Walt Fitzpatrick, right, defends the constitutional grand jury in Tennessee in face of its 100-year-old and lawless supplanter — that rule that lets judges name the grand jury foreman who is not a member of the randomly selected jury pool. (Photo 92.7 NoogaRadio on FB)

For the past decade a retired lieutenant navy commander in east-central Tennessee has been waging a one-man bid to reform grand juries under the scale-tipping thumb of criminal court judges

By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio

Walter Francis Fitzpatrick is a remarkable man whose ideas will at some point control the law in Tennessee to restore to the people their prerogatives and rights that for 100 years have been lost under an unconstitutional legal custom.

Mr. Fitzpatrick has suffered at the hands of lawless judges, sheriffs, DAs and jailers as the price he’s paid to restore a key aspect of due process rights in the state of 6.5 million people.

“While I was in the Navy I spent my time on the bridge of the ship looking forward, thinking the enemy was in front of me. Now I realizing all the time the real enemy was behind me, back here at home. Domestic enemies. People trying to change the way our government works. Treason as it was recognized when citizens attempt to operate a government that is rival and competing with the U.S. constitution and the law of the land.”

His argument in a nutshell is that the grand jury system is illegal and unconstitutional because of judicial interference. The problem is that grand juries are not properly constituted. In practice they are made up of 12 jurors randomly picked and a 13th person who is not a grand jury member but who has all the powers of a grand jury member, and that is the foreman. Judges give him what they call a “high office.”

The most recent appointment of judges Tom Greenholtz, Don Poole and Barry Steelman in Hamilton County is Jan. 14.

The problem with this form is that it has been overruled twice by the U.S. supreme court and violates the people’s earlier government respecting their rights. A 1919 revision of the Tennessee code ordains that the grand jury foreman no longer be drawn at random, but is an assignee of the judges and a permanent fixture. He becomes the expert and guide of the people in their role as grand jurors.

The law prior to the innovation requires that a grand jury be larger than the petit jury. The petit jury (petit means small in French) actually handles criminal trials, with 12 members and alternates. A grand jury has to have 13 members. Originally the number in Tennessee was 18. Its job is to bring cases — or not — for trial. It has investigatory powers to ferret out private and public violations of law.

Grand jurors are to be picked at random from among the people, to reflect their democratic or representative capacity. The power the power of the grand jury reflects a biblical view of society, where even the least among the people are esteemed to be able to be judges. St. Paul urges Christians not to go the law against one another but let the least esteemed members of the church be their judges. The jury rises from the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers.

The picking process is important in the preservation of liberty. Jurors are to be randomly tapped and not assigned, named or chosen by anyone. A juror who is a friend of the judge and esteemed by a judge is beholden to that jurist. He is selected for a reason. It may be personal integrity. Legal experience. Availability. Personal interest or disposition. Religious background. Civic club connection. Church affiliation. Private or family connection.

A judge always has a reason for naming a Hugh Moore or Jimmy Anderson as grand jury foreman. The judge influences the grand jury, and has a measure of control over it by his selection and his relation to the foreman.

In contrast, jurors selected randomly are not likely to reflect the interest or person of the judge. A random pick is unlikely to have a built-in bias or a private (hidden) connection, affinity or obligation. A judge-assigned foreman has a built-in relationship and a built-in history, which is evaluated by the judge. This connection becomes the reason the judge nominates this man or that woman as foreman.

“The Courts are most fortunate in securing the services of JIMMY ANDERSON,” say the Hamilton County judges, “who is willing to assume the responsibilities of this high office. JIMMY ANDERSON is a person of honor, ability and has the respect of the citizens of this Court, and possesses all of the qualifications of a competent juror.”

Bias in criminal procedure

The person chosen becomes an officer of the state and a state employee and is not unbiased.

That judges select a person to be a grand juror — and then the leader of the grand jury — is a violation of due process of the highest order.

This abuse is a violation of due process rights and is the basis of overturning every single criminal court case handled by grand jury for the past century.

That is a breathtaking prospect.

The arguments for reform made by Mr. Fitzpatrick are consistent and developed in detail. His research of the legislative history of the grand jury says that the state is operating its grand jury system as an outlaw, in a way that is treasonous to a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The government is the constitution and all laws written in pursuance of it.

Mr. Fitzpatrick has been violated by police and judicial process because those individuals in Monroe and McMinn counties who benefit from their connections have been desperate to maintain the status quo and their place in it. Mr. Fitzpatrick effectively lives in hiding.

Deep state operation

As we have seen in other points, the state is in continuing revolt against God and against the people. The modern total absolutist state, the executive state as we call it, is content only when the people are its subject at every point, and dare not let there be any point at which they are not subject.

Mr. Fitzpatrick was convicted in a rigged trial of perjury and served 2 1/2 years in state prison on a  4 year sentence. He’s been beaten, savaged in freezing cells, slept for weeks on a concrete floor, endured humiliation as a prisoner and suspect for attempting to conduct a citizen’s arrest of a grand jury foreman in Monroe County. He was also made the object of a false flag paramilitary police operation in Madisonville, Tenn., in the matter of the purported private-militia takeover of the county courthouse. That operation was used to defame Mr. Fitzpatrick and to convict a second man in federal court who had committed no crime.

Mr. Fitzpatrick, 67, is a 6-footer who is 50 percent disabled from military service injuries. He survived a helicopter crash at a landing deck of a warship on duty in the Mideast. Mr. Fitzpatrick has appeared several times on the David Tulis show at 92.7 FM in Chattanooga and I have interviewed him informally numerous other times.

Mr. Fitzpatrick says I am the only journalist in the state who has looked into the substance of his claims. His work parallels the work of reformer John Gentry in his remonstrance project in the general assembly and my toils toward police powers and traffic stop reform in Chattanooga.

Mr. Fitzpatrick is appealing his conviction. His arguments are being handled by Knoxville attorney Van Irion.

Law enforcement accusations against Mr. Fitzpatrick as a “sovereign citizen” are mere slander. It is officials and judges who appear to act as sovereign citizens, operating above the law or outside the law. If anything, Mr. Fitzpatrick is a loyal American, a patriot and a man whose spirit reflects Christian repentance and a common, courtly touch.

Mr. Fitzpatrick is motivated by his oath of office to uphold the constitution as a naval officer. He says he is still bound by his oath to uphold the constitution, as military men are never free from the government’s claim upon them to serve when called in an emergency.

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