All For the Right to Pray (26)

Part Six – They Want You Gone, You Get Gone

Chapter 26 – Railroaded

By Ghost Dancer

Before I begin to clearly explain and document facts about how I was  railroaded, I would like to say that I do not hold any bad feelings or anger for what was done to me. Now this may surprise you but I have forgiven them for what they did. No, I surely have not forgotten about it but I don’t live in the past and I don’t live on hate. I live on Love and Beauty. I awaken each day as it being a new day. I cannot change one thing that happened in the past; I can only change what I do today and what I will do tomorrow. I live to enjoy life each and every day to the best of my ability.

I speak on these things not to relive them but hopefully to cause real changes in the criminal justice system so that anything like this can never happen again. It is my hope and prayer that with what all my family, friends and I are sharing with our stories, facts, documents, records, and photos, that people’s eyes will become open and they will cry out to their federal and state senators, congress people, legislators and the media and demand changes in how things are done.  It is for this reason that the world needs to see the real American justice system, not the one of fairy tales and  political propaganda! 

It is only a small voice I have with a true story, a history and life experience of how corrupt the system truly is.  Please I encourage you to read all of the story and, review the documents, records and make up your own mind. I trust the truth shall touch your hearts, spirits and you will want justice and change to come. Only when you voice, your heart’s true cry for justice, will changes begin to happen. There must be a large number of people and the number must grow if enough pressure is to be made to force change in the old established corrupt system which is based on the desires of money hungry vultures! So please add your voices to cry out for meaningful reforms in the criminal justice system. You can freely use my cases and my name to draw attention to the facts of truth.  

First I would like to say that most of the public is unaware of how the justice system actually works. Most surely the system does not go by the accused being “Innocent until proven guilty.” That idea is nothing more than a propaganda lie and is, in actuality, totally the opposite of the way things work. There is also no such thing as a trial by your peers. If you research how the law defines others as your peers you would see that. From Black’s Law Dictionary:

What are PEERS

In feudal law. The vassals of a lord who sat in his court as judges of their co-vassals, and were called “peers,” as being each other’s equals, or of the same condition. The nobility of Great Britain, being the lords temporal having seats in parliament, and including dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts, and barons. Equals; those who are a man’s equals in rank and station; this being the meaning in the phrase “trial by a jury of his peers.” In the United States, this equality is not so much political as civil.

Also there is no impartial grand jury hearing. This hearing is totally one sided with a prosecutor who is able to manipulate any story he so chooses. Now by the rules of the court he is not allowed to do these things but it is common practice for prosecutors to put witnesses on the stand to testify before the grand jury and allow them to lie or give testimony to things they have no personal knowledge of. All of this is in violation of the rules of the court rules of evidence but is totally ignored  and in practice an everyday occurrence.

Not one judge will say anything and allows all this to go on. They will claim they had no idea or it is not their job to protect a defendant’s rights. This is the duty of the Public Pretender! Yes you heard me correctly, I said “Public Pretender.” These people who work in the public pretender’s offices, are themselves officers of the court and get paid by the court. They want to get as many cases as they can and they push plea bargaining in nearly every case. It makes no difference if you are actually innocent. They don’t believe you anyway if you tell them you are innocent and this is part of the travesty. It is just so much easier for them to get a plea deal than to do the work to prove your innocence. With the plea deal they have so very little to do and get paid to sign away your rights. Once the accused signs away his/her rights well they have no rights to appeal to a higher court for justice.

At no time during the grand jury is a lawyer there to cross examine any of the prosecution’s witnesses or refute any testimony to the grand jury. This HUGE FLAW is why so many are indicted and because these unscrupulous prosecutors will do anything and everything to get the indictments even if what they are doing is illegal and immoral. They don’t care about getting to the truth; they just want to win. How do they get away with this? Under our current system, prosecutors act with impunity; they have absolute or at least qualified immunity in anything they do meaning they cannot be held accountable and liable for their acts.

Putting teeth in the law making prosecutors accountable for their actions would put a big dent in the miscarriage of justice and would successfully reduce any and all wrongful convictions. When someone talks of criminal justice reform, this must be at the top of the list along with changing how the jury selection is processed. As I have said at every opportunity, the fact is most jurors now days are selected repeatedly for jury duty. Why? Because they get people convicted which is what the prosecution and the system loves doing.

Prisons and the criminal justice system are both components of a huge business worth billions of dollars just in putting people away. They are in actuality destroying the defendant’s life forever. Once someone is convicted of felony he loses his rights as a citizen forever and the crime will be held against him forever so much so that you will be looked down upon and mainstream society will hold it against you in every way!

It is not uncommon for the same professional jurors to be selected and called for jury selection duty again and again each and every year. So no, these are not random computer selected jurors. These are individuals that have proven to be reliable in doing exactly what the prosecution wants. In seeking criminal justice reform this must be stopped completely. A person should only be eligible for jury duty once every (7) seven years and should only be chosen to actually sit on a jury once every (10) ten years. 

Now let’s get back to the Public Pretenders. See for anyone to face a criminal charge is very serious and under the law and rules of the court, a lawyer is required for the sole purpose of protecting the client’s rights. But unless the defendant has the personal means to hire a top-notch private attorney, that is far from what is done in actuality in a criminal proceeding. I would venture that 99.99 % of the time the public pretender is good friends with the prosecution, the law officers and even the judge. They all work together and they don’t have any problem sending someone to prison and destroying their life and all of the defendant’s family and friends lives too.

Under the law and rules of the court the public pretender’s job is to ensure that your rights and grounds are protected. If this is not done at the pretrial and trial stages then it cannot be brought up later in a higher court. The appeal’s court isn’t there to see or rule on your innocence, only to make sure that no rules were violated in convicting you! And if your public pretender does not make the required objections and raise these issues, well you have no hope of ever getting the conviction(s) overturned.

My so-called lawyer (public pretender) was a classic example of all of the above. Not only would he not investigate any of the government witnesses and question them before trial, or even investigate the any of the evidence, but he also refused to call all the witnesses who were actually present during the crimes. He refused to challenge any of the evidence and how it was presented and handled. For example,

one of the government witnesses admitted that he had spliced together select parts of a film and destroyed all the original films but my public pretender said nothing. Why when the originals would clearly prove my innocence? He did not like me because of my race, religious beliefs and my history.

Now the defense attorney is not allowed to let any witness lie on the stand. Yet he knowingly allowed this time after time when the key government witnesses were doing the lying. He knew this for a fact yet when I tried to get him to object and motion the court to invoke the perjury of the testimony, he refused. Yes, I even have in writing that he would not “throw dirt on law enforcement.”

Identification

The defense attorney is not supposed to let an illegal identification go unchallenged. But this he also allowed and did not challenge this as being part of the fruits of the poisonous tree clause. This is recorded in the transcripts of the conference at the judge’s bench when he told the judge, “I did not know this.” 

Not one of the three main witnesses whose identification secured my conviction actually placed me at the scene of the crime 

First: Sgt. H. S. of the Santa Rosa County sheriff’s office. Now according to the documented grand jury transcripts records, Special Agent Joseph Tierney testified that Sgt. H.S. knew me very well. He had met and talked with me on many occasions, and he could identify me because of knowing me all these times. This witness was never at the scene of the crimes that I was convicted of based on his eye witness identification. He wasn’t even in the same county, yet this man got on the witness stand and stated that he could identify me because he was scared to death when he had to confront me about the wolves on May 25, 1995 and that is the only time he had ever met me.

Now the Assistant U.S. attorney knew this man just lied and he tried to help him out by trying to guide him to saying maybe he was mistaken about the date. Why? Because the prosecutor knew I had been locked up since my arrest in Alaska on May 11th and there is no possible way he could have seen me in Florida at that time. Nor could he have seen me anytime at that particular flea market since the last time I had been there was October of 1994 and I had never ever seen or spoken to this man in my life. I tried to get my so-called lawyer to object and impeach this witness’s testimony which he is required to do but he refused. This man was a law enforcement officer and his testimony most surely has an impact on a jury.

In addition, although this witness had never ever met me or had a confrontation with me, the first thing he said was that I was a member of A.I.M. (American Indian Movement) and how dangerous that meant I was. Now there is no way that this cop could have possibly known anything about A.I.M. unless he was told by someone such as Joseph Tierney. Nevertheless, he testified that he could positively identify me as being the bank robber because of his false claim of having a confrontation with me on May 25th. 

Remember this: H.S. is saying he can identify me by having looked at a photograph of the bank robber suspect. Yet according to the Assistant U.S. attorney the bank robber is in disguise. Now isn’t that kind of a very difficult identification? If the suspect is in disguise then there is no way he could identify me. And if the suspect isn’t in disguise then he still can’t identify me because I didn’t look anything like the suspect. 

I point this all out because my convictions are based on this witness’s identification of me as the suspect. What my so called lawyer was required to do was to challenge this witness and ask the court to impeach his testimony. This my lawyer refused to do. Now since he didn’t object and raise this issue before this court and put it in the records he successfully barred me from raising this ground on appeal.

Now it is important that we speak on legal identification. According to proper and correct procedure in doing a legal identification, law enforcement is required to make sure that no rules are broken, or biased procedures used. Now since this was done with photographs, it is required that the arresting officer not be allowed to even be present during this time. The photo ID must be conducted by an unbiased person and include many similar looking people in different photographs so that no photograph stands out or even be subliminally suggestive.

Now it is documented in court transcripts that Special Agent Joseph Tierney did in fact take a copy of my driver’s license and a copy of a bank photo and go around showing people these and trying to get them to identify me as the bank robber which is totally illegal. Yet once again my so-called lawyer (the public pretender)

did not object to these illegal violations of evidence and since he did not, then once again I could not raise this on direct appeal. 

Now in court transcripts at the judge’s bench, it is clearly stated that Special Agent Joseph Tierney did in fact leave a copy of my driver’s license and a copy of a bank photo with government witness C. P. for more than two weeks and told her he really needed to get her to identify me. Now this is a clear violation of the rules of identification. The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney E. K. knew this for a fact, public pretender C. P. and surely the judge knew this was against the rules of the court and all three should have impeached her testimony at that time right there and instructed the jury to disregard any and all of her testimony. But none of that was done.

Instead, C. P.’s testimony was allowed to be used against me. Now this witness was a former parole officer who had repeatedly threatened me and tried blackmailing me to get free jewelry, native arts and crafts each week. Repeatedly she had suggested that if I did not give her what she wanted she could send me back to prison just on her word. I wouldn’t have to commit a crime, she could do this by saying she had complaints or whatever. After several months of this, complaints were made about her behavior, and she was removed from being my parole officer in October 1994.

At trial C.P. testified to knowing me very well, knew everything about me, had been to my home on many occasions and had last seen me in February suggesting an intimate relationship. Now the truth is that she never ever saw me alone, always someone was present. She only came to our home on two occasions, my wife was there, and she stayed for no more than 5 minutes. Now she had only been my parole officer for a short time, and I had not seen her since October of ’94, so no, she did not know me, and she surely was not happy with me for getting her off my case.

My parole officer assigned after her was also approached by Special Agent Joseph Tierney to identify me using the two photos (one of my driver’s license and the photo from the bank) but he said the suspect was not me and refused to do as Tierney wanted. Tierney then began showing it to others in the parole office and none of them identified me. Finally he turned to C. P. and left the two photos with her. These are the two main witnesses the government used to identify and convict me. Both are proven and documented as lying in court and in conspiring with special agent Joseph Tierney and Assistant U.S. Attorney Edwin Knight to falsely imprison and convict me for crimes that I never committed. 

Back in prison, this time in Federal Prison, where there was no possibility of parole and no “good time.” I still had the parole violation for two life sentences from the State hanging over me as well. Now I was sentenced to forty years, which basically amounts to the rest of my life.

Make no mistake, I resolved to fight this every way I could, but one thing everyone knows is that the state and federal courts will cover their butts when they railroad someone. No matter what, you will not get justice, for one thing the government will never do is admit they are wrong, that they made a mistake.

It did not matter how many people protested my conviction, nor did the twenty seven boxes of letters demanding that I be given a new trial. It did not matter that the Government knew the witnesses they put on the stand were lying. It did not matter that there was an abundance of evidence never introduced at trial that would prove my innocence. Most importantly, it did not matter that under the law of the United States of America, an accused person is assumed innocent until proven guilty. The fact remains, the government wanted me gone and that is all that mattered.

Anyone who studies how the government manipulates the law will see the pattern. The first is to sway public opinion. Using false propaganda and lies they turn people against you. They will create fear in ways that are subtle, and some not so subtle, by going to your friends and family and even your witnesses to threaten and intimidate them with veiled warnings of what will happen if they testify. Even though this is supposed to be illegal, you will not find one judge or prosecutor who will stop this, much less have charges brought against them. The public wants to believe the law is protecting them, but the fact is, these things were done to me, but not just to me; this is standard operating procedure.

In my case, no matter what they did, people from all over, from all walks of life, stood by me, spoke up for me. But for ones so powerful, people speaking out about injustice are merely an irritant. This is why the government conviction rate is so extremely high, beyond reason, beyond any chance of fairness or justice.

If a lawyer fights for you, that lawyer gets threatened and if that doesn’t work, that lawyer may suddenly be under investigation. Despite what we are told, there is also no random selection of jurors. The same people are called to sit on juries on a regular basis. This leaves nothing to chance. Since all agents of the government have absolute immunity, no matter how illegal their actions, they can’t be punished for it. In the absence of accountability, these federal agents have the power to do whatever they need to do to win the case against you. It would be a grave mistake for anyone to think they will get a fair trial in federal court. That will never happen.

Published by Edna Peirce Dixon

I am an 80-something elder, a child of the great depression and WWII. I have lived a good life doing all the ordinary things valued by women of my generation. Through it all, I have also been a seeker, an outsider by nature, never quite "at home" in any group, but always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. A registered nurse by profession, I am a lifelong student with a love of writing and interests in history and genealogy. In my golden years, just when I was starting to wonder what I was going to do with the rest of my life, some unexpected things happened that led me down new and unfamiliar paths. I’ve since learned it took a lifetime of experiences to prepare me for the new challenges and opportunities to come. The lessons these new challenges bring comprise the magic elixir that keep me seeking, keep me aware, keep me vital.

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