UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT CASE # 95-1616 WAF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF - APPELLEE REV. TOM BROWN DEFENDANT - APPELLANT BRIEF OF THE APPELLANT ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS, FAYETTEVILLE DIVISION BEFORE JUDGE FRANKLIN WATERS DISTRICT COURT CASE # 94-50030-01
Rev. Tom Brown, Pro Per 04808-010 P.O. Box 4000 Springfield, Missouri 65801
STATEMENT OF INTRODUCTION
The Defendent / Appellant, Rev. Tom Brown Pro Per, seeks to introduce this appeal by casting the eye of the Court on some issues that should be kept in mind as the Court considers the case at hand. This case is only one in a long series of battles of the vaunted War on Drugs. As in any war, looking back over the past thirty years, we can see lots of casualties. The question is, how many more bodies will be heaped on the Alter of National Paranoia ? A wise man once said that those who refuse to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it. Perhaps the Court could look at another war we waged on ourselves, another war bred in ignorance and fed on lies and corruption. In Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. at page 700, Justice Taney announces the decision of the Court saying: "The question before us, is whether the class of persons described in the plea of abatement compose a portion of this people and are constituent members of this sovereignty. We think they are not, and that they are not included under the word citizen in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and priveleges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. On the con- trary, they were at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dom- inant race, and whether emancipated or not, yet remained sub- ject to their authority, and had no rights or priveleges but such as those who held power and the government might grant them. It is not the providence of the Court to decide upon the justice or injustice, the policy or the impolicy of these laws. The decision of that question belonged to the political or law making power; to those who formed the sovereignty and framed the Constitution. The language of the Declaration of independence is equa- lly conclusive. It proceeds to say; 'We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among them is life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted, deri- ving their just powers from the consent of the governed.'... The general words above quoted would seem to embrace the whole human family, and if they were used in a similar instru- ment at this day, would so be understood. But it is too clear for dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration; . . ." The Court will see these words again in the decisions which have refused to recognize the religous use of plants. Not all courts have refused to recognize over 5,000 years of recorded human history, but the words of those who have are redolent with the scent of the Dred Scott decision, and the bodies of those who perished in the attempt to make up for the cowardice of the Dred Scott court. Time after time those courts strain to justify the denial of rights which no man can claim did not exist and were not exercised among the peoples who wrote the Declaration and the Constitution. And as Justice McLean's dissent shows below, despicable and vile acts perpetrated by men who happen to occupy positions of power are not unprecedented. There was no Truth to the assertion that "no one thought of disputing" the issue of slavery at the time of the revolution. There was no Truth to the statement that "they formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this Declaration." In fact: "Crispus Attucks, a Negro, was the first man killed by the British in the Boston Massacre. The five thousand Negro soldiers who fought in the revolution . . . Three quarters of the Rhode Island Regiment passing in review at Yorktown in 1781 were Negroes. (Afro-American Encyclopedia, 1974) But this truth was known in 1856 as we see in Justice McLean's dissent: "In the Convention, it was proposed by a committee of eleven to limit the importation of slaves to the year 1800, when Mr. Pickney moved to extend the time to the year 1808. This motion carried . . . In Opposition to the motion, Mr. Madison said; 'Twenty years will produce all the mischief that can be apprehended from the liberty to import slaves; so long a term will be more dishonerable to the American character than to say nothing about it in the Constitution' Madison Papers. But we know as a historical fact that James Madison, that great and good man, a leading member in the Federal Convention, was solicitous to guard the language of that instrument so as not to convey the idea there could be property in Man." So the lies and deceit of the Taney majority went on to result in a war of unprecedented proportion on this soil. More died in it than in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam combined. And we paid a hard price for that clever though despicable interpretation of History and precedent. The question is posed here, what price will this Court chose to be paid. The Rev. Brown comes to this Court as a Man of Honor, with empty hands and outstretched arms. Rev. Brown comes before this Court as the result of an act of conscience, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. The Court is refered to the words of James Michner, in his book Covenent. As we listen, a young African is asking an old adviser as to the choice of weapons he should carry; "How do I protect myself ?" "Integrity is a good shield. He paused. Did I ever come armed to your fathers krall ? Couldn't he have killed me in a moment if he wished? Why didn't he? Because he knew that if he killed a Man of Honor, he'd soon have on his hands, men with none. And then the whole thing falls apart. (pg. 91) Later in the book, another character is remembering her brother who became a spy and sold the secrets of the government. "When she tried to decipher how he had been seduced into committing his mortal sin - the betrayal of his nation and his peers - she began to think of the role words play in life. Our family was keen on word games. Wexton and I played them const- antly. I think I first came to suspect him when he cheated one day. Altered the meaning of a word in order to win. At Cambridge he altered the meanings of great words and ended a traitor. Back in Salisbury, walking within the shadow of the Cathedral, she thought: Integrity in words protects integrity in life. If a word is corrupted, everything that stems from it will be evil." And so it is that we have evil in our own time, and in our own place. A creeping, seductive evil that knows every nook and cranny of the administrative, legislative and judicial branch of government. And it is born in a series of little lies, lies told, lies repeated, and lies which become the bricks of the foundation of our life. And the question is, will this Court end the lies. There are already over ten million marijuana felons in our nation. We outnumber all the judges, prosecutors, police, drug bureaucrats, and military by about two to one. How much longer will thirty perceent of our population be treated as a "subordinate and inferior class of beings . . . (who) had no rights or priveleges but such as those who held power and the government might grant them." How much longer will we be expected to suffer in peace while the abuses of our rights continue unabated? How much longer will the courts decide questions of the burdening of religous establishment and exercise one way for the Roman Catholic Church, and another for Our Church ? Is it too soon to address the question, is the issue not ripe enough ? You can dam the river, but you can't stop the rain. Please, for God's sake and our own, stop the lies and live in the truth !