Thursday, May 25, 2017

“Manic” DA prosecutes law-abiding citizen who acted in self-defense

The following article appeared on on May 17. The Performance Oil company surveillance video captures the entire event and is available here.

July 21, 2016 began as any other day for Wayne Parish. The Crystal Springs resident woke up, bid his family farewell and went to work at Performance Oil on McDowell Road in Jackson Mississippi. But the transformative events of that fateful day changed Parish’s life forever. On that day, the hard-working, law-abiding family man crossed paths with a 17-year-old delinquent named Charles McDonald.

Despite his youth, McDonald was already an aspiring criminal and a recidivist offender. On July 21, his mother, Yvette Mason-Sherman, tried to take him to the Henley-Young Youth Detention facility, which is located next to Performance Oil where Parish worked. McDonald had already been to the youth detention facility eight times in the past two years. During the ride, he jumped out of his mother’s car and ran off.

McDonald then entered the Performance Oil parking lot where a Lexus ES-350 caught his eye. It should be noted that at the time McDonald trespassed on to the lot, he had two outstanding warrants, one of which involved a police chase. McDonald then picked up a large rock and proceeded to smash the car’s driver’s side window in an effort to break in. His actions that day constituted a felony under Mississippi’s penal code.

The police were called and dispatched but Parish exited the store with a .38 Smith & Wesson and ordered McDonald, who was still trying to break into the car, to leave the premises. Instead of leaving, McDonald lunged at Parish in an effort to grab his gun. The two struggled for control of the revolver for less than 30 seconds but it likely seemed like an eternity for Parish. Toward the end of the life and death struggle, which was captured on surveillance video, McDonald, who is still seen grabbing at Parish, falls to the ground from gunshot wounds to the upper torso. He was later pronounced dead at University of Mississippi Medical Center.  
Wayne Parish and Family

After reviewing the evidence and speaking to witnesses, Jackson police determined that Parish was legally justified in using deadly force under the circumstances.   Under Mississippi’s penal code, a person has the right to protect his or her home, business, vehicle or other legally occupied space with reasonable force, including deadly force. This legislation is commonly referred to as the Castle Law. 

All states have some variation of the Castle Law. The concept is derived from the fact that a person’s home is their castle. In the instant case, McDonald was committing felony burglary when Parish confronted him, and then lunged for Parish’s gun when instructed to leave the business premises. Given McDonald’s past, it is a virtual certainty that he would have shot Parish had he succeeded in wresting control of the revolver. If any case cries out for self-defense, it is this one and legal experts who have reviewed the matter concur.

But the Hinds County District Attorney’s office, led by its shady and mercurial DA, Robert Shuler Smith, disagreed. On October 28, 2016 Smith’s DA’s office filed an indictment against Parish for first degree murder (the shoddy indictment filed by Smith’s office erroneously states that the incident occurred on June 21, 2016). He was arrested on December 29, over five months after the police determined that Parish was justified in the use of deadly force and committed no crime. 

Parish was held without bond for at least 12 days. On January 10, 2017 a judge set bond at $50,000, a rather low amount for someone charged with first degree murder. That gives one some insight as to what the judicial system thinks of this case. A trial date has been set for May 30.

During the course of the bond hearing, DA smith made an unexpected appearance and issued no objection to the bond amount but made a startling admission. He told the court that he learned of "the existence of a video of the incident three days ago" and had not had time to review it.

That admission represents sheer incompetence and legal malfeasance. The surveillance video clearly shows the entire sequence of events which serve to exculpate Parish. How could Smith have presented a first degree murder case before a grand jury without first watching the video? Moreover, even if Smith is to be believed, why had he not taken the time, during the three days in which he had possession of the tape, to view the video?  
District Attorney Smith

Smith’s actions in this sordid legal affair are beyond inexplicable. They border on the bizarre. Indeed, there is something perversely amiss in Jackson Mississippi and it centers on the Hinds County District Attorney’s office and its corrupt chief.

You see, Smith himself is under felony indictment and his license to practice law is currently under review. You read that correctly. The Hinds County’s chief law enforcement official has himself come under a cloud of criminal suspicion and corruption.

In July 2016, The Mississippi Bar’s general counsel asked the state Supreme Court to institute disciplinary measures against Smith. The request came after two judges filed complaints against Smith for behaving unethically and irrationally during the performance of his official duties. 

In his complaint to the Mississippi Bar, Judge Melvin Priester described Smith as “irrational, manic, and virtually out of control.” Judge Tomie Green complained that Smith engaged in, among other things, “retaliatory and improperly coercive” conduct. 

But being disbarred is the least of Smith’s problems. He is currently facing the prospect of a stiff jail sentence for allegedly hindering prosecution and obstruction of justice. His first criminal trial ended in a mistrial because a juror knew Smith and failed to reveal this fact during jury selection. A new trial date has been set for June 12, 2017. Smith’s criminal prosecution is being handled by the state’s attorney general.

The very fact that Smith is still able to retain office while under this cloud of criminal suspicion and maleficence is disturbing to say the least. It nonetheless provides some explanation as to why he would be prosecuting an innocent man who plainly acted in self-defense and most certainly would have been shot had he not acted in the manner that he did. Smith, by both word and deed has proven that at best, he lacks common sense and judgement.

This case has not garnered much national attention (my emphasis) but it makes the injustice inflicted on Wayne Parish no less egregious. For the sake of justice, let’s hope that when the legal dust settles, Parish gets to go home to his family and Smith ends up wearing striped pajamas, courtesy of the state of Mississippi.  

“This case has not garnered much national attention.”    OK.  And how ‘bout if the punk kid had been white, Parish black and sword of justice waving D.A. Smith, white? Wanna bet national attention would have been all over that set of circumstances?  Ed.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

CNN Analyst Says Manchester Attack Could Be “Right Wing False Flag”

The following article appeared on on May 23. The pics below help to support CNN terror analyst Paul Cruickshank's suggestion that the Manchester bombing "could have been part of a right wing extremist plot." A Coach's Team photographer has courageously revealed the identity of the true culprits.  Ed.

BBC analyst says people need to 'get used to' attacks

By Steve Watson

Less than 24 hours removed from the latest horrific ISIS inspired terrorist attack in the UK, a talking head on CNN programming has suggested that the bombing could actually be a ‘right wing false flag’ in order to ‘frame Islamists’.
Tea Party Members

CNN analyst said Manchester was likely an Islamist attack, but floated the idea it could have been “false flag” by “right wing extremists.”

While admitting that the attack was most likely an Islamist plot, the analyst claimed that there have been multiple instances in Europe of “right wing extremists” plotting to carry out attacks to make it appear that Muslims were to blame. 

The comments appear to have been made on CNN in the first couple of hours of coverage of the attack.
Islamic Jihadists

Meanwhile, BBC anchor Katty Kay told viewers that Europeans must “get used to terror attacks because we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out.”

Kay made the comments on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

“As ISIS gets squeezed in Syria and Iraq, we’re going to see more of these kinds of attacks taking place in Europe and Europe is starting to get used to that.” Kay added, with the caveat that no one is “used to having children targeted.” 

Kay’s comments echo those of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who before the Westminster attack in March said that terrorist attacks are ‘part and parcel’ of living in a major city.

Police have now arrested a suspect, and named the suicide attacker as 23-year-old Salman Abedi, who was known to British authorities prior to the attack.
Tea Party Member "Framing Islamists"

British Prime Minister Theresa May said that there is an ongoing investigation to determine if the attacker “was acting alone, or was part of a wider group.”

“This attack stands out for it’s appalling, sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives.” May said. 

“This was among the worst terrorist incidents we have ever experienced in the United Kingdom.” The Prime Minster added.

Let’s Study The U.S. Constitution – Part 2

by Susan Frickey, Center for Self-Governance Student

The Constitution was written with the intent that it must endure for ages to come and be adaptable to the various crises of human affairs. Edmund Randolph, one of the five men charged with drafting the document, observed that it was necessary to stick to basic, “essential principles only; lest the operations of government be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable.”  The Framers knew that principles of liberty remain constant throughout time, so they provided this foundation for altering future law.  
Language of Liberty

Let’s continue our study of the U.S. Constitution with Article I.

Article I, Sec 1 basically set forth the working structure of the republic and established the “rules of the game” so to speak. 

Sections 2 through 6 describes legislative duties, powers, and sets up the rules of the Senate and House of Representatives - how each are to be elected and the rules of doing the People’s business. It also lays out the separation of powers and system of “checks and balances”.

Section 7 established that only the House may initiate bills for raising revenue (a huge shortcoming of the Articles of Confederation). Prior to 1913, the States collected revenue and supported the federal government by “apportionments”. The federal level never taxed the people DIRECTLY before that time, but drew revenue largely from tariffs. Before the 16th Amendment was ratified, it was possible that an American could live their entire lives without any direct contact with the federal government because of the built-in buffer of protection provided by the State level of government. The States were considered the “creators” of the federal level, therefore superior to it, and one of their primary purposes was to protect their citizens from federal tyranny.

Section 8, one of the most important parts of the Constitution, yet unknown to most Americans, lists the few and defined powers that the States delegated to Congress in 1787. The States or the People retain authority over all other powers not on this list, as reinforced by the Xth Amendment. The States and the People have allowed Congress to violate the few and defined powers for far too long! In doing this, we have actually changed our form of government from a republic (nation of laws) to that of a democracy (mob rule) and we daily reinforce it with our words and behavior. The riots and demonstrations we see on the daily news are a by-product of this change in the cultural mind-set.

The famous quote attributed to a Scotsman named Tytler describes what happens to a people who want the government to provide daily needs: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy--to be followed by a dictatorship.”

Thomas Jefferson put it this way: "To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, — the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it."

We have essentially violated the basic principles of life, liberty, and property and are perilously close to Jefferson’s description, are we not?  It was the role of churches and individuals in early America to provide for the poor, orphan, widow, take care of the sick, and educate children and youth - not on the list of delegated powers in Article I, Sec 8. But churches have largely abdicated that role, bringing the American Church dangerously close to irrelevance in modern society – not to mention judgment by an Almighty God.

Article I, Sec 8 also sets forth the parameters for a standing army. Just having endured the cruelties of the Redcoats, the Framers needed to establish a system of protection to which all of the States would contribute financially, yet avoid the tendencies of a standing army. Interestingly, and because of their experience with the tyrannical British army, Article I reads, “To raise and support Armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than TWO YEARS.”  

Many of the Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Alexander Hamilton recognized that peace comes only through strength.  Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist #11, “The rights of neutrality will only be respected when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral.” Does this not describe our situation in the world today?

The Commerce Clause in Article 1 has become one of the greatest sources of federal control. The Articles of Confederation granted no such power, so this was a huge change in direction.  It became necessary at the time of the Constitution’s drafting to regulate commerce between the states. Each state had its own taxes, tariffs, and regulations, which created chaos among the colonies. A shipment of the same cargo would sometimes be charged taxes by multiple states. If the taxes were unpaid, the state felt obliged to confiscate the cargo. So the Commerce Clause began as a good and necessary thing. But misinterpreted, it also became a source of usurpation of power for anything the federal government wanted.  Finally, the Supreme Court began to see the light in the 1990s, despite their previous track record of allowing practically any claim by misinterpreting the Commerce Clause.

This week’s assignment: Read Article I and understand it. The Constitution was intentionally written so the average American in 1787 could understand it, but language of the Framers has been changed over time. If there are questions after reading Article I, consult your modern English version of the Federalist Papers and Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. There are also many helpful tools online.

We all need to have a thorough understanding of how our government is supposed to operate so we can tell when Congress oversteps its bounds, a frequent occurrence these days.  If we don’t know when the boundaries of our system have been violated we will not be able to keep our republic intact, as Ben Franklin instructed when he said, “We have given you a republic, IF you can keep it”.

Part 3 will include the study of Article II.

Resources:  US Constitution for Beginners by Steven Bachman, The Heritage Guide to the US Constitution, The Words We Live By by Linda Monk, The Original Argument,

The Language of Liberty series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self-Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include administrative staff, selected students, and guest columnists. The views expressed by the authors are their own and may not reflect the views of CSG. Contact them at