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‘I’m Done’: Judge Gets Fed Up with ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Waukesha Parade Massacre Suspect Who Wants to Represent Himself


Darrell Brooks, the man charged with fatally ramming an SUV through a Waukesha, Wisconsin Christmas parade, engaged in verbal circles with a judge on Tuesday while asserting he wished to represent himself in court.

To determine if she should allow the request, Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow questioned Brooks on whether he understood what charges and penalties he faces and whether he understood the scope of the prosecution’s collective experience and resources.

Brooks, who said he is a “sovereign citizen,” got stuck on how the state of Wisconsin could even be an “injured party.”

“I still go back to the question I asked,” Brooks said. “I don’t understand how they can represent an injured party. How can the state of Wisconsin — the corporate state of Wisconsin — be an injured party?”

So-called sovereign citizens assert that the government holds no true, legal sway over them because they, not the government, are the “sovereign.”

Clearly annoyed, Dorow called a break at one point. When court resumed, she said, “Mr. Brooks, we are done here today.”

Dorow told Brooks to talk to his attorneys, who are still on the case. If he wants to still represent himself, he has until 9 a.m. on Wednesday to file a waiver-of-attorney form.

“You have demonstrated through this hearing that you don’t have a basic understanding of some of the things that are going on,” the judge said. “So I’m going to give you time to consider this request.”

Brooks is accused of being the driver who rammed a red SUV through a group of people at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Nov. 21, 2021. Six died: Jackson Sparks, 8, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, Leanna “Lee” Owen, 71, Virginia Sorenson, 79, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.

In deciding whether to allow Brooks to represent himself, Dorow said she has to determine if he understood several issues, including the charges and the penalties.

For example, she asked if the defendant understood if he was charged with six counts of intentional homicide.

“I am aware,” he said.

The major sticking point was his refusal to accept that the State of Wisconsin could even charge him.

“This is where the confusion of that comes in,” Brooks said. “I have confusion to how the state can be the plaintiff.”

Dorow said the state brings charges against him. Brooks said he was still confused.

The judge refused to answer his questions on this matter, and he cut her off at one point.

“This is a legitimate case,” she said. “And I’m not going to make a mockery by you asking that question because this case has been proceeding since November 23 of last year, and it’s going to keep going on whether you understand how the state can be a party or not. Do I make myself clear?”

“No,” Brooks said. “Because the question is still there.”

She refused to answer the question. Whether he understand the issue or not, it is not going to stop the case from going forward, she said.

“So is that a rush to judgment?” he said.

“No,” she said.

In an attempt to clarify whose role it was to answer the question, the judge told the defendant to ask his attorneys for advice on legal questions.

“I can’t move past the rush to judgement,” he said.

“There is no rush to judgement,” she said.

The exchange is representative of the general thrust of the discussion; Dorow called a break wherein the defendant could talk to his attorneys.

“He has not demonstrated thus far that he understands enough for me to get past that to make a determination he can wave his right to counsel,” she said.

The judge became clearly fed up by the time she explained out how Brooks can still make his decision and fill out his waiver.

She described his statements in court as “word games that you are employing with me.”

“You can roll your eyes all you want, sir,” she said.

Court was finished, then and there.

“So I’m done,” Dorow said. “If need be, we will come back tomorrow but at this point, the court’s in recess. We’re adjourned.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Brooks said.

Though the judge didn’t articulate an answer on the topic, it is a generally agreed upon principle of democracy that the government derives its sovereignty from the power of the people.  Voters elect leaders to carry out the collective will of society.  The people elect legislators to pass criminal codes and also elect prosecutors to enforce them.

[Screenshot via Law&Crime Network]

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