Grandmother takes care of her grandchildren off and on. One of her grandchildren, while she is away, sells some pot to a friend. The police come and take her house: prosecuting under civil law, and demand she prove her house wasn’t bought with drug profits. They have no proof: they don’t need proof under civil law, which in this case flips innocent until proven guilty to guilty until proven innocent. Forget “reasonable doubt.” That has been disappearing for a long time.
But the new standard for what some dare call “justice,” starting here and soon to be the standard period, is the grandmother must prove she obtained absolutely no benefit from what someone else was did, something no one has to prove she even knew about: an almost impossible pursuit. However, claiming such, and making her fight the charges financially and legally: far too easy.
Didn’t we fight a war over this once?
In one of the states where corporations are allowed to do eminent domain WalMart wants your house. If you don’t want to sell, or even if you just think their final offer is beyond pathetic, you have to fight their lawyers in court: at your expense. By the way: the State backs them, so you have to fight two almost bottomless pockets. Said mega-corporation also get breaks in taxes and regs while town fathers increase taxes and enforcement of regulations on your business. Increase them to the point you’d eventually go out of business anyway. So you sell the business that’s been in your family for closing in on a century, while pols continue to have their pockets stuffed to the brim with donations from the same huge corporations, one that imports almost all of its goods from out of cntry. Or: if they’re really based elsewhere, imports into ours.
Didn’t we toss tea into some harbor over something like this?
Add to all this a huge financial advantage in the pursuit of what only Uncle Joe Stalin might have called “justice.” Take away a car, a house, bank accounts; even ripped off right out of your home after they slam their way in: no need to even knock. Not just under RICO, as bad as it is. These days they can sell seized property before a case is settled. Good luck in getting any of it back if found innocent. Hope you have great lawyers and a bottomless bank account.
Oh, they took that account? OK, you have friends. But, wait, wait! …what’s to prevent them from coming after your friends, your relatives? What’s to prevent them from also claiming their property, their bank accounts, were achieved through illegitimate means, without one ounce of evidence? Under civil law they can do all this simply by mere anonymous accusation. If there ever was any actual accusation at all: wink, wink. And by the time you, your friends, your relatives dig out of this hole they dug your precious possessions are gone, as are those of everyone who dares to support you.
Haven’t we shed a lot of blood fighting wars over less than this?
I have no doubt there are some folks who might deserve to have holes dug for them. As much as I feel George Zimmerman is at least guilty: if not of second degree murder, of Manslaughter 3: I am against pursuing him for civil rights, or civil suit. My stance is simple: we shouldn’t be hunting for some way, any way to “get” some citizen: even non-citizen. This has nothing to due with George. I felt the same way about OJ. And there’s little doubt, even if OJ didn’t do it: he knew who did.
Having a fair justice system that offers actual true “justice” means, occasionally, the guilty as hell will go free.
Why? Because the same system that can be skewed, or screwed with, to get George or OJ, can be used to destroy the lives: the very freedom, of the innocent… you… me… your children… your parents… your loved ones. In fact, if we must parse the law into civil cases, civil rights related law and what far too many of us accept as “justice,” then I believe we need a way: nationally, to decide what flavor of the law to use. Then: no matter how bad the verdict, that’s the verdict. No hunting allowed: no finding some way, any way, to take out our anger, our need for revenge. No going after someone who simply stands in our way or annoys us.
Otherwise we have no justice system at all: we have a loaded semi-automatic pointed at the lives of the innocent as well as the guilty. All that’s needed is to continue to pump the pump, lever the lever, pull the trigger and blow our own brains out as a society.
Stop and frisk in New York City came to mean they could profile, frisk: while ordering them to take anything they have out of their pockets. Whether they comply, or not, what’s in your pocket comes out. Once a modest amount of pot is revealed they’re arrested. Not for possession: having it in your pocket in NYC is not illegal. But bringing it out in public where it can be seen is.
Of course we’re all hearing about how Bradley Manning, or Snowden, endangered the nation with document dumps and such, numbering as Stephanie Miller said somewhere in the very precise “zillion” mark. So can we know exactly what did they dump, or release, and how is it endangered the nation, or who it endangered? Well, of course not: that comes under “national security.” Hmm… convicting citizens using secret evidence…
Wasn’t that one of our beefs when we decided to split from the Empire?
Essentially justice in America is being converted into a guilty until proven innocent system: where crucial evidence is made unavailable to the defense, and can become “evidence” by mere generalities. And, for the few who might escape being found guilty: a system that destroys them long before they’re found innocent. And we have a system that enriches law enforcement even if they pursue what may seem obviously bogus… or just make shisen up. They can literally goosestep into our homes, take all our property including that home, sell it while we swim in a legal brimstone lake. You must tread brimstone to survive. They’re eager to use any legal trick to make damn sure you get burned, then drown.
And, the crown jewels…
…a for profit prison system whose CEOs push for such changes in our laws to assure them more prisoners, therefore more profits.
…meanwhile authorities are rewarded for selling your property without even a hint of due process, “rewarded” with new squad cars, better equipment and a nice shiny headquarters.
Of course, since neither the corporate world or government has never, ever, had an ounce of corruption… since they never, ever, walk hand in hand: no raises for those who participate, no money ever exchanges hands in attempts to make this worse or to make damn sure the actual guilty party gets away with it all… Nope, uh, uh, no way.
And if you believe that last paragraph please check yourself into the nearest looney bin. I promise you, you’ll feel right at home living with the guys who believe they’re the next Jeffery Dahmer reincarnated, or the Tooth Fairy and they have the blood drenched extraction equipment to prove it. Of course maybe its still stored in some evidence locker. Or they’re free because going after the innocent was more important.
Be careful while you’re in prison, for treating prisoners with respect: decent conditions, and due process, have all become positions advocated by those who hate their own country, according to the spin.
Would, arguably, the most famous American famous general who became president, who set the precedent for treating the enemy well, be considered a traitor now?
Did 9/11 “change everything” so much we need to act like the most “freedom hating” despots in history?
One wonders if Paul Revere reported on the position of the enemy if he might go to prison for revealing a national secret. Some government official knew, but ignored because they thought the claim was past tense, like Osama Determined to Hit Us was a “historical document.” They’re embarrassed because they were doing their damn job, so Paul must pay the price.
Thinking back to the Revolution, those who eagerly push such oppressive pap: are these really “Americans?”
The British are Coming! The British are Coming?
Maybe “Gestapo” is more apt?
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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