Category Archives: 8th Amendment

Constitution Thursday – Excessive Fines & Civil Forfeiture



“nor excessive fines imposed…” – 8th Amendment

A professional musician travelling with $91,000 in cash he was going to use to buy a recording studio is stopped in Wyoming for a seat belt violation. The Police take the money, and claim that they have a right to it.

in Indiana, what happens when a young man sells four grams of heroin to an undercover cop? Obviously, he gets busted, does a year on house arrest and pays a fine. Then he decided to get his life back together and heads out to find a new job.

But…

The cops weren’t done. They used Civil Forfeiture laws to seize his car, valued at $40,000. Don’t read too much into that value, there is a valid reason that he had the money to buy it in the first place.

He sued, and the lower State Court held that he should get his car back. After all, it was only 4 ounces of heroin. The Law enforcement agencies appealed it to the State Supreme Court.

The highest Court in Indiana, along with Mississippi, Michigan and Montana proclaimed that the 8th Amendments prohibition against excessive fines “does not apply” to it.

And so… we’re off and running to ask the Supreme Court one question: does the 8th Amendment prohibition against excessive fines apply to the States?


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Excessive Bail



Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed… 8th Amendment

In recent days, members of the California State Senate and Assembly have made the reformation of the Bail system a “Legislative Priority” in the State. Their reasoning is that on any given day, 63% of the people held in the States Jails have not been convicted of any crime. They are simply awaiting trial and cannot – for a variety of reasons – make bail. Read the rest of this entry

A Rabbi, A Roman and a Poor Guy…

 



California Legislators are looking at the idea of doing away with Bail as we know and practice it today. They see it – the bail system – as simply a punishment meted out upon poor folks.

The idea of once again contrasting and clashing rich against poor has Dave going back in time to just after 70 c.e., in the Roman Province of Judea, where the new Roman Governor once asked a local Rabbi why is was that the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob didn’t just take care of poor people Himself instead of having the rest of the Jews do it for Him? Read the rest of this entry

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