither objecting nor rebutting. We have to grow some hairy orbs and do both.And this is where attorneys and organizations come in.Joe Banister is a perfect bookend for the lying snotwads that get up on the stand and say that the defendant has a tax due and owing when he does not. Special Agent vs. Special Agent.Joe, you have to stand up and rebut that. Sure, they will bring up their defrocking assault on you, but there are ways to deal with that to steal their thunder and even use it to advantage, and if you step back because of what they might do if you step forward, think of what they will certainly do to the defendant if we continue to allow the lies to go unchallenged.Chances are Joe would never get to testify, at least at first, but that forces the issue of the court's allowing opinion evidence of the law for one and excluding for the other. Either way, no matter which was error, a conviction is reversed, an injustice undone just by Joe's taking the stand. If he is allowed to testify he lends an incredible amount of credibility to the defendant's beliefs and maybe, just maybe, justice happens. I can think of worse things.We have to start filing motions to dismiss on the basis of absence of liability, absence of requirement to file, the true meaning of income, the zero basis for zero basis rule, the Constitutional tax exemption of the exercise of a fundamental right to earn a living. And we have to start filing motions to dismiss on Larry's APA [Administrative Procedure Act] based absence of any publication of a substantive rule setting tax rates or standard exemptions. All of these motions are rock solid and eventually we'll find a judge with enough integrity to stand up for the rule of law.And when an attorney has the courage to raise these issues we have to pour out into the streets in his defense. All organizations need to file amicus curiae briefs in support, reiterating the law as it is and impressing the court with the fact that the cat is way, way too far out of the bag to ever put it back in. That means other attorneys willing to sign off on the same issues, making the initial attorney look anything but frivolous, anything but groundless and subject to sanction.We have to start confronting these lying mercenary witnesses by crossing them like we would a crooked, lying cop and beating them like rented mules.Which of the general classes of "taxpayer" did you determine defendant fell into?To which of the special classes of "taxpayer" did you determine defendant belongs? A? B? . . . . L?Agree with the Privacy Act Notice in the instructions? Must file a return or statement for "any tax you are liable for (sic)"?What is the statutory basis for your conclusion that defendant is among those liable?Section 1? Here's your Section 1--Show me, Asshole!Section 1.1-1? Here's your 1.1-1, so if all citizens are liable why do you limit "citizens" to only those "subject to. . ."??? What make this defendant subject to . . ? Here's the Constitution, show me where the federal government has dominion over his activity. NONE!!What is the legal basis for your concluding that what defendant received was income within the meaning. . etc.? 61? Let's look at that section, you lying son of a bitch.What cases did you consider? Inferior Courts? Dictum? Can you spell dictum? IRM says those aren't binding, doesn't it? So what about Supreme Court cases?What law requires someone who isn't liable to file an income tax return? 6012? You must be either an idiot or a liar, because an "expert" like you pretend to be would know that a basic rule of statutory construction requires you to give both 6001 and 6012 effect, so it takes both liability and income in excess, doesn't it?What basis did you assign to defendant's labor, expertise, experience, knowledge, skill, time, energy and exertion, all at the expense of depletion of his finite, yet unknown, work life? ZERO???? ZERO???Here's your code, Dilbert. Show me any legal basis for assigning a zero basis. None!! Isn't that the definition of a frivolous argument????You've stated that defendant's asking what law entitles you to demand his private financial information and a cut of his labor is a frivolous argument. Here's the IRS's "official" list of frivolous arguments--find the absence of any statutory imposition of liability. Can't? Some expert.Here's 1.861-8T, Dilbert. It tells us what is not exempt, so as an expert give me some examples of what is beyond the federal taxing power. C'mon, say something. How about taxing our rights? Is our freedom of speech taxable or exempt? Is our going to church taxable or exempt? Is our right to exchange or labor for a living taxable or exempt?NO MATTER WHAT THE ANSWERS, THESE QUESTIONS TELL THE JURY THAT THE ATTORNEY KNOWS AND THE IRS KNOWS THAT THE DEFENDANT IS RIGHT.We have to do this people, or we might as well pack up our tools and call it a day, actually, an era spent and run its course. We have to fight these cases just as we would a burglary or a robbery defense, crossing and exposing false testimony and dragging the law into the courtroom or we might as well just plead all the sheep chosen for skinning instead of shearing. Get it over with.So, attorneys, which of you would be willing to sign off on substantive motions or amicus curiae briefs? I certainly would. And I'll help with the research and writing the briefs. I don't know when, but nothing else is more important. Which of you would be willing to go toe to toe with someone half your intellect? I'll help frame the cross and the exhibits needed to nail to the false "witness" even if it means other things go undone.Organizations, which of you would sponsor, lend your name to, an amicus curiae brief?Venting hasn't made me feel any better, but it has made me feel tired, so I'm going to try to get some sleep.Best to all of you and thanks for putting up with me.Tom