RE: The Lone Star Chamber (of enslavement!)
The following information is the first in a series of documents being released to the public by the Texas Liberation Collective. Its sole purpose is to pursue truth, justice, and freedom through education, organization, and social development.
The time has arrived for the REAL media, REAL Civil and Human Rights activists, and all who walk in the light of the righteous to call out the construct known as Texas — Governor Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R), and Senator Ted Cruz (R) — for turning a blind eye to the false imprisonment and enslavement of thousands!
Exposing The Lone Star Chamber
© Jerome DeVonni Wilson
Once Upon a Crime …
One would think that if you took the crime rates and stood them in front of a mirror, the reflection would be exact. After all, if 10 people were locked up, their incarceration must have been the result of committing an act punishable by law, and their subsequent conviction the proof of the State meeting its “reasonable doubt” standard, right?
The fact that rather than be a duplicate of the crime rate, the incarceration rate is a grotesque inflation can be attributed to a variety of societal and judicial nuisances. We will begin by discussing how as Michelle Alexander stated on page 60 of The New Jim Crow:
Rules of law and procedure, such as, “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” or
“probable cause” … can easily be found in court cases and law-school textbooks
but are much harder to find in real life.
Texas Hold ‘em
It is a longstanding joke in Texas that a cheeseburger could be indicted here. This jestering is based on an equally longstanding suspicion to some, and certainty for those in the know, that the indictments are “rubber stamped.”
To be sure, an indictment cannot exist without having a true bill passed by a grand jury. The accused has a “clearly established constitutional right to indictment by grand jury.” This is embodied in the Texas Constitution, Articles I, § 10, and V, § 12 (b) and supported by, and enforceable under the “Equal Protection Clause” of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; and the “Due Process Clause” of the 5th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
One must understand that for the grand jury to serve its purpose, it must be selected from a fair cross-section of the community, and function independently of the D.A. But what, you may ask, is so important about the grand jury’s purpose that it is embodied in both the State and Federal Constitutions? A defendant is (supposed to be) guaranteed the structural protections provided by the grand jury such as, but not limited to, the following: (1) A check on prosecutorial power, (2) A grand jury determining if there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, (3) Protection against unfounded accusations, (4) Protection against racial discrimination, (5) Protection against gender discrimination, (6) Protection against prosecutorial misconduct as well as other injurious and constitutional defects, but most importantly, to serve as a buffer between the individual and oppressive governmental prosecution.
Knowing how a grand jury is impaneled and is to operate is critical to this discussion because if it isn’t in accordance with the prescribed means, methods, and procedural
safeguards enacted by the Texas Legislature to protect the citizens against arbitrary prosecutions it “renders the grand jury without authority.” 1
Until recently, the grand jury commissioners, whose usage is also known as the “keyman” (or pick-a-pal) system to critics of the scheme, were delegated by judges who put their partisans in position. Notably, the Supreme Court found this practice to bear a high probability of fostering bias, so all other states discontinued using it years ago.
This was the method employed by Texas when tripling the number of prisons it had in the 1990s and then quickly filling them up.2 The method was utilized until the passing of House Bill 2150 in 2015.
For a grand jury to be legally invoked, the potential jurors must be interrogated and there should be court minutes to prove it. There must be 12 qualified jurors impaneled and sworn in by court order.
It is the grand jury’s duty to “Seek and examine all clues before it fulfills its obligation; it must call witnesses believed on the basis of rumor, tips, or prosecutorial suggestion, to possess information about the case.”3 The grand jury has a “duty to investigate beyond mere probable cause to indict … in order to determine if prosecution should proceed.”4 In essence, the chief function of the grand jury is to evaluate the strength of the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses. It may not become a rubber stamp endorsing the wishes of the D.A.
Thus, there should be a certified copy of any subpoenas or summons issued by the grand jury foreman or D.A. requiring witnesses to appear. After viewing and hearing testimony and evidence, a quorum of at least nine members of the grand jury must vote.
The grand jury foreman then drafts a memorandum and provides it to the D.A., who uses the data to write the indictment. There should be a certified copy of the witnesses whose testimony the indictment was found.
A quorum of at least nine members of the grand jury must be present when the indictment is presented to the judge or court clerk. Again, this should be recorded or transcribed. The poor cheeseburger has been able to be indicted because grand jury proceedings are so secretive. Who’s to know if the steps above were actually taken?
HB-2150 repealed some of the restrictions of the Texas Open Records and Public Information Act. We’ve been sending P.I.A. requests to people on the outside to file in their names (because as prisoners of the class war we are not public citizens and cannot utilize the process) and a group of us from various counties around the state have been able to acquire responses from the D.A. or the Attorney General (after filing a complaint on the D.A. for non-compliance) that there is no responsive information in their possession.
Piercing The Veil…
One prisoner from Tarrant County was able to secure a docket sheet that showed that the grand jury had indicted a whopping 50 people that day. The presentment sheet was missing one important detail under the witness column: A name. But we shouldn’t be surprised.
It is apparent from the record that the grand jury in his case was simply an extension of the prosecutor, acting as an agent for the state, biased and impartial to the whims and wishes of the D.A. “rubber stamping” indictments en masse.5
If your goal is to provide bodies for the bunks you have in the three to four prisons being built per week in the early 1990s, this is certainly a feasible method.
We know this to be true because a typical work day is eight hours…if we are to use this docket sheet as our model, then we have to presume that the grand jury heard and evaluated, in an unbiased and impartial manner, at minimum, an average of seven individual felony cases per hour. This allows an average of eight minutes per presentation for the grand jury to perform its duties as a screen between the accused and the D.A.
A sound mind would find it hard to fathom that this would allow for a careful examination of the evidence, an evaluation of the (non-existent) witness, determining probable cause after fair deliberation, or protecting the defendant from unfair accusations.
This not including the time for the prosecutor to locate the criminal file, explain the nuances of each cause, present tangible evidence that’s available, summon witnesses, etc.
A trial court has no authority to convict a defendant without subject-matter jurisdiction.6 Subject-matter jurisdiction can only be vested unto a court with the presentment of a valid indictment.7 A valid indictment can only be written by a D.A. based on data provided in a memorandum written by a grand jury foreman.8 A grand jury foreman can only provide data after hearing testimony and viewing evidence and then having a vote from a quorum of at least nine members of the grand jury whose been legally impaneled and sworn in.9
The Supreme Court has held that “nothing is more constitutionally required of an indictment than that it be returned by a legally constituted and unbiased grand jury.”10 The court has made clear that the State “must prove from the record, all jurisdictional facts related to the jurisdiction asserted.”11
In Texas, “the attorney representing the state shall maintain possession of all records other than stenographer notes made under this article” as the D.A. is an agent of the grand jury.12
The Texas Liberation Collective
We have now been able to prove that in many cases there is no record of any proof that a grand jury hearing ever took place…no memorandum, no presentment of indictment, no proof of a vote. The D.A.’s temptation to cut corners ignored the rights of the citizen in order to gain ascendance.
In these cases, the D.A.’s “rubber stamped” indictments amount to little more than a hearsay summation of the allegations from the mouth of the prosecutor, which essentially undermined and usurped the functions of the grand jury; simply the performance of a perfunctory farce systematically designed and utilized to body-snatch us and hold us captive like foreign enemy collaborators on ice at Guantanamo Bay!
“Once arrested, one’s chance of ever being truly free of the system of control are slim, often to the vanishing point” (The New Jim Crow, page 84). This is true, although “whenever jurisdictional issues have been raised, the burden of proof rests on the party alleging jurisdiction”13 and the Supreme Court has ruled that “the law requires proof of jurisdiction to appear on the record”14 and its [jurisdiction] “may always be collaterally attacked.”15 Still, out of the handful of us that have already filed a writ of habeas corpus challenging the court’s jurisdiction — everyone has been denied or dismissed without relief.
But here is the kicker. Who gives a damn? We can literally show how they’ve kidnapped us and given us astronomical numbers to serve in bondage subjected to involuntary servitude. And we know that they know because our subjugation has been the butt of their jokes for decades: In Texas, we can indict a cheeseburger.
Are we so naive to believe that the trial judge doesn’t know he’s presiding over an unconstitutional trial where the defendant is being lynched by the state in a public forum? Worse, why are so-called defense attorneys not defending their clients? Sadly, it’s because they are lawyers-in-theory and not the required lawyers-in-practice. The judge. The D.A. The defense attorney are all superficial titles in the state of Texas that do not actually exist in terms of criminal matters.
What does exist is this parallel universe where, through the various forms of media, we look out to see the #metoo Movement, the #marchforlife Movement and a number of other social justice movements while wondering with hopeful eyes…who will be our movement? We can’t march, hashtag , or walk out like students and teachers.
We The People?
Recently, we’ve witnessed time after time as people have rallied behind the boycotts of businesses, the removal of people with both powerful and political status, and acts of unjust police killings.
We watched as two Black men went to jail from a Starbucks and it became a national conversation. I’m not downplaying any of the aforementioned, I only ask that you engage in compare and contrast.
There are about 150, 000 prisoners in Texas. This has generally been the consistent capacity for over two decades. I’ve shown you how one D.A. from one county indicted 50 people in one day by bypassing the grand jury procedure.
If we multiply that by thousands of district attorneys and hundreds of grand juries (that have been assembled on paper but fail to operate as constitutionally required by law), we find that this technique isn’t mass incarceration.
Only under an institution of slavery would it be acceptable by WE THE PEOPLE to abduct human beings from their homes, walking the public streets, or elsewhere without accountability for constitutional rights.
WE THE PEOPLE have been vocal about human trafficking in what are considered third world and underdeveloped nations while WE THE PEOPLE have slept on the checks and balances of the rights of our own citizens; a cognitive paralysis where it is seen but not spoken of. A practice that only perpetuates this slavery in a similar fashion as calling it the Prison Industrial Complex or Mass Incarceration.
Those are merely euphemisms.
This is enslavement.
Queen Michelle was on the right track when she stated on page 94 that:
It is the badge of inferiority —the felony record — that relegates
people for their lives, to second-class status. There is little hope
If there was a pattern of the citizens of Martha’s Vineyard, Congressmen, Harvard professors, or Catholic priests being body snatched, time itself would stop moving. WE THE PEOPLE must call for the removal of the Texas Attorney General, who is over all the prosecuting attorneys in the state and refuses to address this behemoth of an issue. How do you go back decades and correct the fact that the courts never had jurisdiction over scores of us due to prosecutorial misconduct?
(Note: What has happened to us is akin to a judge walking up to you…yes, YOU…at a McDonald’s and sending you to prison. The constitution protects you from that in the exact same way that the Second Amendment was written to protect you, the citizen, from an overbearing government.)
I challenge any reader to Google any state official indicted in this state and make a Texas Open Records and Public Information Act (PIA) request for the records surrounding his or her grand jury procedure and you’ll find that they actually exist. Evidence was presented, witnesses testified, a quorum of nine members of the grand jury voted, there will be a memorandum from the grand jury foreman, etc. All the i’s will be dotted and all the t’s will be crossed. You may begin by looking at the front page article from Dallasnews.com from May 25, 2018, titled “Exonerated Ex-Judge Files Suit” about how judge Suzanne Wooten’s lawyers said her indictment was “a clear misuse and abuse of the grand jury process” and “this abuse of power caused a manifest miscarriage of justice that demands that their actions be exposed and fully addressed so this can never happen again.”
Wooten is suing the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, and three former district attorneys all in their individual capacities only, not as elected officials or public employees. Her suit claims the defendants “conspired to wrongfully obtain an indictment and prosecute plaintiff by inventing and perverting law, misleading judges and juries, and taking apart plaintiffs life . . .”
In another case from the Houston Chronicle, in the business section of the June 22, 2018 edition, Houston home rebuilder Roy Gabbay of RG Homes had been indicted by the Consumer Fraud Division of the District Attorney’s Office. The defense filed a motion asking Judge Michael McSpadden to release grand jury testimony noting that a witness and employee of RG Homes admitted to having altered the document at question. The case was dismissed because “The D.A.’s office continued investigating and found out the case should not have been prosecuted to begin with.”
Unfortunately, there aren’t many rich or even resourceful people here, if the light in us can reach out to the light in you…maybe we could give the power back to WE THE PEOPLE versus the evil Star Chamber, the English court that was abolished in 1641 because of its abuses of power noted for its secretive, arbitrary, and oppressive tribunals and proceedings. WE are the Texas Liberation Collective (TLC) Movement and we are calling on the media, Congress, and in their shortcomings, all social justice advocates to reveal the fact that we’ve just disclosed a mass grave burial site in the state of Texas.
As we raise our voices like slave hymns from plantation to plantation, we will realize that we are still alive. This enlightenment will lift our spirit and cause our numbers to grow. At that point there will be our resurrection from the outside…or our insurrection from the inside, for would America accept being enslaved by any nation? Nor shall we.
We desperately need the assistance of attorneys who are not afraid to behead this monster. Journalists who aren’t waiting for this story to become a story before they jump onboard to cover it. There has not been a legal upheaval of this magnitude in the making in the last century, and in regard to prisoners (who are really slaves), not in the history of the country.
As David Medwed of Northeastern University said in a Rolling Stone article titled “And Justice For None,” where 22,000 cases were dismissed in one single day, the largest amount in the nation’s history, “There’s no accounting for what they did, and this could just be the tip of the iceberg. Prosecutor misconduct is rampant in America.”
And everything is bigger in The Lone Star (Chamber) State, including miscarriages of justice and the usurpation of the liberties of the undercaste. Using my kidnapping as an example, the crime took place August 22, 2002. The top of the “indictment” indicates that it was prepared on September 27, 2002 by the 185th Grand Jury.
However, I always knew something wasn’t right with the dates because the “indictment” wasn’t filed until April 4, 2003. In Texas, grand juries operate in 90-day terms. Thus, there is no way that the 185th District Court Grand Jury that purports to have passed an “indictment” on me was operating in September of 2002 AND in April 2003.
When the D.A.’s office responded to the PIA request concerning my cause, the only documents they possessed were a copy of what they claimed was an indictment and a list of names of the 12 grand jurors, 2 alternate grand jurors, 3 bailiffs, the Chief of the Grand Jury Division, and the Assistant District Attorney.
Accordingly, the Harris County Grand Jury of the 185th District Court that “indicted” me was from the February Term A.D. 2003. The last day of their term was May 2, 2003. How then did the grand jury foreman Richard Langenstein provide the attorney for the state, Dan Richardson, a memorandum based on the grand jury’s investigation to prepare an indictment in September of 2002 when the term of the grand jury he was the foreman on hadn’t even been born yet?
Apparently, I was indicted by the D.A. seven months — two full grand jury terms — prior to when Richard Langenstein inadvertently signed off on my fake indictment. The illegal, unprofessional tactic of the prosecutor signing as if it was presented by a grand jury, when in fact, there is no record to support that the grand jury actually passed upon the indictment is a host of criminal acts, and “fundamentally infirm.” “Such an abuse of power and authority of public office is indeed evil personified.”16
Here, we cannot ignore the fact that by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, under head D.A. Kim Ogg, providing this (lack of) info to a concerned citizen via the PIA request response through Assistant District Attorney Meagan T. Scott, the current office is aware that the attorney for the state testifying to the veracity of the indictment committed perjury, fraud, and abuse of official capacity and prosecutors have a constitutional duty to correct known false evidence; a principle that is well established in both law and professional regulations which govern prosecutorial conduct.17
I am far from the only victim of the Texas Indictment Mill. However, on behalf of all of them, and us who are the Texas Liberation Collective, I humbly ask that you speak up and take action for us for, as Queen Michelle said:
[I]f we say to ourselves that the problem of mass incarceration
is just too big, too daunting for us to do anything about and
that we should instead direct our energies to battles that might
be more easily won, history will judge us harshly. A human rights
nightmare is occurring on our watch.
Jerome DeVonni Wilson, Founder Connally Plantation
The Texas Liberation Collective (TLC) 899 FM 632
(encl) indictment, grand jury panel Kenedy, TX 78119
1. Ex Parte Becker 459 S.W. 2d 442 (Tex. Crim. App. 1970)
2. In 1994-95 Bill Clinton signed the largest anti-crime bill in the U.S. history. Texas began opening new prisons at a rate of one per week.
3. United States V. Doe 541 F.2d 490 (Tex.CA-5 1976)
4. Port V. Heard 764 F.2d 423 (S.D. Tex. 1984)
5. U.S. V. Flomenhoft 714 F.2d 708 at 711, 712; also U.S. V. Gallo 394 F.Supp 310 at 314
(D. Conn. 1975)
6. Riley V. Cockrell 339 F.3d 308 (5th Cir. 2003)
7. Aguilar V. State 810 S.W. 2d 230 at 232 (Tex.App-EI Paso 1991) [In the case of an indictment, the fact that fewer than the required number of grand jurors voted in favor of a true bill, failure of the actual foreman to deliver the bill, forgery of the foreman’s signature or even inadvertent signing and returning of a bill in a case not reviewed by the grand jury are fundamental defects in the charging instrument process which would vitiate the instrument, vitiate trial court jurisdiction and be subject to first complaint on appeal … ] Also, Ex Parte Banks 769 S.W.2d 539 (Tex. Crim. App. 1989)
8. Texas Code Of Criminal Procedure Article 20.19: Grand Jury Shall Vote: After all the testimony which is accessible to the grand jury shall have been given with respect to any criminal accusation, THE VOTE SHALL BE TAKEN AS TO THE PRESENTMENT OF AN INDICTMENT, AND IF NINE MEMBERS CONCUR IN FINDING THE BILL, (emphasis added on relevant part), the foreman shall make a MEMORANDUM of the same with such data as will enable the attorney who represents the State to write the indictment.
10. Costello V. U.S. 350 U.S. 359, 76 S. Ct 406, 100 L.Ed.2d 397 (1956); Also U.S. V. Burke 700 F.2d 70, 80 (2d Cir 1980)
11. Latana V. Hopper 102 F.2d 188; Also Chicago V. New York 37 F.Supp. 150
12. Texas Code Of Criminal Procedure Article 20.012(c)
13. Wasson V. Northrop Worldwide 443 F.Supp. 400 (W.D.Tex. 1978)
14. Rosemond V. Lambert 469 F.2d 416; Also Hagans V. Lavine 415 U.S. 528, 94 S.Ct
1372, 39 L.Ed 577 (1974)
15. Ex Parte Seidel 39 S.W. 3d 221 at 225 (Tex. Crim.App. 2001)
16. Cook V. State 902 S.W. 2d 471 (Tex.Crim.App 1995)
17. Williams V. State 513 S.W. 2d 54 at 56 (Tex.Crim.App. 1974)
Grand Jury Panel Sheet Attached