Category Archives: 6th Amendment
SEGMENT – 9/11
My son, for the first time, this year, asked me about the Towers.
In many ways, 9/11 for him, is much like Pearl Harbor for me. That is to say that it is an event with which he will have to live with the consequences, without having lived through the actual event. The war(s) resulting from 9/11 have now been declared “the longest” in our history. But for fourty-six years we lived with the consequences and fallout from World War II…
Segment – The Elimination of Privacy In America
You’ve heard the stories about Google and Facebook and probably even JC Penny’s monitoring your online use and “targeting” ads for you to see every day. For me, it’s rather humorous. Because of the nature of my work, I spend a good deal of time researching things that I would otherwise have no interest in. Then I get ads related to those things, which I ignore and click on “Not relevant to me.”
Then, like most of you, I go out and buy a living room table on my credit card.
And in some room full of computers somewhere, somebody takes notice of that.
What does it mean that Dave just bought a dining room set at a furniture store in Bremerton, Washington? What information can we glean from this purchase? what might it predict that Dave will do next?
Don’t think that’s happening?
You might think that Equifax is *just* a credit reporting company.
But it’s not *just* that. And while you might think that 143 Million Americans getting their data breached because of Equifax carelessness, it’s what they may have been doing with that data in the first place that should really make you mad.
SEGMENT – Traffic Court
I have to go to Traffic Court today. I guess that’s not 100% accurate, I chose to go to Traffic Court today because I received a Red Light Camera ticket via mail. Oddly enough, the pictures that came with a sworn statement, signed by a local LEO, are clearly my truck. Stopped at a red light. Brakes on and not moving. So my wife said, and I quote, “You’re fighting this one…”
Many years ago, back in the 1970’s, you could, on rare occasions, actually learn something watching a TV crime drama. And so it was that way back when, Dave watched an episode of Quincy, M.E., during which he learned a fact about how Jury trials can work that he retains even today. That single fact is helpful when we recall the purpose of the Jury is to serve as a mighty bulwark against government. To make certain that government isn’t allowed to just run roughshod over accused citizens.
At the same time, that simple fact also makes certain that a person who is guilty can’t hide behind confusion and misdirection.
Back in 2012, a man stood accused of hacking into PriceWaterhouse and stealing the Romney’s tax returns, which he threatened to release to the highest bidder if he didn’t get paid $1Million in digital currency. The self-named “Dr. Evil,” was about as competent as his nom de guerre, and ended up in the custody of the US Secret Service, who take a dim view of people threatening potential Presidents with blackmail. He denied being involved, of course, and eventually found himself sitting in front of a Jury as the Secret Service laid out their digital case against him.
It was extremely complicated, and for people who aren’t computer experts, somewhat confusing. To make sure that the Jury understood the case, the Judge allowed the same thing that Dave learned watching Quincy, M.E., all those years ago to happen…
I’ve said this many times and before I say anything else today, I’m going to say it again: The justice system that we have not only should be but in fact must be slanted towards the defendants. Gaining a conviction for the government – at any level – should be difficult and should require that the State have its ducks in a row and to prove its case against a defendant who has effective counsel before a jury.
Defense Lawyers are usually squirrelly and evasive, but that’s their job. DA’s on the other hand must be above question and transparent in everything they say and do. You may ask why, since so many of the dirtbags the Police work so hard to get off the street would then be the beneficiaries of rules that favor them instead of the State or the victims. It is simply because if the government can start slam dunking convictions, the protections that we all have against the government go out the window. If the State can violate the 4th Amendment because “we all know” he did it, why can’t it violate yours if it deems it necessary? If a defendants 6th or 8th Amendment rights are pushed aside in the name of “justice” because of the severity of the crime, what happens to your rights?
You may not like it. But “I don’t like that,” is not a Constitutional argument. Read the rest of this entry