Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Shaffer Union Elementary's Principal -- Questionable Conduct?

Are the people in charge of Shaffer Union Elementary safeguarding children there?

The town of Litchfield has a population of 195 as of the 2010 census. Located at 722-055 Hwy 395 N in Litchfield, California, 96117, (530) 254-6577, Shaffer Union Elementary is a public school with grades Kindergarten - 8th Grade, with only 205 students. 

The very small school has 10 Teachers and their Principal is Ms Terri Daniels who is also Superintendent of the Shaffer Union Elementary School District which only covers that one school. 

Let's talk for a moment or two about how do we gather information? To inquire means to address a person in order to gain information. To ask implies no more than putting a question to someone as in to ask for directions.

A query implies a desire for authoritative information or confirmation such as queried research for an article. To inquire implies a searching for facts, or for truth, often specifically by asking questions as in the Benghazi Inquiry where a committee is trying to ascertain the facts of what took place in Libya when 4 Americans were needlessly killed .

To question usually means the asking a series of questions as in being questioned by a police officer as in say questioning someone about witnessing every detail of a crime. To interrogate is something different in that it suggests a very formal or official systematic questioning as with a prosecutor who decided to interrogate a criminal. 

Can a simple questioning turn into a full blown lengthy interrogation involving brow-beating and other threatening behavior? Absolutely.

So now, with that being said, what would make the Shaffer Elementary School principal want to interrogate a 4 year old for 2 hours over an incident where the child was the victim of being "bullied", then march the bullied child through the cafeteria to pick out the student who bullied him. This of course only made the 4 year an even bigger target for bullies? Is this really the safe and sane actions of a Principle who does not know how to handle bullying problems? Is this simply the actions of an unqualified Principal with no educational background? 

What would make a Principal of any school do such things, then refuse multiple phone calls from a concerned parent trying to find out why the Principal mercilessly question her son for 2 hours before embarrassing him in front of the rest of the students?

What motivated Superintendent/Principal Terri Daniels to tell that parent, "Take your dang kid out of my school if you don't like the way I run my school?"

Was this all a result of Principal Terri Daniels' animosity for the child's parents over an incident that took place when the 4 year old pre-kindergartner was almost a hour and a half late being dropped off by the school bus. Principal Terri Daniels took offense to the boy's parents being upset over not being able to locate their child and not being informed of changes in the bus schedule. 

In fact, she took so much offense to the child's parents that she even called a Deputy Sheriff to confront the boy's father after he asked information pertaining to the bus schedule. 

That situation took place when the boy's father, a man who is almost deaf in one ear and subsequently doesn't know that he's speaking louder than he needs to, arrived at the school to clarify exactly when the school bus would drop off his son so that his child would not go missing for an hour and a half again. Believe it or not, as the child's father was talking with a secretary, the Principal came rushing out telling the dad not to yell at her secretary. Then ordered the dad to leave. 

As he was leaving, a Deputy Sheriff approached him to question him as to why he was there. Later, when the child's parents went to the Sheriff's Department to obtain a copy of the Deputy's report -- they found out there was no report. In fact, the Principal had so much political power that she simply called an off-duty Deputy to come out to confront and intimidate the child's dad. Even after this was found out, the Deputy was not reprimanded and the Principal did not have to answer for her actions. 

Because it became very apparent that Shaffer Union Elementary was not safeguarding students there, and the Principal had an obvious lack of concern with their child's safety, and because of the Principal's obvious disdain for anyone questioning her actions, the parents of the little boy were forced to remove their 4 year old from that school. 

Because of this Principal's pitiful attitude, the parents of the little boy have now enrolled him in Janesville Elementary School in the neighboring town of Janesville, California. Whereas their family lives only a mile and a half from Shaffer Union Elementary School in Litchfield, because of worries for their 4 year old son's safety at Shaffer Union Elementary, they now have to take their child to another less threatening school 12 miles away.

So now, after being informed of this, I have to ask, what would make a Principal act like that? What would make a Principal interrogate a 4 year old for 2 hours, then walk the small boy through the school cafeteria twice during two different lunch periods with the twisted idea that a very scared 4 year old child is going to point out his attacker? 

Why didn't that Principal bother notifying the boy's parents? Why did Principal Daniels hang up on the child's mother when she called to inquire what was going on with that bullying situation? Why did Principal Daniels refuse to take other calls from the child's mother? Exactly how insensitive can Principal Daniels be toward the cares and concerns of a parent of a student at her schools? As for the the later question, it's sound pretty darn insensitive.

Frankly, the more I learn about Principal Terri Daniels, the more I have to ask if questions such as if this Principal is the reason why Shaffer Union Elementary School's 205 students fall near the bottom of the average Reading and Math scores for the state of California? Only one third of their students meet the average in Reading and Math. And frankly, that's a sorry commentary for a school with only 205 students. 

We've all heard the stories of how under-funded schools with over-crowded classrooms have low scholastic achievement. But with 10 Teachers and only 205 students, and a yearly budget of $1,845,000, while spending an average of just over $5,000 per student, is Principal Terri Daniels the reason for the exorbitantly high salaries and extremely low scholastic achievement records of Shaffer Union Elementary School?

Buried beneath the surface of the happy face of what goes on at Shaffer Union Elementary, the facade that everything is fine, is there a correlation between the overblown ego of a Principal with a dubious record when dealing with parents, the lack of concern for safety of children there, and the low scores? 

Is this all a result of poor management on the part of Principal Terri Daniels in a rural area? Why would parents allow one person, Principal Terri Daniels, to wield such a great deal of political power, including her using off-duty Sheriff's Deputies to confront and intimidate parents who question her authority?  

I can't help but wonder if this is simply a matter of a Principal having way too much power in a rural area? And if so, is this OK with parents who are afraid of her because of the power she has? If so, Shaffer Union Elementary School is in deep trouble.

Now as for my readers who are wondering why am I concerned about what took place with that 4 year old and his parents. The answer is simple, first I hate injustice of any sort. Second I believe this power hungry Principal should not be in the position she's in. I believe she truly does not look after the children in her care. 

Lastly, I hate when someone attempts to screw over my family and friends. The little boy in this story is my youngest nephew Haze Correa. And yes, folks would be hard pressed to find a sweeter, more polite, more loving child. 

His parents are my brother Vernon and his wife, Kimberly. Both Vernon and Kimberly are raising a loving, polite, respectful, happy child. Yes, a great kid. He is a little Cowboy who is learning the Cowboy way of loving animals and treating people as he wants to be treated. Yes, they are doing a wonderful job of raising him in a world wrought with power hungry people like Principal Terri Daniels who could care-less if my little nephew got his "face punched" as a much older kid on his bus threatened to do.

While Vernon and Kimberly have taken action, and subsequently taken power away from Terri Daniels, what surprises me is that the small population of Litchfield is putting up with this Principal's bad behavior. It's just my opinion, but I believe they should replace Terri Daniels with someone who is concerned about the safety of their children.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.
Tom Correa





Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Mariposa War & James Savage


The picture above is of Yosemite's Half Dome. I took the above picture on January 11th, 2016. It is my belief that the Yosemite Valley probably looked a lot like the picture above back in January of 1851 when the Mariposa War was getting started.

If you want to put on a pot of coffee and sit back, you can read what I think is a pretty good story about what became known as the Mariposa War. It was part of the California Indian wars that folks have really never heard much about.

In fact, I'd say that some folks have gotten the idea from Hollywood that the Indian Wars only took place back East in the Midwest, up in the Dakotas, or down in the Southwest. I'd even say that not too many folks know about what took place in California with the many tribes that lived here. What a lot of folks don't realize is that with over one hundred Federally recognized Indian tribes, California has the largest Native American Indian population and the most distinct tribes of any state in the Union.

The Mariposa War started in December of 1850 and lasted until July of 1851. It was a conflict between local Native Americans Indian tribes and miners and settlers in what was then the immense California county of Mariposa. Fact is, it was a war sparked by the 1849 California Gold Rush.

The discovery of the gold forged a California Trail which forked off southward from the Oregon Trail. With the trail open, hundreds of thousands of hopeful gold seekers, settlers, and other opportunists, crossed this trail over the Sierra Nevada mountains and into Northern California. At that point in time California consisted of a large number of different California Indians tribes, and Californios. Californios were the descendants of Spanish California.

By the end of May 1849, it is estimated that tens of thousands had entered California. Many think that those gold seekers were all Whites, but that wasn't the case. While the majority my have been from the United States some 3,000 miles away, many were from places such as Europe, Mexico, Latin America, South America, Australia, China, and even Hawaii. 

Just within a few years, California's non-Indian population swelled from some 14,000 in 1848 to well over 200,000 by 1852. And while some Indian tribes actually joined in and took up mining, many Indians opted to work for mines, and some of of the Indian tribes had the idea that they "could more easily supply their wants by stealing from the Whites."

Fact is, with the influx of miners and settlers there was a marked depletion of natural game. To survive, local Indians learned that horses and mules were viable substitutes for the missing game. Of course the problem was that horses and mules were the valuable property of the miners and settlers. Soon, raids for supplies and food became common on both sides. Normally, those raids consisted of things being stolen -- not killings.

The Mariposa War was sparked when the Ahwahneechees, Chowchillas, Chookchancies, Nootchu, Honahchee, Potoencie, Kahwah, and Yosemite tribes in the Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley led raids on settler outposts which included killings. One such raid was on the Fresno River post of James D. Savage in December of 1850. The Indian raiders had robbed the post, killed a three men there, and burned the post to the ground.

The Miwok Indians, a neighboring tribe, and most settlers considered the Ahwahneechee to be an especially violent tribe because of their frequent territorial disputes with other tribes. The Miwok term for the Yosemite tribe was "yohhe'meti" which in Miwok means "they are killers". That says a lot in itself.

California Governor Peter H. Burnett, after hearing the reports of disturbances between Miners and Settlers and Indians, enlisted the services of U.S. Indian Agent, Colonel Adam Johnston, to investigate and attempt to settle the grievances of the parties involved.

On the night of December 17th, 1850, Colonel Johnston together with James Savage noticed that most of the Indians who had normally resided near Savage's Mariposa Creek outpost were missing. Both Johnston and Savage interpreted this as a sign of serious trouble, and soon Savage gathered 16 men and set off with Johnston to locate the missing Indians. And yes, according to all records, it was James Savage's intention to try and reach the group before they had a chance to join another band of Indians who were already known to be renegades. 

Savage, Johnston, and his 16 men, tracked the Indians for 30 miles before they finally found them at daybreak the following morning. Facing each other from opposing hilltops a few hundred yards apart, Savage and the band's leader, Chief Baptiste, called out to one another.

Colonel Johnston recorded the conversation in his report to the governor: "these two mountain tops, conversation was commenced and kept up for some time between Mr. Savage and the chief, who told him they had murdered the men on the Fresno and robbed the camp."

Savage tried to induce the Indians to return to their camp, and he pointed out the fact that they never worked too hard as long as there was gold for the taking. Chief Baptiste replied that "it was a hard way to make a living, and that they could more easily supply their wants by stealing from the whites."

Unable to convince them to return, Savage's party left. As they were leaving, they noted that about two hundred more Indians had joined those on the hilltop. Savage and his party arrived back at his Mariposa Creek post on the evening of December 19th and were greeted by confirming news of the events at his Fresno River post.

The next day, Colonel Johnston led a force of thirty-five volunteers to the Fresno River to assess the situation and bury the dead. Colonel Johnston described the post as "a horrid scene of savage cruelty." All the goods had been removed, and what the Indians raiders could not take with them -- they burned. The three men who had been killed in the raid were suspected of having still been alive when they were burned to death.

An expedition numbering 75 men was organized by Mariposa County Sheriff James Burney. The Sheriff Burney was elected as the first sheriff of Mariposa County in 1850. They left Mariposa on January 7th, 1851, with James Savage as their guide.

At two o'clock on the morning of January 11th, they located approximately five hundred Indians camped about fifty miles from Agua Fria near present day Oakhurst. The Indian encampment was located upon the side of a mountain, about three-quarters of the way to the top.

The force slowly closed in until they were within 150 yards. at this point, Sheriff Burney halted the advance and proceeded to wait until dawn to attack. Though most of the Indians were asleep, there were still a few moving about the camp. One of those Indians heard something and soon discovered Sheriff Burney's force. He then sounded the alarm about an hour before dawn and the battle began.

The battle lasted three and a half hours. It began when Sheriff Burney's company charged the village, "driving the Indians out, but the enemy kept up a strong fire not only of arrows but bullets and some of the whites being wounded, they imprudently took too many to take care of them and the Indians regained the Ranchero. . . ."

After being driven out of the encampment, Sheriff Burney rallied his men and once again charged the Indians. This assault proved successful and the Indians were forced to retreat to a group of rocks from which they had a good field of fire over the camp. The Indians' fire from the rocks created disorder among the militia, but Sheriff Burney rallied them for one last charge and they drove the Indians from the rocks. The Indians scattered and disappeared into the thick chaparral.

While the Indians were being driven from their rocky defensive position, Sheriff Burney had ordered some of his men to construct litters to remove the wounded to a safer position. A total of six whites had been seriously wounded, two of them mortally. It was estimated that 40 Indians were killed in the fight, 26 of them near the encampment.

After burning the ranchero, Sheriff Burney's force began a controlled withdrawal. Their retreat from the mountain was harassed by Indian sniper fire the whole way. Sheriff Burney led his command four miles from the Indian camp before finally finding a satisfactory site to camp.

There he had a "crude, but substantial fortification" built and left thirty-six men to guard the remaining supplies, tend the wounded, and bury the dead. The rest of the command returned to Mariposa to get reinforcements and more provisions.

Upon his return to Mariposa, Sheriff Burney sent an urgent request for aid to California's new Governor, John McDougal. However, Sheriff Burney was not the first to initiate a request for government intervention in the matter.

Colonel Johnston had arrived back in the state's capital, at that time San Jose, in early January, and had already appealed to both the state and federal governments for aid. His request to the United States Army's Pacific Division Commander, General Percifer F. Smith, was declined, and his request sent to the state was met with great reluctance in the office of then Governor John Burnett.

On January 9th,1851, Governor John McDougal took office. He believed that the state should use military force to solve their troubles with the Indians.

Sheriff Burney's January 13th letter to the governor appealed for assistance in the form of arms and provisions. It was his belief that if his men were properly equipped, he felt they could force the Indians to surrender "in a short time." Sheriff Burney's letter was supported by a separate petition sent by 73 citizens of the Mariposa community.

By the time these requests reached Governor McDougal, he had already taken action based on the information that Colonel Johnston had earlier provided Governor Burnett. So on January 13th, Governor McDougal gave Sheriff Burney the authority to form a militia unit of one hundred volunteers, and in a letter to the state legislature, he stated that such an emergency could not wait for the legal process of action expected by the federal government. The governor also felt confident that the Federal government would "ultimately afford us surer means of more effectively punishing aggressors than are now at our command."

Then on January 24th, upon the arrival of the dual requests from Mariposa County Sheriff Burney and the community, Governor McDougal increased the militia's strength to two hundred volunteers.

While the citizens of the Mariposa community were waiting for State and Federal assistance in the matter, the campaign against the Indians continued. John Savage and Sheriff Burney recruited a force of 164 Miners and Settlers to relieve those stationed at the fort and to mount a punitive expedition.

Dividing his command, Sheriff Burney, holding the rank of Major, placed Captain John Boling in charge of the entire company. Captain Boling had a force of about one hundred men and proceeded to search for Indian encampments. It was intended that he campaign in the north while Burney had he led the southern operation, reaching as far south as the Four Creeks area around Visalia, and not returning to Mariposa until February 3rd .

On January 17th, James Savage was being used for his scouting skills at that point. And yes, it was Savage who discovered a village of approximately five hundred Indians of the Chowchillas, Chookchancies, Nootchu, Honahchee, Potoencie, Kahwah, and Yosemite tribes. The bands had collected under the leadership of Chiefs Jose Rey and Jose Juarez of the Chowchillas.

Since the discovery of the Indian ranchero came late in the afternoon, Boling decided to wait until the next day to fight. Early the next morning, Boling began an assault on the camp.

One of his officers, Kuykendall, charged the ranchero with thirty-one men and set fire to the natives' shelters with brands form the Indians' campfires. Another of Boling's officers, Chandler, led another wave of attackers and the Indians were driven out of their village without a loss of life for the militia. Under cover of the smoke created by the fire, the majority of the Indian escaped -- but the Indians suffered twenty-four fatalities, one of which was Chief Jose Rey.

While this was going on, and since California admission to the Union took place on September 9th, 1850, where as California became the 31st State, President Millard Fillmore was quick to dispatch a Federal Indian Commissioners.

On January 25th, 1851, Governor McDougal dispatched an aide, Colonel J. Neely Johnson, to meet with the three Indian Commissioners, Colonels Redrick Mckee and George W. Barbour, and Dr. O. W. Wozencraft, all of whom had recently visited San Jose seeking to clarify the state's response to the violence occurring throughout the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Upon being notified by Colonel Johnson that Governor McDougal authorized a force of 200 volunteers to round-up the Indians, and that the Federal government would be expected to compensate the state of California for the cost of the expedition, the commissioners decided to proceed at once to Mariposa in the hopes that war could be avoided.

The federal commissioners received an escort consisting of 10 U.S. Army officers and 106 men under the command of Captain E. D. Keyes, 3rd Artillery. They left San Francisco on February 7th and traveled by steamboat to Stockton. They arrived in Stockton on February 9th.

Once in Stockton, Colonel Johnson, who had arrived with the federal force, appointed John G. Marvin as the Mariposa militia's quartermaster and rode off with the federal commissioners to the scene of the conflict.

The militia unit authorized by the state was titled the "Mariposa Battalion". They were mustered at noon on February 12th. Sheriff Burney was the first choice as Commanding Officer of the unit, but the Sheriff declined due to his responsibilities in Mariposa County. The next man offered the position was James D. Savage who was commissioned a Major.

A camp was established two and one-half miles from the town of Mariposa near Major Savage's Agua Fria trading post. The Mariposa Battalion was divided into three companies commanded by Captain John J. Kuykendall of Company A with 70 men, Captain John Boling of Company B with 72 men, and Captain William Dill of Company C with 55 men. Vincent Hailor was commissioned as a Guide.

Governor McDougal's aide Colonel J. Neely Johnson arrived at the battalion's post on February 13th. On February 15th, he addressed the members of the militia. In his speech, Johnson outlined the unit's three objectives: The first was that the battalion was assigned "the duty of subduing such Indian tribes as could not otherwise be induced to make treaties," second, the "officers will make all reports to the Federal commissioners," and third, "orders and instructions will hereafter be issued by them [the Federal Indian commissioners]."

Colonel Johnson went on to remind the troops that it was they who were trespassing on the native's land and that some sympathy should be offered to the Indians. When the commissioners met with Major Savage on February 19th , the control of the battalion passed to the U.S. Army.

Once the commissioners reached the area and established their camp on Mariposa Creek, they began the slow process of making contact with the various tribes in the Sierra foothills.

The Federal Indian Commissioners set up a Treaty Council which was first held on March 9th. As a result, the Mercedes Indian and the Potawachtas Indian tribes became the first to agree to the government's terms.

The Mariposa Battalion
As a side note, the most significant California Indian treaty, the treaty which involved the greatest number of Indian tribes, was signed on March 29th. That treaty guaranteed substantial aid in establishing agrarian communities, reservation land located in the fertile San Joaquin Valley, and hunting and gathering rights in their traditional homelands. A total of 16 California Indian tribes signed that treaty.

While the talks had been going on, Captain Boling and Captain Dill moved their companies three miles south of the main post to Lewis's Ranch because of better grazing conditions, .

On March 16th, Captain John J. Kuykendall's Company A had its first skirmish with Indians at Fine Gold Gulch. The action is said to have encouraged those Indians involved to turn themselves in.

On March 19th, the Federal Commissioners signed a treaty at Camp Fremont with Chookchancies, Honahchee, Potoencie, and Kahwah tribes. However, the Ahwahneechees, Chowchillas, Nootchus, and Yosemites were absent.

Since the U.S.Army by way of the Federal Indian Commissioners were in charge, on March 19th, the Commissioners gave Major Savage permission to initiate an extensive campaign against Indian tribes which had refused to sign a treaty.

On March 19th, U.S. President Millard Fillmore's Indian Commissioners gave Major Savage permission to initiate an extensive campaign against Indian tribes which had refused to sign a treaty.

The very next day, March 20th , the Mariposa Battalion left camp to begin a campaign against the Chowchillas, Nootchus, and Yosemites. Fighting foul weather, Major Savage marched with Companies B and C to the Wawona area where they established a base camp for their operation. Captain Kuykendall's Company A was sent South to round up the Chowchillas who had refused to come to the reservation.

On the morning of March 24th, Captain Boling's Company B and Captain Dill's Company C advanced upon a Nootchus village in the Wawona area. The Indians there, having no other option available to them, surrendered at once.

Major Savage began to arrange their transport to the reservation. He also sent a few Indian runners to other villages in the region and to Chief Tenieya of the Yosemites, explaining the offer guaranteed by the treaty.

The following day, Chief Tenieya arrived in camp to discuss the treaty. Having little choice but to agree to the terms, the Chief related that his tribe was on its way to Wawona and would arrive soon.

Major Savage waited three days before deciding to search for the Indians. His party left at noon on 27 March. This expedition consisted of Captain Boling and Captain Dill, and a detail of 57 militia volunteers, plus Chief Tenieya.

Traveling at low altitude to avoid deep snow, the party journeyed halfway to the Yosemite Valley before encountering 72 Yosemites, mostly women and children. Major Savage asked the chief where the remainder of his tribe was located, and the chief explained that the rest of the tribe had fled to join other groups in the Mono Lake area.

Major Savage, who was not satisfied with the explanation, decided to send the Indians on to Wawona while his force continued the search. Later in the day, the detachment arrived at the rim of the Yosemite Valley. The following day, Major Savage's force entered the valley and began to search for the remaining Yosemites. As they advanced through the valley floor, smoke from native campfires was sighted.

Lieutenants Gilbert and Chandler were sent out to explore the branches of the valley, but found that task difficult to accomplish in one day. Disappointed over the results of their search as it is said that they only found one elderly woman, they started for the Wawona base camp on March 29th.

The battalion was short of supplies, so the decision was made to proceed as quickly as possible to the Indian reservation with their captives. Major Savage decided to leave Captain Boling and a small guard with the Indians and move the rest of his command ahead so they could be resupplied. During the night of April 1st, a total of 250 Indian including Chief Tenieya slipped away from their guards.

The Mariposa Battalion in Yosemite Valley
While the Mariposa Battalion was exploring the Yosemite region, they named outstanding geological features, one of which was the valley itself. Dr. Bunnell suggested that the valley be named after the Indians who inhabited it. A vote was taken by the members of the battalion who were present, and it was agreed that it should be named Yosemite. Yes, that's how the Yosemite got its name. And today, we know it as Yosemite National Park.

Captain Kuydendall's campaign brought Company A to the King's and Kahweah Rivers and to the Tulare Valley. Upon arrival at the King's River, his scouts located a large Chowchilla village. A quick march brought the troops of Company A to the site where they discovered that the Indians there were ready for battle.

Captain Kuydendall's Company A charged into their camp, routed and killed a number, while others were ridden down and taken prisoners. They followed the fugitives, making a running flight, until compelled to leave their horses -- at which time the Indians eluded pursuit.

The troops continued to the headwaters of the Kahweah River, but failed to locate the fugitives. A few days later, a delegation of Chowchillas entered their camp to arrange terms for peace. The offer of peace was accepted and arrangements were made to transport them to the reservation.

The entire Mariposa Battalion regrouped at their camp on Mariposa Creek in early April. Then on April 14th, Major Savage left with the battalion, minus part of Company A who were to be station at Mariposa, to begin an extensive expedition against the remaining Chowchillas.

Major Savage's force is said to have headed towards the South Fork of the San Joaquin River by way of Coarse Gold Gulch to the Fresno River and downstream to the South Fork. He established his first major encampment in Crane Valley. And from his camp, his troops reconnoitered the proposed line of advance.

While searching for the Inidans, Lieutenant Chandler and a scouting party reached the Little San Joaquin River where they discovered several Indian fires. After a rousing speech by Captain Boling, the battalion advanced to the site of the encampment.

Upon arrival, it was discovered that the Indians there were preparing for battle on the opposite side of the river. The next day, April 26th, the Mariposa Battalion crossed the river to attack the Indians, but by the time they had made their crossing -- the Chowchillas had dispersed and left only their village behind.

The battalion burned the village and attempted pursue the Indians, but since they were easily eluded Savage's force returned to its Mariposa Creek camp on May 3rd.

After the battalion returned to the post, another expedition against the Yosemites was planned. Captain Boling and Company B made up the bulk of the force with support from Lieutenant Gilbert and part of Company C and elements of Company A to protect the supply train. The other members of the battalion stayed at their headquarters on Mariposa Creek.

On May 9th, Captain Boling and his expeditionary force entered the Yosemite Valley. Lieutenant Chandler and several Indian scouts reconnoitered, but only found empty huts. With that they proceeded slowly up the south side of the valley. As they advanced, five Indians were sighted crossing a meadow on the north side of the valley. A detachment of six militiamen gave pursuit. They crossed the Merced River while another group advanced up the South side with the hopes of cutting off the Indians' escape.

A messenger was sent to Captain Boling in the rear to come quickly, and in no time his company quickly proceeded to give chase. Three of the Indians were ridden down and captured. They were three of Tenieya's sons.

Other scouts located the rest of the tribe which had escaped into one of the canyons which connected with the valley, but they could not follow the Indians. Then every time pursuit was attempted, they were turned back by a shower of rocks thrown at them from the canyon walls. One of the three prisoners was sent as a messenger to Chief Tenieya explaining terms for peace. The two remaining captives tried to escape and one was killed in in the process.

Chief Tenieya was eventually caught by Lieutenant Chandler and the scouts after a wild chase through Tenaya Canyon. When the Chief saw the dead body of his son in camp, he reputedly began to weep. Then, following an attempt to escape, the Chief begged to be shot. It is said that Captain Boling showed sympathy for the Chief, but still detained him.

After the capture of Chief Tenieya, Captain Boling marched his command twenty miles to what is now Tenaya Lake. There they surprised a Yosemite village in what was the last action of the Mariposa War.

The company escorted the Indians to the reservation and eventually returned to the Mariposa Creek post. Now that almost all of the Indians of the area had been rounded up, the Mariposa Battalion had lost its reason to exist.

On July 1st, 1851, the Mariposa Battalion mustered out. The Mariposa War was over.


Post-War Betrayals

While the military part of the Mariposa War was over, resettling the Indians in the San Joaquin Valley had actually just begun. President Millard Fillmore sent the three Federal Indian Commissioners out West to California to resettle the Indians -- and he believed that they did just that.

Fact is, between March of 1851 and January of 1852, President Fillmore's Indian Commissioners met with 502 Indian leaders in Northern California's Mariposa area. Of them, they signed a total of 18 treaties which established reservations covering eight and one-half million acres of land.

The principle mechanism for establishing the reservation was the treaties, especially the treaty of March 29th,1851. But remember, the treaties still had to face ratification by the United States Congress. And friends, that did not take place because the reservations soon drew heavy opposition from the state of California.

In fact, a California state commission was assembled in 1852 to examine the treaties which were already agreed upon. In its report to the state legislature, the state commission recommended that the United States Congress be notified of the "great evils that would inevitably result to the people of California if the treaties were ratified."

And yes, besides what was taking place in California, opposition against the treaties was also taking place in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.. Many saw the treaties as an economic threat because it was believed that the treaties would plunge the Federal government into debt of over a half million dollars. Remember, the year was 1851. In 1851, $500,000 would be worth 16 Million dollars today. And frankly, while that doesn't seem like a lot of money today with the way the government spends money, back then that was seen as a great deal of money at the time.

Also, it was said at the time that the land that would be set aside as Indian reservations was much too valuable agriculturally to be given to Indians. Yes, they believed that the land was much too valuable agriculturally to be given back to Indians. Imagine that.

Though the treaties were introduced into the House in February of 1852 and the Senate in July of the same year, fact is that the treaties were never ratified. And believe it or not, the California Indians involved in the Mariposa War never received any of the benefits they were promised in the treaties -- treaties which the Indians had signed in good faith.

After the treaties were rejected by Congress, believe it or not, they were sealed for 50 years. Yes, they were held as classified material and not released again to the public until 1905.

Similar troubles were experienced by legislation designed to compensate the militiamen for expenses they endured when they belonged to the Mariposa Battalion, and also the expenses endured by the Mariposa community. The state of California's bill for Militia and Mariposa Compensation did pass the Assembly, but failed to gain the support of the California Senate. So yes, like the Indians, the Mariposa Battalion militiamen and the Mariposa community as a whole got screwed as well.

As for James Savage? A little more than a year later in 1852, he was murdered. 

After he had been relieved of his duties and the Mariposa Battalion was disbanded, Savage continued his trading business. In fact, he actually established two more posts near the new Indian reservations located in the Sierra Nevada foothills. So for James Savage, all in all, he was prospering pretty well.

An event on July 2nd, 1852, changed things for James Savage. That was when a conflict flared over squatters entering the King's River Reservation. As a result, settlers led by then County Judge of Tulare, a disreputable individual by the name of Walter Harvey, massacred by a small band of Indians.

They say that James Savage recognized the plight of the California Indian, and Savage publicly denounced what took place. He immediately called for an inquiry by the Federal Indian Commissioners who established the reservations -- all in the hopes of bring to justice and try those responsible for the massacre. With his insistence of an inquiry, a council was summoned to inquire as to the what took place. The inquiry was to be held at Four Creeks in August. 

On August 16th, 1852, while on his way to the inquiry, James Savage was approached by none other than Walter Harvey and his close friend Judge Marvin of Tuolumne County. According to Harvey and Marvin, an argument ensued in which Harvey demanded that Savage retract his statements condemning that Indian action as a "massacre" by Harvey and his men. It is said that Savage told Harvey "to go to Hell" that he wouldn't retract his statements.

Then, according to Walter Harvey and his close friend Judge Marvin, the only two witnesses, Savage slapped Harvey and called him a "murderer." Then in what Harvey called "self-defense," Harvey produced a pistol and shot James Savage four times at close range. James Savage died instantly.

Harvey was later arrested and tried for murder, but was not convicted of murdering James Savage. The reason that he wasn't convicted is that his close friend Judge Marvin tried the case. Marvin is said to have owed his position on the bench to Walter Harvey. So yes, murderer Walter Harvey was not convicted because the Judge owed him a favor and returned it.

The remains of James D. Savage were at the time buried near where he fell. Then a few years later in 1855, his remains were removed by Dr. Lewis Leach, a close friend and one time business partner, and given permanent burial at the point on Fresno River known as "Leach's old store," which had also been James D. Savage's trading post. 

Dr. Leach erected a granite monument over the spot. It is a ten feet high, square and massive and stern, said to be "typical of the robust form and the sturdy spirit of the man whose memory it commemorates," and upon one of its sides is carved simply "To The Memory Of Maj James D. Savage."

The stone itself was imported from Italy, and paid for by Major Savage's other partners including Dr. Leach. And believe it or not, it is said that the inscription's lettering was originally in gold leaf -- but vandals scraped away the gold years ago.

All in all, while the Mariposa Battalion mustered out on July 1st, 1851, a date which marked the end of the Mariposa War, sadly it did not end the Indian Wars in California.

And yes, this information is compiled from many sources.
Tom Correa


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

In Facebook Jail Again -- This Time 7 Days


Hello my friends,

It seems that I have violated Facebook "community standards" once again. And yes, again I have been suspended from posting on Facebook. This time for 7 days.

What was it over this time? Muslim bestiality. Yes, Muslim goat rapers being caught in the act!

Yes, someone posted a night vision video which captured three Muslims caught in the act of sodomizing a goat. I "shared" the same video with my "friends" with a message that read something to the effect: "More proof of Muslim deviant practices. Besides gay pedophiles, they are indeed goat rapers just like their gay pedophile prophet Mohammed. And yes, Obama wants more of them here" ... or something to that effect.

Since the post was pulled, I can't tell you my exact quote. But this morning, though I have seen a great deal of truly raunchy very explicit sex being displayed on Facebook, I was informed that the post I shared was pulled and that I have violated Facebook "community standards." So yes, I have been suspended from posting for the next 7 days this time.

But frankly, I sort of look at this as not a bad thing since I really need a break from Facebook. You see, I use Facebook to get my News simply because of the convenience of having all of my News outlets posted in a way that enables me to scroll down and browse today's headlines -- all without having to go to every website. I also really like the convenience of browsing the headlines of the Conservative blogs that I follow.

I enjoy balancing what I get from news outlets with the facts and such from blogs because many times blogs are printing what news outlets refuse to cover, or that news outlets don't see as news-worthy, or only cover with a Liberal Mainstream Media bias.

To the discomfort and disdain of the Obama administration, Congress, the Federal and State governments, and state and local politicians, the Internet has been a great place to get information that We The People simply did not get before. We now also get information that the government and others really liked to see  buried or not "so available."

We get information today as never before and can "fact check" things for ourselves without having to depend on supposed "fact check" websites such as SNOPES which has shown itself to be an arm of the Obama administration and the Democrat Party. We no longer need to take what our government and politicians hand us as the truth.

Some say this has hurt our country by making us all a lot more distrustful of the government, but the government should have nothing to hide from us.

I believe the availability of information has meant that we no longer accept what politicians tell us simply on face value. And yes, I believe that with our having more information to use to discern the truth, we are better informed than we've ever been.

Now, I'm sure someone reading this is saying, "Sure, but do we really need the other crap on Facebook like a video of Muslim goat rapers?"

Well, yes and no. While we might not "need" it, it does give us more proof to verify a story one way or another. See whether it's the Muslim practice of sodomizing livestock, killing livestock and dogs for pleasure, or their practice of stoning and mutilating woman and their children for no reason, we now know more about the Muslim culture than we used to.

Because of the Internet in general, we know that hundreds of thousands of mostly male Muslims are flooding into Europe and with them a crime wave of rape and violence had struck Europe not seen seen the dark ages. We now know of Muslim Rape Gangs operating in Europe and which have now made their way to the United States thanks to the policies of Barack Hussein Obama.

We now see that Muslims have absolutely no desire to assimilate into Western cultures and in fact see assimilation as being a violation of their religion. We now see for ourselves the beaten and the beheaded, the attacked and the attackers, the calls for sabotage, the subversives, the hate.

Because of information that we can obtain and verify such as the hate straight out of the Koran, as distasteful as it is, it helps us to determine if we really want such people in our country or not. That is something new.

That is something that the Obama administration hates because they cannot control what information we now have available to us. This means that this administration, or any other, will have a harder time getting away with lying to us -- or behaving in a way that they should no be doing.

But also, this means that when someone like Obama calls Islam "the religion of peace" -- we can automatically know for ourselves that he is either lying to us or purposely trying to deceive us.

Informational outlets like Facebook, are called "Social Media," but I see it as more than that. I'm not on there to talk about how my day was, I see as a way for use to have first hand knowledge that is harder to be manipulated and spun first.

For Americans this is power because it is a way of us discerning bullshit handed to us by politicians wanting to manipulate the issues to fit his or her ideology. And it's also a way of us discerning bullshit handed to us by political opponents and their cronies who are maybe doing the exact same things.

Whether folks like it or not, the Internet in general is a way of finding out what is going on in the world before a bias Mainstream Media hands it to us and our government can hide it from us.

Was I always so skeptical of the media and the government when it came to doing their job and dispensing information? No, but now I am because I have found that people in the government lie and so does those in the Mainstream Media when a story does not fit what they want to get out.

It is a sad truth that even I've faced lately. Because of the Internet, we know that the Black Lives Matter hate group wants to turn back the clock and re-impose segregationist policies so that they don't have to come into contact with White, Asian, and Hispanic Americans. Yes, Black Lives Matter is a hate group which actually wants to discard all of the work by great men like Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and those radical Republicans of the 1800s who wanted to end segregation back then.

Because of the Internet, we can find out how bad President Obama lied to America during his last State of the Union speech. We can also find out if the Obama administration is ordering the IRS to "forgive" the over $4.5 Million back taxes owed by Black separatist Al Sharpton.

Friends, this information is not readily available away from the Internet news outlets because the Mainstream Media does not want to voice this sort of information. This does not fit their idea of what we need to know. And frankly, they are not happy with knowing that they can't blow smoke up our asses!

So now, while I can still get my new outlets and Conservative blog headlines on Facebook, for 7 days I will not be able to post a comment or share what I may find interesting and believe others will as well.

Yes, some say that just the thought of reading something and the frustration of not being able to comment on it will drive me crazy. Others might think that I do these things to force Facebook to give me a break away from my constantly beating the drum. Then again, there are few out there who may be right in that I may be on information overload and need a break from commenting for a while anyways.

For me, I'm fine with taking a break from posting on Facebook -- both making comments and sharing -- for 7 days. Besides, the world of Facebook will not end because Tom Correa will not SHARE and LIKE and CONFIRM someone's friendship request for 7 days. And frankly, I will be fine.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.
Tom Correa 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Strange But True Odds & Ends -- Part Five

The Titanic sank because the sea conditions were too good.

The picture above is the last photo ever taken of the Titanic before it sank 1912.

Most ships lost at sea were the victims of huge waves caused by hurricanes or large storms. But it said that it was a lack of waves that contributed to the Titanic hitting the iceberg at 11:40 pm on April 14, 1912, and sinking on the 15th.

On that night over a hundred years ago, the weather and the sea conditions was said to be perfect -- but for the Titanic, they were too perfect. There was no wind, and thus there were no waves. It was a flat calm night. It was also a dark moonless night, which made it difficult to see an iceberg in the distance.

On such a night, waves would have made the iceberg more visible. Even small waves would have caused a bright phosphorescent line around the base of the iceberg, due to the millions of "dinoflagellates" that migrate to the ocean surface at night.

These tiny plankton glow brightly even with the slightest disturbance. Sailors had seen this phosphorescence many times as they rowed through such waters, every stroke causing a glow that clearly outlined each oar.

On the night it is said that there was not even a gentle swell that could have caused a phosphorescent line around the iceberg.

These conditions were extremely rare for the North Atlantic in April. On almost any other night the huge iceberg would probably have been seen by the lookouts in enough time for the Titanic to avoid hitting it. For me, the whole dinoflagellates thing sounds like a tall tale!

Basque Secessionist?



Spain has a frankly ludicrous number of separatist movements all going on at the same time. As for the Basque, well the Basque want their own country, and aren’t afraid to be brutal terrorists to get it.

The separatist movements also tend to be on the big side. Not only is there the large and powerful Basque group, but there’s also a remarkably large Catalan independence movement, as well as Galicia, Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Cantabria, Castille, and Leon.

The Basque are the big boys of the separatist world. They’ll attack innocent people, and generally make themselves reviled in their quest for an independent nation. Thankfully, this has decreased in recent years, but the Basque still have a very interesting case for their own nation.

Culturally and linguistically, they have a distinct and ancient lineage, and their language is one of the oldest still in use, completely isolated from everyone around them. As far as a separate state goes, I'm convinced we’ll see a Basque nation in the future. Maybe not in my lifetime, but it will happen if for any other reason -- they are relentless at blowing things up and Europeans usually bow to violence.

Do you need eight glasses of water a day?

Is it a myth that the peddlers of bottled water wanted us believe? Some say yes, and some say no. Some say the "fact" is, we don’t need eight glasses of water a day.

Supposedly the eight glasses of water a day rule is a misunderstanding of an old piece of research that said we need eight glasses of fluid a day, and that it can come from water, or any liquid (including juice, coffee and sodas) and from food too.

Our body is incredibly adept at absorbing liquid from everything we consume, not just water, and everything we ingest will help keep us hydrated. For example, even though coffee makes you pee - you still absorb more than you lose. And while that may be true, we all still need our water.

Searing seals in the juices for a better steak?



Searing makes for great steaks. I’m not going to even question that. Short bursts of extreme heat create delicious crunchy outer layer -- but there’s a much repeated belief that it somehow “seals in the juices” creating better, softer, moister meat.

Wait, does someone actually think that searing a steak magically makes it impermeable? If so, the fact is no, what actually happens is that the "Maillard reaction" creates the brown crust. That brown crust is just really delicious and makes it taste better. That’s it.

Science can’t explain how Bumblebees fly is not true.



This myth gets busted out every time someone tries to shill some crappy psuedo-science, quantum entangled, homeopathic remedy for anything.

"But, but! " they say, "science can’t explain how bumblebees fly!" Which is completely wrong, and scientists have been able to accurately and completely describe the methods for decades.

The story originates in the 1930s, when a then current theory was that science couldn’t account for the aerodynamics of some insects as a way to show that more research was needed. Fact is, science has known how they fly for decades, and it’s not even a mystery. Short answer is that they fly like helicopters, they have "reverse-pitch semi-rotary helicopter blades" for wings.

As for massive bee swarms? It was reported that a massive bee swarm in Arizona attacked four people, and killed one of them.

On October 09, 2014, it was reported that a bee attack in Arizona killed a landscaper dead. The massive swarm of bees attacked four people in southern Arizona Wednesday, killing one and hospitalizing the others.

Douglas Fire Capt. Ray Luzania told The Arizona Republic that two landscape workers were found in critical condition outside a residence on East 20th Street at about 10:30 am. One of the workers had collapsed and was having trouble breathing when emergency workers arrived. Both were rushed to a local hospital, where one of the victims was pronounced dead on arrival.

The other victims were believed to have been stung more than 100 times. A bee exterminator later located a large hive in the attic of the house where the men had been working.

The exterminator reported the hive was about 4 feet wide and 6 feet long, was about 10 years old. And yes, the hive housed approximately 800,000 bees inside.

According to the report, the town of Douglas, a border town in Cochise County with roughly 17,000 residents, has year-round bee activity but its most active during springtime.

Daddy Long Legs are the most poisonous spiders?

Here’s how the myth goes, as repeated by schoolkids and lazy radio hosts the world over: daddy longlegs are the most poisonous spiders in the world, but their teeth and jaws are so small that they can’t pierce human skin, so you’re perfectly safe.

There are a bunch of problems with this one. First, there’s no “daddy longlegs” species. Different bugs are called this all over the world. The most common is probably Pholcus phalangioides, which can bite you, and will leave a little burning sensation for just a couple of seconds, as it is venomous.

There are even non-spider insects who share this name and are saddled with the same rumor.

Did the CIA try to turn cats into spies?

According to one trivia story found out there on the world wide web, cats might be good at lots of things like sleeping and independence -- but they are lousy spies. Yes, believe it or not, back in the 1960′s the United States government had the bright idea to use cats as intelligence gatherers.

Operation Acoustic Kitty was designed to turn cats into proto-Carrie Mathesons by “implanting a microphone in her ear canal and a small radio transmitter at the base of her skull, and weaving a thin wire antenna into her long gray-and-white fur,” according to a story in Popular Science.

The first time the CIA tested out its new feline spy, the cyborg cat was taken to a park and sent to pick up a conversation between two men. The cat quickly got bored by this game and decided to chase after a taxicab instead, and subsequently flattened by it. That was the end of the first Acoustic Kitty.

Operation Acoustic Kitty was abandoned after the CIA tried it again at least once more. A memo from the time says, "Our final examination of trained cats convinced us that the program would not lend itself in a practical sense to our highly specialized needs."

Although this plan did not work 50 years ago, the CIA is attempting to create "insect-cyborgs" to gather information in "precarious situations". And while there aren’t fruit flies that can gather Intel on al-Qaeda’s whereabouts just yet, scientists have successfully developed tiny synthetic prototypes -- but it will take a while before there are actually insect cyborg spies.

So yes, while this all sounds pretty insane and a waste of taxpayer dollars, it's only a matter of time until that fly buzzing around some unbathed goat smelling terrorist is one of our cyborg drone flies there to take that Muslim child molester out once and for all.

And yes, this was compiled from multiple sources.
Tom Correa


Monday, January 18, 2016

Strange But True Odds & Ends -- Part Four

There’s a nuclear bomb lost somewhere off the coast of Georgia.



On February 5, 1958, an Air Force jet crashed into a B-47 bomber carrying a 7,000-pound nuclear bomb. The pilot, worried the bomb might break loose from the damaged plane, dropped it into the water outside of Savannah, Ga. near Wassaw Sound.

The Navy searched for the bomb for months, but were never able to recover it.

Though the Air Force and former pilot of the plane deny that the bomb contained any plutonium, congressional testimony from the assistant to the Secretary of Defense in 1966 indicated the bomb was a "complete weapon," with a nuclear capsule containing both uranium and plutonium.

The Air Force does say that if the bomb is still intact, the risk of heavy metals spreading is low, and that if left undisturbed, the bomb should pose no hazard.


Yes, like the public beer vending machines found in Japan today, there used to be ice-cold whisky dispensers in England in the 1950s.


For those who think zip-lines are brand new, for those who think zip-lines are something created only recently for recreation, for those who think they are the generation of the "trill seeker," the picture above shows a couple enjoying an old-fashioned zip-line at a fair in 1923. Yes, thrill seekers have been around for a very long time, even longer than this young couple.  


Yes, the above picture is a boxing match in Yankee stadium in 1923.

Last but not least, as with today's threat of Muslim terrorism, we all should be extremely watchful and report suspicious activities of people with bad intentions.

In the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1939, German officials in the Polish city of Broomberg decided to kill over 14% of the entire city's population in response to a fight that broke out between German sabotages and members of the Polish army. And as this haunting photo illustrates, the last moments of a life before death are ones that encompass a range of human emotions.

During World War II, a German military intelligence (Abwehr) agent with the alias William Lonkowski was arrested after attempted to pass to his contact a violin case containing airplane blueprints and specifications, film negatives, photographs of a top secret US bomber and fighter plane, and written evidence that more secrets were being stolen by Nazi spies at Langley Field in Virginia and other places.

It took place at Pier 86 in New York City. However, he acted a little too suspiciously during the exchange and caught the attention of a US Customs official, Morris Josephs.

Danish teenager made rare Viking-era find with metal detector in 2013.


Coins from Bohemia, Germany, Denmark and England discovered during an archaeological dig last year, some of 365 items from the Viking era.

Danish National Museum spokesman Jens Christian Moesgaard says the coins have a distinctive cross motif attributed to Norse King Harald Bluetooth, who is believed to have brought Christianity to Norway and Denmark.

Danish museum officials say that an archaeological dig last year has revealed 365 items from the Viking era, including 60 rare coins.

Danish National Museum spokesman Jens Christian Moesgaard says the coins have a distinctive cross motif attributed to Norse King Harald Bluetooth, who is believed to have brought Christianity to Norway and Denmark.

Among the 365 items and 60 coins was a pendant necklace in silver of Thor's Hammer discovered during an archaeological dig last year.

Credit belongs to sixteen-year-old Michael Stokbro Larsen who found the coins and other items with a metal detector in a field in northern Denmark.

Stokbro Larsen, who often explores with his detector, said he is often laughed at because friends find him "a bit nerdy."

Moesgaard said that it was the first time since 1939 that so many Viking-era coins have been found, calling them "another important piece in the puzzle" of history.

The League of the South



The League of the South describes itself as a Southern nationalist organization, headquartered in Killen, Alabama, which states that its ultimate goal is "a free and independent Southern republic."

The League of the South is an organization which believes that the Southern United States, the ex-confederate states, should be allowed to split off from the Union.

While there is a Constitutional argument made for the right to secede from the United States, I don’t think there's quite enough popular support to get folks to want to do it -- no matter how upset the government makes us.

And yes, this was compiled from multiple sources.
Tom Correa


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Our Justice System -- An Overview

Dear Friends, 

I've had a few of you write to ask how our Justice System is supposed to work. Since I have a degree in Criminal Justice, I was going to reach back into my memory banks and attempt to recreate what I was taught some 35 years ago. But instead, I opted to do something a lot more reliable. 

Yes, I opted to go to what I consider a great source that explains our Justice System and how it is supposed to work. If you noticed, I said "supposed" to work. The reason that I preface how it works is because, as we all know, the system can appear broken depending on how people screw with it.

My belief is that if people, judges, lawyers, law enforcement, politicians, would allow the system to work, society might find that the bad guys do get punished and the victims do get a sense of justice being served.

The problem as I see it is that we don't need more laws, but instead we need law redundant laws abolished and laws enforced. Make life easier to understand for those too dense to know the difference between right and wrong, lawful and not.

The problem with our system is that people have a tendency to want to input their own sense of how the Justice System "should" work and there sits the problem. The result is that criminals go free, justice is not served, and the voters seek fixes while Judges and Prosecutors may have their own biases and see punishment as something too harsh. And yes, they themselves, for whatever personal reason, may see sentences as too long.

While it is not a perfect system, it does work when we can get people to allow it to do so. With that, below you will find an overview of how our Justice System is "supposed" to function from the point of a crime being first reported by a citizen and so on through the process. 

The information below was compiled from the U.S, Bureau of Justice Statistics. I hope you find this helpful.

But before we get started, we should keep in mind that just because a person breaks the law that they are arrested. And we should keep in mind that not everyone arrested is sent to trial and then immediately found either guilty or not guilty, and then either hanged or set free. No, our notion of swift justice such as what we think took place in the Old West is not what takes place today. Keeping things simple is not a part of the system.

The Structure of the American Justice System

The governmental response to crime is founded in the intergovernmental structure of the United States as set fourth in the Constitution of the United States.

Under our form of government, each State and the Federal Government has its own criminal justice system. All systems must respect the rights of individuals set forth in court interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and defined in case law.

State constitutions and laws define the criminal justice system within each State and delegate the authority and responsibility for criminal justice to various jurisdictions, officials, and institutions. State laws also define criminal behavior, and groups of children or acts under jurisdiction of the juvenile courts.

Municipalities and counties further define their criminal justice systems through local ordinances that proscribe the local agencies responsible for criminal justice processing that were not established by the State.

Congress has also established a criminal justice system at the Federal level to respond to Federal crimes such a bank robbery, kidnapping, and transporting stolen goods across State lines. Believe it or not, bank robbery only became a Federal crime when banks became insured by the Federal government in the 1930s.

Unless someone is in direct violation of a Federal law, the response to everyday crime is mainly a State and local function -- local meaning County and City.

While many more laws today seem to be Federal regulations and restrictions, fact is that very few actual crimes are under exclusive Federal jurisdiction.

The responsibility to respond to most crime rests with State and local governments. Police protection is primarily a function of cities and towns. Corrections is primarily a function of State governments. Most justice personnel are employed at the local level.

Responding to Crime

Citizens initiate the first response to crime. This first response may come from individuals, families, neighborhood associations, business, industry, agriculture, educational institutions, the news media, or any other private service to the public.

It involves crime prevention as well as participation in the criminal justice process once a crime has been committed. Private crime prevention is more than providing private security or burglar alarms or participating in neighborhood watch. It also includes a commitment to stop criminal behavior by not engaging in it or condoning it when it is committed by others.

Citizens take part directly in the criminal justice process by reporting crime to the police, by being a reliable participant (for example, a witness or a juror) in a criminal proceeding and by accepting the disposition of the system as just or reasonable.

As voters and taxpayers, citizens also participate in criminal justice through the policy making process that affects how the criminal justice process operates, the resources available to it, and its goals and objectives. 

At every stage of the process from the original formulation of objectives to the decision about where to locate jails and prisons to the reintegration of inmates into society, the private sector has a role to play. Without such involvement, the criminal justice process cannot serve the citizens it is intended to protect.

The response to crime and public safety involves many agencies and services

Many of the services needed to prevent crime and make neighborhoods safe are supplied by noncriminal justice agencies, including agencies with primary concern for public health, education, welfare, public works, and housing. Individual citizens as well as public and private sector organizations have joined with criminal justice agencies to prevent crime and make neighborhoods safe.

Criminal cases are brought by the government through the criminal justice system

We apprehend, try, and punish offenders by means of a loose confederation of agencies at all levels of government. Our American system of justice has evolved from the English common law into a complex series of procedures and decisions.

Founded on the concept that crimes against an individual are crimes against the State, our justice system prosecutes individuals as though they victimized all of society. However, crime victims are involved throughout the process and many justice agencies have programs which focus on helping victims.

Because we have 50 States, each having laws unique to their people. There is no single criminal justice system in this country. In fact, we have a framework of many similar systems that are individually unique.

What that means is that criminal cases may be handled differently in different jurisdictions, but court decisions based on the due process guarantees of the U.S. Constitution require that specific steps be taken in the administration of criminal justice so that the individual will be protected from undue intervention from the State.

The description of the criminal and juvenile justice systems that follows portrays the most common sequence of events in response to serious criminal behavior.

Law Enforcement 

The justice system does not respond to most crime because so much crime is not discovered or reported to the police. Law enforcement agencies learn about crime from the reports of victims or other citizens, from discovery by a police officer in the field, from informants, or from investigative and intelligence work.

Once a law enforcement agency has established that a crime has been committed, a suspect must be identified and apprehended for the case to proceed through the system. Sometimes, a suspect is apprehended at the scene; however, identification of a suspect sometimes requires an extensive investigation. Often, no one is identified or apprehended. In some instances, a suspect is arrested and later the police determine that no crime was committed and the suspect is released.

After an arrest, law enforcement agencies present information about the case and about the accused to the prosecutor, who will decide if formal charges will be filed with the court. If no charges are filed, the accused must be released. The prosecutor can also drop charges after making efforts to prosecute (nolle prosequi).

A suspect charged with a crime must be taken before a judge or magistrate without unnecessary delay. At the initial appearance, the judge or magistrate informs the accused of the charges and decides whether there is probable cause to detain the accused person. If the offense is not very serious, the determination of guilt and assessment of a penalty may also occur at this stage.

Often, the defense counsel is also assigned at the initial appearance. All suspects prosecuted for serious crimes have a right to be represented by an attorney. If the court determines the suspect is indigent and cannot afford such representation, the court will assign counsel at the public's expense.

A pretrial-release decision may be made at the initial appearance, but may occur at other hearings or may be changed at another time during the process. Pretrial release and bail were traditionally intended to ensure appearance at trial. However, many jurisdictions permit pretrial detention of defendants accused of serious offenses and deemed to be dangerous to prevent them from committing crimes prior to trial.

The court often bases its pretrial decision on information about the defendant's drug use, as well as residence, employment, and family ties. The court may decide to release the accused on his/her own recognizance or into the custody of a third party after the posting of a financial bond or on the promise of satisfying certain conditions such as taking periodic drug tests to ensure drug abstinence.

In many jurisdictions, the initial appearance may be followed by a preliminary hearing. The main function of this hearing is to discover if there is probable cause to believe that the accused committed a known crime within the jurisdiction of the court. If the judge does not find probable cause, the case is dismissed; however, if the judge or magistrate finds probable cause for such a belief, or the accused waives his or her right to a preliminary hearing, the case may be bound over to a grand jury.

A grand jury hears evidence against the accused presented by the prosecutor and decides if there is sufficient evidence to cause the accused to be brought to trial. If the grand jury finds sufficient evidence, it submits to the court an indictment, a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged against the accused.

Where the grand jury system is used, the grand jury may also investigate criminal activity generally and issue indictments called grand jury originals that initiate criminal cases. These investigations and indictments are often used in drug and conspiracy cases that involve complex organizations. After such an indictment, law enforcement tries to apprehend and arrest the suspects named in the indictment.

Misdemeanor cases and some felony cases proceed by the issuance of an information, a formal, written accusation submitted to the court by a prosecutor. In some jurisdictions, indictments may be required in felony cases. However, the accused may choose to waive a grand jury indictment and, instead, accept service of an information for the crime.

In some jurisdictions, defendants, often those without prior criminal records, may be eligible for diversion from prosecution subject to the completion of specific conditions such as drug treatment. Successful completion of the conditions may result in the dropping of charges or the expunging of the criminal record where the defendant is required to plead guilty prior to the diversion.

Adjudication

Once an indictment or information has been filed with the trial court, the accused is scheduled for arraignment. At the arraignment, the accused is informed of the charges, advised of the rights of criminal defendants, and asked to enter a plea to the charges. Sometimes, a plea of guilty is the result of negotiations between the prosecutor and the defendant.

If the accused pleads guilty or pleads "nolo contendere," latin for "no contest" which means the defendant accepts penalty without admitting guilt, then the judge may accept or reject the plea.

If the plea is accepted, no trial is held and the offender is sentenced at this proceeding or at a later date. The plea may be rejected and proceed to trial if, for example, the judge believes that the accused may have been coerced.

If the accused pleads not guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity, a date is set for the trial. A person accused of a serious crime is guaranteed a trial by jury. However, the accused may ask for a bench trial where the judge, rather than a jury, serves as the finder of fact.

In both instances the prosecution and defense present evidence by questioning witnesses while the judge decides on issues of law. The trial results in acquittal or conviction on the original charges or on lesser included offenses.

After the trial a defendant may request appellate review of the conviction or sentence. In some cases, appeals of convictions are a matter of right; all States with the death penalty provide for automatic appeal of cases involving a death sentence. Appeals may be subject to the discretion of the appellate court and may be granted only on acceptance of a defendant's petition for a writ of certiorari.

Prisoners may also appeal their sentences through civil rights petitions and writs of habeas corpus where they claim unlawful detention.

Sentencing and Sanctions

After a conviction, sentence is imposed. In most cases the judge decides on the sentence, but in some jurisdictions the sentence is decided by the jury, particularly for capital offenses.

In arriving at an appropriate sentence, a sentencing hearing may be held at which evidence of aggravating or mitigating circumstances is considered. In assessing the circumstances surrounding a convicted person's criminal behavior, courts often rely on presentence investigations by probation agencies or other designated authorities. Courts may also consider victim impact statements before sentencing.

The sentencing choices that may be available to judges and juries include one or more of the following:
  • The death penalty;
  • incarceration in a prison, jail, or other confinement facility;
  • probation - allowing the convicted person to remain at liberty but subject to certain conditions; and restrictions such as drug testing or drug treatment;
  • fines - primarily applied as penalties in minor offenses;
  • restitution - requiring the offender to pay compensation to the victim.
In some jurisdictions, offenders may be sentenced to alternatives to incarceration that are considered more severe than straight probation but less severe than a prison term.

Examples of such sanctions include boot camps, intense supervision often with drug treatment and testing, house arrest and electronic monitoring, denial of Federal benefits, and community service.

In many jurisdictions, the law mandates that persons convicted of certain types of offenses serve a prison term. Most jurisdictions permit the judge to set the sentence length within certain limits, but some have determinate sentencing laws that stipulate a specific sentence length that must be served and cannot be altered by a parole board.

Corrections

Offenders sentenced to incarceration usually serve time in a local jail or a State prison. Offenders sentenced to less than 1 year generally go to jail; those sentenced to more than 1 year go to prison. Persons admitted to the Federal system or a State prison system may be held in prisons with varying levels of custody or in a community correctional facility.

A prisoner may become eligible for parole after serving a specific part of his or her sentence. Parole is the conditional release of a prisoner before the prisoner's full sentence has been served. The decision to grant parole is made by an authority such as a parole board, which has power to grant or revoke parole or to discharge a parolee altogether. The way parole decisions are made varies widely among jurisdictions.

Offenders may also be required to serve out their full sentences prior to release (expiration of term). Those sentenced under determinate sentencing laws can be released only after they have served their full sentence (mandatory release) less any "goodtime" received while in prison. Inmates get goodtime credits against their sentences automatically or by earning them through participation in programs.

If released by a parole board decision or by mandatory release, the releasee will be under the supervision of a parole officer in the community for the balance of his or her unexpired sentence. This supervision is governed by specific conditions of release, and the releasee may be returned to prison for violations of such conditions.

Recidivism

Once the suspects, defendants, or offenders are released from the jurisdiction of a criminal justice agency, they may be processed through the criminal justice system again for a new crime. Long term studies show that many suspects who are arrested have prior criminal histories and those with a greater number of prior arrests were more likely to be arrested again.

As the courts take prior criminal history into account at sentencing, most prison inmates have a prior criminal history and many have been incarcerated before. Nationally, about half the inmates released from prison will return to prison.

The Juvenile Justice System

Juvenile courts usually have jurisdiction over matters concerning children, including delinquency, neglect, and adoption. They also handle "status offenses" such as truancy and running away, which are not applicable to adults. State statutes define which persons are under the original jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction in delinquency matters is 17 in most States.

The processing of juvenile offenders is not entirely dissimilar to adult criminal processing, but there are crucial differences. Many juveniles are referred to juvenile courts by law enforcement officers, but many others are referred by school officials, social services agencies, neighbors, and even parents, for behavior or conditions that are determined to require intervention by the formal system for social control.

At arrest, a decision is made either to send the matter further into the justice system or to divert the case out of the system, often to alternative programs. Examples of alternative programs include drug treatment, individual or group counseling, or referral to educational and recreational programs.

When juveniles are referred to the juvenile courts, the court's intake department or the prosecuting attorney determines whether sufficient grounds exist to warrant filing a petition that requests an adjudicatory hearing or a request to transfer jurisdiction to criminal court. At this point, many juveniles are released or diverted to alternative programs.

All States allow juveniles to be tried as adults in criminal court under certain circumstances. In many States, the legislature statutorily excludes certain (usually serious) offenses from the jurisdiction of the juvenile court regardless of the age of the accused. In some States and at the Federal level under certain circumstances, prosecutors have the discretion to either file criminal charges against juveniles directly in criminal courts or proceed through the juvenile justice process.

The juvenile court's intake department or the prosecutor may petition the juvenile court to waive jurisdiction to criminal court. The juvenile court may also order referral to criminal court for trial as adults. In some jurisdictions, juveniles processed as adults may upon conviction be sentenced to either an adult or a juvenile facility.

In those cases where the juvenile court retains jurisdiction, the case may be handled formally by filing a delinquency petition or informally by diverting the juvenile to other agencies or programs in lieu of further court processing.

If a petition for an adjudicatory hearing is accepted, the juvenile may be brought before a court quite unlike the court with jurisdiction over adult offenders. Despite the considerable discretion associated with juvenile court proceedings, juveniles are afforded many of the due-process safeguards associated with adult criminal trials.

Several States permit the use of juries in juvenile courts; however, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court holding that juries are not essential to juvenile hearings, most States do not make provisions for juries in juvenile courts.

In disposing of cases, juvenile courts usually have far more discretion than adult courts. In addition to such options as probation, commitment to a residential facility, restitution, or fines, State laws grant juvenile courts the power to order removal of children from their homes to foster homes or treatment facilities.

Juvenile courts may also order participation in special programs aimed at shoplifting prevention, drug counseling, or driver education.

Once a juvenile is under juvenile court disposition, the court may retain jurisdiction until the juvenile legally becomes an adult at age 21 in most States. In some jurisdictions, juvenile offenders may be classified as youthful offenders which can lead to extended sentences.

Following release from an institution, juveniles are often ordered to a period of aftercare which is similar to parole supervision for adult offenders. Juvenile offenders who violate the conditions of aftercare may have their aftercare revoked, resulting in being recommitted to a facility. Juveniles who are classified as youthful offenders and violate the conditions of aftercare may be subject to adult sanctions.

Discretion is exercised throughout the criminal justice system

Very few crimes are under exclusive Federal jurisdiction. The responsibility to respond to most crime rests with State and local governments. Police protection is primarily a function of cities and towns. Corrections is primarily a function of State governments. Most justice personnel are employed at the local level.

Discretion is "an authority conferred by law to act in certain conditions or situations in accordance with an official's or an official agency's own considered judgment and conscience."

Discretion is exercised throughout the government. It is a part of decision making in all government systems from mental health to education, as well as criminal justice. The limits of discretion vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Concerning crime and justice, legislative bodies have recognized that they cannot anticipate the range of circumstances surrounding each crime, anticipate local mores, and enact laws that clearly encompass all conduct that is criminal and all that is not.

Therefore, persons charged with the day-to-day response to crime are expected to exercise their own judgment within limits set by law.

Basically, they must decide:
  • Whether to take action;
  • where the situation fits in the scheme of law, rules, and precedent;
  • which official response is appropriate.
To ensure that discretion is exercised responsibly, government authority is often delegated to professionals. Professionalism requires a minimum level of training and orientation, which guide officials in making decisions. The professionalism of policing is due largely to the desire to ensure the proper exercise of police discretion.

The limits of discretion vary from State to State and locality to locality. For example, some State judges have wide discretion in the type of sentence they may impose. In recent years other States have sought to limit the judges discretion in sentencing by passing mandatory sentencing laws that require prison sentences for certain offenses.

The diagram below illustrates the sequence of events in the criminal justice system.


The flowchart of the events in the criminal justice system (shown in the diagram above) updates the original chart prepared by the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice in 1967.

The chart summarizes the most common events in the criminal and juvenile justice systems including entry into the criminal justice system, prosecution and pretrial services, adjudication, sentencing and sanctions, and corrections.

The above information was taken from the U.S, Bureau of Justice Statistics. As complicated as the system is, I really hope this has been helpful.

Best Regards,
Tom Correa