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the great writ… Naw, not so great says the U.S. Supreme Court… just average says Scalia

April 13, 2012
United States Supreme Court building.

United States Supreme Court building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Habeas corpus the great writ protects citizens from unlawful detainment but not from wrongful conviction.  The best estimates put this at 1 to 3 %.  If only 0.5% of the 1,993,880 convictions in 1990 for index crimes were wrongful, that would put the number of innocents in jail or prison at 9,969, more than the average population of most US cities, est – 6,545 people.  [http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/ronhuff.htm]

If you factor in the effects of plea bargaining the number is likely even higher.  On the one hand, people seem to celebrate the principles of law and justice for all, [including the courts] on the other some of these same people then say and do things to undermine these principles’ in the name of the mundane and thus act in opposition to “the great”.

For instance giving [weight to the needs of convenience and practical problems of law enforcement] the key word here being [law], as in law and justice.  What parts of the law, justice, or due process should give means to “practical” anything’s when the lives and liberties of individuals are at stake.  Moreover, how can people extolling principles of justice and equality under the law… [that is, if boasting any actual knowledge of The Constitution] keep a straight face when doing these things.

Or is it they are really just sheep in people’s clothing… if the courts, the politicians, the police, as well as the media say it’s ok… well then it must be ok.

In addition, what exactly does “law-enforcement” mean?  Is it the mission of law enforcement to prevent crime, or only to apprehend lawbreakers after crimes have [allegedly] been committed?  Who defines what are – [criminal acts], and what limits their ability to do so?  The politicians delineate the statute that is the definitions; the courts uphold them… but similar to the police… only at their discretion… they can [pick and choose] what they will attend to and when.

Furthermore, regarding the police, what should be and are the limits and scope of their powers to compel an individual in civil society … that is to say their [lawful] exclusive right to the use of force in situations where their autonomous [extra-legal] sense is that some crime or activity is or has occurred such that it now deserves their attention?  Upon what seemingly moral superiority are they deciding and acting in such circumstances?

Likewise, in the case of appellate review the stipulation is that of reducing error and defect in legal decisions.  Thus, those taking decisions and actions limiting appellate review would seem to contradict this very same idea.

Perhaps the thought here is … only to reduce legal error and defect some of time… but only when it’s convenient for the purposes of the courts and the agents of [law] enforcement…[this must be what the Founders had in mind when they and the other like-minded colonists risked everything in defying King George… convenient and practical, not absolute or self-evident].  If some wish to reduce the burden of the courts ought they to do this at the cost of the civil rights of this nations citizens’… indigent or not.

Maybe reducing the numbers and kinds of laws or criminal definitions as well as the allowable levels of incursion by the state and its agents into the everyday doings of civil society might accomplish these same ends without eroding the civil rights upon which this country was founded to provide and protect.

Here is a nice example just to illustrate…  U.S. Supreme Court rules: Traffic offenders can be strip-searched, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that officials can strip-search people arrested for any offense — including traffic violations… briefs with the court show that… people have been detained and made to bare all after infractions such as driving with a noisy muffler and failing to use a turn signal.

So, [law enforcement] can… at their discretion… regardless the circumstances or legality of the arrest and before any due process… force a person to strip on the side of the road to search them… talk about unreasonable search and seizure… The Fourth Amendmentwhat’s that… priceless.

  1. Strip Searches (aphilosopher.wordpress.com)
  2. America 2012: The Supreme Court Has Made It Legal For The Police To Strip Search You Any Time They Want (blacklistednews.com)
  3. America 2012: The Supreme Court Has Made It Legal For The Police To Strip Search You Any Time They Want (activistpost.com)
  4. ACLU Of Virginia Seeks Strip-Search Policies After Supreme Court Decision (washington.cbslocal.com)
  5. writ of mandamus directing the respondent Corporation not to acquire the land of the petitioner-temple for the purpose of road widening, without issuing notice to it and without following due procedure as laid down under Sections 146 and 147 of the Greate (advocatemmmohan.wordpress.com)
  6. Under the U.S. Supreme Court: Getting naked down at the jail (upi.com)
  7. N.J. Law Now Stricter Than U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Strip Searches | NJ.com | Jason Grant/The Star-Ledger | 4/4/12 (vinhsulaw.wordpress.com)
  8. U.S. Supreme Court rules detainees can be strip-searched without cause (nj.com)
  9. U.S. Supreme Court Has Ruled That Defendants Have A Constitutional Right To Effective Assistance Of Counsel In Plea Bargains (montanacorruption.org)
  10. US Supreme Court won’t lift Okla. execution stay (heraldonline.com)
  11. Patents On Nature (amasianv.wordpress.com)
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