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Maine Republic Email Alert

. . . that I should bear witness unto the truth. John 18:33 // David E. Robinson, Publisher
. . . if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle? I Corinthians 14:8

No.312
12/03/12

Marcella Brooks tells it like it is.


Legality of Income Tax Conference Marcella Brooks Talk - June 29, 2000 Before the National Press Club. Marcella Brooks served as jury foreman in the income tax trial of Whitey Harrell. Her account of the deliberations of this jury is both powerful and stirring due to the facts, combined with her tremendous personal credibility. These fourteen minutes form one of the most powerful testimonial accounts anyone could show to those who doubt the legitimacy of issues raised by the Tax Movement. Here is a transcript of her talk: First I want to say and clarify, I am not the juror; there were 12 of us. 12 fine citizens who were very concerned about doing what was right. When we first entered the court room it seemed very easy. Well, okay. Did he file or didnt he? Its not too difficult to decide, you know; but it didnt take us long to realize that it wasnt gonna be so simple. First of all, agent Cramer, who was the man who had been investigating Mr. Harrell for three years, came to the witness stand with no paperwork, no files, empty handed. They asked him a question, and I assumed he was a fairly intelligent man, having the job that hed had all these years, but he just couldnt seem to remember anything. And, well, Yeah, I think Mr. Harrell asked me some questions but I dont think I wrote them down, and, Well, Im not really sure about that. Well. Uh, yeah, that could be. And Im going to myself; How long have you been investigating this case? you know. And so, He spoke real softly, and just kind of mumbled, and I guess I assumed that an investigator would be more tried for? And he read again the charge of willfully not filing income tax in Illinois. And I said, Oh. Thank you. So Mr. Harrell got up and had a very calm and brilliant testimony, and we were all impressed, and finally he would ask the prosecuting attorney: And he said, Ill ask you the same thing Ive been asking all along. I dont mind paying my taxes. If it is the law. Just show me the law! (applause) And so we sat there. Were going, All right, this is it, you know. They didnt even address the question! Not only did they say, You know there is a law. They went on... and were going, What? This was your moment guys. You know. The spotlight was on you. And they didnt even address his question! So again, red lights were going off. The judge finally told us, he said because the defense kept talking about, you know, where is the law, and the judge finally looked at us and he said, I will instruct the jury according to the law. (laughter) And we went, okay, hes going to give it to us, you know, maybe in a nice little format, or whatever. So, needless to say, as soon as we got into deliberation, what did we look for the law. And were going through papers; and were going through papers... okay, though, where is the law? And finally there was this one piece of paper, and it said, If you are filing jointly and if you are married and filing jointly and under the age of 65 you are required to pay Illinois taxes if you make this much money. And somebody said, There it is; there is the law. 1

outspoken. So that immediately aroused in me some suspicion. He said, I dont remember writing down any questions from Mr. Harrell. Something isnt right here. Well, then they brought on a video of the interview with Mr. Harrell. Keep that in mind. Okay? And there he is, writing away. And every question that Mr. Harrell would ask, he would write away, and then he would say, Ill get that answer for you; Ill get that answer for you, and they said, Did you ever get back to Mr., Harrell? Well, no Sir. And again, we were going Why? This is so strange. It shouldnt be this difficult. Right? It is the law. Right? So it shouldnt be this difficult. Well; then Mr. Harrell was able to testify. And Oh, at one point, while this was going on and they had I dont know how many witnesses to prove that Mr. Harrell lived in Illinois and that he was married. And were going well thats real interesting. They didnt; they didnt really have to convince us this hard. After awhile, I finally raised my hand because I had been told that the judge would receive questions; and I raised my hand, and hes going, What!? I dont have time... And then he backed off, cause I just looked at him, and said, Pardon? And he said, Im sorry, what was your question? And I said, I think I just need to be clarified. What is Mr. Harrell being

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And I said, I think that was the tax code, wasnt it? Isnt that what they said was the tax code? Well, isnt that the law? And I said, No. Didnt they talk about that? Well you... we all came to agreement. No, that wasnt the law that was the tax code. But they said, but if the judge said it, it must be the law... And we had one dear gentleman who was from Romania hes an American citizen now but he said, You know, in my old country, we couldnt challenge the law, but in this country we can. (applause) And so I said, Okay. Lets look at it this way If its the law, they shouldnt have any trouble telling us what the number is. Right? And they said, Right. If its the law, then they can give us the number of the law. So this is when we wrote our first request. I wrote out the request and I said, would you please give us the number of the law that has this wording, and I took the wording right off the paper that he had given us. We waited a few minutes, you know, and by the way, the bailiff was fairly new, and he was going bonkers he said, You want to give a request to the judge? Well, I dont know Ive never seen that before. And so, in a little bit, we got back our answer. And we looked at it, and it said, You have been given everything you need. Well needless to say, we werent pleased. Were going, if its that easy, why didnt he just write that down? Now remember, we had gone through this whole trial from Wednesday afternoon until Friday morning. The attorney generals office had all that time just to tell us what the law is. And we heard nothing. We asked the judge, Just tell us the number. And one of the jurors said, well you know, now, the law is, its real complicated, maybe if he gave us a copy of it we couldnt

understand it And I said, we didnt ask for a copy of the law, all we asked for was the number. And we were refused. So we went on to the issue of voluntary compliance. And this is when things got heavy, because were starting to look at each other, and people are going, You mean we dont have to pay taxes? (applause) And so then we got into, well is it a moral issue? And the government has to have money, and blah, blah, blah. Realize we were talking as dummies, okay? Were going, wait, this could get out! Its a pretty serious case. All of a sudden this little case that we had all just showed up for to do our civic duty had become an awesome case with tremendous possibilities, you know. And so, thats when the heated kind of element came in because people started getting emotional about taxes. And finally, I said, now wait a minute. This is not a moral judgment that were making. Were judging Mr. Harrell on the law. Lets get back to what were talking about. Were judging him according to the law. Have you seen the law yet? No. So thats when we sent our second request. And we went to... And I wrote out to the judge, it said, would you please... because when we were talking about voluntary compliance, finally one of the jurors said, well that was in the evidence that the defense gave. And it was accepted as evidence. Right. So we started flipping through papers, but there was no evidence. Where did it go? And were looking all over the table. Well, arent we supposed to get all the evidence? And so we sent a second request. Please give us the papers they were submitting for the defense. And we waited. And we got a note back, and it said, you have requested, blah, blah, blah youre being denied. At that point, the other three jurors, swung they said, something is really

wrong here. And, one of them said, well, I just dont know, Hes gonna be getting away with it. And I said, wait a minute. If its not the law, hes not getting away with anything, but standing for his rights. And they said, well, youre right, you know. Were so deeply ingrained in this, and please be patient when you talk with other people. This is something that weve been taught all our lives, as a citizen, You know, its part of our being. And so we had to crash through that, and go, what are we really talking about, Were talking about the law. And I read the instructions from the judge. Basically, he said, If hes not guilty, then hes not guilty. And thats when we all voted, and we signed the papers. (applause) Finally, I will never forget, for one thing, the white face on the judge, but the other thing are the mixed feelings of humility and pride as the clerk read... as the clerk read (almost in emotional tears now)... We find the defendant, Gayland Herrell, Not Guilty! (applause) And our eyes were all on Mr. Harrell, because we had grown to appreciate this mans dedication, and he obviously was not just somebody who did not want to pay their taxes. He believed in this and was willing to put out everything for his belief. So with each count there were four counts every time they said Not Guilty the first time he just convulsed, you could tell hed been under such strain. And after that people in the court room started crying, and I stood there, and I thought, maybe this system doesnt work all the time, but this time, for that man it worked! (applause) And the conclusion is: No Law; Not Guilty!!! I Thank you.

Watch the Video at http://tinyurl.com/bp9gp25


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