Seeking to Restore Integrity and Public Trust in Our Justice System
A Tale of Plea Bargaining
Every criminal case includes a process called "plea bargaining."
1. If the accused agrees to plead guilty, he gets a reduced sentence.
2. If he refuses and loses at trial, he gets a longer sentence ("trial
3. While sitting in chains awaiting trial, the accused is apprised of
those threats and promises repeatedly.
4. If he succumbs to the threat of a longer sentence and agrees to the
promise of the shorter sentence, he signs a form pleading guilty, with a solemn oath
that he was not threatened or promised anything.
5. This is not "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth"
that American courts have traditionally required of testimony. Lying under oath is
perjury and all the court officials participate in the conspiracy to suborn perjury.
Justice will not be served until those who are
unaffected are as outraged as those who are. —Benjamin Franklin
The Siege on
Summer Street (Salem, Oregon 22 January 2019)
7. The Wheels of Justice? More Like a
If you want justice for yourself and others, you should be concerned about what an
Oregon circuit court judge, Thomas Hart, calls "the wheels of justice."
Follow the case of State vs. Kenneth Ketchem. You will see how the "wheels
of justice" operate like a threshing machine. Legal/quasi-legal procedures are
used to thrash and beat the accused person until—the prosecution hopes—he
yells "UNCLE!" and confesses.
Government prosecutors have ample budgets. Few accused citizens can pay a private
lawyer to compete against a government-financed prosecutor in the courtroom.
Prosecutors know this and try to get accused persons to plead guilty before a
trial. Those agreements are called "plea bargains" (or "plea agreements" and
sometimes "settlement agreements") (described
If the accused will not agree to plead guilty before trial, he or she may need a "Public
Defender"—someone paid at public expense to defend him or her in court. But
in Ketchem's case, at least, the Public Defender seemed to be there for cosmetic
purposes only—not interested in a vigorous defense.
22 Jan 2019: Kenneth Ketchem was arrested.
30 Jan 2019: Ketchem was released from hospital and booked into jail.
8 Feb 2019: Jeffrey Jones agreed to represent Ketchem.
9 Apr 2019: Ketchem pleaded not guilty at arraignment.
20 Sep 2019: Judge Hart assigned Spencer Todd to represent Ketchem as
26 Nov 2019: Judge Hart held court hearing on defendant's motion to reduce
bail. Motion denied.
9 Jan 2020: Judge Hart assigned Martin C. Habekost to represent Ketchem as
This writer wrote to Judge Thomas Hart on June 3, 2019. At that time Kenneth
Ketchem, accused of arson in the Siege on Summer Street, had been in jail without a
trial for four months. Given the Salem SWAT Team's four-hour barrage of
incendiaries, the outbreak of fires and the ruination of the house—it seemed
Ketchem was scapegoated for the damage. Blaming him might save the city
embarrassment and liability. But Ketchem was insisting on his innocence and had
refused to plea bargain. His bail had been set at $1 million.
In my letter, I asked Judge Hart if I could attend the June 11 status conference in his
office. I told him of my interest in the Bill of Rights, in particular the 6th
Amendment right to trial, and my concern that plea bargaining has virtually eviscerated
that right. (Everyone's Business June 3
Letter to Judge Hart).
(NOTE: At the time I wrote the letter, Mr. Ketchem was represented by a private
attorney, Jeffrey Jones. I had briefly met Mr. Jones and gave him a print-out of
Everyone's Business webpage. He thanked me and was most courteous.)
Two days after I delivered my June 3 letter to Judge Hart, he telephoned me (June
5.) No, I could not attend the status conference. He told me that he was not
familiar with the facts of the case and did not want to be: He wanted to preserve his
impartiality so that he was not prejudiced against either side when the trial was
held. It was at the trial, he said, that the facts would be determined. He
was courteous and charming.
And what are the judge's obligations? The State of Oregon administers an oath to
all judges before they assume their duties. In that oath, the judge promises to
support the Federal and State Constitutions:
(1) Before entering upon the duties of a judge of the Supreme Court, whether upon
election or appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court or upon appointment as a
senior judge or a judge pro tempore, a person must take and subscribe, and submit to
the Secretary of State, an oath in the form provided by section 7, Article VII
(Amended) of the Oregon Constitution.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, before entering upon the
duties of a judge of the Court of Appeals, the Oregon Tax Court or a circuit court,
a person who is appointed or elected to the office must take and subscribe, and
submit to the Secretary of State, an oath in the following form:
I, ____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the
Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Oregon,
and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of a judge of the
______________ (court), according to the best of my ability, and that I will not
accept any other office, except judicial offices, during the term for which I have
been ________ (elected or appointed).
Judge Thomas ("Tom") Hart signed that oath with all solemnity when he re-ascended the
(cached) and again
(cached). A circuit court
judge who has signed that oath at least twice cannot profess he is unaware of his legal
duties or the spirit in which they must be performed. And we should remember those
duties are not trivial: Judge Hart has the power to sentence people to death.
But later I learned that Judge Hart had signed search warrants for the police on January
22, 2019, the day of the incident. I was puzzled: Given that a search warrant can
be issued only on a statement of "probable cause," how ignorant of the "facts" could
Judge Hart have been on June 5, 2019?
Another puzzle: According to Det. Daniel Chase, Judge Hart signed the two Search
Warrants on January 22 at "2058 hours," that is, 8:58 pm.
Source: Incident Supplement, Det. Daniel Chase, Pgs. 11, 12 of 15;
Bates 00232, 00233.
But Judge Hart backdated his signature, indicating he had signed them at 12:06 pm that
day. Why would he do that? Is that the honesty we expect of a judge?
Representation for Kenneth Ketchem— From Private Attorney to
In the months that followed his arrest, Kenneth Ketchem's family spent many thousands of
dollars paying a private attorney (Jeffrey Jones) for his defense. But the money
ran out. So on September 20, 2019, Judge Hart appointed Spencer Todd as Ketchem's
Source: Court Recording of the November 26 hearing on Spencer
Todd's motion to withdraw.
I made the acquaintance of Mr. Todd sometime in October 2019 and was favorably
impressed. I gave him a copy of the Everyone's Business webpage. He
thanked me and was most courteous. I asked him for an updated photo for the
webpage and he sent me one. He promised to send his private investigator to talk
to us and that happened.
I have since come to the conclusion that Mr. Todd was intimidated by the odds he was
facing from "the wheels of justice" and became part of the threshing machine. I
have notified him of the existence of this page, and hope that he responds to the
concerns I am expressing.
November 26, 2019: Hearing on Defendant's Motion to Reduce
$1,000,000 Bail Official recording of the hearing is
County Court Records
On November 26, 2019, Kenneth Ketchem, represented by Public Defender Todd, asked to
have his $1 million bail reduced.
In relevant part, the U.S. Constitution says this about bail:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and
unusual punishments inflicted.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed. Cruel and
unusual punishments shall not be inflicted, but all penalties shall be proportioned to
the offense.—In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to
determine the law, and the facts under the direction of the Court as to the law, and
the right of new trial, as in civil cases.
On November 26, Asst. District Attorney Kier Boettcher announced the case. Public
Defender Todd then spoke. He suggested a more reasonable bail figure. He
also said he did not want to "litigate what the issues are going to be" in the trial.
Judge Hart said:
"I kind of know the facts of the case."
"Well, that's perfect then, Judge."
Section starts at 1:48. The Lone Ranger's name is
But wait! What was "perfect" about that? At that point, Ketchem had been in
jail for 10 months without a trial. How could Judge Hart know "the facts of the
Here is what the U.S. Constitution and the Oregon Constitution say about establishing
"the facts" of the case:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public
trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have
been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the
witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his
favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to public trial by an
impartial jury in the county in which the offense shall have been committed; to be
heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against
him, and to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have
compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor …
When was Judge Hart informed of "the facts?" Was there a secret trial to which
Public Defender Todd was not invited—like a phone call between the judge and the
DA's office? Apparently, DA Boettcher was present at that secret briefing.
During the bail hearing, he commented:
Your honor, as the court already indicated, the court is very much aware of the facts
in this matter.
In relevant part, the Oregon Constitution states:
No court shall be secret, but justice shall be administered, openly and without
purchase, completely and without delay, and every man shall have remedy by due course
of law for injury done him in his person, property, or reputation.
Secret information and gossip that may contaminate the impartiality of the legal
process is called ex parte communication.
What is EX PARTE? On one side only; by or for one party; done for, in behalf
of, or on the application of, one party only. A judicial proceeding, order,
injunction, etc., is said to be ex parte when it is taken or granted at the
instance and for the benefit of one party only, and without notice to, or contestation
by, any person adversely interested.
Public Defender Todd then volunteered discrediting information about Ketchem, that he
was under the influence of "some drugs" at the time of the incident. What prompted
him to put that in his argument?
And it would seem the function of the Public Defender is simply to give the appearance
of "assistance" for the accused, as required by the US and Oregon
Constitutions—but in fact assists the prosecution.
Public Defender Todd also recited Ketchem's previous "brushes" with the law: A 16-year
old conviction for failure to appear in Monmouth County and a successful
diversion (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants treatment program).
Hmmm. Ketchem was scarcely Jack the Ripper! Todd then told the
judge that Ketchem would be "very motivated" to take care of business if bail were
reduced. Asst. DA Boettcher disagreed, and then brought a witness to the stand.
The Lone Ranger's Testimony
Judge Hart allowed the witness to testify without taking an oath. And the Public
Defender did not object.
As recorded by the police, early in the morning of January 22, 2019, the
witness—the same man who was on the stand giving testimony—chased Ketchem
through the Grant neighborhood brandishing a gun. That same man was now testifying
to the danger that Ketchem presented to the community. Public Defender Todd
apparently saw no irony in the situation and did not object.
Despite the police reports, neither the police, nor the District Attorney, nor the
Asst. District Attorney charged that gunman (whom we have called elsewhere "The Lone
Ranger") with his offenses against Oregon law. See The
Lone Ranger Rides Again.
Among other things, the Lone Ranger testified against reduction in bail, citing his
concern that Ketchem would "relapse and cause additional harm to the community or to his
family." That witness said Ketchem should safely stay behind bars until he "can face
the charges against him."
But at that time, Ketchem had already been behind bars for 10 months, all the while
refusing to "confess" to arson, maintaining his innocence of that charge, and insisting
on his constitutional right to a trial.
The Lone Ranger continued:
"I don't believe that releasing him would provide any value to the
community, to his person, or his family—quite the opposite. I believe that
would create a lot of anxiety in our neighborhood through the holiday season—"
Note that the witness was permitted to speak on behalf of the "neighborhood," and the
Public Defender did not object to hearsay testimony.
We can understand the Lone Ranger's concerns about Ketchem's freedom. If Ketchem
regained his status and credibility as a citizen, the Lone Ranger's status and
credibility might be put at peril.
The Lone Ranger then recommended that the $1 million bail should be maintained.
Then, "from the bottom of my heart," the Lone Ranger wished that Ketchem "and his
family" would get the help they needed.
From Judge Hart:
"That's very well articulated."
The Lone Ranger went on to say:
"I've been involved at Marion County at various levels. I understand how
probation works in Marion County, and I don't think that that's adequate supervision
for Mr. Ketchem."
Judge Hart did not ask the Lone Ranger to describe his "involve[ment] at Marion County,"
or to cite his credentials as an expert on the subject of probation and
supervision. Perhaps he was known personally to Judge Hart? And throughout,
Ketchem's Public Defender was silent.
Judge Hart went on to say that Ketchem was "in a pre-trial status with a presumption of
innocence as to each of these offenses …" and so could not be forced into a
treatment program at that time. (We will revisit Judge Hart's "presumption of
Then the Lone Ranger added,
"My recommendation, then, with all due respect,
Your Honor, is for Mr. Ketchem to simply enter a guilty plea on all charges that he's
facing, and he accepts the punishment, and enter into rehabilitation for himself, for
his family, and for the community."
Note that The Lone Ranger echoed the demands of the District Attorney's Office, urging
be denied his right to trial and that
plead guilty to arson, thus letting the SWAT Team off the hook for its embarrassing
use of excessive force.
The public Defender did not object to this "testimony."
Judge Hart responded to The Lone Ranger's "recommendations":
"Well, that's an option, too, but I haven't had anybody jumping on board for that, so
what we're going to do is—I am not going to reduce bail, nor am I going to
remove the Public Safety Override."
"Public safety override"? (Also called "PSO" in this hearing.) What kind of
threat to public safety was Ketchem? A 16-year old failure to appear and a more
recent DUII diversion could hardly justify a $1 million bail. Recently, two young
men were arrested for armed robbery in Bend, Oregon. The bail for the suspects was
set at $152,500 and $145,000.
Feb. 6, 2020, cached.)
To Judge Hart, Ketchem Is Guilty Before Trial
Far from the "presumption of innocence" he had earlier said was required of him, Judge
Hart berated Ketchem for all that Judge Hart was now convinced Ketchem had done.
"This wasn't just a one-off. This was like hours of trauma for the folks on
Capital Street. And there was a dog that was injured and a cat was
killed—that will have lasting effects for the people that suffered that.
The worst part about it—you know, I've been here for over thirty-two years —
Judge Sloper used to sit on this bench …"
Section starts at 9:23. The Lone Ranger's name is
Judge Hart gave the impression he has been sitting on the Bench for "over thirty-two
years," but that is not true. Thomas Hart graduated from law school in 1986 and
worked with the Marion County District Attorney's Office from 1987 until 1998 when he
was elected as a judge. He has been a judge for approx. 21 years, not 32.
It seems that Judge Hart conflates his role as a judge with his role as a
Judge Hart continued, addressing Ketchem:
"The worst thing you can do is violate somebody's home. And you did that over
and over for an extended period of time. And in fact, destroyed the house that
they finally—as far as I understand—I don't know whether they've rebuilt
the inside of that or not?"
Section starts at 10:00.3. The Lone Ranger's name is
Thus did Judge Hart announce that he had reached a verdict on the case. He was
already convinced Ketchem is guilty as charged. And the trial date had not yet
Plea Bargaining Requires All Parties to Cooperate in a Felony
Judge Hart asked:
[17:45] "I guess while I'm here today—Are you guys still in negotiations, or is
there an offer out there that people know and I would like to have put on the record
so that we know what we have going forward."
Keir Boettcher answered in the affirmative and Judge Hart asked to hear the offer.
"Your Honor, with regards to the offer, it would require the Defendant to plead guilty
to Counts 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10, with dismissal of Counts 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
That would require that he plead guilty to count 1 burglary in the 2nd degree, where
he would ultimately receive an upward dispositional departure to six months in the
Department of Corrections. [18:28] This all runs concurrent essentially to Count
8, Your Honor. If that's really what the bottom line is of what the Court wants
"Ultimately when we get to Count 8 we are looking at—Count 8 is sixty months
in the Department of Corrections with no eligibility for any programming.
[Whispering: "…thirty consecutive months…"] And then ultimately
Your Honor there would be 30 months that would run consecutive to the 60 months in
the Department of Corrections. So the total offer, Your Honor, would be for 90
months with no programming."
"Ninety—no programming on the second 30 either?"
"On the second 30, either, Your Honor, yes."
"OK, so it's like 90 months."
"Ninety months is the offer."
And I doubt it will get any better from there, is that
correct? ["Nope."] You acknowledge you are in receipt of that offer?
"Yes, Your Honor, Mr. Boettcher sent that over to me a couple
or three or four weeks ago prior to the status conference where we set trial."
"Yes, and we have trial set. I am prepared to go
forward. Do you have a cut-off date on any of that?"
Keir Boettcher explained that the plea bargain offer would be withdrawn on December 18,
one week before Christmas 2019, so "we can get some closure before the Holidays."
Public Defender Todd spoke briefly about his plans for some minor actions on the case,
and then this from Judge Hart:
"So, OK, we are good to go. You understand, Mr. Ketchem, you need to deal with
your counsel and participate in your defense. There's been a lot of work that's
already been done and we have a trial date set. Should you choose to accept the
offer, as long as you don't get sideways with me, I would support your ability to
resolve the case through counsel with the district attorney. But if you get
sideways with me, I won't go along with it. OK?"
Section starts at 17:45. The Lone Ranger's name is
Judge Hart did not explain what Ketchem might do to get "sideways" with him, or what
might happen to if Ketchem did get "sideways." But according to Oregon law,
Ketchem would be required to sign
Plea Petition. Point No. 14 of that petition requires the Defendant to lie
to the Court, attesting as follows:
14. Other than what is contained in this plea petition, I affirm that no one has
promised me anything to enter my plea of "Guilty" or "No Contest." I also
affirm that no one has threatened me or forced me to enter this
plea. … [Emphasis added]
Clause 22 also requires the defendant to lie to the Court:
22. I am signing this plea petition and entering this plea voluntarily,
intelligently, and knowingly with full understanding of all matters set forth in the
charging instrument and in this petition. [Emphasis added]
The threat of extra time in prison if he refuses to sign makes a lie of Clause 14 ("no
one has threatened me"). The promise of a reduced sentence for signing the plea
agreement makes another lie of Clause 14 ("no one has promised me anything").
Clause 22 ("I am … entering this plea voluntarily") is another blatant lie: No
one can be said to be signing "voluntarily" when threatened with years or decades in
prison. That statement would be recognized as a lie in any other context under
standard legal definitions.
The Certificate of Counsel, part of the Uniform Plea agreement, requires the Defendant's
lawyer to state:
4. To the best of my knowledge and belief, my client's decision to enter this plea
is made voluntarily, intelligently, and knowingly. [Emphasis added]
Thus, the Defendant's lawyer must also affirm the lie that the client's decision is
In full knowledge of the whole process, the judge signs his own false affirmation for
the record (Pg. 4):
The court makes the following findings regarding the defendant's plea of Guilty/No
Contest: Defendant's plea is made voluntarily, intelligently, and
knowingly. [Emphasis added]
The judge has full knowledge that the defendant signed under threat and duress, yet
denies it with his signature.
Each of those persons (the judge, the defendant, and the defendant's lawyer) is engaged
in perjury, defined as a Class C felony in Oregon law:
(1) A person is guilty of criminal conspiracy if with the intent that conduct
constituting a crime punishable as a felony or a Class A misdemeanor be performed,
the person agrees with one or more persons to engage in or cause the performance of
(2) Criminal conspiracy is a:
… (c) Class C felony if an object of the conspiracy is commission
of a Class C felony.
This situation also fits the definition of tampering with a witness. All,
including the judge and the District Attorney, are involved in this conspiracy:
(1) A person commits the crime of tampering with a witness if:
(a) The person knowingly induces or attempts to induce a witness or a person the
person believes may be called as a witness in any official proceeding to offer false
testimony or unlawfully withhold any testimony; …
(2) Tampering with a witness is a Class C felony.
Our courts set the standards of conduct in our society. But they endorse and promote
lies. When lying is the coin of the realm, society is doomed.
December 17 Letter to Judge Hart
Concerned about the November 26 hearing, I wrote to
Judge Hart on December 17, 2019. I reminded him of his June 5 intention to
remain uninformed of "the facts" so he could retain his impartiality before
trial. I expressed my concerns about the November 26 hearing. I included a
print-out of "The Siege on Summer Street," which clearly described the gaping illogics
and contradictions in the prosecutor's case. I also reminded the Judge of his
failure to swear in the witness who had, according to police reports, chased Ketchem
through public streets with a drawn gun.
Judge Hart did not reply.
Communication From Kenneth Ketchem
On Christmas Eve, 2019, I received two envelopes of materials from Kenneth
Ketchem. One contained a handwritten letter. The first three pages addressed
various aspects of the case against him, the fourth page described his dissatisfaction
with the representation given him by Public Defender Todd. Among the complaints:
The Public Defender was trying to pressure him into accepting a plea bargain on the
The Public Defender refused to file a motion concerning the police removal of
evidence from the fire scene before the Fire Marshal's office had inspected.
The Public Defender did not want to do anything to upset the judge because that
would earn Ketchem more time in prison.
I scanned Page 4 and on December 30 sent it to Public Defender Todd by email, asking him
if he would address Ketchem's concerns. I received no reply.
January 9, 2020: Hearing on Public Defender's Motion to
Withdraw Official recording of the hearing is available
County Court Records
On January 9, 2020, Ketchem was abruptly notified a hearing would be held that
day. Public Defender Todd had filed a motion asking to withdraw from
Judge Hart opened the hearing by asking Ketchem:
"Why can't you work with
When Ketchem started to explain his objections to Public Defender Todd's representation,
Judge Hart interrupted him:
"Have you been to law school?"
Judge Hart must have known Ketchem had not been to law school. The question
was obviously posed to humiliate Ketchem and cut the ground from beneath his feet.
Ketchem continued to tell why he objected to his Public Defender's representation, but
Judge Hart interrupted him again:
"Have you been in contact with Ms. Decorsni [sic]?"
(Judge Hart was obviously referring to this writer, whose last name is
"DeCoursey"). Ketchem asked,
"Uh? DeCoursey? Yes."
(Ketchem pronounced my name correctly.)
Judge Hart, apparently giving an order to a jail official, went on to say:
"I want to get the jail calls. I want to hear what's been being said.
(OK.) OK. Because she's been writing the courts and writing the
lawyers. And she's been interfering with this prosecution."
Ketchem tried to disagree, but Judge Hart overrode him:
Just be careful."
Section starts at 1:28. The Lone Ranger's name is
Whoa! Shouldn't a judge who hopes to be "impartial" at trial be equally concerned with
But still, Public Defender Todd was silent. Surely his client has the right to
talk to people when he is in jail, particularly if he is asserting his innocence?
Moments later Judge Hart again returned to the subject of Everyone's Business
"And I would direct the State to go through every one of the phone calls because I
believe that the information supports that there is interference with the wheels of
justice with regard to this theory that has now arisen."
Section starts at 3:13.5. The Lone Ranger's name is
No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the
right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever; but every person shall
be responsible for the abuse of this right.
So it seems that Judge Hart is displeased that Ketchem's story is seeing the light of
day. Note that Judge Hart expressed no concern about the obvious contradictions
and illogics of the prosecution's, case, duly reported to him on December 17.
Who Is "Mr. Cossi"?
Ketchem asked if he could have a "non-Marion County" lawyer, and Judge Hart told
"You do not get to pick and choose. This is your third lawyer
… Mr. Habekost … Jonathan Clark was first appointed to this case. If
you want him to assist you, you can have him. He had Denny Mason and Jeff Jones,
whom [sic] was retained and paid for, until they, I guess, ran out of money. And
then I appointed Mr. Todd and Mr. Cossi to the case ..."
Section starts at 2:32. The Lone Ranger's name is
When I met Spencer Todd, he was working from the office of Walter J. Todd, PC. —
and there was no "Mr. Cossi" associated with the firm. Was "Mr. Cossi" yet another
mispronunciation of my name? Perhaps Judge Hart is as confused about Ketchem's
representation as he is about his responsibilities as a judge.
Whom Do Our Public Servants Serve?
We have already visited some of Judge Hart's violations of his Oath of Office and the US
and Oregon constitutions. But what of the violations of the Marion County District
Attorney Paige Clarkson and those who serve under her? Here is the oath of office
she signed in http://records.sos.state.or.us/ORSOSWebDrawer/RecordView/6458420
I, Paige E. Clarkson, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will support the
Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Oregon, and
that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of a District Attorney of
Marion County, according to the best of my ability.
The District Attorney and Assistant District Attorneys are members of the Oregon State
Bar. The Oath for Admission to the practice of law in Oregon reads as follows:
That I will faithfully and honestly conduct myself in the office of an attorney in the
courts of the State of Oregon; that I will observe and abide by
the Rules of Professional
Conduct approved by the Supreme Court of the State of Oregon; and that I will
support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of
Oregon. To the court, opposing parties and their counsel, I pledge fairness,
integrity, and civility, not only in court, but also in all written and oral
And here is what the Office of the Secretary of State says about its 36 district
Oregon's 36 district attorneys are responsible for safeguarding the rights of all
Oregonians, including both victims and defendants in criminal cases. As set
forth in the Oregon Constitution, district attorneys represent the public in criminal
matters by filing criminal charges where warranted by the law and available evidence.
NOTE: "… district attorneys represent the public in criminal matters by
filing criminal charges where warranted by … available evidence."
It is clear that the District Attorney has filed criminal charges against
Ketchem despite available evidence. The ruination of 1050 Summer Street was
caused by the Salem SWAT Team—and not by a BIC cigarette lighter in the hands of
Kenneth Ketchem. DA Clarkson has flagrantly abused the public trust and her Bar
Oath as a licensed attorney.
The purpose of holding Ketchem in jail is to force him to confess to a crime he did not
commit. Ketchem is being scapegoated and railroaded. It is tyranny under the
varnish of law and order.
This is not just Kenneth Ketchem's problem. The process of wrongful prosecution by
corrupt and ambitious officials could happen to any of us. If the machinery is
left in place—deceitful police, compliant forensic inspectors, vindictive
prosecutors, and despotic judges—none of us is safe from the "wheels of justice"
(to use Judge Hart's apt phrase).
Both Thomas Hart and Paige Clarkson should be recalled. They are usurpers of our
A tyranny is a cruel, harsh, and unfair government in which a person or small group of
people have power over everyone else. Shades of the Gulag Archipelago, right here
in Marion County.
Reports to Authorities and Correspondence
Everyone's Business contacted appropriate public regulatory officials with
complaints about the misconduct of various parties in State v. Kenneth Ketchem.
11 Feb 2019: To
Jerry Moore, Salem Chief of Police. Everyone's Business
congratulated the Salem Police on the handling of the situation at 1050 Summer
St. NE on January 22, 2019. Unlike so many other police incidents, the Salem
police did not kill the suspect.
24 Mar 2019: To
Jerry Moore, Salem Chief of Police. Having investigated
further, Everyone's Business expressed concern about the excessive use of
force by police.
8 Apr 2019: To Jerry Moore, Salem Chief of
Police. Everyone's Business thanked Salem Police for sending SWAT
team commander Shawn Adams to the Grant Neighborhood Association meeting on April 4 to
explain the situation and actions of the police.
11 Apr 2019: To Chuck Bennett, Mayor of
Salem. At a neighborhood meeting, after hearing my comments on the siege
on Summer Street, Mayor Bennett warned me I should be careful "criticizing the
13 Apr 2019: From City of Salem Fire Department denying our
15 Apr 2019: To Shawn
Adams, SWAT Commander of the Salem Police. Everyone's Business
applauded SWAT's restraint in addressing subsequent incidents in Salem without
grenades and tear gas.
16 Jul 2019: To Paige Clarkson, District
Attorney of Marion County, enumerating the holes her case against Kenneth
Ketchem and her cover-up of the SWAT team bungles. Reminding her of her
duties to the public trust, and her betrayal in prosecuting this case.
2020: To Helen Heirschbiel, Executive Director of the Oregon
State Bar Association, concerning the conduct of District Attorney Paige
Clarkson. I referred her to the facts in our 7-part report, “The Siege on
2020: From the Oregon State Bar Association. The Bar did not
dispute our factual presentation, but stated that Paige Clarkson has not acted in
an unprofessional manner.
2020: To Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon Attorney General, reminding her
that the AG’s website states: “… The strength of Oregon’s government depends
on public trust …” I told her about the conduct of District Attorney
Paige Clarkson and Judge Thomas Hart, giving her full documentation. I have
received no response.
1 Mar 2020: To
the Oregon Supreme Court Justices, telling them how the criminal justice
system works in Oregon.
2020: From the Commission on Judicial Fitness and
Disability. The Commission did not dispute the facts I presented, but
told me “the evidence is insufficient to conclude that ethical misconduct
2020: To the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability,
stating I’d like to understand the process by which it reached its decision,
and asking for a transcript of proceedings.
2020: From the Commission on Judicial Fitness and
Disability: the information requested is “confidential.”
2020: To the Oregon State Bar Association to reconsider its
decision, this time enclosing an actual print-out of our 7-part expose giving
background of Clarkson’s prosecution of Kenneth Ketchem.
23 Apr 2020:
The Oregon State Bar Association notified Paige Clarkson of my appeal.
2020: From the Oregon State Bar Association. The Bar did not
dispute any of the facts, but stuck by its guns: There was nothing wrong with
23 Jun 2020: To Kate
Brown, Governor of Oregon. Who is running the justice system in
Oregon? Includes photo of Kenneth Ketchem's horrid injuries inflicted by
Salem's militarized police.
29 Jun 2020: To the
Judiciary Committees of the Oregon Legislative Assembly (House and Senate).
26 Jul 2020: To Jerry
Moore, Salem Chief of Police concerning the conduct of the officers in his
charge tampering with the crime scene evidence prior to the Fire Marshal
inspection. He can expect to see those officers embarrassed on the stand
during trial. Can we see the reprimands, please?
27 Jul 2020:
To Mike Niblock, Salem Fire Chief concerning Deputy Fire Marshal Sarah Poet's
botched inspection of 1050 Summer Street, NE, after the police removed evidence of their
incendiary weapons. On cross-examination, DFM Poet will be embarressed and
bring discredit to the Salem Fire Department for basing her findigs on an evidence
scene she knew the police had tampered with.
27 Jul 2020:
To Tracy A. Prall, Presiding Judge of the Marion County Circuit Court,
concerning the unfitness of Judge Thomas Hart to preside over this case. Since
on 26 Nov 2019, Thomas Hart already
announced his belief that Ketchem is guilty of the charges, Ketchem is not presumed
innocent before trial as he should be. Moving forward with Judge Hart will
guarantee grounds for a successful appeal.
3 Aug 2020: To Judge Thomas
Hart of the Marion County Circuit Court, urging him to recuse from the
case. In that letter, Everyone's Business cited
the 26 Nov 2019 hearing in which
Judge Hart stated in open court his personal belief that Kenneth Ketchem had
committed the crimes with which he is charged. Since the presumption of
innocense before trial is required of the court by US law, Judge Hart is not
qualified to sit on the case.