|Dr. Roland Frisler, the late President of The People's Court of Germany|
Phoenix, AZ—I have my own personal quote about the American justice system. “If justice happens it’s usually by accident and for all the wrong reasons.” After 40 years inside the system this is how I view the reality of Criminal Justice.
Pictured above is Dr. Roland Frisler, the late President of The People’s Court of Germany. He’s an example of pretend justice somewhat similar to what we did in our own infamous Salem Witch Trials.
The Star Chamber was an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster from the late 15th century until 1641. They were set up as a secret court for dealing with “special people” that they could not convict in the other courts.
Judicial tyranny always develops anywhere that people take freedom and fairness for granted.
Arizona has a thriving Death Row. Some are there because they deserve it and others are there as a result of absolute tyranny. Innocents will perish along with the guilty.
Our need for retribution and revenge seems to always outgun our sense of fairness and justice. A simple arrest and TV news story is enough proof for most people these days.
We’ve seem to have forgotten that we fought many wars in this young nation to insure liberty, freedom and fair trials. Our cemeteries our filled with young men and women that gave their lives so we’d not have Star Chamber Justice in America.
Debra Milke, the young Phoenix mother who was condemned to the gas chamber is first in my mind when it comes a judicial horror story. Milke was held in solitary confinement for nearly 24 years waiting to be put to death under color of law even though she was innocent. Milke was sentenced to death because on the lies of a serial perjurer that just happened to be a cop.
In thousands of less notable cases lives and families were destroyed by our evil and corrupt judicial system. People are wrongly accused, tried and bankrupted even when they are ultimately acquitted.
At the state and local level prosecutors use and abuse the Grand Jury system to force trials without actual Probable Cause.
A Grand Jury True Bill or Indictment is considered a legal finding of Probable Cause that a crime occurred and that the accused probably committed it.
The most mind-numbing part of the Grand Jury system is that defense lawyers are not allowed to participate in the proceedings or even be present. What happens in the Grand Jury Room is always a closely protected secret.
Prosecutors are free to either soft pedal a case preventing a deserved Indictment or to simply railroad anyone they wish. By the way prosecutors enjoy legal immunity for their misconduct!
The fact is that there is a somewhat cynical saying by lawyers, “Any prosecutor worth his salt can indict a ham sandwich.” This is by no means an exaggeration.
A Grand Jury consists of 23 people and at least 12 must agree on any Indictment or True Bill.
The Grand Jury has immense powers of investigation. They can subpoena any person or document they wish for examination. Prosecutors can’t prevent this but the people chosen for the Grand Jury are too ignorant or timid to do their sworn duty!
The problem is the Grand Jurors are led through the cases by prosecutors that always steer them away from doing the things they were empowered to do!
If a defense attorney were allowed to be present in these proceedings he or she would ask them to use their power to investigate and bring in the evidence and witnesses. Disallowing defense lawyers is where fairness fails.
Rather then hear from witness that the Grad Jurors are free to cross-examine they simply allow prosecutors to put a cop or two before them to tell us what they remember that the real witnesses told them! Of course the cops nearly always only remember the things the prosecutor wants to hear.
If the Grand Jury really investigated these cases there would be far fewer indictments and false convictions. Instead prosecutors play a game of keeping the Grand Jury in the dark as they indict anyone they wish.
If you’re accused in an indictment of a crime of course you may still be acquitted at trial. The problem is by the time you are tried in the one to three years later you will be bankrupted, fired from your job, divorced and homeless.
Except in Florida there is no government compensation for your legal fees or bail.
The cure? Eliminate the Grand Jury and use Preliminary Hearings as a sort of a mini-trial. Allow the defense attorneys to subpoena documents an hear the actual witnesses testify under oath.
If we are to retain the Grand Jury system, defense lawyers must be allowed to participate as an equal to the prosecutor.
Secret Courts and our present Grand Jury system are un-American and just plain wrong.