Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flesh and Blood, Man

Kevin Carey has a remarkable piece in the Washington Monthly (which I heard is facing a very uncertain future) about the case of Shawn Earl Gardner and his attempt to use the flesh-and-blood defense:
In the previous year, nearly twenty defendants in other Baltimore cases had begun adopting what lawyers in the federal courthouse came to call “the flesh-and-blood defense.” The defense, such as it is, boils down to this: As officers of the court, all defense lawyers are really on the government’s side, having sworn an oath to uphold a vast, century-old conspiracy to conceal the fact that most aspects of the federal government are illegitimate, including the courts, which have no constitutional authority to bring people to trial. The defendants also believed that a legal distinction could be drawn between their name as written on their indictment and their true identity as a “flesh and blood man.”
The flesh-and-blood defense, it seems, has quite a history. It goes back to a man named William Gale, a World-War II veteran horrified by the 14th Amendment. He went on to argue that, though a combination of that and the dropping of the Gold Standard, the U.S. government is illegitimate. Therefore, he argued, any documents issued by said illegitimate government were false. In Carey's words, "All they had to do, farmers were told, was opt out of the system by sending a letter to the appropriate authorities renouncing their driver’s license, birth certificate, and social security number. ... [such documents created] an artificial construct, they were told, a legal 'straw man.' It wasn’t them—natural, live, flesh and blood men."

The judge dismissed the defense, noting the irony of the defendant's declaration as a "flesh and blood man." The whole story is worth a read.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Before an individual aquiences to the court(enters plea)(steps forward)(accomodates entity name all caps created by govt)ask to be shown where act speaks to me a flesh and blood man THEY CANNOT and demand with all do respect that this fact be enterd into record NOW THE JUDGE IS IN TROUBLE it may also help to let them know you have brought in your own transcriber.See tables turn now.

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