You Have No Jurisdiction Over Me, Judge

When I was an Assistant State Attorney many moons ago, that is the time I was introduced to the "sovereign citizen" argument. In case you don't know, but a sovereign citizen is a person who vehemently believes that a court's jurisdiction does not apply because of some law created under the Uniform Commercial Code, Admiralty Law, or the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act - all of which have nothing to do with evidence and testimony in a criminal case.  This belief is the first glimpse of just how batsh** crazy someone is actually.  Subsequently, he proceeds to have an argument with the judge of how the court system, the judge and the prosecution cannot convict a man who is sovereign, in other words, free and independent of any local, state or federal jurisdiction.  

 

Recently, I came across an article in the The News-Times in Carteret County, North Carolina, that Jerry Willis, a 44-year-old man had been sentenced to at least five years in prison on numerous drug and weapons convictions.  Unbeknownst to Jer, he sold meth to an informant, and a search warrant turned up more drugs and several firearms. Willis was arrested, and...well, this is where its gets interesting.  

 

Mr. Jerry Willis claimed to be some sort of “agricultural product”, and not a man, therefore, not subject to the laws of North Carolina or the United States. He also told Judge Heath that his name was not Jerry Willis, but Willis Jerry.

 

In my experience, this is exactly the type of nonsense "sovereign citizens" present, for they will posit arguments in which they demand a negative is proven or they engage in double-speak.  For instance, the notion that the law has no power over you if it does not say your name correctly or use the right punctuation.

 

I must admit, I have never heard of the“agricultural product” argument and could be Jer's own creation.  According to the report, Willis/Jerry apparently made the argument in a written motion to dismiss, though, the reporter did not share Willis/Jerry's motion.  Perhaps Jer was trying to make an argument based on a “straw man” argument.  In other words, not him but some other legal entity. 

 

Regardless, the judge denied the motion to dismiss, holding that Willis was subject to the law and would have to stand trial, which was scheduled for the next day—but Willis failed to show up. He was tried in absentia and convicted. In the meantime, police got a tip on Willis’s location, and put a house under surveillance.

 

According to the article, on September 25, an officer observed three female subjects packing up and leaving in the night and upon a traffic stop, discovered Mr. Willis lying in the backseat disguised in a female wig.

 

Or, two female subjects and one disguised agricultural product. 

 

 

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