You can also comment on this audio, here.
This show is going to be hosted on "The People Power Hour!"
Also visit these web site:
The Florida ACLU currently hosts the following radio show 5 days a week and often speaks to our cause. Tomorrow night, 9/22, they will host the following speaker, Michael Freeney (Psychologist and author) - his views are that the Lundsford Act laws are ruining the lives of children.
Please share this information with as many as you can - they encourage us to either call in w/ comments (407-273-1190) or (888-300-3776).
If you cannot get the radio broadcast, listen on line and either e-mail or call in the same.
Every little bit helps- we ARE getting the word out and one day, w/ all of our collaborative efforts, we WILL make changes.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
You can also comment on this audio, here.
The National Coalition for Social and Political Reform
To whom it may concern:
This letter is sent in the effort of shedding some light on the recent laws that have been passed in the effort of protecting our Nations children from Sex Offenders. In Smith v. Doe, it was put forth by the Supreme Court that the Sex Offender Registry was considered to be a “Regulatory action and not a punitive consequence.” But, in the years since that verdict, several states have gone so far as to pass new laws that restrict our Nations Sex Offenders to ever farther reaching boundaries. Lately, many of these have come under fire for being “Unconstitutional.”
Here are some examples of Sex Offender Laws being challenged across this Country:
“Utahn can ignore state sex-offender registry”
“Federal judge halts sex offender law”
“Sex offender law goes too far, court rules”
“Dover defends sex offender ordinance in NHCLU challenge”
“Deltona takes steps to relax residency rule for sex offenders”
Apparently there is a lot of consensus these days that the Laws being passed by our Legislators across the Country are considered to be Unconstitutional.
If one believes them to be Unconstitutional, then that would lead one to believe that they were written to do more than Regulate. Might one then consider that they were in fact written to be Punitive? To the point that in Georgia, Sex Offenders are banished to ONE county out of 129!! How is that Regulatory? They even tell the Sex Offenders that they can’t use “homeless” as an address. They say that if you can’t afford a place to live, then you are in violation of the Registry and you will go to jail. This is being argued in court as you read this.
In Florida, they found that they needed to relax the city Residency Restrictions of 2500 ft (the States RR is only 1000 ft) to now exclude “bus stops.”
New Hampshire is fighting a battle right now. The NCHLU has determined that the RR’s in New Hampshire actually are against the States own Constitution.
Here are a few examples of Legislators who are bent on punishing Offenders beyond their terms:
“La. could allow confinement of sex offenders beyond prison sentences”
“Jindal runs into voter backlash”
“Sex offender lawsuit”
In Louisiana, the Governor has come under fire for attempting to circumvent the Supreme Court. He even goes so far as to call their actions “atrocious.” He has vowed to pass as many laws as it takes to provide an equivalent Death Penalty in the hopes of getting around the Supreme Courts Decision.
In Ohio, the law has become so strong that a clerk at a Hustler store is suing the state. She is afraid that she might be forced to Register as a Sex Offender because she sells pornographic materials (which is seen as “obscene material”). Anyone possessing or distributing “obscene material” could be forced to register as a Sex Offender, even if they have no victim.
More and more, it is becoming apparent that the Legislators are attempting to pass laws to show the public that they are “tough on Sex Offenders” and that they want our votes. They create and try to pass laws (sometimes behind closed doors) to further box in the Sex Offender. New laws are being passed in Missouri that would keep Sex Offenders (even those that haven’t reoffended in decades) from participating in Social Networks (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, etc.). So, now they can’t live within 2500 ft of parks, schools, churches, daycares (Florida); but they also can’t go online to try to form socially acceptable relationships (for those that don’t target children). Tennessee now requires them to have a “special license” stating that they are Sex Offenders.
So my question is, where does the Regulatory action end and the Punitive Damages begin? With all of these laws, it become increasingly hard for Sex Offenders to find jobs, keep friends and family, and to acquire adequate housing. No longer does our Nations Legislators work to regulate. They now work with the intent of helping the Nation “feel” like it’s being protected. As in the case of Georgia, they will just send any law that gets knocked down back to have the phrase that got it rejected reworked. This shows a lack of concern for the “reason” that it was knocked down in the first place.
We appreciate your attention to this matter. We hope that you will look into this with an intent to see the true nature of the laws. Punitive!
Power, by its nature, is a curious thing, a thing which reacts within itself to grow ever more powerful. It can be likened to a nuclear reactor, with its prerequisite control systems. Like a reactor, that power is dangerous, and can even be deadly when improperly applied.
Power, under the US constitution, has numerous control systems. From the separation of powers (control rods) to the oversight (failsafes) and backup systems (safeties). There are cooling systems for the reactor, as well, the public opinion, which can heat up or cool down the reaction, and drives the power.
But what happens when, one after another, the control rods are withdrawn, and the power of the legislative branch mixes with that of the executive? As the control rods move out, the system increases in power, exponentially. Eventually, it reaches a point of criticality, at which point the reaction flashes out of control.
Those separations are vital in the constitution, as in the government. If we are not to suffer a meltdown, we must have the safeguards against it.
We have numerous automatic systems, control nodes that are supposed to cut out and quench the reaction when it grows too intense. One of those is the power of the people, and the voice of the vote, to replace the fuel rods within the reactor (senators, representatives, and the President). Another of those is the power of impeachment, between the representatives, the senate, and the president. A third is the power of the Supreme Court to interpret what the contract of the Constitution actually was.
But what happens when the system breaks down? What happens, say, when one section of the reactor grows too powerful? If we take fuel from the congress, and add it to the pile of the executive, do we not add disproportionate power to that section of the reaction? Does it not negate the use of that control rod that quelches the reactions between those powers?
Let us take the separation between the two houses, the representative house, and the senate. The senate represents the states, the house of representatives, the people. The will of the people drives the reactor, in theory, and the senate recognizes the needs of the state, to moderate the will of the people. By slowing down the reactive force, the senate actually prevents the House of Representatives from growing too hot, and initiating further reactions in the President.
But what happens when you remove the control rods of separation between the two houses, and the constitutional rules that require a majority for any business? Each control rod reduces the control of the system. When they are removed, as well, the reaction runs more feircely.
That is when the automatic systems should engage.. but what if they are cut out? What if, in the reaction, the executive branch chooses to lift the control rods beyond their safety limit? While the people boil, the system gains more and more power within the fuel, and the interaction between the three grows incredibly more powerful, exponentially with each moment of reaction.
What happens, however, when the control systems are attempted to be reapplied? Well, in the case of a reactor, good engineering design takes over. In the case of a government? That's questionable. The government tends to swell to fill the gaps. The control rods have to be forced into the remaining gaps, and can no longer do the job they were intended to do. The automatic systems should kick in at this point, moving the fuel apart. If they were disabled, and the oversight of the people disabled so the coolant can no longer circulate (the government no longer respects the people) the coolant continues to grow hotter, and hotter. The reaction intensifies still more, granting more power to the system than it is capable of handling.
Eventually, in a reactor, the system melts down, often explosively as the coolant boils off, then the system reaches full criticality, and the runaway reaction devestates the reactor chamber (the country) and scatters radioactive particles all over the area, and anything surrounding it.
In the government, it's far more subtle.. the people grow more and more afraid of the government, the stacks of fuel are stacked more and more into one section of the government, as the control rods separating them cease to matter. The automatic systems in this case cannot cope, as they were not designed for a system where the stacks of fuel were all in the hands of the executive. The executive begins to radiate power at a faster and faster rate, pulling in the fuel from the other systems, which become less and less effectual at resisting it.
Eventually the fuel begins to radiate so hot, that the power production peaks, and a criticality event occurs. This is the declaration of a state of emergency, and the removal of the constitutional safeguards for the coolant. The coolant (people) no longer cool the reaction of the government, and the power continues to build until the original framework can no longer handle the pressure... and the reaction runs away, destroying the equipment, burning away the people, and the foundation of government crumbles under the assault.
It is human nature to wish more power... it is wisdom to moderate it. It is human nature to believe that we know the right things for mankind, and thus, it would not hurt to pull the control rods a bit further. After all, we're in control, right?
This is exactly what was thought at Chernobyl. The head engineer felt that he knew the system, and disregarded the requirements of the test that was being done. He closed down the reactor, then when he brought it back up, it was not operating as he thought it should. Due to the introduction of xenon (a neutron-blocking material) the system could not generate the power. Nothing occurred when he pulled the control rods, so the manuals were pulled, necessetating the lockout of the control computer. As the power increased, slowly, with the rods fully out, eventually it overcame the moderation potential of the xenon, and then the reaction became instantly more powerful. As the control rods were reinserted, something else odd happened.. the tips of the rods displaced the coolant, and provided better neutron paths for reaction, causing the system to seize, and there was no stopping it.
Perhaps we should stop our governmental chernobyl before it irradiates the countryside, and costs lives, livelihoods, and poisons our lands for centuries to come.
Let us return the safeguards, and safeties to the people. Do we not owe that to future generations?
Chernobyl is silent now.. a monument to a grave mistake. Let us not make the same mistakes in our government, or the generations to come will not forgive us, either.
The National Coalition for Social and Political Reform
In the Constitution, under Amendment #7 (for common law cases) and Amendment #6 (for criminal cases), we as Americans have a right to a jury trial.
A Jury Trial is a group of our peers (12 to be exact) that will hear the facts against us and determine our guilt of the crime or accusation brought against us.
In this trial, the jurors are screened to make sure they are "willing and able to follow the law as instructed by the court". If a potential juror is deemed to be unable, or just plain unacceptable, they are removed from duty. (This removal can happen all the way up to the reading of the verdict)
Jurors are asked to decide based on the law and the facts of the case if the person is guilty, or not guilty. What most people don't know, is that in the beginning of this country, and all the way up until the 1900's, the jurors were also asked to decide if the law itself was just or not. They had the power and the right to decide if a law should be "nullified" or not.
Here are some quotes to get you thinking:
Thomas Jefferson said, "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which government can be held to the principles of its Constitution."
Alexander Hamilton proclaimed, "Jurors should acquit even against the judges instructions . . . if exercising their judgment with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction that the charge of the court is wrong."
It was designed into the structure of the Constitution for the jury to decide not only guilt or innocence, but also the validity of a law.
But, if the case never makes it to trial, then there will be no jury. No decision by a group of your peers... No justice the way it was designed.
Plea Bargains are the culprits these days. One fact I found is that more than 90% of all cases never make it to trial because of the plea bargaining system.
Here is a quote from the above linked article:
"The rarity of jury trials is not the result of criminals who come into court to relieve a guilty conscience or save taxpayers the costs of a trial. The truth is that government officials have deliberately engineered the system to assure that the jury trial system established by the Constitution is seldom used. And plea bargaining is the primary technique used by the government to bypass the institutional safeguards in trials."
With the Prosecutors and the Public Defenders working hand in hand (so to speak), it's no wonder we have the highest prison rate in the WORLD.
With this erosion of a system meant to continue the belief "innocent until proven guilty", we see more and more people being bullied into accepting plea deals, missing out on their right of a jury, and also the safeguards that are provided by said jury trials.
With fewer jury trials, people are seeing an astronomical rate of imprisonment. Rates of recidivism are blown out of proportion to their "true" figures because of a watering down of the prison system with people who don't really belong there. Legislators are reacting to give the people a feeling of security. And these laws are being passed without the jury having the ability to dictate how they apply to the court cases. Our Judicial System is in danger of losing it's ability to maintain the "innocent until proven guilty" aspect. Without our juries there to decide cases, the Government perpetuates the cycle of corruption of the system.
The National Coalition for Social and Political Reform
The First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Now, most Felons lose their rights upon a plea of guilty. But does the freedom of speach fall under that category? I've heard of the loss of the right to bear arms (understandable in most cases), the loss of the right to vote (not sure how that works), and a few others I can't remember at the moment. But, somewhere along the way, some states decided that it was ok to elimenate the right to gather signatures (as in setting up a petition to the Government). And others, the right to gather certain types of criminals (mainly sex offenders) into a group.
The latter two are part of the first amendment. One of our unalienable rights guarenteed by the Constitution. And as a part of the freedom of speach amendment comes our substantive rights: freedom of association, freedom to participate, freedom of movement, freedom of privacy, and freedom of choice to name a few.
But most states would have you believe that you are not worthy or allowed to have such rights as those guarenteed by the very Constitution that gives them power over the people. And based on what? Infamous Crime. Infamous Crime is what allows them to take away those rights.
What is Infamous Crime? Infamous Crime is any crime that is punishable by death or imprisonment in a state penal institution, with or without hard labor for more than one year. Catch that? Any crime with a sentence of more that a year. You know those misdemeanors that have a sentence of a year and a day? They can be considered to be "infamous crime" and allow for the removal of your civil rights.
And the very rights that they take away were put there to allow us to redress our sins before the courts. Without the first amendment, we lose the right "to petition the Government for a redress of greivances." We lose the ability to gather about us the qualified amount of signatures it would take to present a new initiative to the legislature. We lose the ability to create change. We fall victim to the fear mongering and hate machines created by the media and the legislative branch of our Government.
Fortunately for some, their state constitution is worded different than most. It allows the felon to gain back their civil rights at the termination of their probation.
For the rest? Goodbye freedom of speach and all that falls under its umbrella.
July 30th, 2008
The National Coalition for Social and Political Reform
To Whom It May Concern:
I write this letter with the intent of bringing to light some constitutional issues that have arisen in our country in the last decade. Congress has begun the eroding of our rights, one at a time. They are hoping to establish a precedence of the people relying on the government for protection of all rights. This gives an air of an implied or awarded rights and not an inalienable right. This is against the very nature of the constitution that we hold as the basis of all laws in this nation. This matter has come to a boiling point in the last 2-3 years. No longer are people sitting by and complaining. Now we are starting to see an emergence of advocates on many different issues. All of which are in regards to Civil and Human Rights.
In writing this letter, I hope to evoke some thought as to the erosion of Human Rights in this country, mostly, in the arena of criminals. That is where Congress is starting, most specifically, with Sex Offenders.
According to Federalist Papers #57:
“The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.”
This shows that Congress was meant to show wisdom and discernment in the making of new laws. They were also supposed to stay “virtuous” while still in office.
It goes on to say:
“I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.”
This shows that the Congress is not supposed to pass any law that is not applicable to them as well. And if they try to, how is it to be combated? Here is the response:
“If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.”
And with the tolerance shown by today’s society, here is the response to that as well:
“If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate anything but liberty.”
We have shown that Congress is there to create laws for which we are all to live by. Originally, Congress helped in the creation of the Constitution. The Constitution was put in place to help govern the people. It was set up to give us the structure we needed, but also the freedoms that we would live by. It was signed by the Framers as a contract between the citizens and the government sworn to protect them. With the passage of laws in the last four decades, we have started to get away from the intent set forth by the Framers. The government was created as an entity of support and protection. Not a tyrannical establishment bent on seizing the rights of the free, and especially those that have sinned against the common good.
In the Contract Clause of this very Constitution, it states:
The Supreme Court laid out the test for whether a law violates the Contract Clause. The test is a three part test.
- First, the state regulation must substantially impair a contractual relationship.
- Second, the State "must have a significant and legitimate purpose behind the regulation, such as the remedying of a broad and general social or economic problem." 459 U.S. at 411-13
- Third, the law must be reasonable and appropriate for its intended purpose.
This test is similar to rational basis review.
Never has our Constitution “substantially impaired” our contractual relationship. Never has there been a “significant legitimate purpose” for “remedying” our Constitution. The Bill of Rights, yes; the Constitution, NO! The new “laws” have proven themselves to be unreasonable and inappropriate for their “intended purpose.” These laws are proving themselves to be more punitive in nature than the regulatory one that the States would have us believe it to be.What is the difference between punitive and regulatory you may ask? I’ll answer you question. But first, a little background on the two stages we will be talking about.
According to www.wikipedia.org,
Civil law courts provide a forum for deciding disputes involving torts (such as accidents, negligence, and libel), contract disputes, the probate of wills, trusts, property disputes, administrative law, commercial law, and any other private matters that involve private parties and organizations including government departments. An action by an individual (or legal equivalent) against the attorney general is a civil matter, but when the state, being represented by the prosecutor for the attorney general, or some other agent for the state, takes action against an individual (or legal equivalent including a government department), this is public law, not civil law. In public law the objective is usually deterrence, and retribution. The victim, or people secondarily harmed by the wrong, do not get compensated, except with that vague notion called 'closure.'
So, as we see here, Civil Law is for disputes with contracts. Torts, contract disputes, probate of wills, trusts, property disputes, administrative law, commercial law, and private matters are all between two “people” and are set with no punishment (aka no punitive action).
Criminal Law on the other hand…
According to www.wikipedia.org,
Criminal law is distinctive for the uniquely serious potential consequences of failure to abide by its rules. Every crime is composed of criminal elements. Capital punishment may be imposed in some jurisdictions for the most serious crimes. Physical or corporal punishment may be imposed such as whipping or caning, although these punishments are prohibited in much of the world. Individuals may be incarcerated in prison or jail in a variety of conditions depending on the jurisdiction. Confinement may be solitary. Length of incarceration may vary from a day to life. Government supervision may be imposed, including house arrest, and convicts may be required to conform to particularized guidelines as part of a parole or probation regimen. Fines also may be imposed, seizing money or property from a person convicted of a crime.
Five objectives are widely accepted for enforcement of the criminal law by punishments: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and restitution. Jurisdictions differ on the value to be placed on each.
Retribution - Criminals ought to suffer in some way. This is the most widely seen goal. Criminals have taken improper advantage, or inflicted unfair detriment, upon others and consequently, the criminal law will put criminals at some unpleasant disadvantage to "balance the scales." This belief has some connection with utilitarianism. People submit to the law to receive the right not to be murdered and if people contravene these laws, they surrender the rights granted to them by the law. Thus, one who murders may be murdered himself. A related theory includes the idea of "righting the balance."
Deterrence - Individual deterrence is aimed toward the specific offender. The aim is to impose a sufficient penalty to discourage the offender from criminal behavior. General deterrence aims at society at large. By imposing a penalty on those who commit offenses, other individuals are discouraged from committing those offenses.
Incapacitation - Designed simply to keep criminals away from society so that the public is protected from their misconduct. This is often achieved through prison sentences today. The death penalty or banishment have served the same purpose.
Rehabilitation - Aims at transforming an offender into a valuable member of society. Its primary goal is to prevent further offense by convincing the offender that their conduct was wrong.
Restitution - This is a victim-oriented theory of punishment. The goal is to repair, through state authority, any hurt inflicted on the victim by the offender. For example, one who embezzles will be required to repay the amount improperly acquired. Restitution is commonly combined with other main goals of criminal justice and is closely related to concepts in the civil law.
The word punishment is found many times in the Criminal Law. Punishment is not a Regulatory Action. It is punitive in nature.
So, back to the question at hand.
What is the difference between punitive and regulatory?
Regulatory is meant to do just that, regulate. There is no “punishment” associated with regulation. Regulations provide direction and information on how to do something. If a regulation has a “punishment” attached to it, it ceases to be regulatory and becomes punitive. Punitive is meant to punish and rehabilitate. Punitive does not show you how to do something, or even direct you. It is there for one purpose only. Punish.
If a punitive law is passed and it is meant to be retroactive, it falls under the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution.
An ex post facto law or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. In reference to criminal law, it may criminalize actions that were legal when committed; or it may aggravate a crime by bringing it into a more severe category than it was in at the time it was committed; or it may change or increase the punishment prescribed for a crime, such as by adding new penalties or extending terms; or it may alter the rules of evidence in order to make conviction for a crime more likely than it would have been at the time of the action for which a defendant is prosecuted. Conversely, a form of ex post facto law commonly known as an amnesty law may decriminalize certain acts or alleviate possible punishments (for example by replacing the death sentence with life-long imprisonment) retroactively.
The constitution has a strict policy on this. It says “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” In theory, this should stop any bill from being passed retroactively. Unfortunately, this is not what happens in the creation of today’s laws.
Another piece that these laws are inhibiting is Due Process of Law.
Due Process of Law has two parts to it, Substantive and Procedural.
Substantive Due Process:
Substantive Due Process is the inherent freedoms mentioned in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It also takes into consideration those secondary rights allotted by these same documents.
In the words of www.answers.com/due%20process the definition is as follows:
“Substantive due process concerns specific behaviors of individuals that, according to the Court, are generally beyond the reach of government power, such as the free exercise of religion or participation in private organizations that petition the government about public problems and issues. The government may not regulate these actions, not even by the use of the fairest legal procedures, because to do so would violate the most fundamental rights of individuals in a constitutional government, such as rights to liberty, property, and equality under the law. If government officials want to regulate these kinds of usually protected actions, they must demonstrate that they cannot achieve a legitimate public purpose by any other means.”
Some of these rights are:
- Freedom of Association
- Freedom to Participate
- Freedom of Movement
- Freedom of Privacy
- Freedom of Choice
This is just a partial list of the Rights we have that Substantive Due Process provides for.
Procedural Due Process:
Procedural Due Process is the process by which our rights are maintained. Precedence and procedures are the basis for this right.
According to www.answers.com/due%20process the definition is as follows:
“These rights of the accused are examples of procedural due process, and they are constitutional limits on the power of government designed to protect the rights and liberties of individuals.
Procedural due process—the idea that government must follow fair and generally accepted legal procedures in its actions against individuals—has been traced to the great English charter of liberty, the Magna Carta (1215). By signing this document, King John of England agreed to “obey the law of the land.” This idea developed into the legal guarantee of procedural due process of law to protect people against arbitrary or lawless punishments or penalties imposed by the government.”
Some of these rights are:
- Freedom of Assembly
- Freedom to Vote
- Freedom to Travel
- Freedom from Search and Seizure
- Freedom of Property
- Freedom from Bodily Invasion
Basically, if Congress doesn’t follow “fair and generally accepted legal procedures,” then it is not following the law of Procedural Due Process.
This leads us to the issue of Civil Rights and how they are allotted.
In the Civil Rights Act of 1871, they were specific as to what would happen, or be allowed to happen, if Congress were to take one of our rights away.
“Every person who under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, Suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.”
Later, the United Nations also came out with a Bill of Rights that the United States of America signed.
The document can be found at http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/eng.htm. But the basic gist of the document reads that no Nation shall usurp the Rights of its citizens as these are inalienable rights handed down by God.
Some of our inalienable rights can be found in the Constitution, and some in our own Bill of Rights.
One of the main inalienable rights is Liberty.
“Liberty is divided into four types: natural, personal, civil and political. The first two are inalienable; the latter two are government granted. Natural liberty is absolute freedom, limited only by the laws of nature. It is exercised upon one's private property or upon unclaimed property (anywhere else would be a trespass). Personal liberty is the right of locomotion, the freedom to travel upon public roads and waterways; limited only by the requirement to not infringe another's right to travel. Civil liberty is the permission from government to do that which would otherwise be a trespass, a tort or not allowed by law. A license to practice medicine is an example of a civil liberty (inflict injury without criminal liability). Political liberty is the permission to vote and hold office. In countries with socialist / communist governments that abolish private property rights, natural and personal liberty does not exist. Permission (license) is required for most activities and actions.”
Other inalienable rights have already been discussed in this letter.
To take these rights away, there has to be a great reason for doing so.
The problem lies not so much in surrendering your rights once you have broken the law, it’s the continued loss of these rights as well as new ones after the fact. This continual loss of rights is a punishment greater than that set aside for us in any plea bargain we may sign or have signed.
To punish someone like that, creates a punitive action. Any bill that is passed by Congress with the intent to punish, or has punishing capabilities is illegal. Congress’ right is to create laws, not enforce them. That is the job of the Judiciary Branch of the Government set forth in the very Constitution of these United States of America.
Some examples of Congress’ intent for punitive action:
“That is what this bill is all about; it is going after those, as someone once described, pond-scum predators.”
“The bottom line here is that sex offenders have run rampant in this country and now Congress and the people are ready to respond with legislation that will curtail the ability of sex offenders to operate freely.”
“Child sex offenders are the most heinous of all criminals. I can honestly tell you that I would just as soon lock up all the child molesters and child pornography makers and murderers in this country and throw away the key.”
“…the bill increases criminal penalties to punish and deter those who prey on children.”
As well as this:
“The bill also increases criminal penalties to punish and deter those who prey on children…” (Stated in two different parts of his speech)
Here we have a bill that is Civil, yet creates and intent of punishment, which is Criminal.
Any time Congress creates a law that is meant to punish (either with intent by the legislators creating the law, or in fact with the wording of the law) it falls under the Bill of Attainder Clause found in the Constitution under Article 1, sections 9 and 10.
Bills of Attainder:
According to www.FindLaw.com
''Bills of attainder . . . are such special acts of the legislature, as inflict capital punishments upon persons supposed to be guilty of high offences, such as treason and felony, without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings. If an act inflicts a milder degree of punishment than death, it is called a bill of pains and penalties. . . . In such cases, the legislature assumes judicial magistracy, pronouncing upon the guilt of the party without any of the common forms and guards of trial, and satisfying itself with proofs, when such proofs are within its reach, whether they are conformable to the rules of evidence, or not. In short, in all such cases, the legislature exercises the highest power of sovereignty, and what may be properly deemed an irresponsible despotic discretion, being governed solely by what it deems political necessity or expediency, and too often under the influence of unreasonable fears, or unfounded suspicions.'' The phrase ''bill of attainder,'' as used in this clause and in clause 1 of Sec. 10, applies to bills of pains and penalties as well as to the traditional bills of attainder.
Basically, if Congress passes a law that has a punishment attached to it, and it singles out a person or “easily ascertainable group,” then it falls under a Bill of Attainder. This is providing that the punishment is handed out without the benefit of a Jury Trial.
Also, this comes to mind:
“They inflict punitive sanctions in disregard of judicial methods of proof designed to insure fairness in fact‐finding. The history of bills of attainder has also shown that their passage was often induced by popular passion or motivated by unproved suspicions.”
With Congress and the media continually misquoting recidivism rates for the sex offenders, it’s no wonder that these laws are flying through our Legislative system. One bill that I know of, from introduction to the Senate, to the passage in the House of Representatives, was a total of eight and a half months. This time included only 120 minutes of total discussion time collaboratively between the House and the Senate. It was brought under a suspension calendar which is only supposed to be used for the mundane things like the naming of post offices. It was never meant to be used for major controversial issues of the current day. Those need to be debated thoroughly to make sure that no rights are infringed upon. But in this case, that was purposefully pushed aside in an attempt to rush the bill to vote.
Specifically, we are talking about the Adam Walsh Act. This is a collection of popular issues with the focus being on sex offenders. The issue of sex offenders was used to piggyback the other topics. Then the bill was placed on suspension calendar which didn’t allow for amendments, or debate. Many times over, according to the Congressional Record, it was shown that the intent was to “punish” the “pond-scum predators.” Congress was intent on finding ways to “regulate” these offenders by giving them greater “punishments.” That’s a mix of Civil Law and Criminal Law. Also against the Law they are sworn to uphold.
On one hand, it’s a Bill that needs to be voiced. But, on the other hand, the way in which it was passed, the lack of Congressional Record to the final vote cast, or the submission of the passed bill to the President, screams of something foul.
There were Legislators for and against. We’ve heard from some that were for it a moment ago.
Now let’s hear from some that are against it.
“Once again, this Congress is attempting to address very serious and complicated problems with a law that substitutes the talking points of "tough on crime" politicians for the wisdom of judges, prosecutors, treatment professionals and child advocates.”
That seems to say that Congress is trying to institute themselves as the Judge and Jury while pushing out those that are supposed to cover that arena.
“I cannot violate my Constitutional duty to protect our independent judiciary nor can I support extreme, dangerous policies, so I will vote against this bill.”
“…it is being dealt with in a manner in which no amendments are allowed, in which only 40 minutes total of debate are allowed. And it is a bill brought forward because the committee leadership didn't like what happened when the House actually voted on it in a democratic manner.”
“This is a shameful example of the degradation of the democratic process that has befallen this House. What happens is what has happened in the past: things get put in here that cannot be individually examined, they cannot be debated. Members will feel pressured to vote for the overall package. Members, and this is the goal, put a lot of things in here that are very important and very good, many of which I have voted for in the past, many of which I want to vote for. But Members have put in a few other things that are very controversial and do not allow this House to approach looking at things individually and saying an amendment here, yes or no. And then if Members do not buy the whole package, then you go after them.
The Republican majority has decided to legislate in the same manner in which you give a pill to a dog: you take something that the dog wants and you stick a couple of pills in it and you ram it down its throat. That is an inappropriate way for this democratic House to proceed.”
Here he is speaking of the underhanded tactics of some people in Congress to slyly pass this highly controversial bill. He speaks of a lack of following procedure in the House and how it shames said House.
“Now, with no more basis than we had before, just the name of the crime and the continuing political appeal of appearing tough on sex offenders, we are again greatly increasing penalties with more death penalties and increased mandatory minimums, including more mandatory minimums for teenagers having consensual sex.”
On one hand, he is referring to the ridiculousness of having consensual sex teenagers having to register. But, on the other hand, he shows the intent of the Congress to gain more votes by the passage of new Sex Offender Laws for the mere appearance of being “tough on predators.”
This effort to appear to be tough on predators has launched a barrage of laws that have created serious problems in our society. Many studies show that offenders without support networks, jobs, friends, family, significant others, and the basic human right of self esteem, are at an increasingly high risk to reoffend. When an offender has nothing to lose, he can become dangerous indeed. These new laws are creating that effect, whether intentional or not.
With Congress using the suspension calendar to review and vote on so sensitive a topic as sexual abuse, it flies in the face of tradition. Due Process of Law by procedure is a valuable tool in the assurance of rights for all. Are we not afforded the same courtesy when a new law is being written as well? Are we not allowed the right to have laws passed by tradition and precedence? The AWA was passed without that consideration. And on the Substantive side of things, it takes away several of our human rights set forth in the constitution. The law is applied to ALL sex offenders, regardless of when they were convicted. This falls under the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled several times that according to Smith v. Doe (Alaska ruling) that the Registry is “regulatory” and not “punitive.” Well, just recently, Alaska ruled in Doe v. Alaska, that the registry when used to apply to someone convicted prior to the passage of the law is in fact a punitive action. Therefore, the AWA is punitive for anyone convicted prior to its passage and target effect date. The AWA also falls under the Bill of Attainder clause found in the Bill of Rights as well as the Constitution. This law was passed with the intent and the effect of punishing hundreds of thousands of people in an “easily identifiable class” and their families as well. This can also be seen as a cruel and unusual punishment as well as falling under the Double Jeopardy Clause for punishing those offenders after they served their sentence and time.
Congress has the moral obligation to protect ALL of the citizens. These laws need to be written to help the offenders get rehabilitated, not solely to punishing them at every turn. Congress has gotten away from its intended purpose of creating legislation for the greater good of all. They are bent on finding ways of using hot topics to further their careers and ride the backs of those people who have made poor choices in life. They ceased to be a party of the people, by the people, and for the people. They are now a party of greedy people looking to cement their names in history.
Lately, there has been a strong call to restore the original intent of the Constitution and the ideas for which it stands for. This letter is intended to help facilitate that action. Repeal the AWA and send the message that people of these United States of America are tired of being deceived and lied to for political gain. The people are tired of oppression, and they are tired of corruption. Now is the time to stand and fight for our God given rights as human beings. If we continue to sit back and allow things to happen, no longer will be allowed our basic human rights. No longer will this be a Free Nation, but one of Dictatorship and Tyranny.
Now is the time to cement your name in history by creating a just and fair law that will stand the test of time. Create a law that works towards the rehabilitation and reunification of sex offenders into our society as productive members. Create groups that will offer support for offenders in need of counsel. Show that this country can be not only just, but compassionate as well. We need fairness and equality more than ever in our Legislation. Use the true facts, not just the ones made up to create a fear factor among the public. Show them the true colors that make up America. Show them the greatness that lies within. Show them, before it’s gone forever.
Thank you for your time.
A List of Resources:
The Federalist Papers:
Bill of Attainder:
DC - SCHUMER ANNOUNCES PASSAGE OF HIS LEGISLATION TO CRACK DOWN ON UPSTATE NY CHILD PREDATORS ON THE INTERNET
Floor Speech - 05/20/2008
Floor Speech - 10/01/2008
They passed this bill in ONE MINUTE (see 09/27 here), and it looks like it was passed by about 4 people in the wee hours of the night, like usual! I bet this was a tactic for McCain and/or Biden! Looks like we need to email the president (Links below) of the USA and voice our opinions, if that will help. He's just as corrupt as the rest of them! Protecting people from child porn, is a good thing, but forcing all sex offenders off web sites is wrong, and violates their rights and privacy rights!
(Media-Newswire.com) - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (Contact) today announced that both Houses of Congress have passed his legislation cracking down on Upstate New York sexual predators using social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook. The “Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual-Predators Act of 2007,” known as the KIDS Act ( S. 431 ), will require registered sex offenders to submit e-mail addresses, instant message addresses or other identifying Internet information to law enforcement to be placed on the National Sex Offender Registry.
The legislation will also for the first time require the Attorney General to set up a secure system that will allow qualifying social networking websites to cross-check users' information against the registry to protect users from sexual predators. Without such a checking system, social networking websites have struggled to police their own precincts for sexual predators.
“Millions of teenagers log on to websites like MySpace and they, and their parents, shouldn't have to worry about running in to these predators online,” Schumer said. “Sex offenders have no business joining social networking communities - especially those with teenage users - and our legislation will help keep them out. We know that many predators are using the Internet to find victims. This legislation will take a big step toward keeping sexual predators out of the online neighborhoods our kids frequent.”
- Not all sexual offenders are predators and out looking for children to molest. Once again, you are lumping all offenders into one HUGE group, and treating them all as if they killed some child!
The legislation passed the House without objection on Saturday, and then cleared the Senate by unanimous consent late Tuesday. It will now go to the President (Email) for signature or veto. If signed, the legislation will require sex offenders to register their online identifiers, such as email and instant messaging addresses, with the National Sex Offender Registry. This information will be released only to participating websites in a secure and protected form so that website operators can monitor their services and expel sex offenders from their pool of users if they choose. Failure to register or update registration of email information, like other required information, will subject violators to up to ten years’ imprisonment.
- Yeah, because it was all hush, hush, and passed in one minute by about 4 people! Failure to register is more time than the original crime, how fair is that? THIS IS OUT AND OUT FRAUD AND CORRUPTION!
The KIDS Act has been endorsed by many children’s advocacy groups and social networking websites including the American Family Association, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, MySpace, and Facebook.
In addition, Schumer and Senator Joseph Biden’s (Contact) legislation to crack down on child pornographers that transmit images or solicit children on the Internet was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate last week. It will now go to the president’s desk. The Securing Adolescents From Exploitation Online Act ( SAFE Act ) would clarify and enhance the current system for electronic service providers ( ESPs ) to report online child pornography, making an ESP’s failure to report known child pornography a federal crime.
Under current law, Internet service providers are obligated to report child pornography to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children ( NCMEC ). NCMEC, in turn, provides a report to law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution. With the Schumer-Biden legislation, these companies would receive protection from prosecution for transmitting images of apparent child pornography to NCMEC to ensure that companies do not underreport child pornography for fear of prosecution.
Comment posted on this article by a true vigilante! I'm sure many of her supporters will be bombarding the comment section as well, watch and see.
All the poor sex offenders here leaving comments about how they are suffering need to wake up and realize that the majority of America doesn't give a damn how you feel about the registry. We are concerned about protecting our families and preventing future abuse. And out of the hundreds of thousands of sex offenders listed on the registry, how many have been killed by vigilantes who used the registry to find them? VERY FEW. We will not fall for that sob story of an excuse so that your crimes may go undetected.
Reporter: Cathleen Moxley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you live in Ohio and a sex offender moves into your area, you may be notified.
A law passed by the Ohio Supreme Court in 2003 says the public should be informed about sex offenders in their area.
- The law was not passed by the Supreme court, courts do not make laws, they interpret them. This BLOND reporter needs to go back to school. They just upheld the law and did not PASS the law!
Wednesday, the court ruled that this law applies to all sex offenders, and not just those who registered after the law was passed.
"I think it is imperative in my position as sheriff to notify the public where we have sex offenders, where they're located, what they look like," Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said.
There are several ways people are notified when a sex offender moves into the area.
You might receive a phone call or a letter in the mail, or you can contact the sheriff's office to be put on an e-mail list.
Listen to this. The teens in this video, say, the average age teens lose their virginity is 13 or 14. Think about that... Teens are having sex, and in today's age, I wonder how many other teens are being labeled sex offenders for life, and their very lives ruined?
WARNING: The following videos contain explicit images and lyrics, viewer discretion is advised!
TuPac - I get around
Britney Spears - Live Strip Show
Sir Mix A Lot - Baby Got Back
Nelly - It's getting hot in here
GRAND RAPIDS -- A former Newaygo County Jail inmate, sexually assaulted by a guard there, is suing the county, the jail and the former guard now serving a prison sentence for the assaults.
The 34-year-old former Muskegon County man filed suit in federal court last month against Charlotte Sue Workman, requesting more than $75,000. He moved out of state, said his lawyer.
In his lawsuit, the man also alleges county jail officials and Sheriff Michael Mercer knew about the assaults and were indifferent.
"She forced him to engage in sexual relationship with her by threats and coercion," said the victim's attorney, Teresa J. Gorman, of Bingham Farms.
Mercer and jail administrator Capt. Roger Palmiter did not return telephone calls from The Press on Friday. County Administrator Tobi Lake said he had not seen the lawsuit and couldn't comment.
The sex acts occurred in areas of the jail not within view of cameras. The assaults included groping, oral sex and intercourse, said the attorney.
"There are a variety of cameras and certain sections she was well aware were not covered," Gorman said.
Workman pled no-contest to second degree criminal sexual conduct with a county prisoner and was sentenced April 30, 2007, to three to 15 years in prison.
The victim became an inmate at the jail in early 2005, and the assaults occurred between October and December in 2006, according to court records. The Press does not identify sexual assault victims.
"It was traumatic. She was threatening to keep his children away from him, Gorman said.
A family friend of Workman, who declined to be identified, said the sexual acts between the guard and inmate were consensual. The friend said Workman thought the inmate was in love with her.
- So, even if that is true, a guard does not have sex with an inmate, that is illegal, and why threaten him, if it was consensual?
"I hope he doesn't get any money out of this," said the friend, adding Workman was divorced and was raising a child at the time.
- I hope he gets every penny!
Gorman said some might scoff or dismiss a man being sexually assaulted by a woman.
"It was against his will, and it is a violation of the Eighth Amendment," Gorman said. "You don't lose that protection just because you are an inmate."
The suit claims Mercer and Palmiter knew of the assaults and did nothing to prevent them.
- Well, how can you prevent a sexual assault after it has occurred? If they knew it was coming beforehand, then that is a different story, and they should be punished, if that is true.
"Their deliberate indifference in their failure to act, amounts to an official policy of inaction," Gorman said.
- And therefore, they are not doing their jobs, and should be fired, and not allowed to be a guard again, IMO.
E-mail Theresa McClellan: email@example.com