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(Bozeman Daily Chronicle)   Movement afoot to convene "common law grand juries" made up of citizens with little or no basis in law or competent governance. What could possibly go right?   (bozemandailychronicle.com) divider line 110
    More: Stupid, grand jury, common law grand juries, cost basis, establishments, lynch mobs  
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4075 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2014 at 1:32 PM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-09 06:12:40 PM  
We get it. He's black.
 
2014-01-09 06:14:12 PM  

RexTalionis: They want to convene panels of citizens (with no legal authority or basis behind them) and make recommendations to the prosecutors in their respective counties who to prosecute for crimes.

Which is, of course, in no way not subject to abuse (sarcasm).


Well, in the sense that it's hard to abuse something that has no clout whatsoever.  Common law jury presents its recommendation to prosecutor, prosecutor chucks into the trash.  Now, if they had a way of making the prosecutor do something, that could be abused.
 
2014-01-09 06:27:11 PM  

untaken_name: cameroncrazy1984: Common law is not an actual thing.

Are you ignorant or lying? There's not much left, but there is still at least one Federal Common Law Court left in America. It might be waning, but it's not yet gone.


To what are you referring?

I thought "common law" referred to the immense body of law that the fledgling United States of America copied from England, since the various colonies were already more or less using English law to prosecute cases of assault, theft, fraud, murder, bigamy, or adjudicate inheritance disputes, lawsuits, etc. etc. rather than write all of their own laws from scratch.
 
2014-01-09 07:05:27 PM  

susler: Bad reporting.  The first 2 paragraphs use the words citizens and groups.  But the last paragraph in the TFA included  So far, Heath said she is the only person involved in the Gallatin County effort.

Can it really be called a movement when there's only 1 person involved?


Technically I think you call them "splitter".

www.davekimble.org.au
 
2014-01-09 08:50:27 PM  
phyrkrakr: "Common law"  ...

Well begun

grand jury ... is a buffer between the plaintiff and the defendant in a criminal case, to make sure that the alleged crime at least had a chance of actually occurring.

The existing grand jury processes generally do not offer any meaningful protection for the accused other than prosecutorial discretion, were you getting to that?

We've got government servants now to do that, who are trained, accountable, and professional, instead of just pissed-off victims.

Alleged victims, you mean, right?  Tell us more about the new professionalism.

in a lot of jurisdictions, the prosecutor can figure out what crimes to charge just as easily and without the help of a grand jury.

Yes, and if Peter King and the president's military men get their way on domestic surveillance reform in Congress and the courts, it's going to keep on getting a whole lot easier for prosecutors to figure out what crimes to charge.  Think of all the money that could be saved on pesky things like the public defender program, that could then be used for new prisons or executive branch employee benefits.
 
2014-01-09 10:01:16 PM  

phyrkrakr: Now, a grand jury is a weird sort of animal. It comes from a time where there weren't all the trappings of the criminal justice system we currently have. Just like how you can sue anybody today for a civil complaint, you used to be able to prosecute anybody for a criminal complaint. You'd work up a complaint and bring it to the grand jury.


Yes, but even that Grand Jury wasn't just some random group of citizens deciding that they were a grand jury.  Under British "common law" those Grand Juries were authorized by an act of the the Monarchy or later by the Parliament.   They weren't grass roots movements, they originated under Henry II under fiat and he required, by law, that the local Sheriff (think DA) would round up a group of local men and swear them in to hear the cases the Sheriff had determined merited a hearing.  They were to sort out what crimes were worth the time of the King's judges to help lighten the load.

Under British and subsequenstly US law only those officially recognized by the Sovereign (Govt) can legally comprise a Grand Jury.  Grand Juries did not arise under the common law, they are of statutory origin and thus a claim by those involved invoking their "common law rights" to form a grand jury are neither supported by law or historical fact.

 Of course, never let either of those things interfere with the "truth" as these Sovereign Citizen idiots see it.   Next thing you know, they'll probably be putting "common law liens" on Fark.com and suing us all based on the UCC, under the authority of the Universal Postal Union.
 
2014-01-10 12:04:05 AM  
i.huffpost.com
 
2014-01-10 05:53:37 AM  
Hmmm. Common Law grand juries... Do they call themselves, by volunteering? Is Montana a place where the "Sovereign Citizen" movement disavows federal laws, and any other laws they don't like? I would be interested to have a good description of who the players are, their motives and justifications, and the mechanics involved. Do they refer the cases to a common law court, and had them over to the common law executioner? This article really does not explain the issues. Why in the world does Montana not use grand juries? This is an important tool for dealing with complex and intricate crimes, such as organized crime, political corruption, murder charges which may or may not be justifiable, and so on. As I understand it, usually grand juries are called in a manner similar to other juries. No special qualifications are required, to my knowledge.

Where is the "Click Here if You Want to Know More..." button?
 
2014-01-10 07:05:31 AM  
So they want to act as investigative reporters and rather than broadcast the results present them to the prosecutor? How is this very much different than someone hearing from several different neighbors that people are seen carrying TV's and pillowcases into their home at 4:30 AM on many mornings, and then indirectly informing the prosecutor via the police?

Maybe the jelly doughnut smudges on the paperwork act as an official seal?
 
2014-01-10 09:06:21 PM  

lawboy87: Enigmamf: The actual substance of English law was formally "received" into the United States in several ways. First, all U.S. states except Louisiana have enacted "reception statutes" which generally state that the common law of England (particularly judge-made law) is the law of the state to the extent that it is not repugnant to domestic law or indigenous conditions.[26] Some reception statutes impose a specific cutoff date for reception, such as the date of a colony's founding, while others are deliberately vague.[27] Thus, contemporary U.S. courts often cite pre-Revolution cases when discussing the evolution of an ancient judge-made common law principle into its modern form,[27] such as the heightened duty of care traditionally imposed upon common carriers.

OK, so I need someone to show me when and where in Pre-Revolution America (or India, Australia or other "common law" nations once under English rule) the British Govt authorized or allowed for non-governmental "Grand Juries" to operate.    It's one thing to acknowledge the "common law" when it comes to precedent, it's quite another to operate under the delusion that citing the nebulous term "common law" somehow legitimizes actions by a group of officious intermeddlers or gives them the right to lawfully interject themselves into the affairs of others.


Bottom line, the "common law" in no way supports the claims of these idiots to simply take the law into their own hands, nor does it provide a historical legal basis for forming such groups.


I would like to point out that I never claimed it does authorize "citizen grand juries". I was replying to someone who claimed Common Law does not apply in the US.
 
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