“I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
“An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight. It is therefore imperative that the nation see to it that a suitable education be provided for all its citizens.“ – Thomas Jefferson –
What is a grand jury?
A grand jury is a jury of citizens called together to decide if there is enough evidence to bring forward a criminal charge. The document they return is called an indictment.
Traditionally, the body has been seen as a protection for citizens against unwarranted charges by the government.
The proceedings are secret. No judge is present, and the whole affair is led by the prosecutor. Defendants have no rights to present their cases and don’t even need to be informed about the hearing at all.
Because the grand jury is not a court, some rules that apply in court do not apply. For example:
- Some evidence gathered in violation of the Fourth, Fifth or Sixth amendments can be presented.
- A person does not have the right to have an attorney present but can leave the room at any time to consult with an attorney.
The Grand Jury Clause of the Fifth Amendment applies only to federal felony charges. Some states do use grand juries, but there is no right to a grand jury hearing.
Critics have argued over the years that grand juries, rather than being a buffer between the government and the people, have become a rubber stamp for prosecution.
The government must accept the Magna Carta as common law if pleaded as such.
Source: Confirmatio Cartarum, Article 1
Basic requirements and procedures for a common law grand jury:
Source: Magna Carta, Articles 52 & 61
Grand jury members must be elected by the people (not citizens) of the jurisdiction in which they are operating.
There are no rules defining a procedure for how they are elected. The people, without the influence of government, decide for themselves how the grand jury members are elected.
There must be 25 members.
The members must be “people” of the jurisdiction and not “citizens” of the jurisdiction.
For example, they must be “People of the United States,” or “People of California,” or “People of the State of California”; not “citizen of the United States,” nor “citizen of California,” nor “citizen of the State of California.”
Each member must be sworn in and promise to observe all of these rules and, so far as within his power, cause all the rules to be observed.
When the grand jury meets, if any are absent after being summoned, then those present constitute a quorum.
All decisions of grand jury are decided by majority vote of members present.
If any member dies or leaves the country, or in any other way is prevented from carrying out the grand jury’s decisions, the remaining grand jurors shall choose another to fill his place and he shall likewise be sworn in.
FINALITY OF DECISIONS
No decision of a grand jury is reviewable in any court of the government.
Any government transgression against anyone in any respect.
Any government breaking of articles of peace or security.
Any dispute regarding anyone who has been disseized or removed, by the government without a legal sentence of his peers, from his lands, castles, liberties or lawful right.
If the grand jury is informed of any dispute regarding anyone who has been disseized or removed (by the government without a legal sentence of his peers) from his lands, castles, liberties or lawful right, then the dispute shall be settled by the grand jury.
Four of the members must be shown that because of the government,
A. A transgression has occurred against any one in any respect, or
B. Some one of the articles of peace or security has been broken
The four members must show to the government the government’s error.
The four members must ask the government to amend that error without delay.
If the government does not amend the error within 40 days after being shown the error, then the four members shall refer the matter to the remainder of the grand jury.
The grand jury may distrain and oppress the government in every way in their power, namely, by taking the homes, lands, possessions, and any way else they can until amends shall have been made according to the sole judgment of the grand jury.
LIMITATION OF POWERS
The grand jury may not imprison or execute any government personnel or their children.
Anyone (people or citizen) who chooses to help enforce the grand jury decision must first swear that he will obey the mandates of the grand jury, and that with them to the extent of his power he will impose the grand jury’s decisions upon the government.
The authority to support the grand jury is pre-authorized by the government.
If anyone refuses to support a grand jury decision, the government will force him to swear his support of the grand jury.
LIMITATIONS ON GOVERNMENT
The government is prohibited from doing anything to diminish the effect of the grand jury.
If the government does prohibit or diminish the effectiveness of the grand jury, it shall be vain and invalid and may not be used in any later proceeding by the government or anyone else.
TERMINATION OF ENFORCEMENT
When all issues are settled to the satisfaction of the grand jury, things shall return to normal as they were before. No grudges.
“If the government can select the jurors, it will, of course, select those whom it supposes will be favorable to its enactments. And an exclusion of any of the freemen from eligibility is a selection of those not excluded. It will be seen, from the statutes cited, that the most absolute authority over the jury box that is, over the right of the people to sit in juries has been usurped by the government.” TRIAL BY JURY – Lysander Spooner, page 92; 1852AD:
DUTY OF THE “COMMON LAW” Grand jury – If anyone’s unalienable rights have been violated, or removed, without a legal sentence of their peers, from their lands, home, liberties or lawful right, we [the twenty-five] shall straightway restore them. And if a dispute shall arise concerning this matter it shall be settled according to the judgment of the twenty-five Grand Jurors, the sureties of the peace. The Magna Carta 1215 – 52.
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” – William Pitt, Nov. 18, 1783
“I would rather be exposed to the inconvenience attending too much Liberty than those attending too small degree of it.” – Thomas Jefferson
Power of the Grand Jury – In a stunning 6 to 3 decision Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, confirmed that the American grand jury is neither part of the judicial, executive nor legislative branches of government, but instead belongs to the people. It is in effect a fourth branch of government “governed” and administered to directly by and on behalf of the American people, and its authority emanates from the Bill of Rights, see United States -v- Williams.