The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

December 7, 2013

Grand jury invoked

Common law group eyes government reform

MERCER — Whatever their political beliefs, a local judge and the district attorney say, the group’s efforts will have no legal authority to investigate anything and could prove to be dangerous to others and themselves.

Dr. James G. Allen helped to organize the meeting in Mercer that drew about 40 people to the community room at Brandy Springs Park.

Many of them said beforehand they didn’t know anything about the New York-based website that supplied the two videos they watched before 36 people voted by a show of hands – two by absentee ballot – to empanel a local common law grand jury. Sixteen people signed up to serve.

Allen said a common law grand jury has the authority, for example, to investigate “corrupt public officials as individuals,” especially any “not adhering to their oaths of office.”

Its findings would be formally turned over to the district attorney for trial in court.

The authority for such a grand jury that “serves as a buffer between the people and the government” derives, Allen said, “from the people directly and through the founding documents, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and  the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

He clarified that he was referring to the “original” 1776 state constitution, not the constitution last amended for the fifth time in 1968.

Before the meeting, three  local women, Mary Mattocks, Mercer, Carol Bollard, Stoneboro, and Elizabeth Lane, Jackson Center, said they had not heard of National Liberty Alliance or John Darash. He supplied and narrated “Take Back the Republic,” one of the videos the gathering watched.

“We’re here to learn,” Mattocks said.

So was John Garvin, a Slippery Rock area contractor who came with a friend after seeing a shopper advertisement for the meeting.

Allen, an anesthesiologist who lives in Grove City, said he didn’t know anything about Darash’s background but he agrees with its advocacy for local grand juries based on what he has learned from the website since last summer.

Other online groups with similar interests have set up websites to promote the formation of investigating juries.

According to meetup.com, an online reviewer of websites, National Liberty Alliance, Hyde Park, N.Y., was founded in 2011 by Darash, Carl Shuer and Gerard Aprea and recently listed 432 members.

It lists no biographical information about the founders.

NLA’s emblem is a U.S. flag shown upside down as a sign of distress. The website says its goal is to have a common law grand jury in all 3,141 counties in the United States.

Groups in several other western Pennsylvania counties have held meetings, and organizers in Butler and Westmoreland counties said they have filed documents with their clerks of courts to convene.

Allen said he didn’t know how soon the local group will be ready to file the results of the vote and names of interested jurors.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • To demolish or not Tear it down? Fix it up?

    In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
    Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014

  • Soap box derby finds new home

    The Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids soap box derby for special-needs kids is moving to Sharpsville.

    April 19, 2014

  • News briefs from April 18, 2014

    ‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation

    Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal

    Lung Association offering free radon test kits

    April 18, 2014

  • Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped

    A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple

    A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Tech waste eyed for new contact

    The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.

    April 18, 2014

  • WaterFire Rekindled

    WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014