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Ayatollahgondola 06-28-2013 07:22 AM

Right To A Jury Trial Is Now Merely A Guideline
Them's not really rules; there more like ...guidelines


The U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento did not want the protesters to have a jury trial. After hauling the five into court on a charge of entering the base for an unlawful purpose a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison, a year of supervised release and a $5,000 fine, or five years on probation the office argued that the crime is not serious, and thus not legally worthy of a jury trial.
This is a big deal folks. As an anti-war protester in the late 60's and early 70's, I can tell you from personal experience that the government uses minor offenses as a deterrent to 1st amendment exercise. They will then set up assembly line judicial proceedings. Their goal is to disrupt your protests by arresting you, not punishing you, and as such, the arrest becomes the deterrent. Jury trials stood in the way of this, making convictions pretty unlikely in some cases. A conviction for a lesser crime can still be a detriment to security clearances for a job in the private sector, or prevent you from obtaining a concealed weapons permit...etc

ilbegone 06-28-2013 11:15 AM

This follows the lead of traffic court.

Violations of the vehicle code became "infractions" rather than crimes which then led to eliminating jury trials for allegation of vehicle code violations. "Your day in court" now is limited to appearing before his honor who is now judge, inquisitor, and jury. And with the court system being dependent on traffic fines and "assessments" for revenue, just how is the judge going to rule? With a rubber stamp. Further note that appeals are only for procedural issues, not that the judge might have got it wrong and there might be relief rendered with a meaningful appeal.

Give them an inch, and they'll take a mile and a half.

If I understand it right, the supreme court's recent decision concerning proposition 8 in part sets precedence that government officials, such as California State Attorney Kamala Harris and governor Jerry Brown, don't have to enforce laws created out of the California initiative process they don't agree with - in direct conflict with the will of the voters.


Article III, Section 2 of the U. S. Constitution states: "The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury. "
Our nation is fast becoming a police state.

sandcrabnews 09-14-2013 06:02 AM

FLOWER v. UNITED STATES, 407 U.S. 197 (1972)
Decided June 12, 1972

Application of 18 U.S.C. 1382, proscribing the re-entry onto a military post of a person who has been removed therefrom or ordered by an officer not to re-enter, held violative of First Amendment rights as applied when petitioner, a civilian who had previously been barred from the post was arrested after re-entry while quietly distributing leaflets on a public street extensively used by civilians as well as military personnel that runs through Fort Sam Houston, an open military post.

Certiorari granted; 452 F.2d 80, reversed and remanded.


Petitioner John Thomas Flower, a regional "Peace Education Secretary" of the American Friends Service Committee and a civilian, was arrested by military police while quietly distributing leaflets on New Braunfels Avenue at a point within the limits of Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. In an ensuing prosecution before the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas on charges of violating 18 U.S.C. 1382 ("Whoever reenters or is found [within a military post] after having been removed therefrom or ordered not to reenter by any officer or person in command or charge thereof - Shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both"), it was established that petitioner had previously been barred from the post by order of the deputy commander because of alleged participation in an attempt to distribute "unauthorized" leaflets. The District Court found that 1382 "is a valid law" and was validly applied. It sentenced petitioner to six months in prison. A divided [407 U.S. 197, 198] panel of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed. 452 F.2d 80 (CA5 1972).

We reverse. Whatever power the authorities may have to restrict general access to a military facility, see Cafeteria & Restaurant Workers v. McElroy, 367 U.S. 886 (1961), here the fort commander chose ...

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