Tuesday, February 4, 2014

TX - FBI Collection of Phone Metadata to Catch Sex Offender Ruled Legal

Cellphone
Original Article

For peoples own privacy, any time you take a photo, you should remove all the hidden metadata. A couple utilities that do this are Batch Purifier and JPEG & PNG Stripper.

02/04/2014

By Bonnie Baron

Federal judge rules that photo data from sex offender's iPhone was lawfully seized.

The FBI lawfully seized hidden iPhone photo data to locate a man accused of uploading child pornography, a federal judge ruled.

The U.S. government charged (PDF) _____ with sexual exploitation of children and distribution and possession of child pornography in August 2013. Because of _____'s status as a registered sex offender, he also faces penalties for committing a felony offense involving a minor.

In a six-page complaint made public upon _____'s arrest, Special Agent Richard Rennison described the investigation that led the FBI to the sex offender's door.

Rennsion said a sexually explicit photo taken with an iPhone 4 and posted on a website "primarily dedicated to the advertisement and distribution of child pornography and the discussion of matters pertinent to incest and pedophilia."

In the explicit photo, its young subject is sleeping on a leather couch.

According to Rennison's affidavit, the FBI investigators were able to glean embedded information, or metadata, from the image, including the make of the photographic device and the GPS coordinates where the photo was taken.

Law-enforcement officials first stopped at the home of _____'s neighbors who, as it turned out, did not have a similar leather couch or an iPhone 4, the affidavit states.

Realizing that the GPS coordinates could be off, Rennison said investigators took a closer look at other residents in the area. That their search turned up _____'s conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

_____ ultimately let Rennison and a fellow task force officer enter his house where they found a similar couch, the affidavit states. _____ later admitted to taking the picture, and several others, of a 4-year-old girl in his home.

The sex offender argued (PDF) in court that the FBI violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures when it obtained the hidden data.

U.S. District Judge Gregg Costa nevertheless declined (PDF) last week to suppress the evidence.

"_____'s attempt to carve out the metadata from his public release of the image finds no support in the text of the Fourth Amendment or the case law applying it," the 10-page order states

Judge Costa found that _____ "gave up his right to privacy in that image once he uploaded it to the Internet, and that thing he publicly disclosed contained the GPS coordinates that led agents to his home."

"There is no basis for divvying up the image _____ uploaded into portions that are now public and portions in which he retains a privacy interest," Costa concluded.


PA - Ignorance (User story)

The following was sent to us via the TELL US YOUR STORY form and posted with the users permission.

NEVER let authorities search your home, car or belongings, even if you are innocent and have nothing to hide! Make them get a warrant!  Never accept a plea deal, especially if you didn't do the "crime," nor believe what police tell you.  Contact a lawyer and talk with them now!


NOTE: We are not legal experts, just offering our personal advice.

By Scott:
Not knowing my rights because I had never been in trouble, two years ago I was approached by a LT with the Delaware county police department that combats child pornography. When he and his partner at the time approached me, I freaked out because I know I did not look up any pictures of that sort. I did ask for a lawyer but that just pissed them off and I was threaten and warned. Once I agreed they searched my house after threatening me to allow them to search my home. 5 months later they come find me I had moved back to Kansas where I was from because I lost my job and couldn't find a new one. I had no choice so I updated my unemployment info. I did not have a number or name or anything else to contact directly. I started a new job and got a new apt in Kansas and three weeks later I had the FBI coming in and taking me to the city jail and waited 27 days for PA to come take me back. After fighting for 5-6 months I was forced into a deal by my public defender. He told me that he saw everything and they had a marked pic which was the very pic they showed me and I admitted that I downloaded but the person was not under 18 and it wasn't even a sexual pic it was maybe an erotic pic but not a sex pic. They assured me that it was. They being my PD and the DA. I was told I could go to prison for 8yrs per pic and that I needed to take this deal or I would go away for a long time. After I took the deal and after the time allowed to appeal this case I was given my discovery and was never shown the evidence even though I was told they would show me proof. After the fact I found that they sent this pic to the FBI and it came back as not child porn as I stated in the first place and they knew this two months before they applied to the court for a warrant. The int'l warrant was given under false information to the judge plus I sat in jail for an addition 5-6 months waiting to get out of jail and to be transferred back to Kansas. I was also marked as a fugitive even though they didn't have to look for me because I was working and living in the open and I left all of my info with friends which info they had been given during the int'l contact. Now even though my compact agreement from PA says I am not a sex offender and that I did not have to go through treatment and all that. Being that probation for PA made me sign paper work for probation in PA just in case the transfer didn't go through I would be setup with them. I am forced to register and go through treatment. Which my probation officer and place I am going through treatment with agree I do not belong in are forced through the agreement to keep me in. Now I can't even get a lawyer to look at because I am told I took a deal so I am screwed.


CA - California educator accused on YouTube of sexual abuse charged with 16 felonies

Morning paper and coffee
Original Article

They said the statute of limitations had run out, but they find a way around it... It’s illegal to record someone without their knowledge, but they found a way around it... Laws are just like our money these days, worthless! We are very sorry she was abused, but we have laws for a reason.

02/04/2014

By Steve Almasy

(CNN) - A California educator who authorities say is the person accused in a YouTube video of sexual abuse by a former student was charged Monday with 16 felony counts of child sex abuse, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office said.

_____ was charged with five counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child and 11 counts of lewd acts on a child, the DA's office said.

_____ was arrested Monday evening by sheriff's deputies and is expected to be arraigned Thursday. She faces possible life in prison if convicted of the aggravated sexual assault charges.

_____'s lawyer, Randy Collins, said in a written statement that in the face of "very public claims of abuse," it would be his task "to see that justice prevails in the midst of the media wildfire."

He added, "Fortunately, our justice system requires more than a YouTube video to determine the facts of a case. As we proceed, I am certain that evidence will shed new light on all charges filed by the D.A.'s office against my client."

Collins said _____ was grateful for the "outpouring of support from her family, friends, colleagues, and students during this difficult time."

Earlier, he said _____'s legal team planned to challenge the filing against the statute of limitations and challenge the bail motion to reduce the amount from $5 million. But John Hall, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said there is no statute of limitations on the most serious charge -- aggravated sexual assault on a child under 14.

Two women have come forward in connection with the case. The first woman, now 28, posted a YouTube video in which she accused the educator of abusing her at age 12.

The second alleged victim, now 18, has filed a complaint accusing the Val Verde Unified School District in Perris, California, of negligence.

David Ring, lawyer for the older woman, said, "She is very gratified that the DA has brought charges against this perpetrator. She hopes justice is done in the criminal case and that _____ admits to what she's done, which she already admitted to in the phone call -- that she ruined her childhood."

_____ resigned January 17 from her most recent job as an administrator at Alhambra High School in Southern California after the first accusation was uploaded on YouTube, according to the school district.

The video features the alleged victim on camera and what is said to be the teacher's voice on a phone conversation (Wiretapping laws in California). In the video, the teacher can be heard acknowledging the abuse claim.

The first alleged victim said the abuse took place "off and on" for her between the ages of 12 and 18. She said she didn't come forward as a teenager because the teacher had brainwashed her.

"She told me that my family didn't love me. She told me that nobody cared about me and that she was the only one that loved me and the only one that was there for me," she said. "She made me believe that she was my only friend, and that I could trust her."

The alleged victim said she didn't want a physical relationship, but she said the teacher threatened her multiple times.

"She said that she would kill herself if I ever left. And I believed that," the alleged victim said.

CNN first learned of Monday's charges on Twitter.


IL - Lawmakers eye reforming sex offender laws

Illinois State Fair
Original Article

02/04/2014

By T.J. Fowler

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois legislators are looking to fill in some gaps in the state's sex offender laws.

Two proposals have been introduced this spring that would broaden rules for Illinois' registered sex offenders after two separate incidents revealed holes in existing state law.

One of the plans would require that sex offenders update their registration with the Illinois State Police if they lose their job.

"We're trying to clarify that an update is required when you lose a job, just as it is when you change jobs," said state Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, who is sponsoring the plan. "This law says that the change in employment would include the loss of a job as a reportable event."

Barickman and state Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, introduced the proposal after a court case in McLean County revealed a problem with the language in existing state law.

"In this case, someone had not updated their registration status after they lost their job," he said. "The state's attorney's office filed charges saying they had failed to update their status."

"The judge dismissed that case, I believe, because the statute says 'change in employment,' rather than 'loss of employment,' so we're trying to clean that up," he added

Barickman said the change would reflect the original goals of the registry.

"I think it was likely that the original intent was the people who drafted this sex offender registration process to include the loss of a job as an event that should be reported," he said.

Another proposal would ban sex offenders from attending county fairs.

"The law states right now that they're unable to work for a county fair and they're unable to be a vendor at a county fair because of the different children's activities there," he said. "But it doesn't say that they're unable to attend a county fair."

Smiddy said that officials from Whiteside County asked him to look into changing the law after a problem arose at a county fair there.

"They had an incident last summer when a registered sex offender was at a fair around children," he said. "It was an issue for them, and when a state's attorney comes to me with this type of issue, it's something we need to act on."
- Okay so an ex-offender was at a fair having fun like everybody else, so did he commit a crime?

The new law would not restrict sex offenders from attending state fairs.
- So which is it?  Above you say it will ban them, then here you say it won't?

Last summer, legislators passed a law banning sex offenders from playgrounds in fast-food restaurants. As the list of restricted areas for sex offenders continues to grow, Smiddy said he doesn't have a problem adding a new one.
- Yeah he doesn't have a problem with violating someone's rights, as long as it's not his.  Most sexual crimes occur in the victims own home and by their own family, not at a state fair or other park.

"Attending the county fair is geared more toward families," he said. "A lot of children are there. They have a lot of children's events, like tractor pulls and stuff, attached to these things."

"I just don't believe that a registered sex offender should be allowed to go to those areas where children are present. It was something that we needed to address."
- We're confused.  So can they or can't they go to a state fair?

The legislation is Senate Bill 2912 (PDF) and House Bill 4280 (PDF).

See Also:


AFRICA - Bid to keep child sex offenders off register

Juvenile sex offenders
Original Article

02/04/2014

By ZELDA VENTER

Pretoria - The automatic inclusion of child offenders on the sex offender register is an unjustifiable violation of their rights, says the Centre for Child Law, which is arguing that proper assessment and treatment will yield better results.

This is part of the argument which will be advanced on Thursday to the Constitutional Court by the head of the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Child Law, Professor Ann Skelton.

She will act on behalf of Childline South Africa, the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children and the National Institute for Crime Prevention in a challenge brought by a young rapist in his bid to stay off the sex offender register.

The three organisations will enter the fray as friends of the court.

The boy was 14 when he raped three boys. In August 2012 the youngster pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years at a youth care facility in the Western Cape.

He spent a further three years in the youth facility, but received a suspended sentence for assault.

In terms of the Sexual Offences Act, the trial court ordered that his name be entered in the national register for sexual offenders, which means he may never work with children or have access to places where children are present, adopt or foster children or be a caregiver.

On review, two Western Cape judges declared the provisions of Section 50(2) of the act inconsistent with the constitution, as it was broad and did not afford the teenager the opportunity to state his case.

It was, however, ruled that their order was not retrospective and its effect was suspended for 18 months to give Parliament time to amend that section of the act. As it is a constitutional issue, the highest court has to have a second look at the judges’ order.

Part of the case to the Concourt is that sexual penetration and sexual violence are defined in broad terms, and could include anything from hugging and kissing to masturbation and sexual intercourse in cases where there is no consent.

The primary aim of the register is to protect children and people with mental disabilities from predatory adults by limiting such adults’ employment opportunities to job categories which do not involve access to children.

Ann Skelton
Ann Skelton
Skelton, in her heads of argument to the Concourt, said they were opposed to the automatic inclusion of a child sex offender’s name on the register without an assessment of that child by a professional.

She said the offender’s lawyer should place reasons before a court as to why the child’s name should not be included.

Skelton said child offenders’ names should not be included unless the State proved there were substantial circumstances to do so. She said the best interests of children always came first, and automatically adding their names to the register contradicted the principle that they should be treated differently from adult offenders.

It was widely accepted that adolescents were especially vulnerable to stigma, and being placed on the register may place an additional burden on young offenders.

Skelton said there was no evidence to suggest that child sex offenders became adult sex offenders who preyed on children.

She asked the court to declare the provisions unconstitutional and give Parliament a year to place this on the law books. Skelton asked that a moratorium be placed on including a child’s name on the register.


CA - Sex offenders should not be allowed in parks or beaches

"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." - Jesus
Original Article

02/03/2014

By KAYLI CRAIG

In 2012 a law was passed that prohibited registered sex offenders from entering areas where children would likely be present. This in includes parks, playgrounds and beaches. However, according to ABC News the law was overturned in an appeals court in January 2014 because it was said to violate California’s state law.

It is clear the state of California and its cities are not doing all they can to protect the families and children of California by leaving them vulnerable to dangerous criminals.
- Most sexual crimes occur at the victims own home and by their own family, not at a park, playground or beach. If you wanted to protect the children then you'd watch your own family! Ex-offenders also pay taxes on these places and have just as much a right to be there as you do. If they cannot visit these places then they should not have to pay taxes on them!

In May 2012, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas released a statement explaining the conditions of the law that would be put into effect within 30 days. Under this law, if a sex offender entered one of these restricted areas, they would have been charged with a misdemeanor, facing six months of jail time and/or a $500 fine for each separate facility entered. Santa Ana was one of the first cities to pass their new ordinance laws and since then dozens of cities have followed.

However, now with the overturn of this law, registered sex offenders will be allowed in areas with a high population of children. Sex offenders have committed heinous acts and they should not be allowed into parks or beaches.
- So why don't you be a parent and watch your kids?  And not all "sex offenders" have committed "heinous" acts, so stop lumping them all into one group!

Many Americans will argue that there are different types of sex offenders and different degrees of their offenses.
- You are right there.

There are seemingly light hearted stories such as a 21-year-old man getting caught having sex with his underage girlfriend or the drunken person who urinated in public. However according to the law they may still have to register as a sex offender.

These individuals are the severe minority of sex offenders. According to list of offenders that provided by Megan’s Law, most offenders are the ones who have a sick and extremely dangerous attraction to little children.
- That is simply not true.  True pedophiles account for 10% or less of all the ex-offenders in this country.

Although it is obvious some offenders are more severe and violent than others, all restrictions should be the same whether it is putting their address and picture online or preventing them from entering certain areas if it means protection for the children.
- So then why don't we also treat all other ex-felons the same as well?  Put them all on an online hit-list so everybody who lives around them can know their past sins?  What sins have you committed you wouldn't want the world to know about?

Megan’s Law was started after 7-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and brutally murdered by her neighbor.
- True and we already have laws for murderers, so why do we need more laws named after dead children?

The purpose of the law was to provide an awareness to parents,” Megan Kanka’s mother said. “We never said it was going to stop them from reoffending or wandering to another town.”
- And banning someone from a park or beach won't stop them from committing a crime at a park or beach, if that is their intention!

Although Megan’s Law was not necessarily intended to put restrictions on these offenders other than providing a map of their residences, allowing the sex offenders into tempting areas such as parks or beaches is simply not worth the risk involved.
- You are assuming children are "tempting" to all ex-offenders which is simply BS!

Allowing a registered sex offender to go to a park or the beach is similar, although more severe, to bringing an alcoholic to a bar. For a sex offender, the temptation would be a young child in a bathing suit at the beach. There is an undeniable temptation that arises within these individuals. If it can be avoided then it should be avoided at all costs meaning that the law needs to be put back into effect immediately.
- What a load of BS!  To some this may be true, but you are putting all ex-offenders into one group!


DE - Milton Plans Public Hearing on Sex Offender Law

Notice of public hearing
Original Article

02/03/2014

By Lindsay Tuchman

MILTON - The Milton Town Council decided Monday night to host a public hearing on February 27th at 6:00pm to discuss an ordinance that would change the distance a sex offender can live to a school, day care or park. Currently the minimum distance is 3,000 feet. The council is considering lowering this to 500 feet.

The Delaware state minimum is 500 feet.

According to Mayor Marion Jones, local sex offenders have threatened to challenge the current law, leading the council to investigate its constitutionality. In such a small town with several schools, day cares and parks, the current minimum does not leave many options for sex offenders to live. Milton engineers drew up a map to show where the options are.

Fred Best, Principal at Mariner Middle School, says if the ordinance is changed, the school will be prepared.

"When you're talking 3,000, 500 feet that's not a huge difference for us as long as they're still 500 feet away and we know where they are, we know they're there," he explained. "We can take the necessary steps to keep our kids safe."
- 500 or 100,000 feet would not make a difference.  The facts are that most sexual crimes occur in the victims own home and family, not at a school, bus stop, park or daycare.  Residency restrictions do nothing to prevent crime or protect anybody.

His wife, Nicole Best, thinks 500 feet is just too close.

"The thing I think that would make me uneasy is that if they... allowed the sex offender to be closer to the school," she said "At 500 feet you have a visual on the school."
- Come on, ex-offenders, for the most part, do not sit on their front porch watching kids at school.

An 8th grade teacher at Mariner, Dana Orton, feels the same as Nicole.

"I think 1,000 is a little more reasonable, 500 just seems a little close," Dana said.

Mayor Jones wanted to make it clear that the council is not championing sex offenders, rather questioning the legality of the situation.


WI - Sex offender awaits second chance

Dianne Hendrickson
Dianne Hendrickson
Original Article

02/04/2014

By NORA G. HERTEL

Dianne Hendrickson misses her son, who at age 39 has been locked up for more than half his life. He finished his criminal sentence and was committed to the state as a sexually violent person in 2002.

_____ has been confined more than twice as long as his original sentence and is now held for the future risk he poses, not for past crimes.

I think it’s wrong to take away someone’s freedom for something someone has not done,” said Dianne, who adopted _____, her only child, at birth.

_____ is locked up at the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, which holds the state’s committed sexually violent people, under Chapter 980. The 1994 state law allows the state to hold sex offenders with mental disorders in a treatment institution indefinitely after serving time in prison.

During the past two decades, the law has been used to confine about 500 people, most at Sand Ridge. About a third have been released, although the number of former patients on intensive supervision has been rising steadily in recent years. Individuals on supervised release receive ongoing treatment and monitoring.

Neither _____ nor his mother wants to challenge the commitment law. But both believe his crime did not warrant such a punishment and that he has been held over time for his use of marijuana and contraband in the institution rather than for his risk as a sex offender.

I have never been given the opportunity to regain my place in society,” _____ wrote last summer in a letter to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Deborah McCulloch, director of Sand Ridge, said many patients feel they do not belong there. Many, she added, could have been released “had they gotten down to business” — that is, successfully progressed in treatment. But she recognizes that treatment is difficult for patients at Sand Ridge.

Staff members expressed confidence that their assessment models work well and that they are based on the most current scientific research. A recent update to the state’s recidivism assessment model is allowing and will continue to allow more Sand Ridge patients to be released.

Risk factors

_____ was convicted in 1994, at age 19, of second-degree sexual assault and other charges. The victim of his primary charge was a woman, a stranger, whom Hendrickson attacked in the summer of 1993.

He was on temporary release from the Marathon County Jail to do community service, and he said in an interview that he had gotten high on homemade methadone. He forced the woman down, while masturbating, and grabbed her breasts and between her legs.

_____ was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by three years on probation. In 2001, he was about to be released under the sentencing laws at the time. As his mandatory sentence came to an end, the state petitioned to have _____ indefinitely committed under the state’s sexually violent persons law. He was moved to Sand Ridge in 2002.

I committed a crime true enough but I am now being held for something I might do in the future,” _____ wrote in his letter.

_____ has petitioned for discharge three times and brought other legal challenges. He thinks he might have been released by now were it not for breaking rules at Sand Ridge, including use of marijuana and tobacco.

I seen guys with worse records than me go home,” said _____, pointing out that he has a single violent crime on his record.

He thinks his recidivism risk was overestimated because he was young and inexperienced when he committed the crime.

Factors considered in the evaluation, Sand Ridge officials said, include age and life experience. Long-term employment and intimate relationships improve an offender’s rating, but _____ did not have much of a job or relationship history when he was first imprisoned.

The state’s applications of assessment measures “don’t always apply equally to individuals,” said Robert Peterson, a Racine attorney who has successfully represented Sand Ridge patients in their petitions for release, including four current clients on supervised release in Milwaukee. Hendrickson is not one of his clients.

Some individuals, Peterson said, “can be caught up in situations that aren’t truly indicative of their risk.”

A diverse group

Dianne Hendrickson can sympathize with the judges and juries who agree to commit offenders like her son past the end of their prison terms.

Everybody rules on the side of caution, and if I didn’t know better, I probably would too,” she said.

But _____ and another Sand Ridge patient interviewed for this article allege that their mental disorder diagnoses, a condition for commitment, only arose when they were preparing to finish their criminal sentences.

When asked about _____’s mental health history, Dianne replied, “he doesn’t have one.”

They both refer to _____’s diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder as contrived.

I never heard that once in prison,” _____ said about his diagnosis.

Medical records were not available to independently verify these patients’ mental health histories.

Lloyd Sinclair, Sand Ridge’s court assessment and community programs director, said just because a patient never had an official mental disorder diagnosis, it “doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t have” a disorder.

Attorney Peterson said patients who are committed after being sentenced face a double whammy. At trial, they are deemed to be sane and therefore fully responsible for their crimes and sentenced accordingly. But when that sentence comes to an end, they are deemed to have a mental disorder, unable to control their behavior.

That is a tough pill for a lot of people to swallow,” he said.

Each state can define mental illness for its own statutes. The majority of Sand Ridge patients have personality disorders and paraphilias, atypical sexual desires, including exhibitionism, sadomasochism and pedophilia. About 10 percent have serious mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder.

A reasonable estimate is more than 80 percent of patients came here with a diagnosis of a serious substance abuse or dependence,” said R. Keith Ramsey, Sand Ridge treatment supervisor.

Sand Ridge director McCulloch cautioned that “no one patient can represent our patient population,” which is “really quite diverse.”

McCulloch said that Sand Ridge has never offered alcohol and drug abuse treatment for patients, only assessment and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Officials say they are working on starting a treatment program.

That is a real big issue for me,” Dianne Hendrickson said. “That is something that could have helped _____ and a lot of other guys there.”

They’ve been talking about adding an AODA (Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse) treatment program there for years,” she added.

Time to go?

_____ is now in phase two of his treatment, out of three offered in the facility. He has taken some correspondence courses and hopes to pursue horticulture when he is released. His mother and friends vouch for him and say he will not reoffend.

Of the first 67 offenders released after being committed, through March 2010, more than 70 percent did not commit additional crimes within three years. Five of these, less than 10 percent, were convicted of sex crimes.
- Even without civil commitment the recidivism for ex-offenders is low, about 5% or less.

Sinclair said there is no doubt that the commitment program has made the state safer.

Chapter 980 identifies the most likely individuals to reoffend sexually over the course of their lifetimes,” Sinclair said. “And if you incapacitate that number of people, you are taking the highest risk individuals off the streets. Ideally, you’re doing a lot more than incapacitating them. You’re rehabilitating them, you’re treating them.”

_____ believes he has grown as a person at Sand Ridge and looks forward to being released. “I’m doing what’s expected of me and following the rules,” he said.

Dianne Hendrickson is also eager to see her son come home. “I have never prayed or wished for anything more than that.”


Residency Restrictions - A bigoted idea that is illegal and true Americans should be ashamed of

Unconstitutional laws
Original Article

02/03/2014

By Robert Wolf

Through our elected representatives efforts, they have legally created a class of people and that class is registered citizens. What does this mean as far as our judicial system is concerned. It means that this group of people are now able to stand on the same ground to fight their battles as anyone else, that is been discriminated against because of race, color, creed, religious views, disabilities, or ethnic background. One of the things to realize is that denying this group of citizens the ability to travel freely to use public facilities to choose where to live or to denying them work is in fact a form of segregation. No different than denying members of a ethnic group from living in certain communities using publicly funded facilities or services. Make no mistake denying any group of people the ability to live or work where ever they choose or the use of public facilities that are available to everyone else. Is a form of segregation no matter what some may use as an excuse for the justification of the segregation.

The job of a politician is to uphold the constitution’s of both the state they represent, and our federal government. They take an oath to do this, but how many of these politicians today realize that the primary reason for our constitution is to protect INDIVIDUAL rights; Not the majority’s rights, and not the government’s rights to exist. Our founding fathers recognized the possibility of the government’s growing in power to such a point that individual freedoms would be lost. That is why on the 4 March 1789. They added the Bill of Rights to the constitution guaranteeing individual freedoms to the people in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of the government’s powers. Today the people holding government offices rather elected or employed have shown a total disregard for those individual rights. As our founding fathers looked down upon this country I’m quite sure that they have tears in their eyes because of the loss of so many individual rights that they fought so hard to establish.

How many laws have been passed in the last 100 years that have been found by our court systems to violate the principles of our federal and state constitutions? For example the Jim Crow laws or laws passed in the McCarthy era as well as laws requiring businesses to implement unneeded measures, increasing the cost of goods and driving some companies out of business. Consider the cost of implementing those unconstitutional laws, and the costs of defending them in court only to have them proven to be unconstitutional. Now add in the cost of removing the law and the mechanism that they created and you soon realize that these mistakes have cost us the taxpayers billions of dollars. Also consider the cost in taxpayers dollars and an individuals pain because public employees have stepped outside the boundaries of the laws designed to protect individuals rights.


Matthew West - Do Something