Grand Juries are usually formed by the people within their county. Some counties are not populated adequately to form Grand Juries so in those cases counties may pair with surrounding counties to form a Grand Jury. Our mission here is to return to the right law, common law, the natural law of natural men and women. The common law rests upon principals founded through time by trial and error.
Principals of Common Law.
- political office holders derive their immediate authority from the people they serve, by the people’s invitation and under their advice and consent.
- executive officers and magistrates are servants of the people and are under the same law as all the people.
- the common law tradition subjects government office holders and magistrates to impeachment and removal.
- government officers and other magistrates are foremost responsible to God; devoted, above all, to the law; and in direct accountability to the people to apply the law to themselves, to enforce the law, and to resist illegal acts of offenders in and out of government.
- neither the people, nor their representatives, nor the chief of state, legislate or make original or new law, but hey discover and apply timeless principles of right.
- common law entitles to all persons due process of law, knowing that only by focusing on fair play can one hope for a fair outcome. historically, common lawyers have recognized the indispensability of due process, Magna Carta calling it the law of the land.
- common law forbids the government’s executive and legislative powers from meddling with the courts.
- the common law Jury are an indispensable foundation stone for common law freedoms. Where the Jury operates aright, the government lawfully acts against the life, liberty, or property of the individual only with consent of the Jury.
- unlike the Greek republics and the old Roman republic and their progeny, which have passed, and continue to pass, from existence, the teachings of Scripture undergird the common law, thus its lasting steadiness.
- the common law’s fundamental, distinguishing principles are as much confirmed customs arising from habit of mind (lex non script), as they are written standards of law (lex script).
- a common law country vouchsafes that government remains limited by insisting upon separate but equal government power ongoing rivalry and tension. each the three branches of government has proven eager and determined to maintain its prerogatives against the encroachments of the other two.
- the common law demands that government practice restraint in two ways: first, by respecting individual rights so that each person feels an independent duty to obey God’s desires, even where a command of the state clearly conflicts; second, by preserving the right to trial by impartial jurors that know their common law duty to judge the facts and apply the law; also – when needed to get a fair outcome – to judge the law.
Freedom requires familiarity with such rubrics of the common law.
Information of interest on Grand Juries: (coming soon)
Important Points about the Common Law Grand Jury.
Civil Law is antagonistic to the Common Law, the Common Law is Gods Law.
The critical mass necessary to persuade a country from wrong thinking to right thinking requires no majority. The force of truth in the hands [of] the few shall rout lies in the hands of the many. “Victory, if gained,” writes Justice Story, “is gained y battles fought: not by the numbers, but by the forces brought…”
The common law stands or falls on personal liberty of conscience – one’s common sense of right from wrong and the freedom to act upon that sense – as one soaks his mind with Scripture.
God alone is LORD of the one’s conscience. “…truth will transform a country…as the individual follows his conviction of truth, he, in time, will walk alone, stand alone, and alone he will hold the ground that God has allotted to him as steward and keeper… the testimony of history rings clear: truth and the critical mass ample to effect right resides in the minority, often in a small minority, or in a minority of only one.”
… seeks the foundation of law in eternal principals. Therefore the common law courts call their conclusions findings.
Called natural law, this capability is more precisely the natural ability of every person to recognize truth, once he sees it, even if he refuses to apply it to himself.
An English common law right is that which one asserts against an encroaching government, calling such a request to bring an action against eh sovereign a petition of right, because government authority ends where the fundamental (God-given) right of the individual begins.
Let right be done: a common-law expression of the limited sovereignty of government yielding to the unlimited sovereignty of God over the individual’s right, conscience, and obedience to law.
The common law holds private relationships sacred, demanding that the courts protect the sanctity of relationships freely entered, whether the are the covenants between the individual and God or between one man and another.
God acts through the faith, hope and passion of men.
The common law arose from obscure circumstances and struggled for centuries in the face of overwhelming odds against rigorous Roman attempts – by slight of words and force, intrigue and rebellion – to undermine and replace it. Nevertheless, over time, the common law has overcome, bringing extra ordinary freedom and productivity that spills over to the good of the entire globe; Scripture urges us to hone our senses, delve into history, and find the reasons.
…common law is not a tradition of positive law: e.g., legislation.
Legislation, however, may or may not express truth.
Common law distinguishes two fundamental kinds of relationships: fiduciary and non-fiduciary. the judiciary relationship demands a higher level of loyalty and altruism, requiring the fiduciary to act in the best interest of the other party, even if doing so is to his own detriment. The non-fiduciary relationship is less altruistic: allowing each party to look, within the bounds of law, only to his own advantage. For example, as a rule, property, contract, and tort law concern non-fiduciary relationships; trust law and the law of agency are fiduciary relationships. The law of agency, however, concerns, to varying degrees, both fiduciary and non-fiduciary relationships, depending upon the level of obligations entered. In order to fully appreciate the common law, one must first understand and be able to distinguish relationship kinds, because only by discerning relationships will one rightly discern rights, responsibilities and liabilities.
To seek the false security of following government commands irrespective of the relationship kind is legalism: state domination of freedom of association in private relationships. instead of seeking to first discern and understand one’s relationship so that one will know one’s duties respecting another, men are protne to first seek to learn a set of rules and then set out to keep them. one is unable to discover the applicable rules, however, until he ascertains the sort of relationship between parties. Laws, rights, responsibilities – is a function of relationships, and not vice versa, because law exists, foremost, to protect the integrity of relationships freely entered.
A contract at common law is best defined as a promise the courts will enforce; our Constitution forbids any State legislature from impairing such promises.
Our Constitution assumes the common-law principles, without which the Constitution is a nullity.
The Babylonian settlers enabled Nimrod to enslav them because they were content that he be their protector in place of God.
Idolatry and False Gods…
…idolatry is the attribution of ultimate authority to the false gods (lawgivers) of the Babylonian [civil law] system.
As family life crumbled under the sensuous onslaught of public idolatry, plaintiffs and the courts increasingly ignored the non-delegable duties of family relationships and rights enjoyed through those duties, accelerating the fragmenting of Romes families, further weakening the empire.
For a nation to arrogate to its religious and political leaders a semi-deified status is to sanction idolatry, which gives opportunity to the political trickery that attends idolatry.
…the creation of human hands that can destroy humans and not be destroyed by them, is a false image of distorted reason.
…they that trust false gods shall become like unto those false gods.
Civil law systems are governments of men – as opposed to governments of law – , consequently, judges are unlimited by finely tuned, court-fashioned rules of analysis called tests, as in common law courts. Further, Roman judicial decisions became increasingly inconsistent as each judge ruled according to that which was right in his own eyes – in a word arbitrarily.
Throughout history, emperor worship has been done under many names. Nevertheless, in all cases, it amounts, at bottom, to the same thing: one’s receiving the conscience and will of another in place of the disciplined use of one’s own.
Neither individuals nor nations will raise above that which they worship–the higher the focus of worship, the greater the potential of a nation for good doing and reaping blessing.
Civil-law ideals have always forbidden the use of precedent because civil lawyers believe that precedent encroaches upon the perfected precision of the state’s legislative will.
Much of the above composed materials are directly from the book:
Excellence of the Common Law, Brent Winters
You can find his book on Amazon or on his website common lawyer.com where you can be linked directly to his purchase page Here.
This is a throughly written book on Common Law which includes history of common law, history of civil law and how these two forces are antagonistic. It is a must read for anyone wanting to learn common law and it’s history.
The following are excerpts from the book:
The People’s Panel: The Grand Jury in the United States 1634-1941, by. Richard D. Younger
In the grand jury discounted American colonists had discovered a potent weapon with which to harass royal officials and protest against British authority. The power of the juries lay in their ability to block criminal proceedings begun by royal officials. Simply by refusing to find a true bill they could effectively prevent the enforcement of criminal statutes, among them the laws regulating trade, and it it was no secret that Colonial juries were prejudiced in favor of smugglers and patriotic mob leaders.
On the eve of the Revolution local grand juries were in an excellent position to take the lead in opposing the imperial government.
In 1765, Boston jurors refused to indict the leaders of the Stamp Act Riots…
Chief Justice William Henry Drayton of South Carolina quickly recognized the propaganda value of patriotic grand jury charges. During the winter of 1774 and 1775 he traveled from district to district in upper South Carolina urging the people to assert eerie rights and maintain their freedom.
The New Nation
State and local grand juries…possessing full common law powers of investigation and indictment and concerning themselves principally with problems of local government, continued to be viewed by most individuals as barriers between the citizen and the government, the role that had made them popular during the Revolution.
Tradition and Reform, 1800-1865
Lawyers, jurists, and utilitarian philosophers now replaced representatives of royal authority as its principal attackers. The aims of the new attack – reform – were different but the ends were the same: the abolition of the grand jury.
“…an admirer of grand juries, praised them as protectors of liberty and warned that it would take a bold man to bring a bill into Parliament to abolish them.
The far more popular position in these early years of the new nation was that voiced by Justice James Wilson of the United States Supreme Court, in a series of law lectures delivered in Philadelphia only two years earlier. justice Wilson placed no limit upon a grand Jury’s area of inquiry. He viewed the inquest as an important instrument of democratic government. As Wilson saw it the jury served as “a great channel of communication between those who make and administer the laws and those for whom the laws are made and administered.”
“I am exceedingly pleased with the provision confining grand juries to the business of the penal law and not admitting any expression of opinion on other subjects.” Chancellor James Kent of New York, in favor of limiting grand jury activity.
…several senators questioned the power of states to tamper with the grand jury in view of the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution, but only a series of anonymous letters appearing in the Milwaukee Sentinel came openly to the defense.
In 1864, John N. Pomeroy, a professor of law at New York University, stated that the gand jury in the United States was “an insuperable barrier against official oppression” and that “the innovating hand of reform has not as yet touched the long-established proceedings in criminal actions… the grand jury [is] carefully preserved by our national and state constitutions.”
Tradition and Reform
At a time when most legal scholars advised abandoning the grand inquest as an archaic relic of the distant past, a few defenders appeared. Judge Harman Yerkes of Pennsylvania expressed the belief that the grand juries could provide a means of extending popular control over government. in September, 1901, he told jurors of Bucks County that bodies such as their representing the people of the community, were not outmoded or useless. in times of great public peril or in the event of deep-seated abuses, he observed, “the divided, yet powerful and also combined responsibility of the secret session of the grand jury…has worked out great problems of reform and correction.” He pointed out that abolition the grand inquest would leave the accused citizen completely at the mercy of “an unjust or unwise judge or district attorney, ” subject the contrivances of an unscrupulous prosecutor. Judge Yerkes dispelled the often repeated idea that because the United States was not ruled by a tyrannical king, grand juries had ceased to be necessary as guardians of individual liberty. He explained that tyrants even more irresponsible than the despots of old sought to dominate local, state, and national governments. Giant business monopolies restless of legal restraints and party bosses who did not hesitate to break judges and create courts took the place of tyrannical monarchs as a danger to freedom in the United States. Against such ruthless forces Judge Yerkes saw grand juries as powerful agencies of the people, challenging business or boss domination of government. Edward Lindsey, of the American Institute of Criminal Law, hailed broad inquisitorial powers as an essential part of judicial machinery, which could secure information otherwise unobtainable. Lindsey pointed out that prosecutors and police departments were at best feeble substitutes for the powerful grand inquest. Although Lindsey defended the grand jury against those who would have destroyed it, in doing so he adopted the criteria used by its critics. He sought to justify the institution on the grounds of efficiency. on this point the grand jury was particularly vulnerable. Few persons familiar with its operations would have denied that a prosecuting officer could act with greater speed and singleness of purpose.
The Trans-Mississippi Frontier
The jury proved an effective instrument for the preservation of law and order in the newly settled communities and it gave local citizens a voice in their government that they might not otherwise have had.
In March, 1872, the United States grand jury at Brownsville, Texas, declared that a “reign of terror” existed in the area between the Nieces and Rio Grande rivers.
County officials were also subject to the scrutiny by the probing eye of the grand jury.
…a grand jury took the initiative in uncovering graft among county officials. it not only uncovered corruption, but awakened the community to the need of a thorough housecleaning.
…in Johnson County, Texas, the jurors sat only two days but indicted three persons for murder, two for adultery, six for assault and battery, two for gambling and two for perjury.
Chief Justice William F. Turner told grand jurors in Arizona Territory that he addressed them with some hesitation after he had seen how well armed they were, that they looked more like an armed vigilance committee than they did like a grand inquest.
Their common objective was to remove corrupt officials and die lawless elements from the community.
In May, 1877, in answer to a request, Judge H. E. Prickett told Silver City jurors that they had full power to inquire into any misconduct or neglect of duty on the power to inquire into any misconduct or neglect of duty on the part of any public officer. However, he advised the jurors not to stop with that, but to check county and territorial legislation for needed reforms and report such recommendations as they deemed proper.
They realized that in any future struggle with agents of the central government control over the power of indictment could prove a potent weapon.
It was in the grand jury that the people often found their most potent weapon in the struggle to reclaim their cities.
In 1872, a New York City Jury, working in secret session for over four months, succeeded in accomplishing what all other attempts at reform failed to do.
John Stuart Mill
Saint-Simonians, who saw history as alternating between organic periods, in which there is consensus on some positive creed, and critical periods, in which the consensus is undermined that there is no general agreement on a new set of beliefs.
He defends the absolute freedom of individuals to engage in conduct not harmful to others and the near absolute freedom to express and discuss opinions of all kinds.
For him, the aim is not just to have true beefs, but also to reach a state he describes as “knowing the truth.”
The grand, leading principle, towards which every argument unfolded in these pages directly converges, is the absolute and essential importance of human development inits richest diversity.
– Wilhelm von Humboldt, Sphere and Duties of Government
The struggle between liberty and authority is the most conspicuous feature in the portions of history with which we are earliest familiar, particularly in that of Greece, Rome and England.
The nation did not need to be protected against its own will.
The Politics of Obedience; The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, Etienne de la Boetie
For the present I should to understand how it happens that so many men, so many villages, so many cities, so many nations, sometimes suffer under a single tyrant who has no other power than the power they gave him; who is able to harm them only to the extent to which they have the willingness to be a with him; who could do them absolutely no injury unless they preferred to put up with him rather than contradict him. Surely a striking situation!
Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and bind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaded your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death.
It is incredible how as soon as a people becomes subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and so willingly that one is led to say, on beholding such a situation, that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.
Lycurgus, the lawgiver of Sparta, is reported to have reared two dogs of the same litter by fattening one the kitchen and training the other in the fields to the sound of the bugle and the horn, thereby to demonstrate tot eh Lacedaemonians that men, too, develop according to their early habits. He set the two dogs in the open market place, and between them he placed a bowl of soup and a hare. One ran to the bowl of soup, the other to the hare; yet they were, as he maintained, born brothers of the same parents.
Among free men there is competition as to who will do most, each for the common good, each by himself, all expecting to share in the misfortunes of defeat, or in the benefits of victory; but an enslaved people loses in addition to this warlike courage, all signs of enthusiasm, for their hearts are degraded, submissive, and incapable of any great deed. Tyrants are well aware of this, and, in order to degrade their subjects further, encourage them to assume this attitude and make it instinctive.