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

 

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