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Two Border Patrol Agents named Jose Campeon and Ignacio Ramos were in the news today.  They were trying to get a female United States district court judge to reduce a mandatory ten year prison sentence for using a firearm in the commission of a felony.  She turned them down.

The news people report that they are next going to try getting a Presidential pardon from the new President.   Just in case you haven’t  heard Lou Dobbs bemoan the fate of these two guys, the United States Government charged them by a grand jury indictment with shooting an unarmed drug smuggler in the butt.  The two had a jury trial and were convicted.

How do you defend yourself in the so-called federal court?  The first thing you do is challenge the qualifications of the grand jury.  Grand and petit jurors in United States district court must be U.S. citizens and residents of the judicial district for one year.

Just for the purposes of our discussion of what Ramos and Campeon should have done once they were charged, how would you prove you were a citizen of the United States.  Barack Obama can’t prove he is a natural born Citizen and he has a birth certificate that says he was born in Hawaii.  If you think it is easy to prove U.S. citizenship, you haven’t read enough of these posts.

Proving that you, as a juror, are a resident of  the judicial district is nearly an impossibility.  You aren’t hardly anyone is outside Washington D.C.  The judicial district is the government owned territory within the county or the state.  The only people who live in those places are military personnel and forest rangers. 

Back in the bad old days of racial discrimination, women and minorities were never allowed to be seated on grand juries and trial (petit) juries.  Grand and petit juries were challenged on racial grounds, but no one had ever challenged a grand or petit jury on territorial jurisdictiion grounds. 

The territorial jurisdiction of the United States district is limited to government territory.  If the government doesnt own it and control it, it isn’t the  United States.

How does this keep you out of federal prison?  You cannot be indicted, if not enough of the jurors who voted for the indictment qualify as U.S. citizens and as residents of the district.

The Supreme Territorial Court has confirmed the absolute right to challenge the grand jury in a case called Test v. United STates, 420 U.S. 28 (1975).   I tried to help Martha Stewart attack her conviction, but she may have used this information to secure some other benefit from the government by surrendering and doing her time without much fuss.  Martha Stewart could have easily challenged the trial jurors on their residency within the judicial district, because they appeared on national television to talk about the case.  Of course, any detective could place the trial jurors outside of government territory and outside the judicial district.   

Help Ramos and Campeon to get out of federal prison and you can help anyone  get out.                                       

Dr. Eduardo M. Rivera

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