My Summons To Jury
(By Ron Branson, JAIL4Judges
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
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
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
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
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.
"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless
minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." - Samuel Adams
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who
striking at the
-- Henry David Thoreau