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Home > Alerts & Updates > Update for 6/17/2013: Courts of InJustice versus Clark Aposhian

What is happening to Clark Aposhian can happen to you.
Related articles:

Why Would the USSC Chair Privately Lobby Against HB 76 S1?

2013 Bill Tracking Page: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Embracing a Tainted Ideal
Courts of InJustice versus Clark Aposhian

(Update for 6/17/13):  Here we expose how this Government subverts fair trials and the consequences of this subversion for Clark Aposhian.  Specifically, Aposhian faces a system in which unreasonable seizures occur, the right to Counsel is effectively denied, the right to a public trial by an impartial jury is obstructed, and deprivation of life, liberty, and property may occur without authentic due process of law.

The Living Nightmare of Government Prosecution

The recent news coverage regarding the prosecution of Utah Shooting Sports Council (USSC) lobbyist Clark Aposhian serves to illustrate the injustices inherent in Utah’s court system.  Though we have faulted Aposhian for his apparent collaboration with the governor’s office to help veto HB 76 S1 (Carry Unloaded Firearms Concealed), this unsavory act is immaterial to whether he, or any citizen, should receive fair treatment when criminally or civilly accused.

According to news stories, Aposhian has been charged with  domestic violence in the presence of a child and three other class B misdemeanors: trespass, criminal mischief, and threat of violence.  If substantively true these acts MAY represent unacceptable conduct.  It is our persistent observation, however, that the statutory language and accompanying definitions behind each charge must be carefully read and understood.

Is actual justice impacted by their violation?  Or are the statutes merely an expression of excessive Governmental power, no matter how acceptable they may seem from their title?  (For example, consider unjust statutes that criminalize the virtuous act of peaceably carrying a firearm for personal and family defense.)

Apart from determining whether the statutes themselves are just, we reasonably should consider how easily abuse might result from:

* embellishment and distortion of actual facts to satisfy the personal animosity of an accuser towards the accused;

* police and prosecutorial aggrandizement or payback;

* the ongoing “need” to justify enormous taxpayer expenditures on courts, police, prosecutors, attorneys, and prisons; and

* outright carelessness.

We must keep in mind that without prosecutions there would be no “business” to quell the massive and insatiable appetite of the “criminal justice” industry.

Within this nightmarish environment Aposhian and all defendants may be charged with violation of unjust statutes and must endure a system that financially benefits from prosecutions.  Much is at stake for Aposhian as the weight of the Leviathan is stacked against him.  He faces a system that values convictions, in and of themselves, as a measure of “justice”.  His reputation, ability to make a living, relationship with his child and other family members, right to defend himself, and liberty may all be subverted or destroyed by Government run amok.

In light of the inherent tendency of governments to abuse power, certain safeguards were instituted in American jurisprudence.  These safeguards include:

* protection against unreasonable seizures;

* the right to Counsel;

* the right to a public trial by an impartial jury; and

* protection against the deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

House Monarch-ess, Rebecca Lockhart
History is replete with examples of seizures absent authentic due process.
Unreasonable Seizure of Weapons

Let’s examine some of these safeguards with regard to Aposhian’s prosecution.  Upon presenting himself to the court, Aposhian was told this by judge Augustus Chin:

"If there are any weapons in your home, I’m giving you 24 hours to remove them.  That’s in effect immediately."

At this point Aposhian has merely been accused of certain criminal acts and there is no known indication that he is inclined to actually be violent or has threatened anyone with a firearm.  Apparently the court agrees that no violence is imminent or it would have detained him without bail.

So is the judge acting on his own or does he reflect an institutional contempt for firearms ownership by citizens?  Does he wish for Aposhian to be subject to attack and have no means to defend himself?  At what point does the definition of a weapon end?  Does Aposhian have to remove scissors, pocket knives, baseball bats, screwdrivers, containers of gasoline, lumber, rocks, glass containers, motorized vehicles, pencils and pens, bows and arrows, and similar items since all may be used as a weapon?

Since Aposhian has been ordered to remove weapons from his home and they are not available to him, they have effectively been seized by judge Chin.  We believe the de facto seizure is unreasonable absent a hearing in which Aposhian may challenge and refute any direct evidence to be used against him to justify the pre-trial seizure/punishment.

If Aposhian may no longer possess weapons, he may no longer be able to make a living since he teaches concealed carry to those seeking government licenses.  This of course probably greatly diminishes his ability to defend himself absent income from his business, particularly if the pre-trial motions and trial itself become long, complicated, and expensive due to unreasonable conduct by the judge, prosecutors, and police.  (Sadly and ironically Aposhian’s apparent facilitation of the veto of HB 76 S1 may have been influenced by a possible reduction of business for him absent a Government mandate for training for those carrying concealed firearms.  Now his business may be terminated by the same Government that provided business to him in the first place.)

The denial of adequate counsel has been tried before.
Government Denial of Counsel for the Accused

It was of interest to note that Aposhian appeared without a lawyer in court.  His lack of Counsel highlights one of the most despicable abuses of justice found in Utah’s and America’s degraded court systems.  While the Utah and U.S. Constitutions assure a defendant shall have the right to assistance of Counsel for his defense, in practice the Government has rigged the system to effectively deny Counsel for many — or most* — defendants.
*Note: Court-appointed counsel may be provided if the defendant is "indigent".

This denial of Counsel results in part from a statutory prohibition against “practicing law without a license”.  Since Government-approved lawyers are unaffordable without major to severe financial harm to a defendant (are you able to afford dozens of hours for two lawyers working on your behalf at $200 to $500 per hour each?), as a practical matter most defendants must acquiesce to a “plea bargain” or ration and weaken their legal assistance to avoid financial ruin.

Without the statutory prohibition against Counsel other than Government-approved lawyers, competition would arise and a defendant would have more effective options at lower cost for his defense.  For example, many paralegals are well-versed in the rules of criminal and civil procedure and could capably guide a defendant in her own defense at a cost she might afford.  As well, there are persons who have undertaken self study of law or have been to law school and are similarly capable as some paralegals but do not have a Government license (i.e. are members of the pseudo-governmental Utah State Bar Association).

Should not a defendant be able to determine the balance between effective representation and cost of that representation?  In Utah a typical taxpaying defendant is denied affordable legal representation by the Government.  A defendant may have all the legal assistance that he may require, but at a Government-inflated cost that he most definitely cannot afford.

Secretive trials are a hallmark of tyrannies.
Subversion of Public Trials

Because secret trials are an inherent methodology of tyrannies, the Utah  and U.S. Constitutions recognize the right of the accused to have a public trial.  Obviously the public will be less inclined to tolerate malfeasance, nonfeasance, and misfeasance by the judiciary and its prosecutorial allies if the proceedings in a court room are easily made known.

Not surprisingly, the observation of public trials, just like the right of the accused to have Counsel, has been subverted by this Government.  While the court room may be open to a limited number of in-person observers for some trials, these observers have been banned from recording the proceedings so that the larger public may directly and easily see for themselves the injustices that occur.

The courts have recognized the de facto concealment of their craft, in an age where virtually everything else is disclosed, does not pass a public test for legitimacy.  As a result, limited recording has recently been authorized.  Video recording is still not allowed by the general public and judges may ban all recordings in any particular case.

Recording is important so the public can see what happens, for example, when the accused seeks, but is denied, affordable assistance of Counsel (i.e. Counsel that is not approved by the Bar) due to tyranny imposed by the Judicial Council.

Thus saith the Court Dictator!
Undermining Trial by an Impartial Jury

It is also important for the public to see courts deny the accused trial by an impartial jury.  Jury tampering (undermining a fair and impartial jury) effectively occurs when a court instructs a jury that its power is limited solely to deciding the facts of the case.  It is an outrage when jurors are pressured by a court to uphold a prosecution based on a statute that is unjust, or is unfairly or vindictively applied.

It is a preposterous notion that citizens are held accountable for every detail of thousands of statutes, rules, and regulations (i.e. we’re told that ignorance of a statute is no defense to prosecution) while jurors are considered entirely ignorant of the law and must enforce every statute as ordered — no matter how unjust or unfair.  The fundamental benefit of trial by an impartial jury is subverted by any court that denies the accused and the jury an opportunity to challenge the justice of the statutes she is charged with violating.

Nonetheless, despite the menacing instructions given to jurors by courts and the threat of being jailed in defense of the innocent, some jurors do exercise their conscience and prevent unjust convictions.   Since an unanimous verdict is required in Utah’s criminal cases, only one juror of conscience is required to thwart an attack against the accused by the Government.

Since it only takes one juror of conscience to prevent the iron fist of Government from imprisoning and fining a defendant, the already massive asymmetry in resources of the accused vs. GOVERNMENT is worsened by Utah’s greatest injustice:  juries may be composed with as few as four jurors.  Plainly, in Utah a high value is placed on convicting the accused, and the smaller the jury the more likely the accused will be convicted.  It is less likely a juror of conscience will be found in a jury of four as compared to the traditional jury of 12.

"But the most grievous innovation of all, is the alarming extension of the power of courts of admiralty. In these courts, one judge presides alone! No juries have any concern there! The law and the fact are both to be decided by the same single judge." — John Adams
And even if Aposhian escapes criminal charges relatively unscathed, he will still again face a veritable court dictator; this time without the benefit of a jury.  He is currently battling for custody of his child, and in nearly all parental rights and divorce cases, NO JURY IS ALLOWED AT ALL.  This injustice is why we highlighted HB 313, which would take a small step toward reducing the power of these court dictators and re-invigorating the right of the people to receive trial by jury.

Think of the ramifications of juryless trials!  America’s own Declaration of Independence levels the following accusation against King George as a cause for separation:

"…For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of Trial by Jury."

Yet, Utah deprives accused parents of such a safeguard for their most treasured bond: custody of their own children.  What is life or happiness without one’s children?  Are we content to leave such matters to one court dictator?  If so, we might as well eliminate jury trials altogether, and let all matters be decided by one man or woman as was practiced in the former Soviet Union.

Note: See also, “Why are Jury Trials Crucial to Your Freedom?" by Accountability Utah.

Deprivation of Life, Liberty, or Property Without Due Process of Law

By careful consideration of the rules and statutes surrounding Utah’s justice system, the fate of Clark Aposhian may be very grim.  By facilitating unreasonable seizures, denying the accused affordable Counsel, obstructing a public trial, seating only jurors who agree to convictions under unjust statutes, and limiting jury size to as few as four, the Government has subverted authentic due process of law that may result in Aposhian being deprived of liberty and property, or even his life.

The final nail in the coffin of most defendants is the virtually unlimited resources the Government may apply to achieve a political objective or to send a political message in a court case.  In contrast, Aposhian may face the elimination of his income due to the judge’s order that he dispossess himself of all weapons prior to trial; thereby denying him his livelihood and means of affording some defense.

His case is emblematic of the horrific asymmetry in the battle waged against any accused citizen, in which massive Government resources are available to destroy defendants through brute attrition, and in which authentic safeguards for the accused have effectively been diminished or eliminated.

Forget all this talk about safeguards, comrade!  The State is never wrong!
Reliance Upon Law To Correct Injustice

Because citizens own firearms to protect their natural right to life, liberty, and property, how should we then view the subversion of almost all procedural safeguards of the accused by Government to attack these rights?  UT Gun Rights considers it a usurpation comparable to, or worse than, those committed by the King of England.

Thankfully we enjoy the advantage of a Constitution that establishes of Justice as one of its fundamental purposes.  It is our purpose to expose abuses and usurpations and to correct them in accordance with natural and immutable Law.

We assert that Clark Aposhian, and any accused person, is entitled to fairness and Justice in any prosecution.  We stand for his right to authentic due process of law.

Protection of, and respect for, the right to keep and bear arms extends to all aspects of Justice as Aposhian’s case demonstrates, and the “single issue” focus of most other organizations leaves gun owners vulnerable to attack.

This is why we highlighted desirable bills like HB 313 (provide jury trials prior to terminating parental rights).  And this is why, in some instances uniquely, we warned you against bad bills like:

* HB 50, the “gun owner victimization act” that creates new “dating violence protective orders” empowering court dictators to issue edicts like the seizure order Aposhian now suffers under;

* HB 121, which legalizes the outright theft of firearms from innocent parties;

* HB 256, empowering bureacrats to implement gun control through statute;

* HB 287 S1, allowing prosecutors to keep seized guns indefinitely from innocent parties (which Aposhian may also be forced to deal with); and

* SB 80, which perpetuates the injustice of juryless Kangaroo Courts.

We intend to comprehensively expose the failure of the monarchial legislature to address and correct injustice by its accommodation and fomentation of abuse in the judicial branch of government.  We hope you will join us in our efforts and work tirelessly with us to educate those around you.

Appropriate Action

1) Network with local gun owners.  Let people know what happened this session, and what is happening to Aposhian.  Get them connected with sites like UT Gun Rights so they can receive critical information and form their own, independent opinions.  Sign up for our free email alerts and updates at  info@utgunrights.com and "Like" us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UtGunRights

Encourage others to read, analyze, question, confront, challenge, and understand what is going on around them. A highly informed citizen community is required to resist manipulation, deception, and fraud.  Here are two pages they should familiarize themselves with: 2013 Bill Tracking Page: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and our Free Ammo Page.

2) Organize into smaller working groups for your area.  Each of your local politicians should receive political direction from a group of local, determined, solidly-educated gun rights activists.  This group can consider political action such as establishing local email/phone political action networks, literature distribution, holding town meetings, recruiting alternative candidates, and election monitoring and participation.


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