Category Archives: Constitution

CT – Double Trouble



 


The prohibition on double jeopardy extends back in human history at least the Roman era. It’s covered in Greek law, the Talmud and of course, English Common Law.

In the United States, the concept of dual sovereignty has been the guiding rule since 1847. The general idea is that the Federal government and the State Governments are both “sovereign” and therefore the prohibition on double jeopardy doesn’t apply. If the State prosecutes a person and then the Federal Government also prosecutes for the same act, the Courts have long held – some thirty-one Justices over 170+ years have expressed their belief in and support for the rule – is just fine.

Now, there are some reasons for the Dual Sovereignty rule. It has long allowed either side to “correct” an injustice, such as happened during the Civil rights era when “people were killed or worse.” And in general, the Feds have only rarely stepped in to charge a person after a state conviction.

 

But down in Alabama a few years ago (See September 27th Show), a convicted felon on parole was driving a car with a burnt out headlight. Of course, he got stopped. And of course, the Police found the gun he had in his possession. The State of Alabama convicted him for it, and then the Feds stepped in and also convicted him for the same crime.

And that brings us to the Supreme Court hearing in which the Petitioner (Gamble) insists that the Dual Sovereignty component of double Jeopardy should be eliminated. Now… if the Court agrees, he’ll get one sentence or the other. But it is the effect on another possible case that is really the entire reason for this argument.

And that person is Paul Manafort.


 

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The Occasioning of Two Mobs



NOTE: Yes, there is an audio issue in the introduction. It goes away at the end of the intro. Sorry, Dave refused to wear headphones tonight… – Producer Henri.

In a world where people still believe that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a real thing, where SNOPES “fact checks” the Babylon Bee, where Saints fans still believe that it was all a plot against them, the whole Jussie Smollett story has been labeled as “weird” by the local news personality.

It is a huge conversational buffalo, so big in fact that I am not even sure where to start chewing. The weeping and gnashing of teeth by the celebrities left who will admit that the supported Smollet in the beginning might be a good place. But even I don’t have the appetite it would take to consume all of that.

No, for me there is an unexpected concern here.

Back in 1773, some Lobster Backs were put on trial for murder in Boston. They were accused of shooting Colonials, but it was their defense that really caused a commotion. Their attorney decided to stand up for the rights of the accused, not to join the baying crowd calling for their blood.

Up stepped John Adams. Yes… THAT John Adams…

He defended the soldiers and while it was surprising at the time, calmer heads understood what the mob did not – that vengeance is not justice and that the accused have rights. Adams won the trial and the Soldiers went free. As they should have.

What I watched this morning, along with millions of my fellow countrymen, appalled me.

Because a very sick person tried to manipulate half of America by playing on perceived hatred and stereotypes because he was mad about his salary?

Nope.

I was appalled that what I watched was nothing more than a return to the values and practices of a tyrannical government. Whether you or I think that Jussie Smollet did it or not, how is it okay with us that the government – in the form of a Police Chief – stood in front of the camera broadcasting to the world and indicted, arraigned, tried, judged and all but sentenced a man for crime before his booking photo was dry?

It may make me unpopular, but as my Dad always said, that puts me in good company. The accused have rights, and I was appalled at how the government just rolled right over them this morning.

Of course, there are bigger problems in this country. But they aren’t what we keep being told that they are. And when you break it down, it’s not any different from the day that some Lobster Backs were sent into a volatile powder keg with a crowd yelling “Fire! Fire!” and in an attempt to quell one problem, created two…


The Freedom of Association





The City of Los Angeles passed an ordinance that requires all contractors to “disclose” all of their contacts and sponsorships (whatever that means) with the National Rifle Association. In Delaware, a man wants to apply to be a Judge on the State Bench. But, Delaware has a law that says that he is not qualified to be a Judge. Why not? Because he chooses to not associate with certain “approved” groups.

At the end of the day, the real question is why do governments continue to pass laws that they KNOW are not Constitutional. These Governments pay (with tax dollars) for legal advice, so it’s not at all possible that they don’t know this.

But even were we to be charitable and assume (yes, I know what it means) that they don’t know, why do they keep proposing and passing laws that restrict liberty?


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