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By Daniel J. Simms, Imprisoned Independent Journalist/Author

You have been swindled! Tricked! And most likely, you do not even know it. Do not feel bad. We all have. The crooks employed the old bait and switch to steal our inheritance. The fundamental bedrock of American society is the contract our forefathers negotiated on our behalf. The American people inherited that social contract in the form of the U.S. Constitution. Upon ratification, it was supposed to stand inviolate until the end of time. Or upon the fall of the Union. Whichever came first. Protecting Americans from an overzealous government was their paramount focus throughout the founding document. Despite the framer's intention that the U.S. Constitution withstand the hands of time, some troubling cracks appeared. The cracks have grown into a dizzying array of laws and rulings affecting virtually every American. Yet they are all null and void. Sadly, what the framers did not foresee was governmental obfuscation and outright misinterpretation of their words.

"...[N]or shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb...". U.S. Constitution, Fifth Amendment.

These words are clear and unambiguous. No one can be put at jeopardy for an offense they have already paid the penalty for. Whether they pay with cash or their lives does not matter. It is known as the Double Jeopardy Clause. It seems pretty straightforward, does it not? Apparently, to the government, there is wiggle room. They have obfuscated the sentence. Misinterpreting it so blatantly that now it practically only applies to being "tried" twice.

"The purpose of the Double Jeopardy Clause is to protect persons from government overreaching." Serfass v. United States, 420 U.S. 377, 388, 95 S. Ct. 1055, 43 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1975).

Obviously, the government has done just that. Overreached into your life so thoroughly that you can not fathom how deep it goes. Let me explain how it has affected you. Have you ever gotten a fine for speeding or a parking ticket increased because of prior speeding or parking violations? That is a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause. How about that misdemeanor or felony on your record that will increase any future penalty? That, too, is a Double Jeopardy violation. There are many other examples of how the government's misapplication of the law has harmed us. Billions of dollars have been drained from our pocketbooks due to this scheme. Most sickening of all is the countless Americans who have been twice jeopardized by prior offenses, resulting in additional years in prison. We should all be outraged. No one should have any record of any kind that could subject them to another higher penalty.

In his Commentaries, which greatly influenced the generation that adopted the Constitution, Blackstone recorded: "...the plea auterfoits acquit, or a former acquittal, is grounded on this universe maxim of the common law of England, that no man is to be brought into jeopardy of his life more than once for the same offense." 4 Blackstone's Commentaries 335.

"The common law not only prohibited a second punishment for the same offense, but it went further and forbade a second trial for the same offense, whether the accused had suffered punishment or not, and whether in the former trial, he had been acquired or convicted." Green v. United States, 355 U.S. 184, 187-188 (1957).

The [Double Jeopardy] clause serves the function of preventing both "successive punishments and successive prosecutions." United States v. Dixon, 509 U.S. 688, 696, 125 L. Ed. 2d 556,113 S. Ct. 2849 (1993), citing North Carolina v. Pierce, 395 U.S. 711, 23 L. Ed. 2d. 658, 89 S. Ct. 2072 (1968).

Clearly the Courts know that repeatedly using past offenses to jeopardize Americans with increased future penalties is forbidden. Yet, across this beautiful Country, every Federal and State government is violating it. They unrepentantly take your past offenses (i.e., driving and parking tickets, misdemeanors, and felonies) and use those records against our people twice in direct blatant contravention of the Double Jeopardy Clause. The whole purpose of the double jeopardy clause was to prevent overreach by the government, which is precisely what we are experiencing today. The government has wrongfully institutionalized a disheartening scheme that serves governmental interests to the detriment of the American people. Essentially, we are at jeopardy forever! Or until we die. We can not ever escape being punished twice, three, or as many times as the government feels like punishing us based on our past offenses. All driving, parking, and criminal history schemes, which increase penalties, are precisely what the drafters of the Constitution sought to guard against. The problem is that the Founders failed to anticipate the government misinterpreting the meaning. Now, the double jeopardy clause has been eroded so severely that it is highly unlikely we will ever get back to a proper contextual interpretation. Of course, if more people awaken and organize against the tyranny of the government, the more liberties and freedoms we will wrench back.

"Courts have interpreted the Double Jeopardy Clause to guard against three separate constitutional evils: (1) a second prosecution after acquittal for an offense, (2) a second prosecution after a conviction for an offense, and (3) multiple punishments for the same offense." United States v. Patterson, 381 F.3d 859, 863 (9th Cir. 2004) Ohio v. Johnson, 467, U.S. 493, 498, (1984).

The American Revolution birthed our constitutional rights. The people fought and died so they and their descendants would be protected from an overreaching government. The patriotic Founders specifically worried about the government using its unlimited wealth and power to penalize Americans for past offenses repeatedly. That is why they negotiated and ratified the Double Jeopardy Clause.

The government should be restrained from broadly misinterpreting the double jeopardy clause. A thoughtful examination of the entire U.S. Constitution will find it wholly inconsistent with the spirit and meaning of the historic document. Throughout the text, the Framers were obsessed with privacy and governmental oppression. They knew an unrestrained government with unlimited funds and power could abuse the people under the guise of law. Holding a permanent record on a citizen so that the government can repeatedly penalize them for their past offenses on future dates is a clear abuse of power. Not only does it implicate the Double Jeopardy Clause, but it also violates the right to privacy.

"The right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and persons or things to be seized." U.S. Const. Amend. 4.

The people were supposed to be secure against abusive governmental practices. That is not always the case. Instead, the unconstitutional misinterpretations have metastasized and grown in countless ways. Every time the government runs your name, they are searching, which is an unambiguous invasion of your privacy. Your historical data is meant to be private. Can you be secure in your person if your past offenses can forever be used against you? You can not be. The Framers never intended the government to have so much power over the people. They would never have allowed the government to "take" our private personal history, retain it indefinitely, and then use that private history to punish you over and over again forever. It is absurd even to argue otherwise. Upon a genuine, clear-eyed examination of the U.S. Constitution, it is readily apparent that this practice would never pass muster.

The next question we must answer is how did we get here? How did the people lose such substantive liberties and rights without being fully apprised? They call it "jurisdiction creep." It is the judicial version of "mission creep." Which is correctly defined as when a military unit, [court or legislature] attempts to do more than is allowed in the current mandate and mission. Jurisdiction Creep and the Florida Supreme Court, 69 Alb. L. Rev. 543 (2006). By Thomas C. Marks Jr.. Without a doubt, the American people have had their birthright liberties and rights stolen through jurisdiction creep.

"In the federal courts, the Supreme Court has pruned the protections afforded by the double jeopardy clause to something more akin to that provided under the old common law pleas." United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 98 S. Ct. 2187, 57 L. Ed. 2d 65 (1978).

What they call "pruning" we call theft! We have the right to be secure in our person, to be free from unreasonable searches of our historical records and data, and from being repeatedly harassed and penalized by the government for past offenses. All those liberties have been taken without the consent of the people. It was done slowly over many years. Now, we are faced with a reality that has been immensely diminished. Bad decisions you may have made as a young adult will be used against you repeatedly until you are dead. It is terrible. It is incredibly depressing, anxiety-filled, and stressful knowing the government holds a bad choice over you, which they can use indefinitely to penalize you over and over again. And which your descendants, or anyone else, hundreds of years from now can access and invade your privacy. It is an appalling misinterpretation of the Double Jeopardy Clause.

Many corrupt jurists have tried to rationalize the jurisdiction creep upon our double jeopardy protections. Bending over backward to explain how taking our rights is somehow justified under constitutional law. Keep in mind that court rulings, based on historical data, overwhelmingly always side with the government and against the citizenry. If it benefits the American people, the Courts are wary and reluctant to rule favorably, as it creates "precedence" that others can rely on in future cases. Yet if it benefits the government, there is no such reluctance. Instead, there is eagerness and rubber stamping. This is no more clear than in the court's rationale over the double usage of past offenses.

Grullon-Reyes argues that considering his prior offenses in calculating criminal history and base offense levels violates the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Double Jeopardy Clause provides that no person "be subject for the same offense to be twice put at jeopardy of life or limb." U.S. Const. amend. V. In other words, no one can be twice prosecuted or punished (or put in jeopardy thereof) for the same crime. Witte v United States, 515 U.S. 389, 396, 132 L. Ed. 2d 351, 115 S. Ct. 2199 (1995). The Supreme Court has made clear, however, that enhancing the punishment for a present offense based on criminal history does not constitute a new punishment for a past offense. Instead, it is an appropriate determination that the punishment for the present offense should be more severe because of the Defendant’s criminal history. Therefore, Grullon-Reyes's argument that the criminal history enhancement violated the Double Jeopardy Clause is without merit.

Grullon-Reyes v. United States, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7716.

Basically, the court's ridiculous rationale is that using our past offenses to jeopardize us with new harsher penalties is not a "new punishment."

Instead, the past offenses were just factors used to determine the "severity" of the present punishment. You can not get a weaker argument than that to trample on our constitutional rights. The fact is, without invading our lives and our privacy, the government would not have that past offense. Moreover, without using our past offenses TWICE, our present punishment would not be increased or enhanced. It isn't very sensible to say otherwise. Therefore, we are in constant double jeopardy forever in direct violation of our rights. We can not have a Constitutional form of government if the Court, Congress, and Legislatures can unilaterally take our liberties and rights. Employing fictional weak arguments and stating everyone else's contrary argument is "without merit." They call this "legal fiction." And according to the age-old Latin legal maxim: In fictione juris semper est aequitas. "In fiction of law, equity always exists. Applying legal fiction to work a wrong is a violation of the maxim." In essence, the Court, Congress, and Legislature alleging fictionally that using past offenses twice to increase and enhance present punishments is not double jeopardy operates as a wrong upon every American, which is a violation of legal maxims and Constitutional rights. The people can demand their rights back though. All it takes is educating ourselves and organizing to elect politicians in line with our rights.

As we enter a new era of unprecedented governmental powers, we must insist on protecting our rights. The government can use new technologies such as A.I., facial recognition, geolocation cellphone data, search engine data, social media data, and countless other tools to detect and charge virtually every American with some type of crime. You might not even know you committed it. But ignorance of the law is no exception of the law. In other words, the government will not care or go easier on you if you do not know you committed a crime. The fact is almost every adult American has committed a crime. Whether intentionally or inadvertently. They may have misstated information on a banking or loan document. That is bank fraud, a felony. Maybe they lied on social media or through an e-mail, impelling someone else to rely on their false information. That is wire fraud, a felony. Or perhaps you wrote the wrong digit on your tax return. That is tax fraud, a felony. The list goes on and on. Add the fact the government can use your private past offenses against you indefinitely. We are all at risk. We must recognize this current criminal justice system is not for the benefit of the majority of the people. It is for the rich and elites to keep their feet on the necks of powerless or poor Americans. It is wrong and unconstitutional. It ensures we are all beholden to the government rather than vice versa. The tail is wagging the dog. We must demand reform!

You can continue to educate yourself on the injustices and inequities inflicted upon you by simply subscribing to our free podcast and blog. Every new subscriber will receive a free digital copy of one of my books: "DEFUND D.O.C.: TURNING ALL PRISONS INTO TREATMENT AND CAREER CENTERS," or, "THE ART OF LIVING: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN LIFE AND BUSINESS, I LEARNED IN PRISON."

Become a Reality TV Star! We are excited to invite you to be a part of history through a revolutionary new reality show: LOVE AND PRISON ACTIVISM. The reality show seeks to inspire prison reform by humanizing prisoners and those who love them. Showcasing their struggles and highlighting activism will assuredly change the narrative and allow space for true reform to occur. You do not need prior experience in mass incarceration to be a part of the show. All you need is a love for the American people. Therefore, everyone is invited to audition. Moreover, due to the immense need for people to attend rallies and protests in their States, literally everyone can appear and be featured in the show. So, do not miss your opportunity to participate in this groundbreaking effort. We will be launching it on July 4th to coincide with our Country's previous fight for independence and freedom. This new fight we are embarking on is critical to realign U.S. policy with the people's demands. Foremost is ending prisoner slavery, turning all prisons into treatment and career centers, and reducing all non-homicide offenses down to a maximum of eight to ten years. You can receive all updates and news regarding the pending social justice reality show by subscribing to the podcast and blog.

If you would like to support this overdue social justice mission, you can also purchase items from our branded collections. Currently, we have sweatshirts, tee shirts, and more on our website, Cadmus Publishing (coming soon), Etsy, and our TikTok store. All profits go towards advancing your interests and the interests of the American people. Remember, supporting this cause is merely an insurance policy. Because you, or your descendants, have a fifty-fifty percent chance of going to prison within the next fifty years based on the historical growth of mass incarceration since the 1970s.

You can also purchase the special limited-time offer "Supporters Book Bundle" of all three of my digital books: "HOPELESS IN SEATTLE: A FOSTERKID'S MANIFESTO," "DEFUND D.O.C.," and "THE ART OF LIVING." All for the price of one book: $14.99. If you buy all three printed versions on Amazon or other booksellers, it would cost you double that amount. Plus, it will help us further the social justice campaign.

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