by Brother Gregory
October 13, 2013
In this series we have been showing how the changing of the meaning of words can shape the thinking of society and therefore the very nature of society. These changes have taken place back and forth over the centuries with sometimes disastrous results. This modern age is no different and there is no element of the world that is immune to the crippling effects and subtleties of dissembling society through sophistry.
Before we examine more commonly misunderstood words that will likely turn your world upside down we need to look at the word “jury” to set a foundation for the truth. Not that the word jury is misused but that when you use the term you need to know that all juries are not created equally. We will only look at the critical nature and fundamental powers or lack of power or right found in two kinds of juries.
The right of a jury to decide “fact and law” is often called Jury Nullification. It is the power to acquit even though the facts may clearly prove the individual is guilty of the charges. This is one of the most powerful tools of a free people in tending to the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith.
There was a time when they use to call me for jury duty. After reading comments concerning “Jury Nullification” in a Jury Handbook published by the Oregon Bar Association made available during “Jury Orientation”, I wrote a series of letters to a local judge who eventually referred me to the “State Court Administrator.”
I have been in court rooms and heard about court proceedings and law since I was a small boy. I remember once hearing a judge say he did not want any “word games” in his court. I chuckle at that now because 90% of what you see in court today boils down to word games. So I thought, “Let the games begin.”
I can give you hundreds of quotes about Jury Nullification being a right, not a privilege or merely a power. In the first letters I quote only a few of them like Chief Justice John Jay who stated in 1794 in Georgia v. Brailsford, in reference to the power of the jury to decide fact and law that, “you have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy.” Others also called this power a right including the second President of the United States, John Adams, who called it not only “the juror's right, but his duty, to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment and conscience, though in direct opposition to the directions of the court.”
The first letter was simply asking a question. The answer was right there but most would miss it. I wanted to hear the judge's words on the subject because most people would imagine that there is no right of jury nullification for Oregon juries based on a quote from that Jury Handbook:
“Although some peoples may claim that a jury can “nullify” the law, this view is legally incorrect and severely prejudices the administration of justice. Jurors who disregard the trial judge's instructions have violated their oath.”
The Bar is not saying you do not have a right to decide fact and law but they are saying that you would be violating your “oath” if you “disregard the trial judge's instructions”. The first question you might ask could be “If I did not take an oath do I still have my rights?” Do you even have to take an oath to be on the jury? And how should such an oath be worded? But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
I pointed out to the judge and court administrator in subsequent letters that John Adams and Chief Justice Jay are not just “some people” as suggested in the Handbook mentioned in the first letter.
While I went on to state that “Chief Justice Stone, Justices Gray, Justice Holmes all believed in and praised the right and even duty of jury nullification” I did not mention at Article 1, Sec. 16. of the Oregon Constitution which states that “... the jury shall have the right to determine the law, and the facts.” I wanted to give them a chance to answer the simple question what changed, “Is it the nature of the oath or the nature of the court or a combination of both? Can this contradiction be explained any other way?”
When the judge responded he did not give me an answer nor did he say that he did not know the answer. What he said was that he could not tell me the answer. The answer of course is both the nature of the oath and the nature of the courts have changed. There had been drastic changes brought about by the people changing their own status through acts of sloth and covetousness and of course taking these oaths but also reconstruction of local courts early in the 1900's along with the continued “Reform of the Federal Judiciary in 1937 [which] was an attempt to make democracy king in America.”
We will give you an opportunity to understand this more but here from the Handbook alone we should see clearly that you waive a right by taking an oath. On page two the letter I point out that the Oregon Bar is telling us in their Handbook this view that a jury has a right to decide fact and law “is legally incorrect” because “jurors who disregard the trial judge's instructions have violated their oath” not because they did not once have that right.
But what of the nature of the courts how do we know they have changed simply by reading what the Oregon Bar stated? Go back to the first quote from the Handbook. What does it say about Jury Nullification as a “view” being “legally incorrect”? It states clearly that it “severely prejudices the administration of justice.”
The key word here is administration. These are administrative courts, not common law courts. This is also why the judge told me he could not tell the answer to my question but referred me to the “Office of State Court Administrator.”
I escalated my responses to the point where the Special Counsel at the Office of State Court Administrator was backed into a corner and finally advised me to consult the “internet” to get the answer she would not provide. But there was fruit from the exchange because in the final letter to her I asked the questions, “Is one of the oaths asked of the jury evidence of an agreement to waive the “right” of the jury to determine the law? What are the oaths that jurors are asked to take? Can you send me a copy of them?”
Her answer amazed me. There evidently is no oath dictated by law. It appears there is no requirement for the exact same oath. According to Special Counsel Cross each court's oath may differ. So are they just making them up as they go along?
I did write the local Trial Court Administrator and asked, “From what I understand an oath is called for before voir dire of the jury selection process and also another oath is called for before a juror is seated and a trial begins. Will you please send me a copy of these two oaths.”
I have never received written copies of those oaths.
So what is going on? Dare we mention the word conspiracy or is this the natural course of events amongst a people who fail to learn from history or about the nature of their duty to God and their fellow man?
An oath by its nature it has been considered a “religious act” and is defined as a “sacred or solemn voluntary promise usually involving the penalty of divine retribution for intentional falsity and often used in legal procedures” with “its origins in religious customs.” Even John Bouvier Law Dictionary, adapted to the Constitution and the Laws of the United States, defines an oath as “a religious act by which the party invokes God.”
A question may now arise on the examination of an oath which god are we invoking since according to Paul “there be gods many.” But before we answer that question we may need to understand the history of the changing relationship between God, man and governments.
In America's beginning men struggle to establish that “The jury has the Right to judge both the law and the facts.” But modern Americans do not cherish the inalienable gifts of God and no longer tend to the weightier matters of law but waive their right to decide the law by swearing oaths in opposition to the words of Christ, the apostles and the early Church.
The United States Government, in establishing its own legal system through “An Act to Establish the Judicial Courts of the United States” was forced by custom and reason “that suits in equity shall not be sustained in either of the courts of the United States, in any case where plain, adequate, and complete remedy may be had at law.”
James Madison wrote concerning this bill in a letter to Edward Pendleton stating that he viewed the Judiciary act “as defective both in its general structure, and many of its particular regulations.” He expressed his hope that the “system may speedily undergo a reconsideration under the auspices of the Judges who alone will be able perhaps to set it to rights.”
From this architectonic act and since before the Magna Carta we see, “all cases, the right of a common law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it.” and in “SEC. 34. And be it further enacted, That the laws of the several states, except where the constitution, treaties or statutes of the United States shall otherwise require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision in trials at common law in the courts of the United States in cases where they apply.”
The common law includes trial by jury so I continued to write letters to the Office of State Court Administrator who responded with non-answer replies to my questions. First she quoted a case that sounded on the surface to say there was no power of Jury Nullification in Oregon. Fortunately I was not only familiar with that case but knew the parties personally. It had nothing to do with Jury Nullification and her quote of the case was completely out of context.
If “John Adams stated unequivocally that a juror should ignore a judge’s instruction on the law if it violates fundamental principles” according to his best understanding, judgment and conscience then it is the Juror that is the “Ruling Judge” within the courts when it comes to law, judgment, and at least mercy if not also faith. But if the juror takes certain oaths that bind his conscience and better judgment to the opinion of the judge and legislature, at least according to the Oregon Bar Association Handbook, he no longer has access to that right.
There are two kinds of juries: those that are bound by righteousness to decide fact and law according to their good conscience and better judgment, or those juries who bind their conscience and better judgment under the power of others by swearing and then can only decide the facts. These may both be juries but their power and exercisable rights are worlds apart.
What does all this mean? It means if you were a righteous people you as twelve jurors have more power than the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. You could be the ruling judges of the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith like Christ said to do but if you allow your conscience to be bound by oaths as Christ said not to do then others may become the ruling judge of what use to be the people's courts and therefore the ruling judges of the people.
There is much more to this story but remember the point here is to set a foundation for the examination of a more important word which also has to do with ruling judges. For now it is enough to know that jury trials at common law are dependent upon “large numbers of freemen” who can decide both fact and law as ruling judges, which should be distinguished from the subject jurors of the United States that we often see today who have waived their natural rights by neglecting their natural responsibilities and by the taking of oaths.
Today’s jurors, as U.S. Citizens, are subject to the administration of government. While they are almost always sworn to abide by the decrees of the legislature and executive branches and the rulings of the judges of the courts, their rights have been severely diminished or curtailed long before they even enter the courtroom. These jurors are no longer ruling judges of the weightier matters of law but subject people under the laws of other men. How we became subject to the administration of government is not so much the government's fault as it is ours.
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I know that may not be what people want to hear but if they are going to be able to do something about a problem they need to know the whole truth and provide for it. Christ did not come to tickle your ears. You do not need more of those pastors who have become brutes nor the ones who transgress the law but those who seek to bring knowledge and understanding so that the captive may be set free. The last thing the people need is more of those false teachers who through covetousness and feigned words tell you it is okay to take oaths and swear. These oaths and covetousness make you human resource and merchandise and bar your rights to tend to the weightier matters of Christ.
This topic of your subjectivity under the administration of law is covered in the book The Covenants of the gods but to save you some time you can focus on the chapter concerning Citizens.
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2. The Wieghtier Matters
3. Jury Quotes
5. Defining the Lies of Democracies and Doom, Gloom, and Democracy.
6. Document of American History by Henry Steele Commager.
8. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2013
9. It is a religious act by which the party invokes God not only to witness the truth and sincerity of his promise, but also to avenge his imposture or violated faith, or in other words to punish his perjury if he shall be guilty of it. 10 Toull. n. 343 a 348; Puff. book, 4, c. 2, s. 4; Grot. book 2, c. 13, s. 1; Ruth Inst. book 1, ch. 14, s. 1; 1 Stark. Ev. 80; Merl. Repert. Convention; Dalloz, Dict. Serment: Dur. n. 592, 593; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3180.
10. gods Many SS Video Series 9-10 9:45 - Article
11. 1804, Samuel Chase, Supreme Court Justice and signer of the Declaration of Independence.
13. Judiciary Act of 1789 “an architectonic act still in force.”
14. Note (anon.), The Changing Role of the Jury in the Nineteenth Century, Yale Law Journal 74, 173 (1964).
15. That Word You Use - Part 2.
16. Jeremiah 10:21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
2 Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
17. Jeremiah 2:8 The priests said not, Where [is] the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after [things that] do not profit.
18. Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
19. 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
20. Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
21. Citizen Audio, Text.
Brother Gregory was born in America in 1948. His father was a practicing attorney and his mother the daughter of Norwegian immigrants. He Married in 1973, and is the Father of 6 children with a growing number of grandchildren. He grew up in southeast Texas, attending private schools, entering the seminary at 13, where he studied Latin, Greek, and theology. In the course of these studies he began to become aware of secrets hidden for centuries within ancient libraries that began to reveal a more fundamental purpose in the gospel of Christ. His quest to understand the “whole truth” has led him down a labyrinth of law and language, history and prophecy, fable and fallacy, in a unique portrait of bondage and betrayal, liberty and freedom, and the solution and salvation.
He is the author of several books, include The Covenants of the gods, Thy Kingdom Comes, and The Free Church Report, dozens of pamphlets, audio, and video recordings. He has appeared on radio and television “preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God” which is at hand, within your reach. His common theme is how are men brought into bondage and how are they made free souls under God. His hope and prayer is to bring man's relationship with the God of creation and his relationship with the gods of the “world” into a new perspective and light. Knowing the truth shall set you free, if we will do the will of our Father in heaven.
He now lives near Summer Lake, Oregon where he continues to care for his family, tending sheep of the Church and overseeing the edification of the Church established by Christ in the hearts and minds of congregations of the people, for the people, by the people who will seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.