Payoffs for Judges, Prosecutors Is Legal by Statute
By Pat Shannan
Anyone who has ever attended an Internal Revenue Service court case likely noticed the biased attitude of the presiding judge in favor of the prosecution. Perhaps, though, only those of us who have sat in courtrooms, in every section of the country, can attest to this unwavering pattern of unfairness. Whatever happened to the judge’s impartial role of “referee”?
Federal statutes show how and why U.S. law encourages prosecutorial and judicial conflicts of interest, non-neutrality, non-impartiality and corruption of justice in the federal courts. (See page 13 for portions of 5 USC 4502 through 4504 from the United States Code.)
How can the federal judiciary be independent and impartial when the law permits the federal government to secretly award judges up to $25,000 in undisclosed secret “cash awards,” and to privately, secretly and “erroneously” overpay them up to $10,000, and “waive” these erroneous overpayments?
How can any defendant be found innocent or “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” when such statutory “cash award” provisions on their face create an irrefutable, behind-the-scenes incentive for the prosecution? These questions and others must be answered by the U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon following a lawsuit naming multiple defendants in the Department of Justice including Judge Anna J. Brown, who presided over a trial of “conspiracy to impede the IRS” last November.
Defendant Roy Bendshadler’s attorney Nancy Bergeson had complained of suspected “jury tampering” and was found strangled to death in her Portland home the next day. Her cause of death was at first passed off as “natural causes” until a second medical examiner changed it to homicide. The murder is unsolved.
The 94-page action was filed by Michael Sean Mungovan, one of five convicted in the above 2009 case. Mungovan was sentenced to four years in prison on July 28. This was an hour after he had served Judge Brown with a copy of the suit, which should have legally restricted her from any sentencing action over him until it was resolved, according to Mungovan.
None of this is new to the IRS. Its manual on pages 1,229 to 1,291 (Delegation Orders of January 17, 1983) outlines the IRS system of monetary awards “of up to and including $5,000, for any one individual employee or group of employees, in his/her immediate office, including field employees, engaged in National Office projects; and contributions of employees of other government agencies and armed forces members. ”This would include U.S. District Court judges and U.S. attorneys.
The Mungovan suit, composed by Utah lawyer Dr. Dale Livingston, explains, “These awards include secret cash awards. They are not limited as to the number of awards that may be awarded to any one person or group. There is no limitation placed upon any award. Any person or group of persons can be awarded this money, including: U.S. attorneys, federal judges, the president of the United States or anyone else for that matter.”
Livingston added: “The awards may be given to the same person or group, each minute, each hour, every day, every week, every month, every year or not at all. In other words, the U.S. government and the alleged Internal Revenue Service . . . have a perfectly legal (not lawful) system of bribery. The bribery works against the American people . . . when they expect impartial justice, and there is no proof on the record to the contrary.”
The murder of attorney Bergeson, who only threatened to initiate an investigation into what she believed to have been a stacked jury, sends the warning that Mungovan, by forcing the issue, may have placed a much larger target on his back.
Lack of space here prevents this writer’s attempt to list all the negative ramifications of such a surreptitious program posing as “justice for all,” but let us consider for a moment a few of the many dubious convictions from the recent decades reported in AFP and The Spotlight over the years.
How much money did Judge Paul Benson receive for railroading Yori Kahl and Scott Faul in 1983? There was no evidence these young men ever fired a shot in the melee in Medina, North Dakota, where Yori’s father, Gordon, admitted shooting U.S. Marshal Ken Muir in self-defense. Later it was learned this was the same judge that had sent away Leonard Peltier of Wounded Knee fame for life, with no evidence he had killed the two FBI agents found dead after the 1973 shootout. Are judges paid more for high-profile cases?
How about Judge Walter Smith of Waco, Texas? We cannot imagine how many bucks he may have received after sending away 11 Branch Davidian Church members, who had been acquitted by a jury of capital crimes in 1994, not long after the Waco massacre of men, women and children by federal agents and troops. These 11 churchgoers received a total of 240 years. These outrageous maximum sentences for merely carrying a firearm were applied against people who had not even fired a shot in self-defense at the onrushing U.S. marshals, U.S. military Special Forces soldiers and other federal gunmen.
Then there were the Montana Freemen, who were labeled as “separatist outlaws.” In 1996 they were working to expose the banking fraud of the Federal Reserve System. Many of these men are still in federal prison, yet they never harmed anyone.
Cash incentives paid for convictions help us understand not only what has happened in the past, but also what we can expect to see in the future.
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(Issue # 33, August 16, 2010)