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“No Bended Knee For Me” – No Speedy Trial – Just Punishment

Any interpretation that does not favor Sixth Amendment is contrary to the intent of the law, itself.

"No Bended Knee For Me" – No Speedy Trial – Just Punishment

“No Bended Knee For Me”
No Speedy Trial – Just Punishment

by Gary Hunt
October 23, 2014

The Founders were concerned over certain practices of the British government. From a judicial standpoint, both Habeas Corpus (Art. I, §9, cl. 2) and subsequently, in the Bill of Rights, with the Sixth Amendment, which reads, in part,

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…”

were to insure that the courts were not used to punish people, rather, to serve Justice and prohibit unlawful detention.

In the case of Robert Beecher, in the United States District Court, Southern District of Georgia, Statesboro Division, Case CR614-018, this is not the way it is working.

Robert M. Beecher was arrested on May 7, 2014, after being told that he was not going to be arrested (See “No bended knee for me” – the Demonization of Robert Beecher).

Let’s go through a calendar of events in Beecher’s case:

  • July 31, 2013 – Investigation initiated (FBI form FD 1057)
  • May 7, 2014 – Arrested
  • May 24 – Beecher was denied Bail by FBI, PD out of town….Saw Judge
  • June 4 – Grand Jury indictment
  • June 19 – Arraignment
  • Aug. 14 – Motions Hearing – Postponed by ATF/FBI to obtain further charges and records from GA, TN and Galveston, TX that were not computerized and were searching for paper records from 1977
  • Sept. 4 – Postponed….Federal Judge had personal issues and Forwarded Caseload to another federal judge, who also has heavy caseload.

Some things that we can learn about persecution, as opposed to prosecution, can be gleaned from the above.

First is that the FBI and the BATF have been investigating Beecher since July 31, 2013. The arrest was made over 9 months later. However, at the August 14 hearing (over a year after the initiation of the investigation, they ask for a continuance so that they can research paper (not computerized) records so that they can prove that he is a felon, under the statute. That is over three months (over 70 days, as will be explained later). You would think that the government would have satisfied the requirement of proving that he was a felon, prior to arresting him as a FELON in possession of a firearm, than searching to see if they could find the firearms with which to satisfy the second part of the charge against Beecher. Let’s just suppose that Beecher wasn’t a felon, they get the warrants, make a mess of the property, find some firearms, then realize that he was not a felon, or that they weren’t sure, or could not prove that he was. Sort of a case of the cart before the horse, but, well, they are paid, just the same. This would suggest that US Attorney Edward J. Tarver (prosecuting); Carlton R. Bourne, Jr (AUSA & lead counsel); Special Agent Stanley H. Slater (FBI; and, Special Agent Lorin G. Coppock (BATF), are all bumbling incompetents, each making over $100,000.00 a year, but unable properly prepare a case.

Nearly a month later, we find that because a judge, presumably G. R. Smith, U. S. Magistrate Judge, who signed the Search Warrant on May 6, 2014, had “personal issues”, the law, and justice, apparently, can be set aside, while Beecher languishes in jail. This, now, really tops it. A man is deprived of time with his family, especially with his grandchildren. The Judge, however, has family problems, though he responding to his problems simply creates more family problems for Beecher.

However, it does bring to minds a rather interesting question, “Are the people to serve the government, or, is the government to serve the people?”

So, we have looked at an absolute lack of regard for Robert Beecher and the impact this has had on his family and his life. So, let us look at an even more important aspect, the laws that are put in place to define and satisfy Constitutional mandates. For example:

The Constitutional Mandate can be found in the Sixth Amendment, which says, in part:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…”

In a previous article, we have addressed the facts that any records regarding the trial have yet to be released to the public. Is it fair to say that “sealed” judicial paperwork, for nearly six months, meets the “public trial” provision? I also addresed the specifics of the charges against Beecher, and it appear that they don’t apply to him, anyway.

So, now, let’s see what has been determined regarding “speedy trial”. Here are the pertinent portions of 18 U.S. Code § 3161, et seq:

18 U. S. Code § 3161 – Time limits and exclusions:

(a) In any case involving a defendant charged with an offense, the appropriate judicial officer, at the earliest practicable time, shall, after consultation with the counsel for the defendant and the attorney for the Government, set the case for trial on a day certain, or list it for trial on a weekly or other short-term trial calendar at a place within the judicial district, so as to assure a speedy trial.

(b) Any information or indictment charging an individual with the commission of an offense shall be filed within thirty days from the date on which such individual was arrested or served with a summons in connection with such charges. If an individual has been charged with a felony in a district in which no grand jury has been in session during such thirty-day period, the period of time for filing of the indictment shall be extended an additional thirty days.

Note: The filing of the Indictment provision was satisfied.

(c)

(1) In any case in which a plea of not guilty is entered, the trial of a defendant charged in an information or indictment with the commission of an offense shall commence within seventy days from the filing date (and making public) of the information or indictment, or from the date the defendant has appeared before a judicial officer of the court in which such charge is pending, whichever date last occurs. If a defendant consents in writing to be tried before a magistrate judge on a complaint, the trial shall commence within seventy days from the date of such consent.

Note: It is interesting that the “making public” provision, if not met, means that the government can simply keep the record sealed, and theoretically, keep Beecher in jail, “indefinitely”.

Well, (a) says that “at the earliest practicable time, shall… set the case for trial… so as to assure a speedy trial.” Not difficult to understand, at it appears to be supportive of what the Founders envisioned when the assured us a “speedy trail”. However, in what is an obvious effort to circumvent the intent of the Constitution, they have set a new benchmark by counting the seventy days “shall commence within seventy days from the filing date (and making public) of the information or indictment, or from the date the defendant has appeared before a judicial officer of the court in which such charge is pending, whichever date last occurs.” How thoughtful of them for using the last occurring date instead of the first. This allows them to detain someone for quite some time. For instance, in the current matter Beecher has had hearings cancelled on two occasions, so he has not been before the “judicial officer”. Well, how about the Indictment? The Indictment was filed with the Court on June 4, but it has not been made public, so even though Beecher has been in jail for over 5 months, the clock has yet to begin ticking from which we can gauge whether, or not, he is going to get a “speedy trial”.

Continuing on through the maze of legal complexity, we find:

***

(h)

(7)

(A) Any period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by any judge on his own motion or at the request of the defendant or his counsel or at the request of the attorney for the Government, if the judge granted such continuance on the basis of his findings that the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial. No such period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by the court in accordance with this paragraph shall be excludable under this subsection unless the court sets forth, in the record of the case, either orally or in writing, its reasons for finding that the ends of justice served by the granting of such continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.

Note: Therefore, the judge can continue the matter (trial) if he does it based upon “his findings that the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.” There you go. He can arbitrarily determine that the continuance serves the “ends of justice” and therefore outweighs the defendants right to a “speedy trial”. This might be interpreted as, “yes, we have a constitution, but, I, with my black robes, can ignore it — for the sake of justice, as I see it.”

“Nothing to see here. Just keep moving.”

There is a bit of redemption, however, in:

(C) No continuance under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall be granted because of general congestion of the court’s calendar, or lack of diligent preparation or failure to obtain available witnesses on the part of the attorney for the Government.

Note: This last, this “failure to obtain available witnesses on the part of the attorney for the Government”, which, presumably, would also include certain “evidence”, seems to be at the heart of the current delay. As best I can find, the Prosecutor is still trying to determine if the “felonies” qualify under the statute upon which the Indictment was based. The statute is discussed, in detail, in “No bended knee for me – the Charge against Robert Beecher“. Though it appears that the prosecutor and the FBI and BATF agents had the cart before the horse in assuming that the felonies qualified under the statute. At least, that is what has been alleged to be the reasoning behind the continuance.

Next, we can go to 18 USC §3162 – Sanctions, which provides punishment for certain activity that results in the delay of the “speedy trial”.

18 U.S. Code § 3162 – Sanctions

(a)

(1) If, in the case of any individual against whom a complaint is filed charging such individual with an offense, no indictment or information is filed within the time limit required by section 3161 (b) as extended by section 3161 (h) of this chapter, such charge against that individual contained in such complaint shall be dismissed or otherwise dropped. In determining whether to dismiss the case with or without prejudice, the court shall consider, among others, each of the following factors: the seriousness of the offense; the facts and circumstances of the case which led to the dismissal; and the impact of a reprosecution on the administration of this chapter and on the administration of justice.

(2) If a defendant is not brought to trial within the time limit required by section 3161 (c) as extended by section 3161 (h), the information or indictment shall be dismissed on motion of the defendant. The defendant shall have the burden of proof of supporting such motion but the Government shall have the burden of going forward with the evidence in connection with any exclusion of time under subparagraph 3161(h)(3). In determining whether to dismiss the case with or without prejudice, the court shall consider, among others, each of the following factors: the seriousness of the offense; the facts and circumstances of the case which led to the dismissal; and the impact of a reprosecution on the administration of this chapter and on the administration of justice. Failure of the defendant to move for dismissal prior to trial or entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere shall constitute a waiver of the right to dismissal under this section.

(b) In any case in which counsel for the defendant or the attorney for the Government

(1) knowingly allows the case to be set for trial without disclosing the fact that a necessary witness would be unavailable for trial;

Note: Would the term “witness” also include certified documents regarding previous convictions — showing proof of the felony?

(2) files a motion solely for the purpose of delay which he knows is totally frivolous and without merit;

(3) makes a statement for the purpose of obtaining a continuance which he knows to be false and which is material to the granting of a continuance; or

(4) otherwise willfully fails to proceed to trial without justification consistent with section 3161 of this chapter, the court may punish any such counsel or attorney, as follows:

(A) in the case of an appointed defense counsel, by reducing the amount of compensation that otherwise would have been paid to such counsel pursuant to section 3006A of this title in an amount not to exceed 25 per centum thereof;

(B) in the case of a counsel retained in connection with the defense of a defendant, by imposing on such counsel a fine of not to exceed 25 per centum of the compensation to which he is entitled in connection with his defense of such defendant;

(C) by imposing on any attorney for the Government a fine of not to exceed $250;

Note: This, however, would require the judge, whether of his own volition, or under pressure from other sources, pursue this token of justice. I wonder if there are very many judges currently sitting in District Courts who place justice before their job security and hopes for elevation to a higher bench.

It is interesting that the government attorney would only be fined $250, while the defense attorney would be fined 25%, which could easily exceed $10,000. But, I suppose that they look out for their own.

Now, as we continue through the maze of statutory befuddlement, we find another statute that might even force a more rigid implementation of the right to a speedy trial.

18 U.S. Code § 3164 – Persons detained or designated as being of high risk

(a) The trial or other disposition of cases involving—

(1) a detained person who is being held in detention solely because he is awaiting trial, and

(2) a released person who is awaiting trial and has been designated by the attorney for the Government as being of high risk,

shall be accorded priority.

(b) The trial of any person described in subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section shall commence not later than ninety days following the beginning of such continuous detention or designation of high risk by the attorney for the Government. The periods of delay enumerated in section 3161 (h) are excluded in computing the time limitation specified in this section.

Note: So, if Beecher is detained, but not high risk, the trial must commence within 90 days of detention. On the other hand, if he is high risk (the apparent cause for no bail being granted), and not detained (released), the trial must commence within 90 days of such designation of high risk. Is there a middle ground where if one is both high risk and detained, there is no provision for a speedy trial? Not very just, if true. A person of high risk that is not detained is, well, a potential threat to the community, where the guy that is both high risk and detained is not a threat, though it appears that he is to suffer, without recourse, or, that the Judge should use the wisdom that God gave him to be just.

(c) Failure to commence trial of a detainee as specified in subsection (b), through no fault of the accused or his counsel, or failure to commence trial of a designated releasee as specified in subsection (b), through no fault of the attorney for the Government, shall result in the automatic review by the court of the conditions of release. No detainee, as defined in subsection (a), shall be held in custody pending trial after the expiration of such ninety-day period required for the commencement of his trial. A designated releasee, as defined in subsection (a), who is found by the court to have intentionally delayed the trial of his case shall be subject to an order of the court modifying his nonfinancial conditions of release under this title to insure that he shall appear at trial as required.

Note: Now, this is a bit more clear. “No detainee… shall be held in custody pending trial after the expiration of such ninety-day period required for the commencement of his trial”.

So, why is Robert Beecher still in jail, nearly 180 days after is detention?

This can only be interpreted as Robert Beecher’s right to be released, with his family and able to regain the life that has been, punitively, taken from him, in violation of the above statutes.

What we have been discussing is the statute verses the intent of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. So, we will venture into one more statute, within the speedy trial provisions, to see if there is merit to my interpretations, given above.

18 U.S. Code § 3173 – Sixth amendment rights

No provision of this chapter shall be interpreted as a bar to any claim of denial of speedy trial as required by amendment VI of the Constitution.

That pretty much cinches it. Any interpretation that does not favor Sixth Amendment is contrary to the intent of the law, itself.

 

“No bended knee for me” – the Persecution of Robert Beecher

“No bended knee for me” – the Charge against Robert Beecher

“No bended knee for me” – the Demonization of Robert Beecher

“No bended knee for me” – No Speedy Trial – Just Punishment

“No Bended Knee For Me” – Who Does the Patriot Fight For?

“No bended knee for me” – the Final Chapter

Liberty or Laws? “Felon in Possession of a Firearm” is Not Legal or Lawful

 

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