DRAFT version of Federal "Justice" Shutdown Project
jdb10987 at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 19 22:23:23 PDT 2018
Below is a DRAFT
Federal “Justice” ShutdownProgram
Vancouver WA USA
March 18, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION
STARTUP EXPENSES AND CAPITALIZATION
REFINING THE PLAN
This is not an ordinary Business Plan,because this will be far from an ordinary “business”. There areno ordinary “customers”, nor “suppliers”, nor a “market”. Nevertheless, there is a powerful motivation for the public to seethis plan attempted, and succeed.
The purpose of this “business” ispolitical and ideological: It is intended to stop the FederalJustice System from prosecuting and convicting the current figure ofabout 77,000 defendants per year, 75% of whom are being charged with'victimless crimes', such as drugs, money laundering, illegal gunpossession, illegal re-entry to America, and drop this number toaround 5,000 per year.
Those 77,000 defendants are convictedwith only about 2,500 trials: This can occur only because defendantsare forced to accept plea agreements, by threat of much longersentences should they not cooperate. Once the number of Defendantsthat the Federal Government can prosecute is dropped to about 5,000per year, it will be forced to negotiate the end of prosecution ofvictimless crimes.
Libertarians believe that 'victimlesscrimes' should not be prosecuted. A 'victimless crime' is one inwhich there isn't an obvious and identifiable 'victim', a personharmed by the crime. About 75% of the defendants yearly prosecutedin the Federal Criminal Justice System are prosecuted for 'victimlesscrimes': Primarily illegal drugs (“controlled substances”),money-laundering, illegal gun possession, and illegal re-entry. (Immigration offenses.)
While some people would say that 'drugcrimes' have victims, the drug users themselves, this is in a specialcategory as the 'victims' are almost always willing: Theyvoluntarily buy, sell, trade, and use the various drugs involved. Further, to a very large extent, harm caused by illegal drugs isactually caused by their illegality, not their inherent chemicalcharacteristics. If every currently-illegal drug was made, instead,by respected and competent commercial pharmaceutical companies, thosedrugs would be very pure and of well-defined dosage. “Overdoses”as are currently known would be difficult or impossible to have.
But in addition to those 75% ofdefendants charged for 'victimless crimes', there are many otherpeople of the remaining 25% who probably wouldn't be charged with anycrime if, for example, currently-illegal drugs were no longerillegal: Theft, robbery, or assault to finance anotherwise-expensive drug habit. If, for instance, a person has a$500/day cocaine addiction, that is a major problem. If the cost ofthat cocaine was only $5, because it is legal and not illegal, hemight still have the medical problems, but he no longer needs tocommit the crimes necessary to raise that $500/day. So, potentiallymuch more than 75% of the crimes currently prosecuted would no longerexist, or be prosecuted.
If that 75% of victimless crimes wereno longer prosecuted, 75% of about 77,000, or about 57,750, theFederal system would conceivably be able to shift its attention tocrimes that actually do have victims.
The number of people currently inFederal prison is about 184,000. If over time, this were reduced toabout 14,000, that would be a reduction in 170,000 prisoners. (Forreference, the number of Federal prisoners in 1980 was approximately10,000).
For the taxed public, this shouldresult in a reduction in prison expenses of currently(184,000-14,000) = 170,000 prisoners multiplied by $40,000 in costsper prisoner per year, or a savings of about $6.8 billion per year,all because the Federal prison population will gradually drop. Thiswill also result in the extreme reduction of expenses ofinvestigation, prosecution, and conviction of about 72,000 personsper year, in an amount approximately $10 billion per year. Totalsavings, therefore, will be about $16.8 billion per year.
For the defendants' themselves, theelimination of 95% of the Federal criminal prosecutions done yearlysolves their problems, obviously.
GOAL FOR THE BUSINESS:
We anticipate that well within one (1)year, the number of people prosecuted and convicted per year willdrop to approximately 5,000, from the current 77,000 per year. Therefore, the Federal Government will be hard-pressed to try andconvict 1/15th of the current number of defendants. Prisons will have to close, because while many prisoners will reachtheir “must release” dates, there will be very few new prisonersreplacing them.
At some point, and probably no morethan one year after the first mailing campaign starts, the FederalGovernment will have no choice but to enter into negotiation with theCompany: The Company will demand:
That there will be no more charging and convictions based on 'victimless crimes'. So, 75% of the existing prosecutions will disappear.
All then-current prisoners will be pardoned of any 'victimless crime', and the full credit for their time-served will applied to any 'victim-type crimes' which sentence(s) they may currently be serving. This can be anticipated to almost instantly reduce the number of the Federal prison population to around 10,000-15,000, which will result in the immediate and permanent closure of 90%+ of all existing Federal prisons.
Henceforth, all defendants must be given enforcible plea agreements, but if they refuse to accept them, on conviction these defendants may not be given a sentence greater than 10% or 6 months greater than the terms of the agreement. This will stop the current practice of extorting “guilty” pleas, by the threat of far longer sentences.
PROPOSED TARGET MARKET
This Business Plan does not have aconventional “market”. It has a target of interested people, ofabout 77,000 newly-charged defendants per year, but they don'tdirectly purchase a “product” or a “service”. If anything,they are requested to provide a service to the Company: Suchdefendants are offered a deal. If they refuse to plead “guilty”,and demand a jury trial, and if they eventually receive that trial,after that trial they will be given a payment, regardless of theoutcome of the case. Initially, and currently, I anticipate thatthe amount of that payment will be set at $3,000, but that valuemight be increased (or decreased) in the future.
This Business, by necessity, has aninterested group of donors, people who want to see the political andsocial change which will be engendered by the operation of thisbusiness. These Donors want to see the Federal Government no longerable to charge, indict, try, and convict around 77,000 defendants peryear, and ideally would like to see that number reduced to a farsmaller value, perhaps 5,000 per year.
These Donors may have many reasons tosupport the Company's operations. These reasons don't have to beconsistent, or even compatible.
Dueto the odd nature of this 'business', it does not have any direct'competition.' Nobody, to our knowledge, is currently offering thiskind of “product” or “service”. Moreover, if a similar suchorganization were to be formed, doing essentially the same thing,such an organization would not be seen as being in 'competition': Rather, it would more likely be seen as an ally, rather than acompetitor: The other organization might offer the same, or adifferent payment, perhaps with somewhat different terms, butdefendants would be able to receive both such offers simultaneously. These defendants would not have to “choose” between these tworeward systems: They would expect to receive both such rewardssimultaneously, and there would be nothing wrong with them doing so.
I, Jim Bell (James Dalton Bell) have ahistory of managing a small business, from 1982 through 1992. (“SemiDisk Systems, Inc”).
FINANCIAL OUTLOOK FOR THE BUSINESS
Ironically, one goal of this Businesscan be seen as to put itself out of business. The ongoing costs willbe readily calculated: The cost for the rewards is based on thenumber of jury trials that the Federal Government can be expected tobe able to put on. Currently, that number is about 2,500 per year,and I anticipate that it would be difficult for them to increase thisvalue to beyond 4,000 per year. Putting on a “trial” requires acourtroom, of course, but it also needs prosecutors, investigators,and witnesses must be coralled.
The cost to the Busines for eachdefendant is based on the amount of the reward, which we currentlyestimate will be $3,000 per defendant. So, we currently estimatethe cost of the rewards to be about 4,000 trials per year, multipliedby $3,000 per defendants, or around $12 million/year.
We currently see the overhead of thebusiness to be based on a salary per worker of initially $50,000 peryear, for about 6 workers, or $300,000 per year rate. However, oncethe publicity begins, the added risk to the workers justifies anincrease in salary to $100,000/year, also for about 6 workers.
After the publicity starts, weanticipate paying the workers on a sliding scale, based on howsuccessful they happen to be as a group. The measurement of theirsuccess is based on the rate of new indictments: If the number ofnew defendants remains at 77,000 per year, this could be labelled as“no success yet”, and the salaries will remain at $100,000/year.
We define “Full success” as areduction in newly indicted defendants to a rate of 10,000 per year,or about 830 per month. When that occurs, the salary of theemployees will be $200,000, but linearly set. Between these twopoints should be drawn straight-line scale. “Half-success” couldbe defined as a number of new indicts of ((77,000 + 10,000)/2), or43,500 per year, and would merit a salary midway between $100K and$200K, or $150,000/year.
Further linear increases in salary asthe number of new indicted defendants dips below 10,000 per year willbe possible.
Other overhead and computer serviceswould likely cost $10,000 per month. So, the total expected overhead,including accounting, legal, office expenses, and salaries, shouldcome to about $200K x 6, plus $10,000, or about $1.32 million peryear.
Thus, the total costs including therewards will be about 4,000 trials per year multipled by $3,000 perdefendant, or $12 million, plus an overhead of $1.32 million peryear, or a grand total of $13.32 million per year.
The purpose of the Company is to raisemoney from Donors, and offer an amount to all newly-charged Federalcriminal defendants, initially set to be $3,000, if the defendantrefuses to plead guilty, in fact pleads not guilty, and demands ajury trial, and receives said jury trial. Currently 77,000 peopleare charged in the Federal criminal system, per year, and nearly thatnumber are convicted, despite only putting on about 2,500 jury trialsper year. If the defendants could be convinced to all demand a jurytrial, we anticipate that the vast majority of those 77,000 peoplecould not be tried nor convicted, and would have to be freed. Ultimately, the number of new defendants charged would have to dropcommensurate with the number of trials which can be put on, whichmight be as much as 5,000.
It is anticipated that the cost ofthis function will be calculatable, as a product of the amount of thereward per defendant, initially about $3,000, multiplied by thenumber of jury trials that the Federal Government will be able to puton per year. Currently that number of trials is 2,500, but weanticipate that number could increase to 3,500-5,000 per year.
It is conceivable that a larger rewardwill be necessary than $3,000. The Business should be aware of thepossibility that the reward might have to be raised to $5,000.
This could be described as a form ofreal-world “Denial of Service Attack”. The goal is to encouragedefendants to demand their civil rights to a jury trial, and thusoverload the Federal Criminal “Justice” System, to make it farharder to convict people of violation of Federal Criminal law,especially victimless crimes. Eventually, the Federal criminalsystem will be forced by negotiations to eliminate all prosecutionsof victimless crimes, and will have to shift its attention to crimeswith real victims.
2. Company philosophy and vision
The philosophy is to be essentiallylibertarian, based on the non-initiation of force and fraud (NIOFP;NAP (non-initiation of agression principle.)) espoused bylibertarians. The purpose of the company is to make it difficult orimpossible for the controlling government to charge and convictpeople for violation of non-victim crimes. Such a charge andconviction is itself a violation of the NIOFP.
3. Company goals:
The approximate number of Federalcriminal defendants convicted is about 77,000 per year. One majorgoal is to reduce that number to well under 10,000 per year, andideally to 5,000 per year. Over the long term, this should result ina number of incarcerated Federal prisons being lowered from thecurrent 184,000 to perhaps 14,000. This reduction in prisonpopulation could occur slowly, as people left prison at a rate muchhigher than those coming in. Alternatively, the Government could berequired to immediately pardon all those previously convicted, of anyvictimless crime, and credit all prior time served to any victim-typecrimes that they might be convicted of.
Even after the company's operationstarts, “plea bargaining” will probably still exist, but on farbetter terms (to the defendants) than is currently practiced. Onereason is that unlike today, when perhaps 99% of the people chargedget convicted, the new environment will allow far fewer chargeddefendants to be convicted.
4. Target Market:
Due to the very unusual nature of thisbusiness organization, it is difficult to assign terms like “market”,“customers”, “suppliers”, etc. There are, however, perhaps77,000 people per year (new Federal criminal defendants) who will beoffered the service/product of approximately $3,000, if they refuseto plead guilty to criminal charges, and who demand and ultimatelyreceive a jury trial.
There are, also, potentially thousandsor even millions of people who want to see the Federal Government nolonger being able to charge and convict people for victimless crimes. Millions of citizens do not want to be taxed to pay for theincarceration of people who are only 'guilty' of victimless crimes. This group could also be seen as a “market”: The people who wantto see the current practic of charging and convicting people forvictimless crimes cease.
If the number of people incarceratedby the Federal system drops from 184,000 to about 14,000, this shouldresult in a prison savings of about $6.8 billion per year. Billionsmore will be saved in the form of salaries of “Department ofJustice”, “FBI”, and other organizations., perhaps $10 billionmore.
It is difficult to say what the“Industry” is. It might be labelled as “criminal justice”,or “legal services”, or “legal defense”.
6. Legal Structure.
This will be structured as a 501(c)(3)non-profit corporation. Donors can and will be anonymous, if theychoose to be.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
This Company will offer,fundamentally, one “product” or “service”: A payment to allnew Federal criminal defendants who refuse to plead guilty to acrime, and who demand a jury trial, and who receive that trial. Although, it could also be described that offering this service willultimately engender a political change that libertarians desire. THAT might be described as an additional or alternative “product”or “service”.
The Problem that this “Product” or“Service” solves:
To a libertarian, this Problem isobvious. Large numbers of people become Federal criminal defendants,currently 77,000 per year, and they are convicted at a rate of about76,000 per year, yet while only about 2,500 actual jury trials areput on. About 75% of these defendants are charged with victimlesscrimes, which arguably aren't really “crimes” at all: See 'MalumProhibitum', as opposed to 'Malum in Se'. To a libertarian, theinherent unfairness of arresting, charging, trying, convicting, andincarcerating a person “guilty” only of a victimless-crime isobvious.
Further, it is very likely that theFederal system could direct its attention to many other victim-typecrime, if it didn't currently charge and convict based on victimlesscrimes.
The excess cost to house theseconvicted prisoners is probably about $6.8 billion greater than itshould be, which ought to be concerning to all American taxpayers,even if they do not call themselves “libertarians”. Inaddition, the budget for the Department of Justice includes about $14billion, of which perhaps $10 billion is probably directed at theenforcement of victimless-crime laws. Thus, there could be a savingsof perhaps $6.8+$10 billion, or nearly $17 billion per year.
If the cost of this project is about$12 million per year, calculated by $3,000 payment multiplied byperhaps 3,500 trials, plus an overhead of $1.5 million, then thesavings per dollar expended is: $17 billion divided by $12 million,or 1,417 dollars of savings for each $1 expended. Seen this way,this is highly economical.
How to Price the Product or Service?
This, of course, is not a conventional“product” nor “service”. The closest thing would be todeclare the payment, initially set to $3,000, to be the “price”,and the “service” is by the defendant, who agrees to demand ajury trial and goes on to receive it. This payment to thedefendants, $3,000, has been estimated somewhat arbitrarily, but notunrealistically. However, this figure can be changed in the future,albeit with some degree of warning to the defendants themselves. Ifit is discovered that this offer is insufficient to get asufficiently large number of people to agree to plead not guilty anddemand a trial, this number can be increased.
A wealthy defendant won't beattracted by what to him seems a small payment. This value must belarge enough to attract the attention of a large fraction of thedefendants, but at the same time it must be affordable to theCompany. The government will likely be able to put on 3,500-5,000jury trials, so a payment of $3,000 will cost it a range of about$10.5-15 million, plus about 10% overhead. A payment as high as$5,000 per defendant will probably be more than sufficient to getnearly all of them to demand a jury trial.
This payment is not intended to'reward' the defendant for committing a crime. Rather, it is tocompensate him for accepting an extra risk, the risk that he mightget a slightly higher sentence if he refuses to plead not-guilty. However, the extra risk isn't much: Based on current statistics, acharged Federal defendant probably has a 99% chance of beingconvicted. Realistically, therefore, these defendants realisticallyexpect to be convicted. They will soon be made aware that for manyand in fact most of them, their greatest chance at freedom is torefuse to accept any plea deal, demand a jury trial, and hope thatthey will be among the 95% which the government cannot convict, ifall of them demand a jury trial.
The average Federal sentence could becalculated by the current prison population, 184,000 prisoners,divided by about 76,000 new convicts each year, or about 2.42 years.While some well-publicized defendants are wealthy, probably the vastmajority are not. We can calculate that a payment of $3,000,divided by 2.42 year sentence, amounts to a payment of: $1,240 peryear, or a bit more than $102 per month. This is an amount ofmoney they can spend at the Commissary, the prison grocery store.
It is for this reason that we thinkthat an initial payment setting of $3,000 would be sufficent toinduce a very large percentage of current federal defendants to pleadnot-guilty and demand a jury trial. But there is no reason to offersubstantially more than is eventually found to be necessary to forcethe number of convictions to be around 5,000 or so.
How will we market thisproduct/service?
There will be two forms of “marketing”necessary: It will be necessary to identify and locate the Federaldefendants, who must be informed that if they refuse to plead guilty,and demand a jury trial, and receive that jury trial, they will begiven a payment, initially set to $3,000, after sentencing.
The data identifying the names andaddresses of such defendants can be found on two government websites,the first called PACER.GOV, and the second BOP.GOV. The first,PACER, can be “scraped” (using a computer program to access awebsite which is normally accessed by a human) to reveal all newcriminal defendants' full names. The second, BOP.GOV, can besimilarly accessed to find the mailing addresses of these defendants.
We have already found an organizationwhich can perform the first automated access; and the second isapparently much simpler. We have received an estimate that to obtainthe addresses of the first 40,000 names (the previous 6 months ofdefendants) will cost about $5,000, and subsequent months of datawill cost about $500 per month. Accessing the addresses, viaBOP.GOV, will presumably be much simpler and cheaper.
Once the names and a addresses areavailable, they will need to be printed out onto mailing envelopes,each of which will be stuffed with as many as five (5) copies of aGreeting Letter, which will inform the recipient defendant of theproject and what they need to do to obtain the $3000 award. Theseletters will be stamped (or pre-printed) and mailed by an attorney: A mailing from an attorney to a prisoner must be opened in therecipient prisoner's presence, so it cannot be easily waylaid.
The purpose of the multiple copies ofthe Greeting Letter in the envelope is to allow these Defendants, ifthey are housed together, to quickly and easily provide copies toother Defendants who we may not have identified and mailed to yet.
How will we “market” the cost ofthis operation?
It will be necessary to obtaindonations necessary to finance both the reward system, plus about a10% overhead. Initially, we propose contacting the local/stateLibertarian Party apparatus, perhaps in Oregon and Washington, andproposing this as an official or unofficial libertarian project. Ithas the prospect of being a highly pro-libertarian project, ideallyeliminating the arrest, charging, and conviction of people forvictimless crimes.
Within the last few days, PresidentTrump actually speculated that the death penalty be given for drugcrimes, somewhat analogous to the treatment Philipine PresidentDuterte has been doing. This proposal should be consideredespecially outrageous. Even for people who might, nominally, have noproblem with the death penalty for certain crimes, the idea ofkilling people merely for selling drugs will likely enrage much ofthe population.
Why should this be a Project of theLibertarian Party?
Libertarian parties have been formedat least as early as 1972, and have promoted positions of individualfreedom. Such parties have run candidates in national, state, andlocal political races, but have only rarely have they been elected,at least not in “partisan” races. We feel that the blame can beattributed to something called “Duverger's Law”, see theWikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger%27s_law
Duverger's law explains that for“first past the post” plurality elections, third-parties tend tobe excluded. As stated in the Wikipedia article:
“Withdiscovery attributed to Duverger, he observed the effect and recordedit in several papers published in the 1950s and 1960s. In the courseof further research, other political scientists began calling theeffect a "law" or principle. Duverger's law suggests anexus or synthesis between a party system and an electoral system: aproportional representation (PR) system creates the electoralconditions necessary to foster party development while a pluralitysystem marginalizes many smaller political parties, resulting in whatis known as a two-party system.
Inpolitical science, Duverger's law is a principle which asserts thatplurality rule elections structured within single-member districtstends to favor a two-party system. This is one of two hypothesesproposed by Duverger, the second stating that "the double ballotmajority system and proportional representation tend to multipartism”
As applied to America, which has beenruled by the Democrat and Republican parties since 1860, thirdparties simply aren't welcome. Indeed, Duverger's Law is so powerfulthat it took the advent of the issue of slavery and the Civil War todestroy the previous “Whig” party and replace it with theRepublican party.
It is unlikely that America's FoundingFathers were aware of the principle of Duverger's Law. Indeed, itis unlikely that they intended the involvement of “politicalparties”. But the way they designed the Federal structurevirtually mandated the formation and operation of those politicalparties.
Applying Duverger's law, it can beargued that a challenger third-party can't really accomplish anythinguseful until it obtains support at least equal to that of thesecond-most-powerful political party. Put simply, it is unrealisticto believe that the Libertarian party can force any substantialconventional change until it has come close to defeating at least oneof the pre-existing political parties, either the Republican or theDemocrat.
This Federal Justice Shutdown Projecthas been designed by a founder (Jim Bell), a lifetime libertarian whofirst realized he was a libertarian in about 1975. Bell recognizesthat in order for the Libertarian party, and libertarians themselves,to actually accomplish something, it will have to first do it byengaging in an activity that it need not receive “permission” todo, from as much as a 51% of the population to at least a plurality.
It should be apparent that to “defeat”the Federal Government using this technique, it will only benecessary to raise a relatively minimal amount, perhaps between$12-16 million dollars per year. Is this a lot? Well, if we assumethat only 1% of the adult population claims to be libertarian, thisis about 2.5 million people. If the cost was spread over thispopulation, it would cost between $4.5-6.5 per libertarian/year toraise $12-16 million dollars.
Other Donors? A list of high-worthindividuals.
Charlie Shrem, Bitcoin billionaire? Victimized by the Federal Government in 2014.
Kim Dotcom. (Yes, that's his name!) Current worth possibly $300 million, under threat of extradition fromNew Zealand, due to his Megaupload website. With only 4% of hisassets, he could fund this project for a year.
Fans of Julian Assange and EdwardSnowden. These people are under the threat of prosecution. A donorwould help reduce the probability of such a prosecution by swampingthe system with Defendants who insist on jury trials.
Users, operators, and owners of thecurrent version of Silk Road, the “dark markets” most famous forselling illegal drugs and other shady services. If they reserve 1%of $1 billion/year in gross revenue, or $10 million/year, this wouldfund the Federal Justice Shutdown Project for about 1 year. Atypical vendor or user of these kinds of services wants to ensurethat he cannot eventually be prosecuted. A very effective way to dothis is to overload the Federal prosecution system to make it verydifficult to prosecute these victimless crimes.
Various billionaires: Bill Gates,Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk,the Winklevoss twins. George Soros. Charles Koch, David Koch. Carlos Slim Helu. Larry Ellison, Barnard Arnault, Amancio Ortega,Michael Bloomberg, Sergey Brin, Jim Walton, S. Robson Walton, AliceWalton
All of these donations could be madeanonymous and untraceable, eliminating the possibility of politicalor social “feedback” against the donors.
Keep in mind that these people,although they are probably of very different political philosophies,in no way have to agree with “us”, or each other, to donate tothis project. The only thing they will be interested in is if theywant to shut down the Federal Criminal “Justice” System. It isquite possible that many, and perhaps most of these potential donorsreally hate the current practices, but up until now they have notbeen aware of anything they could economically do to help shut itdown, or feared some sort of payback if they interfered “too much”.
The initial cost of making a US Mailmailing to about 40,000 defendants will be about $50,000. (estimatedas the number of defendants indicted over the previous 6 months.) Subsequent months' mailings will probably start out at the usual rateof 77,000/12 months, or about 5,500 per month, but as this operationtakes effect and the Feds get swamped, their ability to prosecutewill dramatically reduce, and they will probably reduce theirindictments to about 1,000 per month. This will cost about$1000/month, or less.
This project will also create and makea mailing, probably by email, of Press Releases, to websites,magazines, newspapers, and other organizations that will publicizethis project. We anticipate that the one-time cost of this will be$5,000.
Proposed Location of Business:
This business is not expected to havea walk-in location, because it does not need this. We anticipatethat there will be about 6 employees, all of whom can work out oftheir own residences.
[end of current draft of Business Plan]
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