An Open Letter to Rep. Chris Stewart
LOREN EDWARD PEARCE
COURT WATCHERS FOR CONSTITUTION ORIGINALISTS
May 24, 2017
Honorable Chris Stewart
U.S. House of Representatives
253 West St George Blvd, Suite 100
St George, Utah 84770
I represent over 1,000 members of the Court Watchers for Constitution Originalists. and I am following up on several correspondences that I have had with your staff, Gary Webster and Adam Snow.
TRIP TO BUNKERVILLE, NEVADA
Recently, Adam Snow made a trip down to Bunkerville, Nevada to visit with the Bundy family, mostly women because their men are in prison, to hear, first hand from their mouths, a redress of grievances regarding the situation. Attached is a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the issues.
Following the meeting, I spoke with the wives in hopeful anticipation that something meaningful was accomplished and that there would be a plan of action. To my great disappointment, the meeting did not go well with reports that Adam Snow conveyed to the Bundy family that there was not much that could be done by Rep. Chris Stewart.
YOUR CAUSE IS JUST, BUT I CAN DO NOTHING FOR YOU
This led me to write the following article for a well known alternative news source regarding the dealings with your office and staff and the disappointing results. YOUR CAUSE IS JUST, BUT I CAN DO NOTHING FOR YOU
HOLDING ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES MORE ACCOUNTABLE
Subsequent to the article, we examined ways to hold our elected representatives more accountable to their constituents. There is probably not a more skeptical group of people than constituents, given the poor experience that we have in dealing with elected representatives who are more concerned about their public image than in doing what is right. Leveraging the power of public opinion, we decided to produce a public survey to evaluate the performance of your office in taking meaningful action on behalf of the Bundys and similar defendants. The survey was posted on Facebook and the Redoubt News article gave the background. The survey is ongoing as we seek more participants, but the results to date are:
|Excellent. Aggressive and appropriate action||
|Good. Familiar with issues, promised follow up, no specific date||
|Fair. Limited Knowledge of issues, ambivalent on follow up||
|Poor. Made excuses as to why he could not do much to help||
|Very poor. Uncaring, rude, adversarial||
While I personally would not grade your office’s performance so harshly, it, nevertheless, reflects the widespread dissatisfaction and poor perceptions that the public has of their congressional representatives.
We intend to use this method, i.e., public evaluation of elected official performance, on a much broader basis and make available to the general public.
In some manner, all of us went through our childhood being taught that the ballot box was the only option for political grievances. We were taught that the American system is the best in the world and that we should work within the system to find solutions. But when the ballot box fails, we must step up our peaceful methods for gaining accountability.
The bullet box, or armed revolt, is never an option. However, if the extremely painful and unjustified, unconstitutional actions by government persist, then we must find a way to make our elected representatives accountable so we don’t get the response, “there is not much I can do for you.” Therefore, we will resort to peaceful means until these grievances are redressed, including widespread dissemination of our experiences with elected officials.
WHAT WE WANT
In my first letter to you, I said that I am motivated to write this letter by a sense of terror in what is happening in the USA at the current time. I fear for my own welfare as well as that of my loved ones.
Regardless of where you stand on the rightness or wrongness of the Bundy family in Nevada and their supporters, you must recognize that all accused have a right to:
- Release on bail or their own recognizance pending trial to allow time and proper environment for preparation of their defense.
- Even under the ill conceived (and I believe unconstitutional) Bail Reform Act, the bar is set very high for the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused are too dangerous and a flight risk to remain free.
- If detained but not convicted, prison should not be a punishment and the non convicted detainee retains the same civil rights as people outside the prison walls.
- The sixth amendment right to a SPEEDY TRIAL, has been become more of a myth than a reality. Recently, federal prosecutor Steven Myhre, in charge of the Bundy et al cases, stated that the period leading up to a trial could be as much as 5 years and still not violate the right to a speedy trial. This kind of reasoning shocks the conscience and creates an environment where the public no longer trusts the system and the ballot box.
- The Bundys et al defendants have been in non-convicted, not guilty prison for
486 DAYS AND COUNTING!
Right now, as I write, Ryan Bundy, Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne have been thrown into solitary confinement under extremely inhumane conditions. Ryan Bundy describes in his own voice and words, the horrific conditions that he is subject to as a NON CONVICTED prisoner. These three prisoners are being punished for not submitting to strip/body cavity searches. These humiliating and demeaning searches violate the 4th amendment. In his recording, Ryan describes how they must submit to these searches every time they go to and come from a court hearing.
Ryan Bundy on the horrific conditions of solitary confinement for NON CONVICTED prisoners:
The ACLU has addressed the sexual abuse nature of strip/cavity searches in prison: Invasive Search
I repeat, the Bundys et al defendants, have never been convicted of anything, they have not been found guilty, and, in fact, they were acquitted in Oregon. As such, they are entitled to the benefit of the doubt and not being treated like criminals.
Prisons in the USA have little, if any, oversight or monitoring. They are worlds unto themselves with prison staff free to inflict punishment and abuse as they see fit. Therefore, we request the following from you, our congressional representative:
- Conduct an investigation into the CCA Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump, NV. As part of the investigation, please contact prison operations for the U.S. Marshals Service. N. Hackmaster is Deputy Director of Prison Operations. 703 740 8400.
- Ask that Ryan Bundy, Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne be released from solitary confinement pending the outcome of the investigation.
- Introduce legislation requiring prisons to treat non convicted prisoners in a manner different from convicted prisoners affirming their right to all the civil rights enjoyed by the non prison population while being detained.
- Investigate the broader issue of pretrial detention being imposed by courts across the nation through abuse of judicial discretion and misuse and misapplication of the Bail Reform Act wherein the courts fail to meet the clear and convincing evidence standard for detaining prisoners prior to trial. This would include the built in bias of federal judges presiding over cases brought by fellow employees, federal prosecutors.
- Introduce legislation either repealing or modifying the Bail Reform Act wherein the issue of dangerousness and flight risk must be raised to an even higher evidentiary standard of beyond a reasonable doubt as opposed to clear and convincing.
- Introduce legislation restricting the use of strip/body cavity searches for both non convicted and convicted prisoners under the 4th amendment requiring probable or reasonable cause. Require prisons that insist on prison staff security and safety, do so through body scanners, not strip searches.
- Introduce remedial legislation addressing the broader issue of inhumane treatment of prisoners in solitary confinement.
- Introduce legislation closing the loopholes in the Speedy Trial Act which allows unscrupulous people like Steven Myhre, to hold non-convicted people in prison for 5 years or more.
Our position is this: Our only hope is our elected representatives in congress. We believe that you could form a coalition with other like minded congress people such as Rand Paul and Trey Gowdy to effect meaningful change. We allege that it is within your scope and your jurisdiction to introduce remedial legislation to get these atrocities changed and that, in the meantime, you can call for congressional hearings to look into the matter.
Excuses are not acceptable. We will aggressively hold you and other members of congress accountable. Because, in the final analysis:
“THIS IS NOT ONLY ABOUT THE BUNDYS, IT IS ABOUT ALL AMERICANS WHO COULD FACE THE SAME HORRIFIC LOSS OF PROTECTIONS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION REGARDLESS OF GUILT OR INNOCENCE LATER DETERMINED BY A JURY OF PEERS”
Loren Edward Pearce
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