Justice reform policy proposal as submitted to the US federal Govt.

Petition for redress of grievances

 

 

Government attention: Justice, (courts and enforcement), United States Congress

 

Case Reference:

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Civil Action No.15-1917

 

In: Effective immediately

Wide Spread Due Process violations

As the issue of rampant police violence and extralegal use of force clearly is part of a national set of patterns and practices, violating Constitutional amendments, and is, according to the Declaration (aka THE founding document) literally cause for legally abolishing the government,  I am seeking immediate action. Further, sincere readings of founding documents suggest that the land of the free cannot be the largest jailer in human history. These issues are undermining the confidence of Americans in the system of Justice, and making the jobs of our officers of Justice  much more difficult, as people cannot be expected to take seriously moral accusations from system that ignores unlawful killings and assaults by members of their own.

Court Action sought, Immediate:

A national, simultaneous oath giving for all law officials, emphasizing their role in protecting the lives, the liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all of the people. This is both to reinforce the basic image of the law in the minds of all law officials, but also to restore full faith of the American people in law officials and their government

 

A national, and immediate injunction against single officer use of force(wait for back up in danger situations), especially deadly force without specific cause such as the immediate threat to citizens or a firearm, more than a political stand, it’s also basic officer safety.

 

Immediate and consistent documentation of use of force, and unexpected injuries at all levels  (including prisons) to be reported in a consistent format, in less than 12 hours, open to public with perhaps officers names substituted for an identification number. This should include immediate supervisors, witnesses.

Immediate process tracking of any cases that arise involving agents of law including judges, court employees, as well as police, but especially regarding police use of force cases, and the development of a rubric to identify and track current methodologies, best and worst examples of same, and the noting of any irregularities, that may arise due to conflict of interest.

 

 

 

Court Action sought, as part of full restitution:

 

Recognition of federal responsibility for oversight on governmental actions on individuals life liberty or property via  Declaration, and due process clauses of  5th, 14th ,

 

Recommendations from this court on correcting the de jure vs de facto chasm in American law, including civil forfeiture, mass incarceration, multi year waits for trial and other expensive and clearly deviant outcomes from the intent.

A national Constitutional minimums set up, clearly defining the current best practices for law enforcement as a minimum for standards of officer behavior, to Constitutional training, to what a speedy trial entails, what cruel and unusual punishment entails.

 

Possibly normalizing the state codes, to be fitted on top of Constitutional codes, to simplify the overall legal system

 

Review of all cases pending trial for “speedy trial” violations.

 

Cold case review of cases involving legal profession, especially the last 10 years.

 

Review of all prisoners in the United States, and look to free people who are not likely to hurt others, with a tight eye for security.

 

Rule voter ban for formerly incarcerated unconstitutional.

 

Process put into place for oversight of government official cases

 

 

Opening note:

It is important to note that in no way is this specifically a criticism of the individuals named in this suit- largely, in my opinion the men and women do their best to make sure there is as much justice as they can. in a system, we do our best, working with those around us, and shiny new parts get tarnished by soot and poor function of a system long ago in need of an audit and update.  The greatest criticism, is one of human behavior; there are law enforcement, lawyers, judges, who perpetuate the worst of behaviors, that go on, unchallenged despite evidence that would trigger jail sentences or even death penalties in any other profession, but, people are not prone to outing their own, whistle blowing is usually frowned upon.

Introduction:

This document calls for a full Rebranding of America, legally, the formal re-swearing of the oaths and the principles to which this country was founded, and the elevation of the execution of the law to scientific precision, by reigniting the flame of national, legal debate, and re-engaging the consent of the governed,  expired long before any still living, culminating, in a new Constitutional Convention, and a government better suited to the future of our nation using means already provided to us by the Founding Fathers.

 

Scope:

The scope of this case is expanded twice. First from the individual to the national,  as the problem to be properly understood, and fixed, must be dealt with as part of a systemic, national issue- similar to how doctors rarely treat individual bumps of chicken pox. Second, from use of force by law officers to a greater malady, the gap between defacto and dejure law, as a common thread running through out our systems of government.

 

 

 

Standing invoked:

As noted in the PA case, as a person who has been attacked by police officers without cause, I am a member of a class of people who have been adversely affected by the failure to address a serious concern with how many police officers in this country behave.

I would note that 1st amendment, Congress shall make no laws prohibiting the right to petition for redress of grievances, suggests that standing should be applied liberally at best and at worst, any notion of rejection of a clear Constitutional violation by the government, could be construed as one of the Declaration’s legitimate reasons for revolution, “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms, our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.”

Venue Shift Rationale:

An issue of this magnitude,  addressing as it does the foundation of American law,  supersedes regional district conventions; and requires examination by courts in every state.

Relevant Statutes and Case Laws:

14th amendment (life liberty and property shall not be infringed  due process and equal protection)

8th amendment (cruel and unusual punishment)

Declaration of Independence(repeated violations of right to life as reason for altering or abolishing government, refusing assent to laws, for protecting them (military) by mock trial from punishments for murders they commit on inhabitants)

Harris v.  City of Canton(deliberate indifference)

Spell v. McDaniel (Municipal liability)

Walker v. City of New York (Failure to Train)

Vann v. City of New York (deliberate indifference)

1st Amendment(the right of the people to petition for redress of grievances)

 

Legal Theory Advanced:

  1. That the ultimate responsibility for enforcement of US code, is the US federal government, and that the code of conduct, that stems from US code is applicable to law enforcement at ALL levels, and are responsible to train, maintain and adjust process for the outcomes in Constitutional cases. That the 5th and the 14th amendment due process clauses, apply to any and all government officials at any level, and thus, give the federal government both jurisdiction and duty to monitor cases involving government officials, and to develop a process that can avoid the inherent conflicts of interest that exist, as well as oversight for themselves, as the same conflict of interest principles would apply at the national level.

 

2.That when an issue, becomes national in scope, particularly in regards to Constitutional issues that it is the duty of the federal government to act, and to set up such safeguards as to disarm the threat, regardless of the source, and  provide for safe guards, structurally. (equal protection under,and  from the law.) Expansion of scope, but similar concept as municipal responsibility. The courts have consistently held, that municipalities can be held liable for the actions of their actions of their employees, especially when “deliberate indifference” has been shown or acquiescence in unconstitutional practices.

 

  1. The current problem with police brutality, is not in fact, a problem at the city level, and seems to be the same nationally, from New York, to Philadelphia, to Denver, Oklahoma, San Francisco and LA. What happened to me was symptomatic as a single bump of chicken pox; treating it individually makes as much sense as sending the child to a different doctor for each chicken pox bump. The total number of excessive use of force cases is unknown as it is not currently tracked. Police in the United States kill between 1100-1400 people per year, (killedbypolice.net, the guardian) by contrast, the next highest country for citizen deaths by police is Canada with 25, making the US death by police rate 70 times that of the next highest country. It is reasonable and perhaps conservative to say that for every death, there are likely 20+ brutality cases.  Since physical abuse is a crime, no matter who commits it, this is a major issue that will only continue.

 

  1. Given that there is 99% indictment rate for citizens(DOJ); Taken by itself, the federal grand jury indictment rate is cause for major process review- what value can an expensive, secret and time consuming process that filters less than 1% of the cases have? But when the indictment rate of <5% for police officers(no official statistics exist) it is safe to say clemency for extra legal killing, and brutality have become a de facto part of the American Justice system. These cases involve a violation of due process, cruel and unusual punishment and equal protection under the law as well as simple murder, and conflict of interest issues will prevent proper legal advancement of cases as we see from the numbers involved hence the responsibility o the failure to correct systemic issues by the federal government represents responsibility via Haynesworth V Miller, and Owen v. City of Independence. this also looks similar to “For protecting them, by mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these states“

 

  1. Further, as prosecution of police officers requires the buy in from co-workers (other police and prosecutors), it is unlikely that there would ever be a reasonable or fair proceeding with regards to police. Thus is in need of a change of venue, and likely a permanent community review board because nearly any one involved in a legal system at the city or state level is going to have a conflict of interest, and indeed, that is seen in the prosecution rates of police, nearly non-existent, despite the relative eruption of such cases in our mass media. In fact, even with a prosecutor outside the direct sphere of the officer, professional mindset, or cultural mindset is likely to still be a significant factor.

The more radical part of the legal theory put forward, is that the ratification of  Constitution’s (legality) is in stare decisis  or based on the precedent set by Declaration’s ratification legality, and that the official definition, scope, and use of government as it relates to individuals in the United States is given in that documentation, and is always, a valid petition for redress of grievances as per the 1st Amendment.

There is little doubt in the historical record; the precedent for the Constitutions Supreme legality comes from the ratification methodology used with the Declaration. The divorce from one set of laws, the definition of what government is and should be, and the creation of said government can be defined as the most legal of acts. Further, the treatise duly voted upon by every district in a new country, and the reasons, paid for with the blood of the citizenry, for said change in government and founding of a new one, and signed by several of our early presidents, and the official designated date of a new country can hardly be said to have no legal weight.

It was referenced by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, and ironically enough in the secession letters of the Southern states, though blatantly failing the test of legitimate government’s duty to protect the liberty of people. According to a Constitutional scholar and current President of the United States, Barack Obama “The Declaration is the lens through which the Constitution should be viewed”.

In this particular case; it is useful, because if the core of responsibility of government is to protect 1 life 2 liberty and 3 the pursuit of happiness, being the largest jailer in human history is a problem, having the largest death by police rate in the civilized world is cause for a rapid and immediate change, and the focus on ensuring the pursuit of happiness for the individual, may have a startling effect on the current crisis of shootings, and mental health in this country.

A republic will be stronger if the constituents hold a strong image of the law in their collective understanding, supplemented by a stronger image by those who enforce it (Cicero).

The general principles around the Declaration can be more simply and easily explained and taught than the relative specifics of the Constitution, and out of alignment outcomes are more glaring when viewed from a Declarational framework.

 

Restitution sought:

Is that the responsibility for Constitutional conduct be proactive, creating a framework, training, and data collection methodologies for the expectation of federal audits of practices, defining, standardizing and broadening conflict of interest standards for police, prosecution, prison, and the courts.  Review of legal practices; courtroom technologies, wait times, and processes, also kept, transparently as part of a national database, and an experiment begun with the states to establish new court room norms for speedy trials. Also as the adaptation of a framework that is lighter and simpler for both enforcement agents and citizens to understand, the basics, the Declaration of Independence, which contains the official definition of government in US code, as well as it’s core functions with regards to the rights of the individual, to be trained and oath sworn at any level of employment or engagement in government activities, with the urgency being with law enforcement.

In addition, as poverty is a clear factor, rarely argued, in crime rates,  a more focused attempt to reduce crime by poverty elimination requires a systemic review of all poverty programs, the elimination of ineffective ones, and promotion of those that work well.

Further, the larger gap between de facto and de jure law needs to be addressed in such a manner as is not currently proscribed in our frame works.

Particularly right to a speedy trial, (people waiting 2+ years for  non violent offenses?)and the 4th amendment – civil forfeiture seems to be a clear violation this, and the mass incarceration for non violent crimes while the financial felonies of the past 10 years have been formally waived, creating 14th amendment conflicts. If innocence until proven guilty is a US legal principles how can so many people be incarcerated pre-trial, dependent on financial status to obtain release (debtor’s prison?)

While rights to life and liberty have been specifically addressed though poorly enforced by later documents like the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and case law, the pursuit of happiness has never been formally explored or examined by government; and it is likely that a happier per capita populace would not lead the world in mass shootings.

Is it strictly legally necessary to address these case by case?

According to the decision to found this country, the answer was clear; NO. Their methodology was to abolish the government that disobeyed, flagrantly it’s own rules and create a mostly new one. We are at another such time, and while the form of the government has taken on is one which is a brilliant adaptation of regional governing principles, the shortcomings cannot be ignored behind a blatantly unconstitutional doctrine of sovereign immunity.

We can and must take actions addressed to the heart of the issue- which is the de facto, de jure gap that has expanded until threats to domestic tranquility become regular. the failure to have expressly written  frameworks for what acceptable actions are or are not according to guidelines, i.e. how many days is a “speedy trial” what is cruel and unusual punishment (waterboarding, etc.)

While it is understood that this court cannot provide all of the answers sought in this case, it is clear that these deficiencies in the current de facto set up threatens the bedrock of Union to slow decay, and worse, open to facist dictatorship- while there is no single definition of facism, agents of the state being able to kill at will is a component of all of them. The failure to understand fully these princples has Presidential candidates running on promises to torture, and to discriminate based upon religion, effectively campaigning on grounds for impeachment.

It would serve the American people and it’s legal system to recognize formally the Declaration, the Constitution, and the US Code as successively more detailed from principles to ruling frameworks, simplifying the overall code, and making it easier to address and prevent further unhealthy dissonant gaps between de jure and defacto law.

Likely, it would be best also to re-engage the consent of the governed, as no one alive consented to this government, and that can only be done through Constitutional Convention.

 

This petition is made with the sincerest attempt to restore full faith in police officers, the legal system, government agencies of the United States of America, and re establish Justice and a more perfect Union.

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________                                                                                        ________________

Darrell Prince                                                                                                3.14.16

 

Letter to a judge re the big questions of justice in the United States

I am writing you directly, after several (rejected) attempts to push through wide scope pro se cases. I am seeking your permission to proceed through to appeal as timely, despite having missed the deadline. I will attempt to address some very legitimate concerns, especially in the light of standard operating procedures.

You cannot be un aware of the acquittal and protests yesterday in Baltimore, the most recent case of healthy people dead after an encounter of with law enforcement. The trend noted in the case- the true legal questions, of which there are several, are critical at this juncture, and if they are unanswered, will lead to further civil unrest. Are infractions being treated evenly for people working with the law, or are they a protected class, expressly forbidden by the Constitution? Are there due process violations occurring? What are the federal government’s responsibilities in ensuring Constitutional baseline for the states and the municipalities? To what extent is the current morass a bug in the system? And most importantly, how do we restore justice, and faith in the legal system, as one that works fairly for all?

 

Questions you raised-

Standus locii-   I was beaten by police, in an incident that you have confirmed occurred,constitutes credible standing to seek a solution for addressing this problem more than a “general interest in the functioning of government”.

Addressing the federal government instead of the state- This is a core, Constitutional issue, involving the federal government’s role and responsibility in administering justice.  While state courts can handle Constitutional cases, this would seem to be the definition of a Federal question case.

I do believe municipal liability, and extending that concept to the federal gov/ vs the states relationship is quite apt. If a multinational beverage company with fully owned subsidiaries had dozens of settled cases for the same category of complaint, expressly forbidden by the parent companies’ by laws, a patterns and practices complaint against the parent company, rather than the fully owned subsidiary would be possible, particularly if the subsidiaries had a greater number of settlements than entire beverage companies of comparable or even larger size.  Further, I would think the failure of the parent company to even track the number of such settlements, would be worthy of notice, and somewhat damning in it’s own right.

But the statistics- and here I use police killings as a representative statistic that is non-controversial as to the outcomes, if not the reasons, have the US as 1200+ police killings per year, 50x that the next highest country, Canada, at 25.

That there is a blue wall of silence, is not something I would presume to prove to an esteemed leader of the legal system, anymore than I would suggest brands of black robes to you. That the rest of the legal system seems to have a predictable bias in these matters that involve sending co-workers to jail, is also unlikely to be revealing to you, but the statistics are eye-popping. Grand jury indictment rate is 90% for citizens, in of itself potentially problematic in that it seems to a time consuming and expensive process of limited utility, until you get to the indictment rate of law enforcement officers, which is <1%, which would seem to be the creation of a legally protected class, by de facto law, expressly forbidden by the Constitution.

There is a question here, of how, if not through wide scope cases, would these disturbing trends in the American legal system be addressed? Is it necessary to address each narrow slice of a legal question, or can some greater principles be decided as a whole? When do issues occurring in multiple states, that are addressed in the Constitution itself become national priority, and what bodies should be addressing them? Are these matters to be left to the discretion of the office holder? Which is of a higher priority, the court’s self decided processes, dates and deadlines or the well documented and widely accepted violations by the government of it’s own principles, of which it was at least in large part, founded to prevent?

The question of my usage of the Declaration of Independence, was specifically to address some of these questions, and seems consistent with the following.

In Cotting v. Godard, 183 U.S. 79 (1901), the Court stated:

The first official action of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. “While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. No duty rests more imperatively upon the courts than the enforcement of those constitutional provisions intended to secure that equality of rights which is the foundation of free government.”

So the passage that forms the spirit of the answer to the questions posed,  addressing as it does, life and liberty, as well as at the very least due process of the 5th and 14th amendments, cruel and unsusal punishment of the 8th, as well as equal protection under the 14th, is below.

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

I hope that this provides some context to the very reasonable objections you raised in your prior closings of my case, and will allow you to recommend my case as timely based on the larger context of the issues at hand, as well as providing your thoughts on the best way to address the larger systemic issues in play.

I thank you for your time, and careful consideration,

Sincerely,

 

 

Darrell Prince

REvisiting Tamir Rice’s murder

As we approach the one year anniversary of 12 year old Tamir Rice’s death at the hands of the Cleveland police, there are two ways we must examine this for the need for change.  At a time when 1400 people per year are killed in the United States by agents of government at some level, by a factor of 70 x the worst record for police killings in any first world country, to go with the highest number and rate of incarcerated citizens, there is clearly  a national problem with our systems of enforcement. The first is the purely human,  emotional, or Judeo-Christian, Muslim Buddhist, humanist, Constitutional or Declarational value systems. A 12 year old was killed by the people whose job it is to protect him. If you don’t know that his mother has trouble sleeping at night for the loss of her baby boy, perhaps  you should talk to a mother about how she feels about her children and really understand the term mother from their perspectives.  That this is something that must never be allowed to happen again is something to which you must agree to honestly say you subscribe to any of the prior belief systems.

The second, and the one I will focus on here, because this part seems less obvious, is what an astonishing, and downright frightening collapse of purpose- demonstrating extreme weakness in response operations, security and  problem that occurs here.

A call comes in that there is a person with a gun- which MAY be a toy- the call taker does not disseminate this information to the dispatcher, or to the responding officers.

The officers ordered to a scene where there is potentially a live gun are a pair of ROOKIES. Why rookies would ever be first to a scene, and first to engage- unless there was an immediate public threat- something to first be determined from a distance and approached with a speed determined after the initial observation, is unexplainable.

These rookies drive up to point blank range. As in, before they get out of the vehicle, had they been responding to a genuine psychopath, or someone who was mentally disturbed, they both could have very easily been shot dead without even exiting the vehicle.  He then jumps out of the vehicle with his gun drawn; enough again, to startle someone into shooting, if in fact they had a real gun.

It seems to me that procedure in this situation would be to get an assessment first from a safe, and preferably unobservable position to assess threat level, and relative level of public safety, and relay this information to a more experienced officer, before deciding to close in. Likely, without that immediate threat to public safety, it would almost certainly be best to wait for back up, and go in with overwhelming force, which often can pre-empt attempts at fighting their out of situation- 2 cops can be handled,  6 cannot, so surrender would be more likely.

We later find out that this rookie officer was dismissed from another department as unstable, and he is armed, and put out into dangerous situations, with only another rookie for guidance. Municipal and senior officer liability is assured.

Beyond the fact that a government officer of a part of the United States is now responsible for the death of an American, one of the causus belli for the American Revolution, and firmly contradicting the Constitution, it is a frightening look at how unprepared our officers would be to deal with real threats- sophisticated and highly trained operatives of foreign or malignant domestic entity.  The training for these sorts of interactions are all Constitutional, and thus, ultimately – we must use each case to develop and sharpen templates to avoid this kind of behavior from a couple of aspects. It also means, that at the end of the day; that as a national problem has emerged, it is not simply up to the individual departments to fix, but that a new, methodology for Constitutional enforcement minimums must be established, including provision to ensure that the conflict of interests that are now causing a 99% indictment rate for citizens and a <5% indictment rate for police- even as we see being moved towards  in this case, in the Eric Garner case, are not a factor in achieving justice.

US Epidemic of Police Killings

Citizenskilled-police

source: www.killedbypolice.net

Police in the United States kill Americans at a rate hundreds of times that of any other country on earth.

The comparison to other nations, and the daily inundation with  new cases of police killings makes it clear, there is an epidemic problem in this country around police behavior; 1000+ more killings by police per year than any other nation, the next highest is around 14. This also speaks to the strong likely hood that many more, non fatal police brutalities happen.

Many people, seem to shrug off the killing of humans by police as unfortunate issues arising from “resisting arrest”, or dismiss the death as a real consequence of having disobeyed the law.  As a person who proscribes to the lessons of Confucius, I believe it is the failure to understand not the whole law, legal process, but simply the role, the definition of what an officer- (I make the distinction of a “peace officer”) is supposed to do.

The role of a police officer aka an officer of the peace, is, to me, is to
1. de-escalate dangerous situations in order to preserve life
2. restore situations to alignment with the law
3. to observe assess, cite, and summon individuals guilty of violating local codes to see a judge empowered to make more critical decisions regarding the severity, up to and including long term limitations of basic rights as consequence to infractions upon others.

This seems to be a logical extension of the simple lightweight, yet powerful principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence, which I hold as law for the United States of America, which say essentially:

Governments are created to keep people from harming one another, and to assure that they may live, free to pursue that which can make them happy, and governments that harm their citizens or impede upon their freedom without sufficient cause, i.e. hurting another citizen, are illegitimate, and must be changed.

This to me is a great summation of a government’s role with regards to an individual, (there are many and more complex roles regarding resource management, money creation, infrastructure building, and defense, but it serves well to create basic understandings of what government should and should not be)
and I would ask that if you agree with those statements, you make your understanding of the law to be that, and there is actually, a very, strong argument for the Declarational principles being law, one that I I will make elsewhere.

Next steps:

For now, every member of law enforcement in this country should swear an oath to to the role, approximately as laid out.

Department of Justice, in accordance with the Constitution, and the Declaration, must set a floor for police behavior as representative of the government, and audit the overall behavior of police as it relates to core US codes.- this would seem to be within their Constitutional authority already.

Examination of what constitutes an arrestable offense; as this is certainly a punishment, for any length of time, it would seem to be a violation of one’s liberty, and innocence until proven guilty.

Possible additional steps include:

Establishing a 3 strike max on brutality cases depending on severity, and zero tolerance for police misconduct that leads to the deaths of citizens- immediate dismissal, with the possibility of criminal charges

Rapid settlement of police cases where wrongdoing is obvious, in whole or at least in part, where there are quantity disputes (Eric Garner)

Examination of the grand jury process, 97% indictment rate for federal cases and a seemingly 0% indictment rate for police, it seems like an expensive extension of prosecutorial discretion.

Length of trial as a whole, as it seems clear anecdotally that longer cases trend toward innocence results,  nor is it clear that year long trials aid in justice, especially when there is little dispute as to essential facts.

Specifically in the case of McCullough, by his own words,he should be charged with obstruction of Justice, as he knowingly presented false testimony to the Grand Jury, and presented them with irrelevant and misleading case law, as well as changing a well established practice for obtaining the “ham sandwich”‘s indictment for another, producing a statistically unlikely result.

Missouri should be liable for any damages resulting from Ferguson riots. The governor took on the responsibility of stopping riots, had weeks to prepare, and was unable to stop the looting? Ferguson’s business districts cannot be so large that a hundred or so officers, with mobile units backing them up couldn’t have covered them.

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