Monday, June 27, 2011

# 3 Top DN&R Story 2011


Grand Jury ''Smokes Isleton Marijuana' Issue


While the Bee headlined their story, "Grand jury blasts Isleton marijuana project," One would think they were "blasting"  something themselves. 

The report of the Grand jury should be used to roll up and  burn whatever they were smoking.  Grand jury foreman Donald Prange Jr. reads. "It did so, not because of any desire to test the limits of the law, but because of the promise of money and jobs."

As if a desire to test the limits of the law, is more noble than to create revenue to help a cash strapped community. While I am not a proponent of marijuana use, I am not a proponent of politics as usual being played for re-election or image building to affect the same goal of self promotion at the expense of community betterment. 

I affirm the smaller city/county rights to govern themselves as much as I do "states rights."  There is always the politics of money involved in these matters. The county receives federal money in grants and programs that it will lose if they don't play the same tune they are called to pipe by the feds.

The Bee also reported, "The 12-page report concludes that Isleton officials were blinded by the offer of $25,000 in monthly payments from the growers, and that they bent some laws and procedures to approve a 15,000 square foot farm without delay."

I just love this, again we see mainstream media reporting without the facts. What laws were violated? Procedures are rules and everyone bends those. If the Grand jury report say's laws were bent? Does that mean they weren't broke?  Then why mince words? The law was broke, or it wasn't! So if it was not broke, then we see why the report was only 12 pages long. They just got their  cues from those who were manipulating them to "bend" the purpose of  a grand Jury.


California Grand Juries
An Overview
Grand Juries are impaneled in every county in California. Article I, §23 of the California Constitution states: "a grand jury shall be drawn and summoned at least once a year in each county." Depending on a county's population, a specified number of citizens ranging from 11 to 23 in each of California's 58 counties are empowered to investigate and report on various activities of county and city government. The rules governing the makeup, organization, powers and duties of grand juries in California are found in the California Penal Code §888-939. Recent changes in the Penal Code (§904.6, 1991) permit any county to have an additional grand jury at the discretion of the presiding judge of the superior court.
The statutes permit some variation in the manner and time of selection of jurors and require only that the term of service be for one year and coincide with the County's fiscal year. Qualifications for grand jurors are outlined in Penal Code § 893. This section requires the prospective grand juror be at least 18 years old, in possession of their natural faculties and have sufficient knowledge of the English language. In Sacramento County, each grand jury begins its term July 1 and ends its service June 30 of the following year. Throughout the State, prospective grand jurors in each county are chosen through a lengthy process that includes application, screening by the jury commissioner from Department of Motor Vehicle Records, voter rolls, and nomination of interested persons by Superior Court Judges. A thorough background check is made on all interested persons and list of qualified candidates is submitted to the judges for review and approval. Since some members of the existing grand jury may be carried over for a second term, the number of names drawn will equal those needed to provide a grand jury of 19 members. (The law allows for a grand jury of 23 in counties with greater than four million population and for 11 members in counties with less than 20,000 population. (Penal Code §888.2)) It has been the practice in many counties to advertise widely and to encourage many people to apply for the grand jury. Because grand jury service requires the devotion and commitment for only a token payment, it is desirable for grand jurors to have an interest in community affairs and be open-minded with a true concern for the views of others. Grand jurors also should posses some investigative skills and be able to take good notes and write and type reports. A good knowledge of the functions and responsibilities of city and county government is also helpful.
Investigation of Complaints and Accusations
The grand jury also is likely to receive a number of citizen complaints, many of which involve operations of county or city agencies or special districts. Whether the complaint is civil or criminal, rules of secrecy apply, and during the course of its investigation, the grand jury may not divulge the subject or methods of inquiry. The subject of the investigation and the methods of inquiry are only revealed when the final report is published. Privileged or confidential material is not included in the grand jury reports. Thus the names of those questioned and facts that might lead to the identity of a person who provided information to the grand jury are not released. § 919(c) of the Penal Code requires the grand jury to inquire into the willful or corrupt misconduct in office of public officers of every description within the county. Where misconduct is found, the grand jury may file an accusation leading to a trial. If the official is convicted, the person is thereby removed from office. Very few of these accusations are filed. Frequently, if there is misconduct in office, it is of a criminal nature, and an indictment rather than an accusation would be issued. It is also possible that an official would resign rather than face an accusation. The grand jury may file an accusatory pleading against a corporation doing business in its county of jurisdiction (Penal Code § 892). In a report published by the California Grand Jurors Association, misconduct in office could include any of the following:
Nonfeasance:
1)
The failure to act where duty requires an act; or
2)
Neglect or refusal, without sufficient cause or excuse, to do that which is the officer's legal duty to do, whether willfully or through malice; or
3)
Willful neglect of duty
.
Misfeasance:
1)
The improper or doing of an act that a person might lawfully do; or
2)
The performance of a duty or act that one ought to do or has a right to do, but in manner such as to infringe upon the rights of others.
Malfeasance:
1)
The performance of an act that is positively unlawful or wrong; or
2)
The performance of a wrongful act that the person has no legal right to do.


So where is the intent and purpose of a grand  jury to be vague and ambiguous as this report is? 

The Bee further reported:
"Even after Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully made it clear she was investigating the planned medical marijuana farm in Isleton last February, operators of the project quietly brought in more than 1,000 marijuana plants and began growing them inside the garages of three vacant homes on the property, a new grand jury report states.
But when federal authorities warned the city and project planners that they could face prosecution, a worker from Delta Allied Growers supposedly used a backhoe to bury the plants 10 to 15 feet underground on the site and all work stopped.
These are among the findings of a Sacramento County grand jury report released today that is sharply critical of Isleton city government and the would-be marijuana growers.
The 12-page report concludes that Isleton officials were blinded by the offer of $25,000 in monthly payments from the growers, and that they bent some laws and procedures to approve a 15,000 square foot farm without delay."

It concludes? Where is

Misfeasance?
Malfeasance?
Nonfeasance?


And the Bee further reports:
"The city allowed the community to be pushed into a project that is perched on the blurry edge of marijuana law without properly questioning the situation," a cover letter to the report from grand jury foreman Donald Prange Jr. reads. "It did so, not because of any desire to test the limits of the law, but because of the promise of money and jobs."

Pushed the community? They don't know Isleton California! If enough citizens were not on board, The Bee would be writing about the fight against it, not making citizens sound like they are "sheeple"...or part ostrich with their heads in the sand. Everybody knows everything  about everybody and every thing in every small community, and Isleton is no different.

Because of budget cuts in metropolitan cities, many agencies have to have a blind eye towards small time misdemeanors and "bending of procedures. But I am sure the good folks of Isleton would rather the county and feds just keep their noses out of their... business. 




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