My Dear U. S Government, Please Stop Trying to Save Me

By Leyland A. King June 10, 2017

After centuries of arduous work to give me freedom by saving me, I beg of you, please stop. The fact is, that when there is any rescuing done at all, the beneficiary is only you. For centuries!

Of course, external threats and domestic terror are exempt. That is your cardinal role, and even that needs rethinking, but it’s not my focus here. What are my focus and consternation are the sweat and treasure needlessly expended; all devoted to saving me from myself. I never made an appeal and I am so aware that even if I did, the remedy you concoct is too often detrimental to me and those similarly entangled in the widening, strengthening, all-consuming tentacled web flung upon me. Me! A person whose greatest vice is a weekend gelato and a pecan sticky bun.

You, having made vices crimes, then turn around and tax the very crimes.  I am flabbergasted that you could not have distinguished (1) the difference and (2) the consequence of the crimes you created.

Since our institutions follow your lead and adopt your worldview, one cannot be surprised that the sale of two cigarettes might be more important than human life; in your zeal to save me from myself, I pay the price through my insecurity and unceasing surveillance. Thus, I don’t have to actually engage the marijuana crime, it is sufficient to lose my personal freedom or life because a cop claimed to have smelled marijuana as he passed my car. Demanding that my constitutional rights are respected could bring upon me a swarm of law enforcers to kill me. I’m not exaggerating, this is what you have done to save me from potential vice. Me!

Gambling is a vice. You made it a crime. A few retirees and six slot machines in a storefront, bring hell’s coals upon them. Secretive sex; having a beer all by myself on my own driveway, could get me manhandled and arrested if a paper bag didn’t cover the bottle. Masked, armed men could break down my door and enter my home night or day and take me out or take me away because, I suppose, they think I am some sort of a combatant in the war on drugs.

The interesting thing is, despite my plea not to be saved from myself, you’re determined to do it anyway because you are obsessed with what you call law and order -what I hear as control and contain. We ask for jobs, you offer us 10,000 more cops. Not to be outdone your Attorney General, who has panic attacks at the mere mention of the word marijuana, called for increased prison time; more private prison space; he decided, based only on his addled notion, that the police need to be unfettered from such inconsequential matters as arbitrary arrests, detention, brutality, and murder.

So, as state governments grapple with pressing matters like drug testing the poor; increasing the rate of executions lest the chemicals expire; to shoot death row criminals because it’s cheaper, unhindered by pesky constitutionality, and trips back and forth to the Supreme Court. So, my dear rulers, I’m not asking for much, just to be left alone to self-regulate me.

 

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Law, Order, Justice and Punishment

I vehemently oppose state sanctioned murder. State torture has already been normalized and extra judicial killings quite acceptable to too many Americans. This does not portend well for human beings but, it is not immutable.

That a sizeable portion of Americans see nothing wrong with the descent to morally primitive humanity troubles me deeply. My effort here is not to judge us, but to offer a pause for contemplation of what we are prepared to live with. I expect many to give token agreement, many to disagree for a variety of religious reasons, but I also expect that in the course of today about a dozen of my fellow citizens tell me that if I don’t like our perceived regression, then I should get out of the country. 

No, you won’t find statistical information here. It’s been there for generations, updated continually. There is no paucity of peer reviewed, evidence based literature available for the taking. Neither would this be moralistic preaching. We fall asleep on that. So what’s my goal? It is to remind us of our humanity. To point to absurdity and obfuscation of the issue, that allows public officials’ inanity to prevail.

This is indisputable: murder is the unlawful killing of a human being by another with malice aforethought. These are the keywords -unlawful; killing another; premeditation.

With that in mind, all that one needs to do is re-interpret the word unlawful. There are lots of work- around.

In Oklahoma, state officials are unashamed to relate to citizens that they have to speed up the rate of executions because the drug used for lethality have approaching expiration dates. I am not sure if the proper description is callousness or plain, undiluted stupidity.

In Florida, Governor Rick Scott, in his zeal to get another dozen killings in, perhaps to out-do Oklahoma’s depravity, removed all death penalty cases from elected attorney, Aramis Ayala, because she refused to seek the death penalty in the cases affected. If anyone should know the value of expiation, Scott is he.

Now that the supreme court is in recovery of its conscience, and ruling more often on appeals relative to cruel and unusual punishment, there is dawn apparent. But what do legislators do? They spend tremendous amounts of public founds going back and forth to the courts, fixing what was the technical impediment so that a year or two later they achieve their infamous objective, that is to say, not necessarily justice, but the killing.

The governors seem to have a prediliction for killing. They behave as if the law compels them to kill convicts. It does not. They have the authority to commute death sentences to life in prison. Our governors would have none of that. And that is where one might question their humanity.

Especially Now, Why Trust U.S Government With Capital Punishment

https://bluegadfly.com/2016/02/10/get-rid-of-capital-punishment/

http://Eight%20executions%20in%2011%20days:%20Arkansas%20order%20may%20endanger%20staff’s%20mental%20health

America’s Most Dangerous Place For Black Women 

 

img_0108 Someone was sufficiently concerned to bring attention to this continuing tragedy: that is, deaths of African-American women who come in contact with United States Criminal Justice System. The caption above says these five citizens died while in custody in the month of July, 2015. In fact, referencing the dates of demise they occurred within just two weeks in July 2015.

I am speaking up for all citizens, even those who would never acknowledge the atrocity and feel that this is necessary for the protection of our morally unblemished population. What hurts and angers me, are two responses, each equally as repulsive. The first is that not one of the subjects had to be incarcerated. Not one! Let’s look closer. Two died as a result of the economic crime of shoplifting. One, Sandra Bland, died for no reason other than activating a traffic turn signal, which she was not even required to do. So it seems that only two of the women might have committed offences where arrests were necessary. But even so, there is this thing called bond that never gets extended to African-Americans. Innocent until proven guilty never applies to us. The second is Americans refusal to see what the world, including the United Nations, see clearly.

On Native-American females dying in the American Criminal Justice system, it is reportedly worse. Their mistreatment and fatalities are just as unconscionable. The deaths in American institutions would be serial killers’ dreams. The horror is hardly given the media coverage deserved. But, more sickening is the justification offered every time the failure to protect those hauled into custody gets brought to public attention through social media, the American Citizens’ twisted logic centres on this: the person must have done something to deserve their death, for example stealing orange juice.

For African-American, male citizens, the most dangerous place to be in America is related to the street. Whether pedestrian or conveyed. Just breathing can get you arrested and if you protest the injustice, as one should, ten more of arms of justice arrive to ensure that citizen dies or have a near death experience. These are not mistakes. It is not the institution. People are doing this. Individuals with names, with or without badges, judges, state attorneys. All are complicit in this human debasement.

Sadly, this is what is. This is not what will be.

 

Baiting by Police is Common,Unethical and Harmful to Society

By Leyland  A. King
Monday, July 30, 2016

Nothing impeded traffic-flow on I-4 East bound just after sunset, that late summer’s  Friday. Irving Welles, age twenty-four, college grad, was headed home after work, thinking ordinary thoughts in the midst of routine driving. His family was awaiting his arrival for dinner.  Had there been a traffic back-up, even for twenty minutes, this night might not have been lamentable for Irving. His exit through the off-ramp would have been as mundane as his stop at the traffic red-light, which he had done so often. But this time, his pause was consequential.

The young woman, loitering at the corner was alluring. What would be described as pacing for most women did not seem so. For her, it was more of a strut. Irving could not believe that she smiled, beckoned him to turn the corner,  and soon made a sexual come-on with her mouth. The red lipstick should have warned him just as the traffic light’s red told of danger. The woman approached his car, leaned into the window frame and a chat began. When she suggested what she would for him, he found the talk arousing and liked that. Irving played along, knowing the fantasy would never get real because two dollars and sixty-eight cents was all that he had. Somewhere in the web of chitchat, he might have given the wrong answer, for he could deduce no other reason why he was swarmed by four men who identified themselves as police officers, arrested and whisked him off to jail. Thus began his distress and calamitous social tumble.

His car towed, Irving spent the night in jail, appeared at court the next day and was able to obtain bond through the assistance of relatives. Distraught;  confused; unprepared; he accepted an attorney’s proffered card. Had Irving been an experienced criminal, a product of experience acquired in the criminal justice system, he would not have been so trusting of people purporting to represent his interest. People who facilitate  the court’s conveyor-belt’s smooth operation. Some players well-practiced in manipulation of gullible defendants.

On his counsel’s advice, Irving pleaded no contest, paid initial costs and was put on program that, if completed, reduced fines. He did all that was required. But no one told him about the most damning consequence, that is, the permanent criminal record created. He was shocked when, on the basis of that record of soliciting a lewd act, he was fired from his government career. Thereafter, every time he was honest on his job application, the red lips disallowed him. Soon, he figured that concealing his arrest would get him past the gate keepers. It did, but as certain as day follows night, three to five weeks later, came the familiar summon and  firing. Due to Right to Work State Law, Irving was neither owed nor given a reason for severance .

When last fired he expressed to a kindly manager how relieved he felt that he had been found out. He said that every day of the month that he came in to work, he dreaded discovery. This was also the first time that anyone told him that he might apply to have his criminal record expunged. Sensing a sympathetic ear, he divulged the details of that fateful evening.

It is unknown what became of Irving, but what happened to him, a youth with a previously spotless record, is instructive as to the ethics of police baiting practices.

Our criminal law interprets police behavior of the kind, as entrapment. It asks  the question: ‘Would the defendant have committed the crime without enticement’? Yet, the police knowingly do that with impunity.  Citizens of more vulnerable classes are most impacted, most arrested (in spite of police discretion to use citations) and most abused of their rights, once they enter the court system. The financial hardship and emotional distress brought on innocent families are incalculable. No one seems to care about the fact that something so simple devastates innocent dependents. Nor is thought given to the cost to taxpayers in training another person to replace Irving every time he is fired.
Clarence Darrow, author of Crime: Its Cause and Treatment seriously criticized the perpetual hounding by the system.

Ethical questions might be framed in many different ways for every person or agency that contributed to Irving’s tribulations. When attempting to answer questions of ethical dilemmas, philosophers simplify resolution by looking to the law and social mores. In this case did Irving, of his own volition set out to commit a crime? Emphatically, no! There was no action that he initiated.
Did the overt actions of the decoy cause Irving’s travail? Absolutely! And we shall revisit this later on.
Florida Law as to entrapment, cited herein is unambiguous:

777.201 Entrapment
(1) A law enforcement officer, a person engaged in cooperation with a law enforcement officer, or a person acting as an agent of a law enforcement officer perpetrates an entrapment if, for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of a crime, he or she induces or encourages and, as a direct result, causes another person(2) A person prosecuted for a crime shall be acquitted if the person proves by a preponderance of the evidence that his or her criminal conduct occurred as a result of an entrapment. The issue of entrapment shall be tried by the Trier of fact.
History.—s. 42, ch. 87-243; s. 1196, ch. 97-102.

Of course there are case laws that emerged through challenges. Those intricacies, I defer to legal professionals, but as to the ethics of police conduct of ensnaring innocent persons, as Irvin’s life altering experience shows, there is no ethical dilemma. In deciding the issue of entrapment courts use either ‘subjective’ or ‘objective’ tests. The former focuses on the defendant’s state of mind, his personality and his predisposition to commit a crime. In more progressive and popular examination, objective test, the focus is on police conduct. The question is, whether the police actions would induce a law-abiding individual to criminal behavior. Is the trap for the unwary innocent or the unwary criminal.

Reference  similar actions where a few hapless, some of them homeless, people were unjustly netted.  A team of several police officers leaned an unlocked bicycle beside the pavement, near a bus stop. An open ladies’ handbag with exposed cash hung from the handle. How convenient? How irresistible? How immoral! To tempt anyone, especially that poorer, needy population, is wrong! Creating crimes is not the mission of the police nor the state.

Some may counter that police have to do as they did, to maintain public order and decency; that prostitution harms the serenity of communities by attracting more serious crimes to the area.
That is not true. Sex purveyors tend to follow potential business and fulfill needs. They don’t lead.  Most sale of sex do not take place on street corners. But even if it were so, as police allege, the desired result might be attained by maintaining an uniformed presence in the affected pockets of licentious activity. The agency’s core duties are maintenance of public order, prevention and detection of crime. Not sweeping up the innocent along with the guilty on specious pretensions.

The problem before us seems to be management failure by the police, both in resource allocation and maintaining the agency’s  mission focus. Luring the citizen to do what, ordinarily, he would not have done, impugns the integrity of the organization and deleterious in affect to stakeholder trust.
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Compounding the concern as to the outcome for citizens, is what appears to be a systemic indifference by officers of the court. It has to be said, that they have a duty to the state and citizenry, to reject a plea bargain where on the face of it the prosecutor, or the judge, sees that the defendant is not fully informed or that there seems to be unjust circumstances of the arrest.

Two examples have been presented for the readers’ consideration. It is hoped that they are sufficiently persuasive for the reader to seek more information on the issue. Awareness of improper police behavior, and for whatever reason allowing its continuance, is also unethical. Knowing of the outcomes for citizens and still continue inaction is egregiously unethical and immoral. We must do better.

United States Criminal Justice System, Is In Fact Criminal

The staff of the Innocence Project cannot be commended enough for the work that they do. Earlier this week they were able to free yet another person wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. According to their information, they reckoned that every three days they are able to free an individual.

Any system with an error rate that high, demonstrates deadly incompetence and should no longer exist. Yet, all we hear is talk of reform. Talk! I see no evidence that States’ Governors or President Barack Obama- by their lack of urgency, sometimes complete paralysis- appreciate the magnitude of the problem. I see no willingness to intervene with clemency actions to bring relief to the suffering innocent or the injustice of unconscionably lengthy sentences. It is alarming, yet it tells us more. That is, in the racial profiles of the exonerated. Poor, White, Black and male.

I was working on one similar when this appeared. In that matter, it was the refusal by an Appellate Court to hear an appeal of a man sentenced to life imprisonment for the theft of a hammer from a popular hardware store.

I can’t keep up with the many releases, due to the Innocence Project. So many, so fast. When we say that it’s the Criminal Justice System, that deflects individual contributions and responsibility. It’s like saying the government of Uganda murdered thousands of its citizens; that the state of Michigan poisoned its residents. No, General Idi Amin, President, murdered his citizens. Michigan, the cover-up and denials continue. Not front page anymore. But there too, people were the problem, not lack of information.

To get the link between criminal injustice and the official responsible, we need to clear the bush where the reptiles nest. If these “errors” cluster in the South, then narrow to which states, which judicial districts, which judges and which prosecutors lay most of the eggs. Where perjury or malpractice is present, the official must be dealt with condignly.

People make laws; people enforce laws; people murder under cover of law. So lets stop being shocked. Remove immunity and make people accountable. These are human lives. Some states even have the gall to refuse to pay compensation. Others do, but drag it out for years, hoping the victim dies. So fed-up!

Get Rid of Capital Punishment

Every few months the Innocence Project is able to find and free, someone on death row. Their work is done, mostly by volunteers. Of those freed, I see Black and White men; not one of them rich. The subject gets more interesting when you learn how long they have to wait to be compensated.
This is where it gets interesting. Anyone with a modicum of decency and compassion would feel empathy and question the system that got these people in jeopardy of their lives. Not us. The majority of us don’t seem to even reflect on what’s evident here: that if the Innocence Project could rescue so many each year, then probability alone would inform us that the state is murdering our citizens right before our eyes. With impunity! Oh, it doesn’t meet the legal definition? The word murder is too strong? Quibble with that as long as you wish. In fact, take your time.
I think that you must have heard this defense of capital punishment: the fact these “mistakes” are found proves that the system works through it’s checks and balances. I’ll leave that alone.
If nothing else convinces you that we are callous, bear with me on this. Have you seen any politician calling for a congressional investigation, or the government examining the issue? The fear of that public servant is that he would be labeled as soft on crime and run out of office. So, what’s a few innocent murders here and there.
BlueGadfly.com/

State Bar board affirms disbarment of prosecutor who sent innocent man to death row
The disciplinary board of the Texas State Bar on Monday affirmed the agency’s decision to disbar Charles…
TRAILBLAZERSBLOG.DALLASNEWS.COM

DOJ Unable To Get Data On Police Involved Killings

BlueGadfly.com

The Government of the United States should be so ashamed at every level. “Some police agencies don’t cooperate”? Well, who the bleep is in charge?Every state has a Governor, yet we don’t know

The government can tell me how many bears, bison, turtles, eagles killed or endangered, yet can’t get data that the Guardian is able to get.   

This is nothing controversial, nothing sinister or complex. This is the bleeping duty of government. I am so outraged.

http://yaberg.com