Joseph R. "Joe" Banister

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Larken Rose Conviction

Dear Friends:

It is with great sadness that I report Larken Rose was convicted of 5
misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file federal income tax returns
yesterday (Friday, August 12, 2005). It is my understanding that the jury
deliberated for less than an hour, which it seems to me would make it impossible
to sincerely review the evidence in a trial that spanned approximately four
days. As you may recall, the jury in my trial deliberated for approximately 2
days. Jurors who spoke to me after my trial said they were careful to review
all of the evidence so that a fair verdict could be reached.

When one considers that (1) there are millions of Americans who do not file
federal income tax returns (by the IRS’s own admission), and (2) the likelihood
that many of those millions have not spent even 5 minutes researching the
statutes and regulations regarding return filing requirements, one must conclude
that it is incredibly unjust to target a man and wife who did not stop filing
returns due to procrastination or a desire to cheat on taxes by joining the
“underground economy” but rather because their thousands of hours of research
indicated that they may not have a federal return filing requirement and they
thought their fellow Americans and government officials needed to be exposed to
such research.

A “criminal” worthy of prosecution in the eyes of the IRS is a man who spent
thousands of hours researching seemingly endless statutes, regulations, court
cases, and IRS literature, asking questions of appropriate authorities, seeking
comment from his fellow citizens, and publicizing his efforts. Prosecutors
routinely and deceitfully mischaracterize to unsuspecting jurors that conducting
thousands of hours of research and outreach is but one of many “schemes” on the
smorgasbord of “schemes” available. Funny, I don’t recall ever seeing
“criminal” types at the law library or handing out free research reports.

Despite Larken’s own difficulties and time constraints in preparing for his
trial, he took the time to send out a message to his email list requesting
donations be sent to me and my family to help us diminish the impact of many
weeks of lost “breadwinning”. Within a few days, many from Larken’s list sent
donations to help me and my family. Given that both spouses were accused, and
given Larken’s trial results, Larken and his family will need our help. Please
consider sending a donation to Larken to help him shoulder his burdens. Make
checks payable to “Larken Rose” or “Tessa David Rose” and mail to 758 Huntingdon
Pike, Hollywood, Pennsylvania 19046.

There are a couple of websites I know of where information from those who
actually witnessed Larken's trial have posted their comments -
http://www.dougkenline.blogspot.com and http://triallogs.blogspot.com .


Banister Trial Juror Authors Article on Trial Experience

Dear Friends,

I was very fortunate to have a jury that was keenly focused on weighing the
evidence in my trial. How do I know the members of my jury were keenly focused
on weighing the evidence? Because I had the good fortune to speak with two of
them who told me so. I have remained in contact with them and one has authored
an article about being a juror at my trial.

The article is posted to www.freedomabovefortune.com (click on IRS LOCKOUT
UPDATE and scroll down to the bottom of the document list).

We MUST educate as many Americans as possible because some of those Americans
will end up on a jury. Our government has proven that it is interested in
force, not discourse. An effective defense against such force is an informed jury
pool. Let's ask our fellow Americans to jump in to that pool - the water's


Trial Verdict Documents Posted

Dear Friends:

The verdict forms from my trial have just been posted to my website. Please
visit www.freedomabovefortune.com (click on IRS LOCKOUT UPDATE in the center of
the screen and then scroll down to the bottom of the document list).