Folks; Our Funding Fathers, many of them lawyers, listed 15 items dealing with laws and justice out of 27 reasons that the thirteen American Colonies should declare independence from England. One of those items was denying citizens the right of trial by jury. It is right there alongside taxation without representation in the Declaration Of Independence.
The founding fathers thought highly of trials by jury because they had witnessed first hand trials without juries where the King or his Representative was the judge and his often phony rulings could not be appealed. So, when the War of Independence was won and the Constitution was drawn up, the founding fathers made sure that trial by jury was included in the Bill of Rights. The right to public trials and speedy trials are included too. Patriots like those at the Battle of Kings Mountain fought and died in order that such rights as a jury trial could become the law of the land.
Now, the Cleveland County judicial system is chock full of crimes from stealing to First Degree Murder as well as other legal actions. Even Sheriff Alan Norman has sounded the alarm that the Sheriff is tired of his deputies rounding up dangerous criminals only to have them soon back on the streets. Turned loose on low bonds or other such things. On a recent trip to the courthouse I had occasion to look at the Superior Court Criminal Calendar and was surprised to find 86 Probation Violations on the list of 88 alleged criminals.
There were several double listings of probation violations for the same person. I suddenly understood exactly what Sheriff Norman meant about the revolving door down at the Courthouse. Even with a conviction, the convict gets probation and is back on the street faster than Law Enforcement can arrest him or her for their next criminal violation.
My personal experience with this kind of mess involves a larceny at my house several years ago. The thief, Wesley Austin, was caught and charged. In my case the charge was a misdemeanor. But Austin was also jailed for a felony breaking and entering at the place he worked. My case and the other case were combined. I had to go to court five or six times before Judge Meredith Shuford eventually heard the case. Wesley Austin plead guilty and was put on probation pending paying restitution and Probation fees.
Now, it is years later and I have been paid ZERO restitution. My understanding is Austin had to pay his probation fees to get off probation for his crime against me. So, I have to conclude the criminal justice system is more interested in protecting their own bureaucracy rather than protecting the public.
But still, as we watch on the nightly TV news the politically motivated investigations at the highest national levels, the special counsel investigations where the Department of Justice and the FBI have become politically “weaponized” to financially destroy very well to do persons with million dollar lawyer bills causing them to plead guilty to what appears to be phony charges just to get out from under the legal bills that will otherwise bankrupt them. Then you have to realize the right to a jury trial is the only barrier to totally unjust treatment from the highest law enforcement agencies in the USA.
So folks, when you get that letter calling you to jury duty, don’t shirk your duty. Don’t try to weasal out of jury duty. Go and serve if you are selected. It is the American way to avoid the Kangaroo Kourts that we would otherwise have running wild stealing our liberty and justice at will.
Also folks, inform yourselves and turn out to vote on Election Day. Serving on a jury and voting for the best candidate is the only way to save America and Cleveland County from injustice and widespread crime and corruption.