I have been thinking about the tribulations of Jimmy Lee Moore, who is facing a hearing in the sessions court of Christie Mahn Sell in Hamilton County, Tenn., on June 26. A persistent violation of due process rights in the Chattanooga area is the refusal of state actors to hand a copy of the charging instrument to their accused.
The question has come up in the pending case Thursday before sessions court judge Lila Statom of Jon Luman, a Title 55 prosecution of a free-spirited traveling American whose car is not registered as a motor vehicle and who carries no insurance nor a valid driver license. Should Mr. Luman argue the right to travel and proclaim his status as a party protected by the constitution?
Or should he better, in my opinion, attack the attackers’ at their boldest abuse. That appears to be insufficient charging instrument, or no charging instrument.
In the cases of Mr. Moore and Mr. Luman, the resistance is best brought upon the error, sloppiness, disrespect and haplessness of the police state, long accustomed to getting its way and running roughshod over Americans and, in particularly, Hamilton Countians.
If it were me, and I were Mr. Moore, here’s the script of what I would say.
Rule 3 controls
Your honor, you see I don’t have a lawyer and I’m representing myself. [Should I assign you one? she asks]
Ma’am, just wondering. Do you presume that I’m innocent? [Yes, sir, I am a fair and impartial judge, etc.]
And I’ve got a second question, yer honor. Are you looking after my interests as a citizen presumed to be innocent before trial? [Yes, I am an impartial judge, etc]
Well, if you are looking out for me as member of the citizenry, I’m move for dismissal.
Ma’am, my accusers have not given me anything in writing. They are required to respect my due process rights.
My due process rights are protected by Rule No. 3 [in rules of criminal procedure]..
Rule 3 requires that I be given a sworn affidavit in writing and “allege the essential facts constituting the offense charged.”
Not having been given anything in writing, this citizen is being kept in the dark.
The charges are effectively a state secret.
I cannot defend myself — and here we are at trial, with the DA and the officer present.
I am unable to know by what the cop said the “nature and causes” of the criminal charges against me.
Please protect my due process rights.
I move for dismissal.
Thank you, your honor.