JAIL4Judges view:  Why Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.) is needed.

Should Judges be made to obey the laws of the State of Ohio?  Read Ron Branson's rationale for why we need J.A.I.L. 


J.A.I.L.News Journal
Los Angeles,California                                                     July 3, 2004

Why Grand Juries Do Not Work   by Ron Branson, J.A.I.L. Founder& CIC   

Theother day, while sitting in a restaurant, Barbie said to me, "Look,someone left a newspaper," and she handed me the Sunday Los AngelesTimes. As I took it, out fell a center section entitled, "Civil GrandJury - Los Angeles County 2003-2004. Final Report - June 24, 2004."Ironically, this "Final Report" is only publishedonce a year, and here it was in my hand as if the Lord wantedme to see it. I left the entire paper at the restaurant andtook only this report. I already knew I had in my hands the makin's fora very good J.A.I.L. News Journal.
Ishould give a little background about myself. Going back tothe early 80's I have had a keen interest in the LosAngeles County Grand Jury. Due to certain connections I hadwithin the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, I was invitedbefore the Los Angeles County Grand Jury by the JuryForeman. I brought educational books and materialsthat I deemed knowledgeable for them to read. Armed withpersonal knowledge, I can speak about the Los Angeles CountyGrand Jury independent of this Report.
Myintent of writing here is to address Grand Jury operations across thecountry, as their operations are generally the same nationwide. Irealize that while here speaking about the Los Angeles County Grand,some may say that this is not the way our Grand Jury works. Ihave no problem with that, but I can tell you that most all GrandJuries are more similar than most people will evercare to admit.
ThisReport opens with a words from the currentpast Grand Jury Foreman addressing all the residents of theCounty of Los Angeles. I here cite to only a few words.
"The2003-2004 Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury is pleased to present itsFinal Report for your review....  My thanks to the othermembers of the jury for making my job as foreperson easier by virtue oftheir willingness to overcome personal desires and work for the commongood.  The Civil Grand Jury would like to thank Judge DavidWesley, Supervising Judge of the Criminal Division of the SuperiorCourt, for his guidance in our endeavors and Judge Terry Green, theAssistant Supervising Judge, who acted in Judge Wesley's stead whennecessary."
ThisReport then goes on to praise various other political figureswithin  government, "Our thanks to the Board of Supervisors,County officers, and departments and representatives of all governmentagencies ..."
ThisReport is signed by the out-going foreperson, William A.Sullivan.
Followingthe foreperson's comments is a "Message From The Court, by Judge DavidWesley." I quote from Judge Wesley, "The Civil Grand Jury isthe only truly independent investigative body in Los AngelesCounty."  But what follows shows this Civil GrandJury is anything but  independent. Judge Wesley tells us, "TheSuperior Court Judges will review the applications of [Grand Jury]candidates and select potential grand jurors."  He also tellsus, "Of the 23 grand jurors selected, one person with leadership andorganizational skills is designated as foreperson by the presidingjudge..." Within the Report we are told, "The Supervising Judge alsooversees the activities of the Civil Grand Jury..." and, "Each yearprior to March 1st every Superior Court Judge may nominate two personsdeemed qualified to serve as Civil Grand Jurors. .... These individualsare investigated by the Sheriff's Department."
Ah,we now have learned that the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury ishand-picked by the judges, their foreperson is selected by thepresiding judge, and the Supervising Judge oversees the Grand Jury.Yes, folks, it is judges both coming and going when it comes to theGrand Jury. It is virtually a hand-picked committee by thejudges, for the judges, and of the judges, and they even oversee it.But hang on to your hats, there is more shocking news forthcoming aboutthese judges before I lower the boom in this Report.)I'm saving the best for last.
Weall know that Grand Jurors are autonomous, that is, they canthink for themselves, act for themselves, and they can followcorruption no matter where it goes - right?  There is no onewithin their territorial jurisdiction that is beyond their reach. Atleast that is what we have thought. But wait aminute. We are told in this report, "The Civil Grand Jurycannot investigate the Judiciary." What's that? Judges are the onlybranch of government within its territorial jurisdiction thatis off-limits to them. Let me quote that again, "The CivilGrand Jury cannot investigate the Judiciary." Notwithstanding anythingthese judges do, this Grand Jury cannotinvestigate them, for they have no jurisdiction, and thesejudges enjoy immunity regardless of how corruptthey become.
Nowthis brings me to one of my occasions yearsago in which I filed an affidavit with the LosAngeles County Grand Jury supporting probable cause forviolations of the California Penal Code. I received a letter back fromthe County Grand Jury stating that they did not have jurisdiction toinvestigate judges. They advised me to take the matter to theCommission on Judicial Performance. (This was back in the earlynineties when the County Grand Jury, as has been for the last 100years, handled both civil and criminal matters. It was split betweenCivil and Criminal in the year 2000-01.)
Overthe years, I have had many experiences in dealing with the Commissionon Judicial Performance (CJP). It is a total sham and a frontorganization to cover formiscreant judges. I have even had the CJP tell methat they do not deal with criminal matters when I brought acts ofcriminal conduct to them. I have taken matters from the Commission, whotold me they had no jurisdiction, directly to the StateAttorney General's Office, only to have then agree that I had a soundcriminal act by the judge complained of, but then later they closed meout and even refused to talk to me. One AG Deputy told me inthe elevator, "Mr. Branson, you want us to go after thesejudges. We cannot do that. We are their attorneys. We want to keep intheir good graces with these judges because we bring actions on behalfof the state into their courts, and we want them to rule in our favor.And here you are asking us to prosecute them."
Nowlet's recap what we have just learned. The Los Angeles CountyGrand Jury has no jurisdiction over judges, we must take complaintsagainst judges to the CJP. The CJP tells us they donot have jurisdiction over criminal acts ofjudges, we must go to the State Attorney General.The Attorney General tells us they have aconflict of interest, and will not prosecute. But wait a minute,haven't we all heard, "No one is above the law!"  Iam sorry to have to disappoint you, but I am here to tellyou by personal experience, judges areindeed free to violated the law with impunity. 
Yes,folks, we do actually have a government; "Of the Judges, Bythe Judges, and For the Judges" from top to bottom, and in everyarea. I've been everywhere within the government to calljudges to account, including Congress multiple times. And evenif you go after them civilly, which I have done numerous times, theywill always be dismissed on "judicial immunity." Youjust cannot sue them, and that is so even if what they did was incomplete absence of all jurisdiction. I know, I know, some aregoing to write me and say, "Ron, here is what the law says,and it says they have no immunity if whatthey did was outside and beyond their jurisdiction. Yes, so it doessay. But just try to get another judge to enforce it. And why shouldhe? He enjoys full and complete immunity himself, and he likes it, andwants to keep it that way. If he rules againsthis fellow judge, then he will be ruled against when he issued. Judges protect their Club jealously. "I'll cover your assets, andyou cover mine." I have gone through the gamut many times, folks.Please don't tell me what the law says. I stand by mystatement that judges are absolutely above the law both criminallyand civilly by practice. (I emphasize "bypractice.")
Andnow, for the exciting conclusion of this Report. I said that I wassaving the best part until last. Here we go. Let's see howmany of you are sharp enough to figure out where I are going with this.I will even give you a clue. We have already established thatjudges are entirely immune from investigation by this Grand Jury, sonow lets turn to the complaints that have been submitted to the GrandJury over the past year of 2003-2004. Besides "Miscellaneous," guesswho gets the grand prize for the most number of complaints generated.If you have not already guessed, yes, it is the judiciary.Most complaints filed before the Los Angeles CountyGrand Jury are about Judges. 13% of the complaints to this Grand Juryis asking for an investigation of the judges, and that ismore  than cops, than jails, than politicians, than themedical industry, more than anything else. That tells us something iswrong with this picture.
But isit not the Judges who hand-pick the Grand Jury, whoselect their foreperson, who oversees them, and whoare immune from investigation. Based upon thesestatistics, it is the judges who are the most in need of investigation,who are the most in need of accountable, who are the most secretive,and who are the most likely to be corrupt.
So,back to my title, "Why Grand Juries Do Not Work." It is so easy to seewhy J.A.I.L., with its safeguards that are just the opposite of mostall the concepts that operate County GrandJuries, will totally upset the apple cart of the entire systemwhen passed, for it will create a shining example of what a Grand Juryaught to be doing, and it will surely influence all GrandJuries throughout this nation, dictating that changes must beforthcoming. And when that happens, all governments everywhere willflea for cover or take early retirement, for they will see the darkstorm-clouds rolling with its threatening bolts oflightening. As we have said many times, "J.A.I.L. is the onlyanswer!"