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13 Years and Growing
A Member Support Organization Matures
by Gila Hayes
As the Network starts its 14th year of service, we move forward in the company of over 19,000 members, many of whom have been part our big Network family for many years. We close out 2021 with over $3 million in the Legal Defense Fund, having paid legal defense expenses on behalf of 29 members, and had a hand in educating thousands more. With growth inevitably comes change, so a reminder of the mission we first undertook in 2008, and the extent to which our bold plans from that beginning have expanded, matured and grown may prove useful to members. How did we reach January 1, 2022, and what lies ahead in this new year?
A Mission Defined by Need
No Arbitrary Limits
We frequently converse with callers who want definite dollar limits on specific types of post-self-defense incident legal work. “What is the dollar limit on criminal defense?” is a common question, as only one example. The Network’s assistance to members who have defended themselves and their families is not restricted by arbitrary limits, nor is it rationed out for one facet of legal defense but not another.
Holding Parents Responsible
by Art Joslin, J.D., D.M.A.
On November 30, 2021, 15-year old Ethan Crumbley walked into Oxford High School and began his shooting spree. Four children died while seven were wounded, including one teacher.
Oxford High School is in Oakland County, MI and is located northeast of Detroit. At the Network, we’ve received member emails asking how a prosecutor can hold parents responsible with criminal charges for the actions of their minor children. In this edition of the eJournal, I will address the process by which this can happen.
by Marty Hayes, J.D.
Occasionally I get challenged by our members on things I write in the eJournal. After last month’s President’s Message where I discussed the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse and the situation in Kenosha, I received one such email. Typically, I respond to them personally, but this one raised several points which I felt needed addressing. Besides, I recognize that if one person is thinking something, others are likely too. So, here is the email as written to me, from a member named “Wayne.”
Remembering Jim Fleming
by Gila Hayes
The Network, its leadership and its members suffered a blow at the end of November when we lost attorney and Advisory Board member Jim Fleming. He had been sick for some weeks before we learned on Nov. 27th of his passing. Still, word of his death hit me hard; we had last heard that his condition was slowly improving. Traditionally, a death is marked by an obituary with detailed dates and lists naming the bereaved family left behind. Well, Jim was never afraid to buck tradition and he asked that no funeral services, eulogies or obituaries mark his passing.
Attorney Question of the Month
This month our Network President Marty Hayes has asked us to explore legal responsibilities of parents who fail to secure guns which are subsequently used in tragedies like the Oxford High School killings and injuries. Of course, the laws vary a lot from state to state, as does how strictly laws on the books are enforced. With Affiliated Attorneys all across the United States, our Network members will greatly benefit from discussion of how criminal liability is assigned to parents of minors in school shootings.
Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free
and Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System
by Judge Jed S. Rakoff
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Feb. 2021)
Paperback 208 pages $17; eBook, $14
Reviewed by Gila Hayes
An Internet search to learn more about what has been called the “trial penalty” led me to a book written by a New York federal district judge, whose résumé also includes work as a prosecutor and a defense attorney. Reading Why the Innocent Plead Guilty challenged me to put aside my own beliefs and dig deep for the bigger lessons identified by a judge who has served for a quarter of a century. When we only read books by authors we agree with, it is too easy to echo their opinions and feel smart and righteous. For me, this month’s review is practice doing otherwise.
by Gila Hayes
Let me start my comments this month with a heart-felt thank you to all of our Network members who have joined, renewed and are going forward, bravely facing the new year with us. We advance into 2022 with confidence and courage, in no small part because you accompany us. When a Network member is selected as a criminal’s would-be victim, and instead of being injured or killed uses force in self defense, he or she faces scrutiny from the criminal justice system – potentially a second victimization. In the aftermath, the balance of power between this citizen and the government is a lot more equal than it was before he or she became part of our big Network family. For the member, resources available far exceed what just one individual, their family and friends can scrape up to fight prosecution or a lawsuit seeking damages. Now the strength of thousands of like-minded men and women bolsters both the resolve and the resources of the intended victim.
About this Journal
The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at http://armedcitizensnetwork.org/our-journal. Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.
Do not mistake information presented in this online publication for legal advice; it is not. The Network strives to assure that information published in this journal is both accurate and useful. Reader, it is your responsibility to consult your own attorney to receive professional assurance that this information and your interpretation or understanding of it is accurate, complete and appropriate with respect to your particular situation.