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January 19, 2009

President Bush commutes sentences of Border Agents

CNN has the news here, and I hope to have time for comments later today.

UPDATE: Here is more press coverage from the New York Times and the AP and Bloomberg.

I found this (official?) announcement issued through a press release by the Department of Justice. No official word appears yet on the White House website.

MORE: Additional major press coverage on the commutation is collected here at How Appealing.

January 19, 2009 at 01:45 PM | Permalink

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Defense Atty and undergraduate crim. justice professot in LINY - enjoy the blog

Posted by: Joe Gentile | Jan 19, 2009 2:17:38 PM

Of the millions of americans incarcerated, he commutes the sentences and frees the two people who do not deserve it. Rednecks love the idea of shooting illegal "imm'grunts" in the back for fun and sport, and thus hate the notion that two people were punished for it.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 19, 2009 2:57:30 PM

BruceM: a tough one for me. It's just a commutation, not a pardon. I agree it was political but not a huge deal sentence wise. They would have been out in a few years anyway.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 19, 2009 3:02:04 PM

We should have a policy of shooting drug smugglers if they flee from Border Patrol.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 19, 2009 3:03:58 PM

"We should have a policy of shooting drug smugglers if they flee from Border Patrol. "

We should also have a policy of eating non-lawyers because they don't contribute to society. But we don't.

You are welcome to attempt to change the constitution or wite your Congressman or whatever it is that the lay people do. You could add in an excessive force exception for some people (i.e. "like those Mexicans"). However, the last time you folks tried to change the constitution, it was about gay marriage or flag-burning, and everyone laughed at you. I am sure that the current Congress and administration would be quite receptive to your "let's shoot the Mexicans" proposal.

Anyway, it is good that these "agents" are still marked as felons they are truly a black mark upon the US and have brought shame to my country with their horrible crimes.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jan 19, 2009 4:10:32 PM

Since S.cotus likes to carry on about the constitution, I'm sure I don't need to remind him that the presidential clemency power has been unquestionably exercised (at least not questioned by the courts) for more than 2 centuries. Perhaps BruceM and S.cotus should get over it already?

I do agree with S.cotus in that prospects for a tougher anti-drug policy from the next administration and the new Congress are not good. On the other hand, prospects for eliminating that blot on our 4th Amendment jurisprudence (a.k.a. exclusionary rule) seems much better. (see the recent Herring) So, we "tough on crime" crowd will still be able to make some progress.

Posted by: realist | Jan 19, 2009 4:22:57 PM

Realist, Let me make this perfectly clear: Bush was properly in his powers to commute these sentences.

In fact, Bush can pardon anyone he wants. He could sell pardons on Ebay if he wanted, and for the next hours he could even act corruptly in handing out pardons. It is all legal. He could sell commutation for those that could not afford pardons.

Moreover, Realist, let me make something else clear. I think that Bush acted wisely in doing what he did. He made it clear that the conditions of confinement were harsh, and maybe other people will see that sending anyone to jail for as long as those two got sent to jail is not that good an idea. He also made it clear that they are dirty criminals who should not be allowed to guard the food court at a local mall to keep kids from stealing ketchup packets.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jan 19, 2009 4:33:12 PM

We should also have a policy of eating non-lawyers because they don't contribute to society. But we don't.

S.cotus you can add lawyers to this BS policy you speak of!

Posted by: anon | Jan 19, 2009 4:55:34 PM

What a crock. Those creeps deserved every day they got. Official misconduct needs to get stamped out, not coddled.

Posted by: Prosecutorial Indiscretion | Jan 19, 2009 5:59:53 PM

"We should also have a policy of eating non-lawyers because they don't contribute to society."

I couldn't agree more. We should at least make an exception to the First Amendment that forbids non-lawyers from speaking about legal issues. I've long argued that the first amendment does not guarantee the right to be wrong. You should have no first amendment right to go around saying 1 plus 1 equals 3.

Anyway, the real question is whether Bush is going to preemptively pardon Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Rice, Rove, and maybe even himself. I've been strongly advocating that Obama pardon them, a la Ford pardoning Nixon, once he takes office, so as to forever label Bush et al criminals, while simultaneously forgiving them to allow our country to move past our 8 year national nightmare. But will Bush preempt that by granting the pardons himself, as a defensive tactic?

As a side note, I think Bush is absolutely HORRIFIED of Obama granting him (and his key administration personnel) pardons. This is why Bush granted a pardon and "took it back" based on the unheard of notion that the pardon recipient had not yet "received" the signed pardon papers. Bush was trying to create some precedent for him being able to "refuse" an Obama pardon, such that he could say Obama's pardon never became effective, thus Obama never pardoned him, thus he never committed any crimes. That's Bush logic....

I hope the guy who had his Bush pardon yanked away sues for a declaratory judgment that the pardon is and remains in effect - the Constitution gives the president the power to grant pardons, not to take them back and/or cancel them. If Bush can cancel his own pardons, what's to stop Obama from cancelling Bush's pardons? Can Obama un-commute Scooter Libby's sentence and send him back to federal prison?

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 19, 2009 6:49:46 PM

"They would have been out in a few years anyway."

Unless “few years” means about 7 or 8, then this is not true.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the agents received 11 and 12 year sentences (due largely to mandatory minimum sentencing laws). They began serving their sentences in January 2007. The only method for shortening the length of the their sentence (aside from this commutation), is good time credit which equates to less then 2 months off of every year. I don't see how it was possible for the agents to be "out in a few years anyway.”

In fact, BOP's website puts Ramos' projected release date (which usually includes good time calculation assumptions) at 8/11/16. Compean's projected release date is 6/24/17. (This makes sense b/c Campean received a 12-year sentence, and, after taking good time into consideration, this would be about 10 months longer than Ramos' 11-year sentence).

Posted by: | Jan 19, 2009 9:15:47 PM

"We should also have a policy of eating non-lawyers because they don't contribute to society."

BruceM and Scotus just wondering do you realize how stupid these comments sound? Especially from lawyers?

Posted by: Miami | Jan 19, 2009 9:28:34 PM

You're correct - the border agents would not have gotten out "in a few years" .... though "few" is somewhat subjective if you're comparing 12 year sentences to life sentences. They could each get some additional time off of their sentences (in addition to the 54 days of good time credit per year served) by taking a substance abuse program. Wouldn't that be ironic - pretending to be drug abusers in order to cut time off of prison sentences they received for being overzealous, trigger-happy drug warriors.

I have no sympathy for crooked, criminal cops. They're the last people who should receive pardons/commutations. But I have great sympathy for all other people suffering incarceration - 99% of whom are facing sentences far too lengthy to be in proportion with the gravity of their offenses. I believe sentences should be tripled when the defendant is a police officer. It's a matter of hypocrisy. You don't get to make a living arresting people for possessing pot all day long only to come home and light up a joint yourself. There is too much hypocrisy in our legal system. As always, I advocate ideological estoppel.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 19, 2009 9:41:14 PM

Miami: since you're not a lawyer, you're in no position to be declaring what does and does not sound stupid. Especially when you're talking about the comments of lawyers.

Plus, I'm quite sure that S.Cotus was kidding about the cannibalism. Just because non-lawyers don't contribute to society doesn't mean we should literally eat them. It just means we should ignore them, not let them vote, and not let them run for political office. It wouldn't be safe to eat non-lawyers, anyway, as we could likely catch some sort of prion disease like Creutzfeldt-Jakob. Non-lawyers are all so dirty and twitchy that they simply wouldn't be safe to eat under any circumstances, even if you cooked them past well-done, burnt to a crisp.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 19, 2009 9:55:32 PM

Bruce is correct.

I think it is funny that some nut used this post to talk about the evils of the exclusionary rule. I wonder why he didn't just argue that the Fourth Amendment should be repealed. Or does he feel more comfortable with the Fourth Amendment being there, but being completely unenforceable by the little people when some cop (who hates America so much that he didn't go to law school) improperly searches someone.

For some reason that I don't understand, all the anti-exclusionary rule ninnies are silent when it is their relatives that got busted for pot, booze, or rape.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jan 19, 2009 10:19:22 PM

My favorite part of practicing criminal defense in Texas is getting to explain to my defendant clients and their families that "they voted for it" when they start to complain that their rights are being violated, the rules and procedures are not fair, the cops are heavy-handed, and the judges are biased in favor of the prosecution.

Did you vote Republican?

"Yes" (typically)

Then you are enjoying the fruits of the "tough on crime" policy that you supported before you had handcuffs on your wrists.

I rub it in big-time, making sure that they and their families don't miss the irony (and hypocrisy) for one minute during the course of the trial. I not only provide legal services, but I give free civics lessons.

I have had many dumb clients, but I have yet to have a client dumb enough to believe the exclusionary rule is not intrinsic and necessary to the Fourth Amendment. I'd love to have one, though, because I'd refuse to file a motion to suppress. I will tolerate ignorance, but I will not tolerate hypocrisy. They could get another lawyer or stand by their own asinine convictions. Ideological estoppel. If you advocate getting rid of the exclusionary rule, you have no right to come into court and file a motion to suppress based on the 4th Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment would be meaningless without the exclusionary rule. It's so obvious the framers didn't think they had to actually write it - they expected that we'd apply the Constitution in such a way as to give our rights meaning. The notion that we'd make every effort possible not only to water down our own rights, but to argue against having those rights in the first place, was unfathomable to the Federalists and Anti-Federalists alike.

I don't see how anyone can take an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and then spend every day at work trying to limit, exclude, distinguish, minimize, and diminish the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. Any prosecutor who says "the Fourth Amendment does not apply in this situation" or who argues against the exclusionary rule is violating his oath by directly attacking, thwarting, and destroying the U.S. Constitution. They should all be locked up for perjury.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 19, 2009 10:43:33 PM

It's heartwarming, on this eve of great change in American politics, to read such an old fashioned SLP bizarro-land comment thread. S.COTUS, where have you been? I hear your voice in my head whenever I'm condemned to discussing some legal issue with a non-lawyer, but it's not the same as reading your genuine writings.

Posted by: Jay | Jan 19, 2009 11:19:54 PM

I want S.cotus and BruceM to start their own blog. It would have to be about the slow but sure surrender of rights we frogs give away in the name of security. Call the blog "Warm Frogs" in honor of the frogs that will sit in heating water, all nice and cozy and secure, until the water boils. Too late.

Posted by: George | Jan 19, 2009 11:43:49 PM

"The Fourth Amendment would be meaningless without the exclusionary rule."

Tell that to the former law enforcement officers sitting in jail for Fourth Amendment violations.

Posted by: Prosecutorial Indiscretion | Jan 19, 2009 11:47:32 PM

Tell that to the former law enforcement officers sitting in jail for Fourth Amendment violations.

Hah, I would if any existed. NO police officer has ever been arrested for violating a suspect's Fourth Amendment rights by executing an unreasonable search or seizure. It's not even a crime, and if it were, prosecutors would choose to NEVER prosecute cops who are "just doing their job" zealously to "catch scumbag criminals" who are breaking the law.

I've responded to people who argue against the exclusionary rule by saying I'd gladly trade it for a rule that punishes police officers who violate suspects Fourth Amendment rights by sentencing them to prison for the same length of time as the defendant instead of suppressing the evidence which they improperly obtained from an illegal search/seizure.

A cop reaches into your purse, without any probable cause or reasonable suspicion, digs around and pours out the contents and finds a kilogram of heroin. Instead of supressing the illegally obtained drugs, the defendant is convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison, and the cop is, too. I'd gladly trade the exclusionary rule for a rule of equal punishment. It makes sense, too - the more serious the crime proved by the evidence, the more serious the fourth amendment violation is by illegally obtaining that evidence. So if a cop violates your fourth amendment rights to obtain evidence that causes you to be sent to prison for 6 months, 5 years, 20 years, or the rest of your life, the police officer who broke the law to obtain that evidence should be locked away for the same amount of time. They can be cellmates.

I would have a problem executing a police officer if the evidence he illegally obtained resulted in the death penalty for the defendant. That's where I'd draw the line - I'd have the police officer sentenced to life instead of the death penalty.

George: I do have my own blog. http://brucem.livejournal.com I rant about many things, including how all the American morons willingly give away their rights because their collective vagina exudes an irrational maternal instinct to protect children, which is abused by politicians who scare them into thinking their "precious children" are in perpetual danger from everything that limits them from having total power and absolute control. I think S.Cotus has a blog, as well. I write my blog only for my own entertainment, however, and I don't update it as much as I should.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 20, 2009 1:08:40 AM

As some nut saw fit to use a topic on commutations to talk about their contempt for the democratic process, I don't think a passing mention of the exclusionary rule is that far off topic.

Now that we're here, I'm sure I don't need to remind all the constitutional experts around here that the exclusionary rule was a purely judge-invented rule which did not exist during the time of the Framers. I for one happen to suspect that if the Framers had known that their 4th Amendment would be abused to let criminals walk, they'd cancel it altogether.

As the old saying goes: If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.

No, that saying wasn't from me. It was from... Benjamin Franklin: (You know, the fellow who actually attended the constitutional convention.)

"I have long observed one rule which prevents any inconveniences from such practices. It is simply this: to be concerned in no affairs that I should blush to have made public, and to do nothing but what spies may see and welcome. When a man's actions are just and honorable, the more they are known, the more his reputation is increased and established. If I was sure, therefore, that my valet de place was a spy, (which was the accusation) as he probably is, I think I should probably not discharge him for that, if in other respects I liked him."

It's time for people who defend the exclusionary rule to tell us: What are you hiding?

Posted by: realist | Jan 20, 2009 1:20:23 AM

I just want to clear up something I said. Obviously there are some police officers in prison for shooting suspects, using unreasonable force, which, among other things, can be an unreasonable seizure and thus a 4th Amendment violation. At the end of the day, however, they're locked up for assault. But we were talking about the exclusionary rule, and I'm talking about police officers executing unreasonable, unlawful searches and seizures of evidence which is then either introduced or suppressed at the defendant's trial. NO police officer, ever, has been charged with the crime of violating someone's 4th Amendment rights when their suppression motion is granted, causing the police officer to be sent to prison.

That has never happened, and unless there is a massive change in law (i.e. me being elected supreme dictator of America), it will never happen. No cop is going to be charged with finding 10 kilos of heroin in a suspect's possession because the search and seizure of said drugs was unreasonable and thus in violation of the 4th Amendment. Worst case scenario is the evidence is suppressed. Either way, the cop will be congratulated, given a big pat on the back, and given a raise and/or promotion. The cop won't be put in handcuffs along with the drug dealer he caused to be arrested.

The purpose of the exclusionary rule is to give the protections guaranteed by the 4th Amendment meaning by making police actions that violate it null and void as the improperly seized evidence is inadmissible at trial. Introducing the evidence at trial, and locking up the police officer for the same length of time as the defendant, provides the same (in fact, much stronger) incentive to respect the 4th Amendment rights of Citizens, while at the same time increasing the overall accuracy of the justice system. Instead of letting a criminal go free because of suppressed evidence (the prime complaint about the exclusionary rule), not only does the criminal get punished due to the admissible evidence, but the bad cop who violated his rights gets punished, too. Win-win all around. Accuracy of the justice system increases, our Fourth Amendment rights are given far greater protection, and cops who violate suspects' constitutional rights are punished proportionally to the damage caused by said violations.

Of course, that would mean within 6 months, 95% of the police force would be behind bars. Either that, or Courts would suddenly come up with ten billion new "exceptions" to the Fourth Amendment to spare cops from going to prison and allow the illegally obtained evidence to still be admitted at trial.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 20, 2009 1:30:02 AM

realist:

The "if you are not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to hide" cliche is one of the single dumbest, most idiotic statements made by modern homo sapiens. It's proof that our schools have utterly failed.

When you go to the bathroom, you close the door behind you. Why? What are you hiding? What crime are you committing?

Just because people want their privacy to be respected does not mean they're doing anything wrong.

Realist, I heard from credible sources that you are a jew-hating member of the Nazi party who believes the holocaust never happened, and that all jews should be eradicated from the planet, along with blacks and gays. I was told that you have a black swastika, about 3 to 4 inches wide, tattooed right above your penis. If you deny that you are a jew-hating racist Nazi bastard, take a picture of yourself naked, showing both your penis and your face, so we can see if this information is correct. Post it here.

If you refuse to take and post this picture, we will all safely assume you have something to hide ("What are you hiding?"). And we'll know exactly what it is that you are hiding, you Nazi bastard.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 20, 2009 1:38:29 AM

The exclusionary rule has a lot of surface appeal--after all, who wants people, as a general matter, to profit from even innocent law-breaking. The problem, of course, is that cops really aren't "profiting", they are trying to keep us safe, and so you have to wonder whether the exclusionary rule comes from an attitude of strange detachment from law enforcement, an idea that the deadly serious business of catching criminals is a game. It's not.

Posted by: | Jan 20, 2009 10:01:01 AM

"Hah, I would if any existed. NO police officer has ever been arrested for violating a suspect's Fourth Amendment rights by executing an unreasonable search or seizure. It's not even a crime, and if it were, prosecutors would choose to NEVER prosecute cops who are 'just doing their job' zealously to 'catch scumbag criminals" who are breaking the law.'"

That's just patently untrue. Provided it's done intentionally, the crime is 18 U.S.C. 242, and I don't know the numbers, but a nontrivial number of law enforcement officers have been prosecuted under that statute for violating Fourth Amendment rights.

Posted by: Prosecutorial Indiscretion | Jan 20, 2009 10:21:06 AM

If the case of Herring involved some very sick police officer who wants to view Herring naked, then BruceM has a point. Since it doesn't, since, like all cases pleading the exclusionary rule, it's about nothing more than the police finding evidence of criminality, BruceM's rather inelegant attempt to change the issue from criminality to decency simply won't fly. If all the police found was Herring in his underwear, we wouldn't be here. It's precisely because the police discovered that Herring was a drug dealer that the case came out the way it did.

Posted by: realist | Jan 20, 2009 10:27:47 AM

Apologies. Posted under the wrong post.

Posted by: realist | Jan 20, 2009 10:28:53 AM

"an idea that the deadly serious business of catching criminals is a game."

Any astute observer of the CJ system in this country either has to conclude that it is indeed a game, or that the system is so seriously broken that the only solution is violent revolution. Thinking of it as a game and playing it as a game is the only way that most sensitive people can avoid picking up guns and shooting people.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 20, 2009 10:38:45 AM

Jan 20, 2009 10:01:01 AM, You seem to not like the idea that "catching dangerous criminals [is not a game.]" Well, if you people were serious about "catching" crime you would actually pay cops to do this job. This means that no cop would ever be allowed to serve unless he had at least a Masters Degree from a real school (no online schools and no schools ranked under 20). But there are other things that are not a game: privacy. I mean you don't even post your name. You don't post your address. You don't post your employer. And you don't post naked pictures of yourself. What do you have to hide?

Actually, catching criminals does resemble a game. It has rules, winners, and losers. Moreover, the lawyers involved don't take it that seriously. Most people only stay on the prosecution side for a few years anyway, and yes... do treat it like a game and mock the cops for being uneducated and stupid idiots (after all, they refused to go to school). Not that it is anything wrong with that.

Realist, You said:
"As the old saying goes: If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear."

I don't know if Franklin said this or not. But that does not make it true. Whatever the case, the framers did not put make an exception to the Fourth Amendment for people with "nothing to hide." But, whatever... It isn't true. In my country (USA) personal liberties and freedom from search (regardless of whether you are a real American or the kind of traitor that didn't go to law school) are treasured above the needs of some cop that refused to go to law school because he does not like America.

Secondly, Realist, if you don't like the exclusionary rule, would it be okay if we took naked pictures of you and introduced them at your trial for fraud. I don't know if you committed a fraud or not (who cares?), but that would be for the jury to decide after we introduced the pictures of you.

Third, I think that you need to be a lot more up front about your life. I really think that you are hiding something, yourself. At least once a day you go to the "bathroom." It is well known (based on my training and experience) that people like you are using drugs in the bathroom. You should be posting pics to the internet because you have nothing to hide in the "bathroom."

Jay, Sorry. Been on vacation, traveling, etc. I am sorry that I had to discontinue participation in my blog, but things are changing on this end. It is truly a pleasure to interact with all of you, and I hope to do it again (in a different manner) soon.

Proprietorial Indiscretion,

Please provide me a list of at least one dozen ex-cops sitting in jail for unreasonable searches? (Not excessive force.) You said it was true, but I want a list of a dozen ex-cops in jail for searching people unreasonably. I think you have something to hide by refusing to tell us such a basic fact.

Moreover, there is absolutely nothing stopping a prosecutor from prosecuting a cop on the basis of a theory brought out by the defense. Yet, strangely, they never do.
I think that you just like the idea of admitting evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment because you want to put more people in jail and like the fact that some people (not you) will be subject to police intrusion.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jan 20, 2009 11:32:29 AM

Prosecutorial Indiscretion: see my Jan 20, 2009 1:30:02 AM comment. Excessive force can be, among other things, a Fourth Amendment violation, and yes some officers have been charged with crimes and sent to prison for beating up/shooting helpless suspects. 18 U.S.C. 242 has never been applied to a cop who, acting in good faith but overzealously, executes what is ultimately held to be an unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the suspect's Fourth Amendment rights.... not even to a cop who acts in bad faith in executing the unreasonable search and seizure. 18 U.S.C. 242 is typically used for discrimination, voting rights, police/prison guard brutality, that sort of thing. The search was done "willfully" though the cop will always say he was acting in good faith and though search was constitutional under the circumstances.

We were talking about the exclusionary rule, and thus I meant violations of the Fourth Amendment stemming from illegal searches and seizures. No cop is ever charged with a crime, 18 U.S.C. 242 or under any other statute, when a defendant wins a Motion to Suppress Evidence because the search/seizure was held by a court to have been in violation of the 4th Amendment.

But they should be. It should be a crime to execute an unreasonable search/seizure. Mental state should not matter. The search was intentionally done, that's all the intent that should need to be shown - ignorance of the law is no excuse for citizens, so why should it be for cops?

A 4th Amendment violation should be a strict liability crime, like DWI. No culpable mental state necessary, all that needs to be shown is the cop executed a search or seizure that was unreasonable per the 4th Amendment. Then admit the illegally seized evidence at trial (no exclusionary rule) and sentence the cop to the same prison sentence that the defendant gets, if convicted. This will cause cops to be extremely careful and respectful of citizens' rights, and they will not cross lines and push boundaries and seek "exceptions" to chip away at the 4th Amendment, leaving it in the worthless, ineffective, near-meaningless state in which it exists today.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 20, 2009 3:08:30 PM

Prosecutorial Indiscretion:

I tried to clear this up in my Jan 20, 2009 1:30:02 AM comment, see above.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 20, 2009 3:56:33 PM

Posted by: | Jan 20, 2009 10:01:01 AM, You seem to not like the idea that "catching dangerous criminals [is not a game.]" Well, if you people were serious about "catching" crime you would actually pay cops to do this job. This means that no cop would ever be allowed to serve unless he had at least a Masters Degree from a real school (no online schools and no schools ranked under 20). But there are other things that are not a game: privacy. I mean you don't even post your name. You don't post your address. You don't post your employer. And you don't post naked pictures of yourself. What do you have to hide?

Actually, catching criminals does resemble a game. It has rules, winners, and losers. Moreover, the lawyers involved don't take it that seriously. Most people only stay on the prosecution side for a few years anyway, and yes... do treat it like a game and mock the cops for being uneducated and stupid idiots (after all, they refused to go to school). Not that it is anything wrong with that.

Realist, You said:
"As the old saying goes: If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear."

I don't know if Franklin said this or not. But that does not make it true. Whatever the case, the framers did not put make an exception to the Fourth Amendment for people with "nothing to hide." But, whatever... It isn't true. In my country (USA) personal liberties and freedom from search (regardless of whether you are a real American or the kind of traitor that didn't go to law school) are treasured above the needs of some cop that refused to go to law school because he does not like America.

Secondly, Realist, if you don't like the exclusionary rule, would it be okay if we took naked pictures of you and introduced them at your trial for fraud. I don't know if you committed a fraud or not (who cares?), but that would be for the jury to decide after we introduced the pictures of you.

Third, I think that you need to be a lot more up front about your life. I really think that you are hiding something, yourself. At least once a day you go to the "bathroom." It is well known (based on my training and experience) that people like you are using drugs in the bathroom. You should be posting pics to the internet because you have nothing to hide in the "bathroom."

Jay, Sorry. Been on vacation, traveling, etc. I am sorry that I had to discontinue participation in my blog, but things are changing on this end. It is truly a pleasure to interact with all of you, and I hope to do it again (in a different manner) soon.

Proprietorial Indiscretion,

Please provide me a list of at least one dozen ex-cops sitting in jail for unreasonable searches? (Not excessive force.) You said it was true, but I want a list of a dozen ex-cops in jail for searching people unreasonably. I think you have something to hide by refusing to tell us such a basic fact.

Moreover, there is absolutely nothing stopping a prosecutor from prosecuting a cop on the basis of a theory brought out by the defense. Yet, strangely, they never do.
I think that you just like the idea of admitting evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment because you want to put more people in jail and like the fact that some people (not you) will be subject to police intrusion.

First of all, lots of lawyers claim that they take positions different from what they believe in, but since this administration discriminated against people on the basis of their prior positions, I simply would not believe coming form anyone in the SG.

Finally -- if cops were trying to keep us safe they would comply with the constitution, and work to change it. But NO COP has ever made a serious attempt to eliminate the Fourth. So, they are not really trying to keep us safe, instead they just like breaking laws.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jan 20, 2009 11:40:44 PM

test

Posted by: d | Jan 21, 2009 2:46:46 AM

Franklin did not say that. Quite the opposite - Franklin said "Anyone who is willing to give up their freedoms (including privacy) for a little safety [or the illusion thereof] deserve neither freedom nor safety."

Franklin would never, and did never say "if you have done nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide." He'd want to tar and feater anyone who'd say such a stupid thing... and rightfully so.

Freedom means it's easier to get away with crime. It's the basic tradeoff we make. We could eliminate 50% of crime overnight, and save the lives of thousands of children, if we got rid of the Fourth Amendment and allowed the police to storm in and search any home, vehicle, office, apartment, or other private place they wanted to for any reason, without the need for cause. Surely a few children, being kept as sex slaves for pedophiles would be found and saved.

But it's worth the rape, torture, and murder of those children - as well as all the other crimes going on in private places at this very moment, to live in a free country where we are not subject to the whims of the police at any given moment, in any given place, for any given reason (or no reason at all).

We could also save tens of thousands of lives each year if we lowered the speed limits on our roads to 5mph, with stiff prison sentences for anyone speeding over that low, but safe, speed limit. Think of all the precious children whose lives we'd save. All you'd have to do is spend 4 hours+ driving 10 miles to and from work each day. How many children must die for you to not have to sit in 4+ hours of traffic a day?

I'm open and callously honest enough to say it's worth the horrible, painful deaths of at least 50,000 children mangled in car accidents each year to not have to drive 5mph everywhere, every day. I know you think the same thing, but do you have the balls to admit it?

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 21, 2009 3:00:24 AM

Realist: are you going to show us your swastika tattoo (or lack thereof) or not? Are you hiding it, or do you just want to maintain your privacy?

"If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear," as you say. So break out the digital camera and take a nude picture of yourself and upload it here.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 21, 2009 5:17:42 AM

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In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB