The Marshall Project

The Marshall Project The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization covering America’s criminal justice system. Why The "Marshall" Project? Thurgood Marshall is an American hero.

His work as a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, including the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, laid the groundwork for the modern U.S. civil rights movement. As the first African-American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, he was a persuasive advocate for a living and breathing Constitution that sees beyond the prejudices of revolutionary America. If Marshall were alive, I ha

His work as a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, including the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, laid the groundwork for the modern U.S. civil rights movement. As the first African-American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, he was a persuasive advocate for a living and breathing Constitution that sees beyond the prejudices of revolutionary America. If Marshall were alive, I ha

Operating as usual

John Henry Ramirez, a Texas prisoner on death row, wants his Baptist pastor to lay a hand on him as he dies by lethal in...
11/09/2021
What Can Death Row Prisoners Request Before They Die?

John Henry Ramirez, a Texas prisoner on death row, wants his Baptist pastor to lay a hand on him as he dies by lethal injection.

“It's part of my faith –- there's so much about the power of touch,” Ramirez told The Marshall Project in September. “You bless someone at the time of their most spiritual need.”

But the Texas Department of Criminal Justice declared this was against the rules, so Ramirez sued.

Today his case will be heard by the Supreme Court. His lawsuit is the latest turn in a larger debate around the religious rights of men and women who face ex*****on. It also highlights a notable fact about the American death penalty: Most aspects of ex*****ons, from last meals to last words to witness choices, are based on historical traditions and bureaucratic decisions — not legal rights.

As a Texas man sues for his pastor to touch him during his ex*****on, a guide to rights for the condemned.

“A great example of why we have it all wrong.” A landmark trial started Monday in Arizona over the state’s prison health...
11/06/2021
Arizona Privatized Prison Health Care to Save Money. But at What Cost?

“A great example of why we have it all wrong.”

A landmark trial started Monday in Arizona over the state’s prison health care. It’s a privatized system that prisoners and their advocates say has consistently failed to provide even the basic care and medical treatment required by law. The lawsuit was filed 12 years ago, and settled a few years later, but a judge recently rescinded the settlement after the state and the health care companies repeatedly failed to abide by the terms of their deal. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

A landmark class-action lawsuit goes to court this week, featuring grisly testimony about botched medical care in state prisons.

“The same way a single brush stroke can throw an entire painting off, I needed to admit that I had always been a reactio...
11/05/2021
An Ode to Memo, the Cellmate and Art Teacher Who Saved My Life

“The same way a single brush stroke can throw an entire painting off, I needed to admit that I had always been a reactionary person. My tendency to react before thinking was causing too much chaos in my life.”

Incarcerated artist Rafael Rodriguez always had skills. His mentor, Memo, taught him how to paint with emotion—and use his gift to stop the violence and chaos in his life. Read his story in this week’s Life Inside.

After decades in the system, I was acting like a wild horse roaming the countryside. Memo taught me how to paint through the chaos.

The Marshall Project is honored to be awarded a grant from the American Journalism Project  targeted at helping us to ex...
11/04/2021
The Marshall Project Awarded American Journalism Project Grant

The Marshall Project is honored to be awarded a grant from the American Journalism Project targeted at helping us to expand local reporting on criminal justice. With their support, we’ll be developing a series of local news teams in cities where we can better serve audiences most impacted by criminal justice issues.

Funding will support development of local news teams, expanded local news infrastructure.

“I realized that these issues aren’t just the kids’ alone. These are family issues and trauma runs deep, and it comes in...
11/03/2021
I Was Sentenced to Life as a Juvenile. Now I Help Kids Build Brighter Futures.

“I realized that these issues aren’t just the kids’ alone. These are family issues and trauma runs deep, and it comes in all shapes and sizes. I had been thinking I had all the answers. I pretty quickly realized that approach wasn’t going to work because helping them wasn’t about me. I just needed to be there and listen — for what was being said, and what was not being said.”

When Chicago native Fred Weatherspoon was sentenced to prison at the age of 17, he expected to spend most of his life behind bars. But he was released after 25 years and found meaning in mentoring young people in his hometown. He's learned that the way to help them avoid a similar sentencing was not by sharing his story, but by listening to theirs.

Imprisoned for 25 years, Fred Weatherspoon was shocked to return to a Chicago he didn’t recognize. He found belonging in an unexpected way — working with vulnerable young people and their families.

11/02/2021

Five years ago, 15-year-old Brianna Stuart was riding her bike when she rolled into an intersection in Hagerstown, Maryland. So did a man driving his Chevy home from church. When they collided, police were called to file an accident report. But after a struggle, Brianna ended up forcibly restrained, handcuffed against a wall, and pepper sprayed in the back seat of a patrol car.

The incident, captured on video by police body cameras, echoes similar scenes from across the country: A 9-year-old girl in Rochester, New York, pepper-sprayed as she sat in handcuffs in the back of a patrol car, crying for her dad. A teenage girl at a Texas pool party, wrestled to the ground by an officer. An Iowa teen, pepper-sprayed by police as she waited for the bus after school. All were Black.

Black youths make up the majority of kids on the receiving end of police violence — and a striking number of them are girls, our investigation found. There is no comprehensive national database of police use-of-force incidents. But when we looked at use-of-force data for six large police departments that provided detailed demographic information, Black girls represented about a fifth of nearly 4,000 youths who experienced police use of force from 2015 to 2020.

In partnership with USA TODAY: https://trib.al/dzsU3lV

Staff shortages have long been a challenge for prisons, given the low pay and grueling nature of the work. But the coron...
11/01/2021
As Corrections Officers Quit in Droves, Prisons Get Even More Dangerous

Staff shortages have long been a challenge for prisons, given the low pay and grueling nature of the work. But the coronavirus pandemic — and its impact on the labor market — has pushed many corrections systems into crisis. Officers are retiring and quitting in droves, while officials struggle to recruit new employees. And some prisons whose populations dropped during the pandemic have seen their numbers rise again, exacerbating the problem.

Employers from construction companies to restaurants are having difficulty hiring and keeping people. Nearly 3% of American workers quit their jobs in August, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the stakes are higher in prisons, where having fewer guards means significantly more dangerous conditions for incarcerated people.

In recent weeks, reporters from The Marshall Project and AP have spoken with workers, officials, attorneys and people incarcerated in more than a dozen prison systems to understand the consequences of the staffing shortfalls.

Fewer guards lead to more lockdowns, rising tensions and scant access to healthcare.

A major civil trial starting tomorrow in Phoenix marks the latest chapter in an almost decade-long struggle to determine...
10/31/2021
Arizona Privatized Prison Health Care to Save Money. But at What Cost?

A major civil trial starting tomorrow in Phoenix marks the latest chapter in an almost decade-long struggle to determine whether Arizona’s prisoners are getting the basic health care they are entitled to under the law. The trial pits the state against the people held in its prisons, who argue in a class-action lawsuit that the medical services they receive are so poor, they constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

Attorneys have chronicled a man who died after his swollen legs split open, the wounds weeping pus and swarmed by flies; a man with mental illness who was in such distress that he chewed off parts of his fingers; a man who entered prison with a small bump on his face that went untreated and became a disfiguring baseball-sized tumor; and several people denied access to regular mental health care who later killed themselves.

This trial could spell the end of privatized care in Arizona prisons — or, in a more extreme outcome, the end of Arizona's control over its prison health care entirely. Ultimately, the U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver will have to decide: How much cost-cutting is too much when lives are at stake?

Reported and published in partnership with azcentral

A landmark class-action lawsuit goes to court this week, featuring grisly testimony about botched medical care in state prisons.

"At 1:30 a.m., I’m jarred awake in my cell by an officer wielding the brightest flashlight in the world. He gives me 10 ...
10/30/2021
What 24 Hours in Prison Is Really Like

"At 1:30 a.m., I’m jarred awake in my cell by an officer wielding the brightest flashlight in the world. He gives me 10 minutes to throw on some clothes and escorts me to the isolation cells, where I strip down again for a thorough search and begin a three-hour su***de watch. This is my prison job: to sit with inmates deemed suicidal and just talk with them, and make sure they don’t try anything."

“We prisoners aren’t deadbeats — our days are, in fact, incredibly full.”

Police officers in Georgia receive 3 days of training in physical combat and control skills in the police academy, with ...
10/28/2021
Police Say Jiu-jitsu Can Make Them Less Violent During Arrests

Police officers in Georgia receive 3 days of training in physical combat and control skills in the police academy, with no more training required for the rest of their career. One department in Marietta, Georgia is taking the lead in changing that—by way of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

There’s a growing trend across the country to train officers in this century-old martial art. Five other departments in the Atlanta metro area have launched programs this year. In Michigan, a state lawmaker has even introduced a bill to make jiu-jitsu training mandatory for anyone seeking to become a police officer — and turned to the Marietta department to help make his case.

Does it have the potential to help cut down on violent arrests, or will it provide officers with another tool for force?

But will cops training in martial arts lead to struggles that didn’t need to happen?

Charnal Chaney takes a deep breath on her yoga mat as affirmations play from her phone speaker in Southeast Washington, ...
10/27/2021
When Mom Is In Prison — And When She Comes Home

Charnal Chaney takes a deep breath on her yoga mat as affirmations play from her phone speaker in Southeast Washington, D.C. Chaney, 31, begins most mornings this way, going to the gym and meditating before waking up her two eldest children for school.

This early morning routine, she says, is an everyday practice toward healing the trauma of her upbringing. Chaney’s first memory of her mother, Lashonia Thompson-El, is visiting her in prison. It would be 18 years before she connected with her outside its walls.

“Oh, Mother of Mine,” a short documentary and photography project by Anna Rawls, explores the generational impact of incarcerating mothers.

The Marshall Project is hiring for 2 different positions! We’re looking for:1) An Audience Engagement Manager to help us...
10/25/2021
Engagement Reporter

The Marshall Project is hiring for 2 different positions! We’re looking for:
1) An Audience Engagement Manager to help us better serve our readers: https://trib.al/v0PPQ8K
2) An Engagement Reporter who’s skilled in the evolving practices of community journalism:https://trib.al/ZCwxx7R

Apply to join our nonprofit newsroom where our mission is creating and sustaining a sense of national urgency about the criminal justice system.

The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization covering the U.S. criminal justice system.

“I realized that these issues aren’t just the kids’ alone. These are family issues and trauma runs deep, and it comes in...
10/23/2021
I Was Sentenced to Life as a Juvenile. Now I Help Kids Build Brighter Futures.

“I realized that these issues aren’t just the kids’ alone. These are family issues and trauma runs deep, and it comes in all shapes and sizes. I had been thinking I had all the answers. I pretty quickly realized that approach wasn’t going to work because helping them wasn’t about me. I just needed to be there and listen — for what was being said, and what was not being said.”

When Chicago native Fred Weatherspoon was sentenced to prison at the age of 17, he expected to spend most of his life behind bars. But he was released after 25 years and found meaning in mentoring young people in his hometown. He's learned that the way to help them avoid a similar sentencing was not by sharing his story, but by listening to theirs.

Imprisoned for 25 years, Fred Weatherspoon was shocked to return to a Chicago he didn’t recognize. He found belonging in an unexpected way — working with vulnerable young people and their families.

A police department in Marietta, Georgia, is at the forefront of a growing trend to train officers in Brazilian jiu-jits...
10/22/2021
Police Say Jiu-jitsu Can Make Them Less Violent During Arrests

A police department in Marietta, Georgia, is at the forefront of a growing trend to train officers in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Police see it as a way to cut down on arrest violence, but activists see a dark side.

But will cops training in martial arts lead to struggles that didn’t need to happen?

“I’ve visited jails and prisons all over the county, and Rikers Island has a deserved reputation of extreme violence,” s...
10/21/2021
Dispatch From Deadly Rikers Island: “It Looks Like a Slave Ship in There.”

“I’ve visited jails and prisons all over the county, and Rikers Island has a deserved reputation of extreme violence,” said a physician who serves on the New York City Board of Correction.

There were 39 stabbings and slashings at Rikers in August, compared to seven last August, according to a new report by court-appointed federal monitors. The explanations for the current crisis depend on whom you ask–we spoke to detainees, corrections officers and government officials who shared their firsthand accounts of the chaos currently plaguing the jail complex.

Rikers Island has been notorious for violence and neglect for decades. But detainees, corrections officers and officials tell us the New York City jail complex has plunged into a new state of emergency.

We asked incarcerated people what might have prevented them from committing the crimes that landed them behind bars. Res...
10/20/2021
What Could Have Kept Me Out of Prison

We asked incarcerated people what might have prevented them from committing the crimes that landed them behind bars. Respondents said that affordable housing, a living wage, and mental health care would have made the most impact.

We asked people behind bars what services and programs could have changed the course of their lives. Therapy, affordable housing and a living wage topped the list.

If you were ever in foster care, here’s how to find out if the government took your money.
10/18/2021
Were You Ever in Foster Care? The Government May Have Taken Your Money

If you were ever in foster care, here’s how to find out if the government took your money.

State foster care agencies have been taking benefits that belong to some of the most vulnerable kids. Here’s what to ask to see if it’s happened to you — and how to ask for your money back.

The death penalty is in flux, with Congress and numerous states debating the punishment while some—Texas, most of all—ke...
10/18/2021
Death Sentences

The death penalty is in flux, with Congress and numerous states debating the punishment while some—Texas, most of all—keep trying to carry out ex*****ons. In ‘Death Sentences,’ Marshall Project reporters tell the stories that you need to know about the death penalty’s past, as well as its uncertain future.

The death penalty is in flux. These are the stories that you need to know about capital punishment's past, as well as its uncertain future.

Conventional wisdom has it that women automatically have the upper hand in custody fights, and a mother claiming she’s b...
10/16/2021
She Said Her Husband Hit Her. She Lost Custody of Their Kids

Conventional wisdom has it that women automatically have the upper hand in custody fights, and a mother claiming she’s been abused has a powerful case to sway the court. But when domestic violence charges are in play, researchers suggest, mothers are often at a disadvantage.

Family courts often favor the parent who will cooperate to maintain their ex’s relationship with their children. This “friendly parent” principle, sensible overall, since it’s healthy for most children to maintain bonds with both parents, can become a blind spot—or worse—in cases of alleged abuse. Mothers who charge fathers with domestic violence amid custody battles are often suspected of fabricating the claims as a tactic to win control of their children. Battered women’s advocates suggest that many “high-conflict” divorces are actually domestic violence cases in disguise.

How reporting domestic violence works against women in family court.

“Ever since I reconnected with my 10-year-old daughter in January, I’ve been tussling with hard questions about being a ...
10/15/2021
“Daddy, if I Come See You, Will I Have to Be Locked up, Too?”

“Ever since I reconnected with my 10-year-old daughter in January, I’ve been tussling with hard questions about being a father. I wonder if it’s possible to be a reliable parent behind the wall of a Level 5 maximum security facility.”

Recently reunited with his 10-year-old daughter, Demetrius Buckley struggles to push past the barriers of a maximum security prison to be present for his curious, whip-smart little girl.

NEW: Drug testing kits known as “field tests” seem simple — mix a chemical or two with the suspicious substance and see ...
10/14/2021
They Put Me in Solitary for Drugs I Didn’t Have

NEW: Drug testing kits known as “field tests” seem simple — mix a chemical or two with the suspicious substance and see what color it turns. But they can flag everything from doughnut glaze to motor oil as illegal substances. They’ve generated so many wrongful convictions that some courts refuse to allow them as evidence. The manufacturer even warns against false positives on its packaging. So why do so many prison systems still rely on them to punish people for drugs they don’t have?

Lockups use unreliable tests to claim that lawyers are sending drugs to their clients behind bars.

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I am nearly done reading Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing by Stuart Schrader. One of numerous issues addressed is the number of police killings of US residents. I learned police killed an average of 245 people annually from 1950 to 1967 and an average of 359 per year from 1967 to 1973. During these decades 50% of the people killed were Black. Fast forward to the second decade of the 21st century. Well over a thousand police killings each and every year. People of color, especially Black men, are at higher risk than white men. I recommend the book and wanted to share these facts for historical background/context. Just like incarceration, police killings have increased to the extent that this country is no longer the land of the free.
Please consider investigating this case of injustice. Thank you.
Thanks for your wonderful reporting. It makes the world more compassionate.
Would you be willing to please post this for me? These are the words that I have prepared for SCOTUS to deal with the disgusting practice of enslaving people to generate revenue, disguised as justice. We will be bringing the case forward any day and Invoking Article III requiring that the Court actually see the case, due to the jurisdictional error created by the USDC. additional information is available on my page. These words mean a lot to me and I want people to know in advance what I am doing and why I am doing it. Thank you so much, Blessings to you and yours! This is the argument submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court that is going to end the disgusting practice of enslaving people. If you followed the Barret confirmation, you will recognize much of what is being discussed, particularly between Rule of Law and Legal Realism. If you want to know the Truth.... here it is. Be informed, know what’s at stake, stop listening to liars. The People make the laws, not judges. Judges make rulings; People make laws, ruling do not change laws. If in the opinion of the People of the United States, any of the provisions or guarantees of the United States Constitution be in any particular way wrong, let it be corrected by an Amendment in the way in which the Constitution so designates. Until, if and when that time comes, every single United States Citizen is entitled to every single right secured by the U.S. Constitution. ORAL ARGUMENT: The great philosopher Nietzsche once said, “Those who fight monsters should see to it that in the process they don’t become a monster.” There are two vastly opposing legal doctrines at work in America at this time. Our system of government is founded upon the “Government of Laws” doctrine, which is Constitutionally based. It is built upon the theory that in order for laws to be legitimate, they must be considered just and equal. This is the egalitarianism approach, which our Constitution is framed upon. In order for all men to be equal, government and laws must first treat them equal. This is the way that our system is designed to work, based upon a fixed set of laws or principles in which the courts and people adhere to and to which every United States Citizen is accustomed to. The opposite of the Government of Laws doctrine is the “Legal Realism” doctrine, which is very much alive and at work here in America destroying our system of government and infringing on the rights of the People. Legal Realism of course is the theory that law is not based upon a formal set of rules or principles, but instead upon judicial decisions deriving from their own social, political or public policy. This is not Constitutionally based, as it does not permit the fair and equal treatment of people. An excellent example of Legal Realism is the belief that a judge made ruling, such as Hurtado v. California (1887), can alter the provisions or guarantees of the United States Constitution. When one attempts to combat the doctrine of Legal Realism, they often times utilize horrible judicial decisions, such as Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), where the United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney stated in his assenting opinion that, “Blacks are not and were not intended to be included under the word ‘Citizen’ in the Constitution. Blacks are so far inferior that they have no rights which the white man was bound to respect. Slaves are private property protected by the Constitution.” I don’t think that any United States Citizen today can help but feel shame and anger at those horrible words spoken by the highest member of the highest court of the land. There is no doubt that decision came at a time of great conflict for our nation and clearly biased in sympathy of the South. The alteration of the Constitution in order to perpetuate slavery is not approved by God and should never be supported by good men. What has happened has happened, but to deny it would be a greater travesty. You see, a slave based system cherishes ignorance because that is the only security for its oppression. Slavery is the mortal antagonist to our democratic institution. Truth is the only thing in which people can be certain of, but truth doesn’t cease to be truth simply because no one has the courage to speak up to defend it or because someone else disagrees with it. Truth is never dependent upon the consensus of opinion. If a thousand people believe something to be foolish, yet one person know it to be true, it is still true. Truth can never be made a lie anymore that a lie can be made truth. The truth is that slavery by any other name is still slavery. Simply re-titling it “Justice” doesn’t make it any less appalling. Changing it from a private institution to a state-run institution doesn’t make it any more Constitutionally acceptable. It is still slavery and it is still a horrible injustice and wrong against humanity, regardless of what you call it or how you disguise it. While we are on the topic of truth, let’s produce some more truth. In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, there were eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who all assented to the opinion that, “Blacks are not people and therefore, not entitled to the protection of the United States Constitution” and “Blacks are so far inferior that they have no rights which the white man was bound to follow.” In this case, there was one single, brave, Supreme Court Justice who dissented with the rest stating, “Our Constitution is color-blind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect to civil rights, all citizens are equal before the Law.” This brave patriot was Justice John Marshall Harlan and this wasn’t the only time that he found himself as the lone dissenter against every other Justice on the United States Supreme Court. One other such instance was in the case of Hurtado v. California. You see, the truth is that the same eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who said, “Slaves are private property protected by the Constitution,” also said that United States Citizens are not protected by the provisions and guarantees of the 5th Amendment. The truth is that the same eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who said, “Blacks are not people,” also said that the United States Constitution is not the supreme Law of the Land and does not enjoy legal superiority over conflicting provisions with state constitutions. The truth is that the same eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who said, “Blacks are far inferior to the white man,” also said that geographical discriminations are acceptable under our Constitution of government. The truth is that the same eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who said, “Blacks are not and where not intended to be ‘Citizens’ in the Constitution,” also said that states have the right to abridge the privileges and immunities of United States Citizens. The truth is that the same eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who allowed their political interests for the advancement of an industry to cloud their good judgment also put into practice a ruling intended to advance that industry under a different name, overstepping the Separation of Powers and legislating from the bench, in violation of the United States Constitution and the Oaths of the Offices for which they serve. George Washington voiced his concern about geographical discriminations in his farewell address, whereby he stated, "In contemplating the causes which may disturb our union, it occurs as a matter of serious concern, that any ground have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views.” Foreseeing the potential for dissention here in America, Mr. Washington advised vigilance against, “The first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.” The bonds which unite us as one people are: origin, language, belief and laws. These are the 4 great ties that hold our whole society together. The Constitution binds the American people to goals that are incompatible with slavery. President Abraham Lincoln said, “It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence in great emergencies.” United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall echoed this sentiment when he said, “Grave threats to liberty come in times of urgency, when Constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.” The strongest bond which holds our nation together is the faith in the laws between us. This is not the United States of California, or the United States of Washington. I didn’t serve my country in the military fighting for Texas or Alabama, I was defending America, as I am now and as I will continue until such time as God or death has relieved me of my obligation. It is time now for the courts to do the same. Here is some more truth. The truth is that United States Citizens are governed by the Laws of the United States. The truth is that United States Citizens are guaranteed the rights secured by the United States Constitution. The truth is that no person can be held to answer for an infamous crime without an indictment by a Grand Jury. The truth is that one brave Supreme Court Justice did the right thing and stood for American principles despite fierce opposition at a time of great peril and his sage wisdom can be trusted today. God bless Justice John Marshall Harlan. The truth is that United States Citizens can believe and have faith in the United States Constitution, because the truth can always be trusted to fight our battles; the truth can always defend itself, as long as there is someone with the courage to speak it. The role of government is to govern, but that role to govern must be fair. Government ceases to govern when it chooses to take sides; it is no longer governing, rather ruling. Every Citizen is entitled to fair and equal governing in the same way that every Citizen is entitled to the equal protection of laws. Thomas Jefferson voiced this to us when he said, “Bear in mind this sacred principle, at though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, to which equal law must protect and to violate would be oppression.” To understand the rationale behind Article 3. Section 2. of the United States Constitution, which states, “In all Cases in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction,” we can turn to the author himself and the words that he published in “The Federalist Papers,” Circular Number 10, New York Packet, November 23, 1787, the article titled, “The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection.” In the article, James Madison stated, “No man is allowed to be judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay, with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time.” States cannot be and were never intended to be, both judge and party in the same cause, because of the bias, prejudice and partiality which would ultimately transpire as a result of it. States cannot be both accuser and judge or else innocence will suffer. So in the same way and for the same reason why Tanawah M. Downing v. State of Washington (2019) in the current civil action is unconstitutional, so also is State of Washington v. Tanawah M. Downing (2017) in the original criminal action is unconstitutional. If 1+2=3 is unconstitutional, then obviously 2+1=3 is also unconstitutional, simply rearranging the order of the Parties, does not magically change the representation of the Parties. Article 3. Section 2. of the United States Constitution clearly states, “In all Cases in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.” As a result, both Tanawah M. Downing v. State of Washington and State of Washington v. Tanawah M. Downing are unconstitutional and therefore, illegal and the only court with jurisdictional authority to resolve both cases is the court which had jurisdictional authority in the cases to begin with, which is the United States Supreme Court, in accordance with the United States Constitution. Our forefathers who framed our Constitution were simple, yet wise men. They weren’t establishing complex principles or elaborate institutions to which only men of rich, or noble, or educated backgrounds could understand. You see, they were simply trying to create an accounting system which adequately and fairly reconciled the debt owed to society. If you choose to violate the law, you incur a DEBT that is OWED to society, to which you are CHARGED and called to ACCOUNT so that you may PAY the debt. These are all simple accounting terms. The way that debt normally works is, if I want to purchase something from a store, a bill will first be generated, which I sign and accept. Then my account is charged and I incur a debt, to which I then have to pay. This is a very simple method for transactions to which anyone can understand. However, if the store charges a person’s account without billing them first, that is called fraud. You must always bill before a charge is generated. How all of this applies to this case is that an indictment is called a “bill”. So absent an indictment, people are being charged fraudulently because they are not being billed first. Understanding this now, anyone who claims that a Bill of Indictment is not first needed before charging someone’s account, doesn’t understand that basic principles and practices of the system in which they are dealing with. As a result of this very basic, fundamental element of our nation’s legal accounting system being ignored, millions of United States Citizens have incurred illegal and fraudulent debt. America must address this accounting flaw in its legal system. In accordance with Rule 23 of the USCS Rules of Civil Procedure and in light of all the aforementioned evidence, as well as the supporting evidence, Petitioner asks the United States Supreme Court to authorize the application of the CLASS Action device in this Habeas Corpus proceeding. Included within Addendum 3, the Court will find the names of only a couple of the thousands of Petitioners who filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to Title 28 USC §2254 between April 10, 2019 and September 2019 who’s cases raised the exact same allegations and were illegally and unconstitutionally dismissed by the United States District Court, despite the jurisdictional error and who are all now entitled to remanding of their cases to the United States Supreme Court for legal and Constitutionally acceptable adjudication. The last point that I would like to make is that, every single thing that I am advocating is consistent with God’s divine attributes: release of prisoners, return of exiled captives, love in lieu of hate, compassion and not condemnation, forgiveness instead of vengeance, equity and not tyranny. I know what side I am on, so ask yourself, if I fight for God and you fight against me, who is it that you are fighting for? Respectfully & Peacefully a Servant of Justice, Tanawah M. Downing Petitioner, Pro Se