‘Plea strike’ would choke legal system, slash arrests

Maurice McDowell, left, a filmmaker, has talked about making a video that overturns abusive habits on the part of cops and judges in Tennessee. I am holding the state’s shipping, freight and transportation law, Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 55, used to enforce Jim Crow on African-Americans and everyone else. Possible movie subject? (Photo David Tulis)

 Black people in Hamilton County could start a counterrevolution by launching a plea strike.

By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio

That means that as a distinct group of people they refuse to plea bargain with the legal establishment to try to make the criminal cases against them go away. That means that they assert their rights to have an indictment and a jury trial and that they will enter the trial courtroom ready to proceed, even if any one member of this group has no idea what he’s doing.

The idea of a plea strike arises from God’s requirement for justice in Exodus 23:1-3 and in Deuteronomy 11:7. The legal system works today to reduce the common law premise of conflict between the state and the people, with the people resisting claims and prosecutions and the state limited in its ambitions of creating an industry of prisons and police.

The common law system of controverting criminal accusations is overturned by the plea bargain mill that “settles” more than 95 percent of erstwhile criminal cases.

A plea strike seems virtually an impossibility, because it would have to come from common and ordinary people of the kind who are routinely rounded up and charged with “failure to appear” or “driving on revoked.” From such common folk, one can expect limited resistance. 

People without access to good ideas and encouragement will continue to plea bargain. Their compliance keeps the system running smoothly and virtually friction free. How to change the thinking of ordinary people who don’t listen to NoogaRadio 92.7 FM or read this website? How to encourage people to stand their ground, and act as belligerant claimants in person defending their rights?

Who might promote a strike?

Possibly a noisy campaign might make an impression. That being led by, perhaps, NAACP or Concerned Citizens for Justice in Chattanooga They could launch a program and argue that ordinary people should unite to clog the system and bring it to a virtual halt.

But it is a tall order to get the attention of organizers of these groups, already busy with other projects and their occupations, families and callings.

If a group doesn’t organize a “plea strike” project, an impetus for one might come from someone such as Maurice McDowell, a filmmaker whose first work is “32,” a music video about a mass drug prosecution among African-Americans by the U.S. government.

I have discussed with concept with Mr. McDowell, but proposed also one of more immediate possible result: A film about “miracle workers” who use my transportation administrative notice to stiff-arm police roadside stops and thwart state gains in sessions and criminal court using the state shipping, freight and transportation law against people not involved in shipping, freight or transportation.

I am not sure how many people have a copy of TAN in their cars and are ready to use it, or oral reference to it, in a traffic stop. Do you know anyone who us “traveling under administrative notice”?

A plea strike. Miracle Workers. Standing our ground. Thoughts?

The David Tulis show is 1 p.m. weekdays, live and lococentric.

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