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RETIRED POLICE SGT. HELD IN JAIL FOR CONSTITUTIONAL BELIEFS
By Paul Walter
Posted: October 14, 2002
GRANTS PASS, OR. -- Sixty-five year old Ray Karczewski, a retired police sergeant from Pacifica, California, whose wife of 43 years describes him as "steadfast in what he does" and "very focused" is in the Josephine County, Oregon jail because of his constitutional beliefs.�
On September 5, 2002, Mr. Karczewski was stopped for a minor traffic violation. His violation? He failed to dim his high beam headlights. When the officer asked Mr. Karczewski for his driver's license (and other documents which he had), Mr. Karczewski replied, "I don't need a license for private purposes on a public road, in a private vehicle." Then a series of escalating events took place that ultimately led to his arrest in the courthouse hallway.
On September 12, 2002, Mr. Karczewski appeared in court with his wife and numerous witnesses, including myself, who just happened to be there. Mr. Karczewski's case was the last one called. After reading the charges, Judge Allen H. Coon asked Mr. Karczewski to enter a plea of 'guilty' or 'not guilty'. While remaining seated in the gallery, Mr. Karczewski informed the judge that the judge's jurisdiction over this matter was being formally challenged and then had the court bailiff deliver to the judge the appropriate papers with the stated allegation. The judge ignored the papers and then proceeded to inform Mr. Karczewski that if there was a question of identity, and according to Mr. Karczewski that person was not here, then he (the judge) would issue a bench warrant for failure to appear to the person to whom the original charges were directed. Then the judge abruptly got up and left the courtroom. We all left the courtroom and stopped at the courthouse water fountain.
On Judge Coon's orders, and in front of numerous witnesses, including myself, Mr. Karczewski was arrested and handcuffed by Corporal John Justema and Deputy Malin, without having his Rights read to him, and not answering Mr. Karczewski's question "in whose name is the warrant issued." Mr. Karczewski was then taken to the county jail. What makes this case so weird is that Judge Coon had Mr. Karczewski arrested for NOT appearing in court when Mr. Karczewski WAS there in front of Judge Coon AND numerous witnesses.�
Due to this injustice, Mr. Karczewski, being a man of principle with steadfast beliefs decided to go on a hunger strike. Today marks his 33rd day. Local media, the Grants Pass Daily Courier, kept silent on Karczewski's hunger strike. Due to pressure from concerned family, friends and citizens, the Courier finally ran their first article on Wednesday, October 9, 2002, 28 days into the hunger strike.�
Anita, Mr. Karczewski's wife, released the following statement from her husband:
"According to the law, when the court is challenged to prove jurisdiction, the court must do so in writing... Until then no proceeding may continue... The question Americans who value their freedom must ask themselves is do we or do we not live under the Constitution. When the court can make up their own rules as they go along and pay no heed to the Constitution, we live in a lawless land."�
On the 10th of October judge Coon allowed, for the first time, to have Mr. Karczewski address the court with his legal issues and asked Mr. Karczewski to produce case law, which he did, to see if they had merit. At Mr. Karczewski's last hearing he supplied case law to the judge who promised to read them.
The judge said he wanted to accommodate the state with conditional release papers, which Mr. Karczewski refuses to sign, stating he refuses to do anything until written proof of jurisdiction is established, which the judge refuses to do. According to Karczewski's wife, they'll either let him out of jail or he'll take the hunger strike to its ultimate conclusion.
Judge Coon said he didn't understand Mr. Karczewsk's legal issues, then imposed public defender, attorney Peter Smith, on Mr. Karczewski against Mr. Karczewsk's wishes. According to the Courier Judge Coon wanted Attorney Smith to gain an opinion on Mr. Karczewski's mental stability. The judge was quoted as saying, "I still have some concerns about the defendants mental health...the defendant has some ideas which are different...I don't have a problem with ideas that are different, so long as those differences are the product of a healthy mind."
This situation, spotlighting the close relationship between Josephine County's Mental Health and the court system, is a frightening specter. If a judge can order a psychological evaluation on a person for being different, then we are all in danger because we are all different. This is extremely alarming. Is this why $22 million is being spent on mental health in Josephine County, with a population of only 80,000?
This sets a dangerous precedence. The same philosophy was practiced within the Third Reich. Adolph Hitler had people incarcerated under mental health simply for holding an opposing view. The Soviet Union used mental health to control dissidents and political opponents.
Mr. Karczewski, a dedicated police sergeant, took a bullet in the line of duty. Is this the thanks he is receiving from Judge Coon? Former Josephine County, Oregon deputy, Jerry B. Mathel, was caught with a large collection of child pornography, yet he received only probation, dismissed from the force and to my knowledge received no psychological evaluation. This is only one example, there are others to numerous to mention. Is there a double standard here?
Community concern has apparently expedited a trial date of October 15, 2002, at 9:30 AM, at the Josephine County Courthouse, since the Courier published a November 1, 2002 trial date.
On October 14, at 4:15pm I interviewed Anita Karczewski at their home
in Cave Junction, OR. where she made the following predictions: "They're
going to convict him of something, then release him for time served."
Why, I asked: "To save face and avoid proving jurisdiction"
replied Anita. Anita can be reached at: [email protected]
� 2002 Anita Karczewski, photo by NWV
Daily Courier 541-474-3700
Josephine County Commissioners 541-474-5221
District Attorney 541-474-5200
Mental Health 541-474-5365
County Jail 541-474-5140
Circuit Court 541-476-2309
� 2002 Paul Walter - All Rights Reserved
Paul Walter was born in socialist Yugoslavia in 1945. He and his family emigrated to America in 1959. He served 3 years in the U.S. Armed Forces and became a U.S. citizen in 1963. Owner of Walter Publishing & Research, he republished a 100 year old book titled The Coming Battle, the true history of our national debt. The book is currently in its 5th printing. E-mail [email protected]
"According to the law, when the court is challenged to prove jurisdiction, the court must do so in writing... Until then no proceeding may continue... The question Americans who value their freedom must ask themselves is do we or do we not live under the Constitution. When the court can make up their own rules as they go along and pay no heed to the Constitution, we live in a lawless land."