J.A.I.L. News Journal
______________________________________________________
Los Angeles, California                                       November 19, 2004

 
My Summons To Jury Service
(By Ron Branson, JAIL4Judges CIC)
 
Yesterday, Thursday, November 18th, I was summons to report to the court in Van Nuys for jury service. My pre-recorded phone instructions were that I must bring my own ball-point pen due to California budgetary short-falls, and that the County of Los Angeles could no longer afford to pay for pencils for the jurors. I thought, "Wow, we are really scraping the bottom of the barrel when the taxpayers can no longer afford pencils." So I looked at my  "Jury Summons" envelope, and in this case the County of Los Angeles could afford postage, to wit, "U.S. Postage Paid L.A. County Superior Court." Then I thought of the current news of the County of Los Angeles complaining about budget short-falls so that they had to close hospitals for the poor, while at the same time receiving news that somehow the county "found" $309,000,000. (Perhaps they found it sitting around in a brown paper bag left in a corner behind a desk somewhere.) Anyway, what do you think these wise trustees of the County funds decided to do with that $309,000,000? Yes, your right, they decided to give themselves all a pay raise for their wonderful job they are doing for Los Angeles. Never mind that they are destining us for bankruptcy. Now, the County of Los Angeles even can't afford pencils.
 
Things here in Los Angeles are getting to sound like Chowchesque (sp?) in Romania. He permitted absolutely one light bulb per household, and strictly enforced this law, while he lived in a Castle overlaid with pure gold on his walls. Politicians here in the U.S. were then praising him as a one of the masterful world leaders. However, the people there had a different perception. They eventually had enough and charged his Castle of gold and got their hands around his throat. The picture was not pleasant as the people ransacked his Castle, destroying all the official tax records, and government documents, causing a lot of U.S. politicians to back off their praise of this man. The message sent was clear, the people were fed up.
 
Back to my day as a juror. On the outside of my summons envelope it was unmistakable that I had no choice in the matter but to report to court for service. "Your failure to respond to this Summons will result in .... penalties, including a possible fine of up to $1,500..." So, in order to avoid the SWAT Team swarming my house with tanks, machine guns, and a bullhorn saying, "Come out with your hands up," I thought it was wise to report in, albeit under threat, duress, and coercion, known as TDC, the same initials as in "top dead center" used in mechanical terms. 
 
Early in the morning, in preparation for court, I resisted the thought of wearing my full J.A.I.L. uniform, and instead adorned myself with my JAIL4Judges T-Shirt after removing my five stars, as I thought it might be a bit overbearing for them. However, I did retain my gold name badge, "Ron Branson - National J.A.I.L. Commander-In-Chief," and off I went to court.
 
At the door I was rung-out for my valuables, i.e, I had to empty my pockets into this little tray, which was pushed through a scanner. On the other end an officer scrambled through my valuables and picked up my key ring with a fingernail clipper attached thereto. He started talking to me in broken English, so broken that I could not understand what this uniformed officer was saying. Embarrassingly, I said, "Sir, I cannot understand what you are saying." He then turned to a nearby Deputy Sheriff who spoke English, who told me that I would have to surrender my fingernail clipper, or take it out of the court building and back to my car. 
 
Having elected the latter, he then asked, "What's JAIL4Judges." When I told him that we were a nationwide movement of citizens persuaded to hold judges accountable to their sworn Oaths of Office, and to the Constitution, and all laws made in pursuance thereof," he said, "Well, they aught to be," and accepted a JAIL4Judges business card, as I departed from the building. I thought within myself, "Boy, these judges are really paranoid. They are afraid someone is going to high-jack the courthouse, or take a judge hostage with a pair of fingernail clippers at his throat." Mind you, every officer there was packing a rod, and the building was full of them. Besides, right there in the foyer fifty feet away was the Sheriff's Department.
 
When I returned without the fingernail clippers, I was again passed through the electronics. The gentleman behind me also cleared the electronic examination, however, a female guard stopped him because he had a bulge in his trousers, and she told him he would have to remove the bulge and again pass through the metal detector. I though within myself, "Wow, they are now searching for more than metal, they are after anything that bulges, even if it is not metal." He had to remove the bulge, and go through the metal detector again.
 
Gee, are these judges afraid somebody might pull out a handkerchief to choke out a judge? I just couldn't understand. Is there some kind of bounty placed upon the heads of judges, or is everybody seeking a their  head to mount above their fireplace over a crackling fire? Hey, we can meet and talk with our Congressmen, Senators, Legislators, and even our State Attorney General without being rung out. So why do judges feel everyone wants their head? What's going on here? It must be a miserable job as a judge to drive around as if they were a mafia boss, looking in the mirror everywhere they drive, wondering if someone is out to get'em.
 
Finally, I arrived at my destination, the Jury Pool Assembly Room, where my papers where checked for correctness. As I walked among the jurors to find a seat, I saw effort made by twisted neck to see what I had on my chest. I took my seat. One person said, "I can't wait to see the face of the judge when you enter their courtroom."
 
After a bit, one lady opened up a conversation, and we talked about jury service, and I started educating her about jury duty. After listening to me for awhile, in defense of this country she made the oft repeated statement that the U.S. nonetheless has about the best justice system in the world, to which I replied, "Do you know why most people believe that? It is because the government tells them that." Then I informed her that per capita the United States has the most of populous prisons than any tyrannical dictatorship in the world, whether fascist or communistic, including Red China whose population far exceeds ours, and that there is not one nation anywhere around the world that comes even to a close second."  The fact is, the most prosperous business in America, besides General Motors, is our ever-expanding Law Enforcement Growth Industry. It brings in hundreds of billions of dollars annually to the judges, police, sheriffs, clerks, court reporters, lawyers, mechanics, auto dealers,   medical doctors, food industry, cooks and food preparers, etc, etc. It touches every profession, including huge building contractor companies, arms dealers, bondsmen, office suppliers, computer makers, linen manufacturing, launderers; the list goes on virtually endless. If one just considers the transportation issue which consumes hundreds of millions of gallons of fuel, there would be almost twice as much fuel available for private and business use. Applying the law of supply and demand, the price of fuel would drop horrendously, and thus, so would all products and services in America.
 
I told her that I receive emails from those who have come to America from communistic countries seeking freedom, only to find disappointment. The last one I received was four days ago, who said, "I never thought America could be so unjust. I feel that I am back in
Russia. I came to America, following the American dream. I arrived with
nothing, worked hard, and built a nice life for my family. Now I have
nothing again. They have taken it all away." - Leo Gurovich. He is but only one of the many who have reported this same news to me.
She seemed to lose interest, so I dropped off the conversation.
 
I looked around the Jury Room and saw all these posters, so I decided to walk around to read them. They were all about placing abused children into foster homes, and that they needed volunteers. I was informed via these posters that this 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation was being supported by the Los Angeles County Superior Courts, and that I could donate my jury fees to this cause. Then, at the jury room administration window I saw a sign that said, "Please consider donating your jury fees to worthwhile court projects." Obviously, they were referring to taking children from their parents to place them in foster homes. They need children -- many more children. I understand that our federal tax dollars pays are going to the states at $25,000.00 per child that the states place in foster homes. It is big a very big business.
 
Coming to "Jury Fees." For over fifty years all jurors in California received only $5 per day, about enough to cover your lunch in the courthouse cafeteria. Just recently they decided to be generous to the California jurors and give them a raise. So they decided to give them $10 more. Hey, they can now afford three meals a day, rather than just lunch. Whoopee. But wait a minute. Does not the U.S. Constitution, to which all of these judges swore by an Oath to uphold and defend, say, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." XIII Amendment. At least that is what my version of the Constitution says which I receive from my legislator. It is identified as to who it is from inside the front cover, "California Legislature Assembly, 2004-2004." I began to think, "Here I am in involuntary servitude, serving under threat, coercion and duress if I failed to do otherwise, yet this can only be upon the punishment of a crime for which I was duly convicted. Was I somehow unconscious during this trial? $15 a day. Why we have both state and federal laws that forbid anyone from imposing such wages upon someone even if they voluntarily wanted to do so. Gee, could you imagine if employers imposed an obligation upon their employees to report for service under TDC for $15 per day, and imposed a fee upon them of $1,500 if they failed to appear? This cannot be! Ah, I've got it figured out. What the thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution actually means, despite what it says, is, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude ... shall exist ... unless the government determines it is your required "civic" duty. And this is precisely what the Supervising judge said to us when he came down to talk to us jurors. He said that it was our civic duty to serve as jurors, and that we should be honored to do so.
 
Indeed, they had a display on the wall of photo of movie stars who where compelled in to serve jury duty for pittance, but in exchange, they got to tell about the movie in which they starred, such as "Star Wars." And we got to see, as if a museum piece, their displayed juror badges.
 
Well, the bottom line, they never called me as a juror, no, not even so much as to see the inside of a courtroom. And that was my day of jury service.     -Ron Branson: National J.A.I.L. Commander-In-Chief


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