Letter to The Honorable W. Allan Sharrett
The Honorable W. Allan Sharrett
Presiding Judge, Chief Judge
Hopewell Circuit Court
6th Judicial Circuit of Virginia
P. O. Box 310
100 E. Broadway
Hopewell, VA 23860-2715
In re Brandon J. Raub
Dear Judge Sharrett:
We the undersigned, at least two of whom are citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, do hereby demand that you:
- Unseal all files in the Court’s possession pertaining to Brandon J. Raub and the events surrounding his interrogation, detention, involuntary commitment and your subsequent dismissal of the petition for his involuntary commitment and his release, as provided for in the Code of Virginia Section 37.2-818, which requires the Court to unseal a file previously sealed under this Section of the Code “if it finds that such disclosure is in the best interest of the person who is the subject of the hearing or of the public;” and
- Convene a Special Grand Jury in order to investigate these incidents and determine whether indictments should be brought against any or all of the individuals participating in the aforementioned incidents occurring on and before the period August 16, 2012 – August 23, 2012 in conjunction with the coordinated planning and execution of Mr. Raub’s interrogation, detention and involuntary commitment before you dismissed the Commonwealth of Virginia’s petition for his involuntary commitment and released him from custody stating in your release order that the petition “is so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.” The Code of Virginia, Section 19.2-191 provides (as explained in Section 23 of the October 2010 edition of the Virginia Supreme Court Handbook for Grand Jurors) that: “Any citizen or group of citizens may ask the Circuit Court of a city or county to convene a Special Grand Jury.”
The Orwellian actions conceived in conspiracy among Virginia and Federal agents and officials sometime before August 16 and then unleashed on Mr. Raub during the following week with Gestapo-like tactics, employed against him and doing violence to his person to carry out this conspiracy by a combined Virginia-Federal strike force for no alleged criminal or wrongful act or any demonstration of mental deficiency were so outrageous, so obviously in violation of Virginia law and so contrary to the precepts of American and Virginian justice that the ramifications of these lawless acts go far beyond the harm done to Mr. Raub; they violate the rule of law, disparage due process, make a mockery of individual rights and undermine the constitutional foundations of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The public has a direct and separate interest in these incidents apart from Mr. Raub’s. In Virginia and the United States, all individuals are created equal under the law, and every individual must be held to the same standards of justice whether they are private citizens or government officials. No special treatment or privilege under the law for government officials is consistent with the American and Virginian justice and equal protection guarantees. All individuals must stand before the bar of justice on equal terms, and only a Special Grand Jury can ensure that the wrongful acts perpetrated against Mr. Raub are objectively investigated and properly considered for indictment.
As the Virginia Supreme Court Handbook for Grand Juries states:
A Grand Jury maintains this vital function today—to protect citizens from despotic abuse of power by the government. It does not have to wait upon a presentation of the evidence by the government; it has the power independently to investigate crimes and offer presentments on its own initiative. This inherent power of the Grand Jury allows corrupt government activities to be investigated without bias and for government officials who have broken the law to be charged and prosecuted under the same standards and statutes as any ordinary citizen would be who broke the same laws.
The Grand Jury had its origin more than seven centuries ago in England from which, in large part, this country inherited its legal system. Many legal historians trace its origin to events in the reign of Henry II and to one of the articles of the Constitution of Clarendon in 1164. It was recognized in Magna Carta granted by King John at the demand of the people in 1215. One of its earliest functions was to protect citizens from despotic abuse of power by the king (emphasis added).
Writing for the majority in United States v. Williams (1992), Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia effectively codified the uniquely independent power of the Grand Jury as a Fourth Branch of government, delivering power into the hands of private citizens sitting as federal grand jurors. Elaborating on Justice Lewis Powell’s earlier formulation in United States v. Calandra (1974), Justice Scalia said:
Sitting outside any of the three branches of government, Grand Juries are pivotal to keeping corrupt and abusive government in check. Grand Juries are the only bulwark against special treatment being granted to government officials by other government officials sitting in judgment over them. Private citizens sitting as Grand Jurors are free of the temptation to grant special privilege to fellow government officials, and they can investigate and decide without prejudice whether to indict corrupt and rogue public officials with crimes if justice requires it.
"[R]ooted in long centuries of Anglo-American history, the grand jury is mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but not in the body of the Constitution. It has not been textually assigned, therefore, to any of the branches described in the first three Articles. It is a constitutional fixture in its own right” (emphasis added).
Therefore it is in the interest of the public that all information and communications among government officials and agents involved in the government conspiracy against Brandon J. Raub be released to the public and that a Special Grand Jury be convened to consider whether criminal charges should be brought against any or all individuals participating in the incidents.
Therefore, we demand that you seek a waiver from Mr. Raub, as provided for in the Code of Virginia, granting you his permission to unseal the files. If he denies you that permission, we demand that you nevertheless allow the public interest to over ride his refusal to grant a waiver, as also provided for in the Virginia Code, and unseal the files in the public interest so that there can be a full and complete public investigation of how the Virginia system of justice went so drastically off the rails.
We further demand that you convene a Special Grand Jury as absolutely necessary and in the public interest to determine whether indictments should be handed down in conjunction with the incidents involved with Mr. Raub’s interrogation, assault, detention and involuntary commitment.
Very sincerely yours,
Lawrence A Hunter
209 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Resident of Virginia
Note: There were 2,028 additional signatures attached to the original copy of the letter.