Slave owners vindicated! Harriet Tubman indicted! #WhatwouldHoustonGrandJuryDo

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Background ICYMI: Anti-abortion activist, David Daleiden, is under indictment in Texas for trafficking in “human tissue.” He’s also in hot water for making a fake ID. This is because he pretended that he wanted to buy human tissue from Planned Parenthood,who happens to have scads of human tissue to sell on account of being paid by taxpayers to kill millions of babies. But THAT’S okay, because the babies weren’t really human because their mothers didn’t want them. Or something like that. It’s a little unclear.

Anyway it’s all a big secret, and that’s why he had to pretend he wanted to buy the tissue — because Planned Parenthood can be pretty cagey about these things. You can learn more here, but clearly, Daleiden is a misbehaving scamp. The story just got me wondering about that grand jury, misbehaving scamps in general, and other possible instances where the two might meet

For example…

HARRIET TUBMAN INDICTED

In a shocking turn of events a Houston grand jury declared no fault on the part of slave owners who were under investigation for human trafficking, but instead indicted former chattel, Harriet Tubman, founder of the Underground Railroad, for human trafficking and fraud with intent to harm her former owners.

Tubman had appeared before the grand jury to assist the state’s investigation of allegations against the slave owners — specifically, human trafficking, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, assault, battery, and attempted murder.

The slave owners protested that the charges refer to relations between humans, pointing out that the the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that black people are “beings of an inferior order” and have “no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” They declared that Tubman represented an extremist faction which advocates the “humanizing” of blacks with the intent of depriving the owners of their free choice to own slaves.

Although presented with invoices and receipts of payments for men, women, and children — as well as testimony that one slave owner had bragged about wanting to buy a spendy “lambor-buggy” with the proceeds — the grand jury declined to indict, believing the slave owners’ assertion that the figures on the documents represented a reimbursement for expenses and not payment for the individuals themselves.

In fact, the grand jury was more interested in the money that Tubman herself received from people who she escorted for hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to the north. Based on that testimony that the grand jury made the unusual decision to absolve the accused and instead indict the witness, Tubman.

One juror explained it this way: “The slave owners could easily have incurred delivery expenses, the payment of which does not constitute human trafficking in and of itself. Tubman, however, clearly accepted valuable consideration prior and after taking delivery of dozens of individuals.

The grand jury also indicted Tubman for fraud with intent to harm her former owners as well tampering with public documents on numerous occasions as she traveled extensively with the escaped slaves. They particularly mentioned Tubman’s habitually deceptive use of code words and aliases while escorting the fugitives to the North.

When pressed to explain such an unusual outcome of prosecuting the witness instead of the accused, the district attorney explained that the grand jury had to “go where the evidence led them” in the interest of justice.

 

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