Common Law Grand Jurors test access and insularity of proceedings
Dixie County, Florida – The four of them headed up the highway to Tallahassee so they could meet with state officials about their efforts to indict the State’s Attorney for jury tampering, the local school superintendent for blocking parental control over curriculum by inserting Common Core instead of a traditional course of studies.
The Common Law Citizens Grand Jury had returned true bills of indictment, and the Sheriff forwarded them to a state agency called the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at the State Capital, a two-hour drive from this rural county located on the fabled shores of the Suwanee River. Population, 16,000, with one major state highway, a half-hour’s drive west of Gainesville on the quietest part of the Gulf Coast.
The meeting was a study in the grim realities of intimidation by seasoned bureaucrats, according to Rodger Dowdell, Florida state coordinator for the National Liberty Alliance. It’s a New York movement that is aiming to return the power to file information, presentments and indictments to We The People, a God-given right, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and the Magna Carta of 1215, many centuries before.
“These people are trained interrogators,” Dowdell said, his voice a reedy electronic wheeze as it came over the conference call. In the early stages of the conversation, they “pummeled us with questions,” he told the national audience listening in. A female investigator from the state cops was particularly hostile. “We were having trouble getting a word in…If you really don’t have your head together, she will pick you apart.”
How did it all begin?
After the Grand Jury met and returned the sealed indictments against the State’s Attorney and the School Superintendent, they turned them over to the Sheriff. In a subsequent meeting, he admitted that he had no knowledge of common law, no knowledge of common law grand juries, or true bills.
Besides, his instructions had been very clear. “We’ve been instructed that when we get anything strange for a court filing, we’re to send it to FDLE,” he told the delegation.
Instructed? No knowledge of…? This from the chief law enforcement officer of the jurisdiction? Something didn’t add up.
What were those filings?
Quite simply, the State’s Attorney had met with the statutory Grand Jury, the foreman of which is a member of the Common Law Grand Jury movement, according to Dowdell. He declared the proceedings are “really controlled by the state’s attorney…The state’s attorney went into the Grand Jury session and said this is really his jury. He’s in charge.”
And so, the Common Law Grand Jury indicted him for jury tampering, interfering with the deliberations and investigations of what Mr. Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court has termed a “fourth branch” of government, independent from the other three, in a landmark case.
The actions of the school superintendent presented Grand Jurors with a similar case. He defied members of the community who are opposed to children receiving their instruction per a mandate from a central government authority situated at Washington, D.C. They perceive Common Core as an effort to “dumb down” their kids. They want them to learn from a more classical course of study.
They returned an indictment against him for his refractory behavior.
In a meeting, he and his staff began to back pedal; they wanted to hold them off, to negotiate a compromise, but the Grand Jurors were having none of it. Their demand: 1) Parents must retain control. 2) No lawyers are allowed to dictate the policies of the school system insofar as the instruction of their kids, in areas other than the administrative requirements of doing business.
They demanded that the Sheriff arrest he and the State’s attorney, take them before a magistrate to be charged.
Dowdell left his listeners with a bit of practical advice on how to test their local officials to find out if the secrecy requirements of the grand jury system is truly observed, and if they have ready access to the proceedings.
He calls it the “envelope method,” and it’s a simple procedure. You put an envelope sealed with the imprint of the Grand Jury inside another another marked “For the eyes of the Grand Jury Foreman Only.”
Inside that envelope, there is a phone number to a pre-paid telephone which, when called, will yield a transfer of information meant to be turned over to the Grand Jurors for their investigation.
If the number never rings, then the message has been intercepted. Tampering with such communications is a felony crime both at the state and federal level.
Is there a remedy at law? Yes, and it’s called a writ of mandamus. It commands local court officials to keep grand jury proceedings secret, to communicate their presentments and bills of indictment to the Court, forthwith, or suffer the consequences of a felony prosecution. Dowdell left his listeners with no doubt that he and his colleagues in Florida fully intend to apply for and use it.
To read an eye witness account of the Grand Jury proceedings, follow this link:
To read the true bill of indictment returned against the State’s Attorney, follow this link:
To read the true bill of indictment returned against the Superintendent of Schools, follow this link:
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