allstaractivist note: This is the start of “Operation Clear My Record”. My last offense having occurred at least ten years ago, I supposedly qualify for all legal remedies to clear up my criminal record as much as is possible which if completely successful will still be a far, far cry from “whole”. As I’ve said before, once you offend, you can NEVER get back no matter what you do. At the most fundamental of levels, this is un-Christian, as a practical matter however, disenfranchisement of the offender endangers us all (refer to previous post here). Today it’s me, tomorrow it could be you. I will be documenting this process every step of the way.
Thank goodness the process has somewhat been automated, this wasn’t available when I was first convicted.
allstaractivist note: Unfortunately, the Clear My Record webportal above did not have an option for Solono County, where I lived for approximately five years and was jailed once. Below is the Solono County Public Defenders office and process for Expungement or Dismissal. Looks like I’ll be doing this one the hard way.
Below is the Solono County Public Defenders Expungement Packet pdf which contains “step by step” instructions detailing how one may go about the process. SolanoCountyPDexpungmentpacket.pdf
Below are instructions for completing the PETITION and ORDER FOR DISMISSAL, available at this link InstructionsforcompletingPetitionandOrderforDismissal.pdf
An information sheet and instructions for completing the REQUEST TO WAIVE COURT FEES are available at this link
Blank PETITION FOR DISMISSAL and ORDER FOR DISMISSAL forms are available at these links
Complete and Print forms
Jury nullification instructions, constitutional republic, state militia, no Lobbyists, no eminent domain, one bill per legislator per year, voting by internet, public school curriculum written by county, trial by jury for everything, no unfunded mandates, taxes spent locally first, zero corporate taxes, federal law enforcement restricted.
Liberty first, liberty last, liberty always! Without Liberty, nothing else matters. Without Liberty, you will not be allowed to keep the money. Without Liberty, you will not be allowed to use your property. Without Liberty, you may not be allowed to keep the property. There are aspects of our lives, our property, our business, our culture, in which government has no place. The Constitutional Convention, for Jefferson, will put in place a government which will be strictly limited in scope, size, and power. The Constitution will adhere to the founding principles of this nation. The Jefferson Constitution will bind government, not the people. “We were endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights; among those are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Government has only one purpose which is to secure the rights of the governed. John Locke called these rights the Natural Rights of Life, Liberty and Property. Samuel Adams added to Locke, with the statement, “Life, Liberty, and Property together with the means to defend those as best we can.” There will be no eminent domain in Jefferson. People create government to secure the Liberties they hold most dear. Government is our creation and will never be our master. A balanced budget will be a Constitutional mandate. Debt will be limited to dire emergency as defined by 2/3 vote of the legislature, and a majority popular vote. Debt will be limited by Constitution to a term of five years. Unfunded liabilities will be Unconstitutional. Eminent Domain will be Unconstitutional. Jefferson will endeavor and participate in all efforts to regain control over all state lands from Federal management. Jefferson will join efforts headed by the American Lands Council to this end.
The Jefferson Constitution will outline the structure for our new state. Our goal is a state with equal representation for each county in the State Senate. Our Assembly will consist of representation at a ratio of one Assemblyman for each twenty thousand citizens, or less, based upon the State Constitutional Convention. Each and every county, no matter how sparsely populated, will have a minimum of one Legislator in the State Assembly, and will have equal representation in our Senate. Lobbyist will be illegal.
The Jefferson Legislature will meet for 90 days per year. Odd years will be spent creating a two year budget. Jefferson’s budget will be zero sums. In other words, each department or agency will have to justify its budget in its entirety for each budget cycle. Even years will be spent on legislative matters. Each Legislator will only be allowed to introduce one bill per legislative cycle. The Constitution will mandate a periodic review to eliminate superfluous or arbitrary laws or regulations. Bills, by law, must be placed on the Jefferson Legislative website, a minimum of 30 days prior to the vote in the legislature. No amendments will be allowed once the bill has been posted to the website. Each legislator will maintain a website where constituents can “vote” yes, or no, for each legislative bill during the public posting time. The results of those votes shall be archived on the legislator’s website.
Jefferson will be led by the Governor. The Governor will be the chief executive of Jefferson and as such, will oversee executive offices and their officials. The Governor will act on behalf of Jefferson in matters of state. The Secretary of State will also act as Lt Governor in the event of absence or incapacity of the Governor. The Secretary of State will be an elected office. The Secretary of State will, oversee elections, articles of incorporation and related affairs. The Secretary of State will also have the duty to vote in the Jefferson Senate in the event of a tie vote.
The Jefferson Supreme Court will be comprised of 7 Justices. These will be elected officers, elected by district, who serve during good behavior for a period of ten years. State Appellate court Judges will be elected officers who will serve during good behavior for a period of four years. Appellate and Supreme Court Judges will be elected by district as apportioned by the Constitutional Convention.
Superior Court Judges will be elected for a period of four years, by each county. A system of Justices of the Peace will adjudicate misdemeanors in each county as well as other duties. Family law and other minor court officers will be selected in a manner approved by each county. Binding arbitration may be conducted by attorneys provided the involved parties are in agreement and sign contracts agreeing to that manner of adjudication.
A trial by jury is an inviolate, inalienable right. Any matter of civil or criminal law with consequences of more than one hundred dollars is to be adjudicated by a jury of the defendant’s peers within the county in which the act took place. State appellate courts will operate by circuit. Appellate Courts will try state responsibility cases in the county in which the act took place, using county residents as a jury pool.
Jury nullification is an inalienable right. Juries shall be instructed appropriately.
Courts and court security will be funded by the state. County Jails are the responsibility of the respective county. Appellate and Supreme Court Opinions can be subject to Executive and Legislative review if so requested within a period of one year following the opinion. Opinions can be reversed if so voted by the legislature and approved by the Executive.
Judicial opinions or rulings are and by Constitution must be limited to the issues at fact, which are being raised by the parties to the action. As a final act to strengthen the rights of the people, the Judicial will recognize the right and fact of Pro Se litigants. Jefferson State will not require its Judges to be lawyers. The right of the people to act in their own defense is an inalienable right and will be respected in the courts of Jefferson as will the right of the jury to nullify.
Our system of revenue collection will be unique and will provide checks upon the power of the state and federal government. Our Constitution will codify a system where Counties collect taxes, after which they pass to the state that portion of the dollar which fulfills that counties responsibility for the State operating budget. The State will never be in a position to hold a county hostage with its own money. Unfunded mandates will be unconstitutional. Local decisions requiring local revenue will be made locally. The State will provide input and advice if requested by the county. There will be no state sponsored welfare programs. Welfare will be handled by church groups and community service organizations. Utah has a very successful private welfare organization. We will work toward that end. Federal dollars will be assigned to successful and efficient community, or county organizations to help the needy. Federal dollars, behavioral health dollars will be portioned to community hospitals or County Health organizations. Again, local decisions made locally.
Federal income taxes will be sent to a pass through account held by the state for transmittal to the Federal Government conditioned upon its adherence to Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. We will make every conceivable effort to create a state of affairs through which the Federal Government will not be able to use Jefferson’s money to coerce compliant behavior. Federal monies coming to the states will be apportioned to the counties. One example is Federal Highway money. This revenue is used to fund Cal-Trans. We will give the money to the Counties and the State will only supply engineering advice to maintain State Responsibility roads.
The Financial Model for our new state is on our website, http://www.soj51.net . The model is open. The user can alter tax rates to see what the impacts would be for different counties and different tax rates.
Jefferson will have a zero corporate tax rate designed to encourage innovation and business growth. Jefferson hopes to entice many, if not all of the thousands of businesses which leave California each and every year to relocate to Jefferson.
Our financial model was constructed with the latest budget figures available from California. These figures were not constructed by the Jefferson Committee. They are budget figures used by the State of California.
Jefferson intends to dramatically reduce the number and jurisdiction of Executive branch agencies. The various offices of Jefferson will facilitate the dispersal of appropriate federal money to the respective counties, act as advisers, as lead agency during mult-icounty events, and act as arbitrators when counties cannot agree upon actions which affect multiple counties.
In order to facilitate the organization of Jefferson, all valid licenses will be automatically renewed for a period of two years. This will give the State time to establish infrastructure and to determine which licenses will be required, (far fewer than California), and how to ensure continuing education where it is necessary for the health and safety of the public who choose to use those licensed services.
State agencies and their intrusion into the lives of Jeffersonians will be greatly reduced. We do not need, or want, government by staff or agency. Jefferson will have representative government, through Constitutional Republic. The offices of the executive branch will be responsible to the people whom they are supposed to serve. Government malfeasance will be a crime. Breach of the oath of office will be a crime. Abuse of power will be a crime. Any and all alleged infractions resulting, will be the jurisdiction of the County Sheriff for the county affected and the local jurisdiction of the District Attorney and local courts. This will help to ensure that the state will not have unwelcome intrusion into the affairs of any given county, or its citizens. The above applies to all state agencies, offices, and officials.
Cal Trans will be replaced with the Office of State Engineer. That office will be responsible to provide expertise to counties when it is requested for infrastructure projects, materials acquisition, and related projects. State infrastructure projects will be overseen by this office and work will be contracted locally to the county in which the project is constructed. Federal Highway monies will be distributed to counties for maintenance or construction of State responsibility roads and infrastructure. The State Engineer is also responsible for facilitating, mining, appropriative water rights, and other areas of production of vital importance for the success of the economy of Jefferson.
The State office of Agriculture will be responsible for facilitating and enhancing the production and marketing of Jefferson’s vast agricultural and forestry resources. The Office of Ag will be responsible for agriculture, fish, game and forestry. The Office of Agriculture will lend advice, and resources to a county, if requested. The office of Agriculture will be the lead agency in the event of agricultural emergency, pest invasion, crop blight or event that affects multiple counties.
Office of Education will be responsible to advise and to aid counties, when requested, to obtain materials, supplies, and expertise to construct and to facilitate curriculum which is designed to either aid in entrance to the university system or to provide technical education necessary to the skills, and economic success of the student. County government will largely determine the subject matter of local schools with the input of local citizens. Universities and Community Colleges will flourish as private entities. State expertise will be available upon request. Technical Colleges will also be encouraged as valuable resources to our state and its citizens. Peace Officer Standard Training, facilitated through the Jefferson Department of Justice will have curriculum approved by DOJ but conducted by the University system.
Office of Constitutional Review will be led by the Secretary of Constitutional Review. This is an elected position. There will be no violations, nor any Judicial, legislative, statutory, or regulatory infringement of the rights to self-defense, property, privacy, trial by jury, or any violations of the Declaration of Rights. Jefferson represents personal liberty for all of its citizens. The primary duty of the Secretary of Constitutional Compliance will be to ensure that statutory, judicial, legislative and regulatory processes do not interfere with the inalienable rights of Jefferson.
The Secretary will be responsible to review each and every piece of legislation, regulation, law, and statute prior to its internet posting for public review. This review is designed to ensure that all produce of the government of Jefferson is constitutional and will not infringe upon, nor alter the intent or function of the Jefferson Constitution or the rights of the Citizens as outlined in Article One, the Declaration of Rights. The Office of Constitutional Compliance will be responsible to see that any office or entity, tasked to implement any program, project, or legislation, acts with fiduciary caution, its employees have the proper training, and implementation is fair and balanced. Any act which fails to pass constitutional muster is null and void. Such acts will be sent back to the author for alteration , revision or scrapped altogether. Primary jurisdiction for any judicial appeal to review decisions will be to the Jefferson Supreme Court.
Jefferson Department of Justice will be responsible for multi-county law enforcement operations. County Sheriff’s Departments will each contribute Deputies for temporary duty to Jefferson DOJ. During their time with state service these Deputies can be trained in accident investigation, coroner investigations, forensics and other duties for which counties may lack training resources. JDOJ will oversee the POST academy standards for the university systems of Jefferson. Police Academy training will be conducted by the Community College or University System. JDOJ will be overseen by the States Attorney General. The States Attorney General is an elected officer and will also be the States Solicitor General to the United States Supreme Court. County Sheriffs will be the highest law enforcement officer within Jefferson. Sheriff’s Department will provide all law enforcement for Jefferson, with the exception of incorporated city police forces, by vote of elected city councils. There will be no armed law enforcement in the State of Jefferson except that of the County Sheriff’s. Federal law enforcement will not be allowed to operate in any given county except by one time MOU during emergencies, natural disaster, or time of war and only by consent of the County Sheriff involved. MOU’s, during such emergencies, must be renewed every six months. Should Jefferson require a state law enforcement presence, during an emergency, or for multi county emergency, Counties will contribute deputies. The law enforcement personnel will be under the command of the County Sheriff of the impacted county.
Jefferson State Militia will not participate in the United States National Guard system. Jefferson’s force for defense of State and Nation, during time of invasion or emergency, will be a state militia. Formation and Command structure will be decided by Constitutional Convention. Jefferson Militia will not be available for foreign wars, unless by approval of a vote of the people and the legislature. Jefferson Militia will supervise state firefighting, state office of emergency services, state search and rescue, defense of state and nation, during national emergency. Militia will be available to counties, during times of emergency, or natural disaster, upon request, provided Constitutional mandates are met.
The Constitution of the State of Jefferson will be largely modeled on the Federal Constitution. Article one will be the Declaration of Rights. The inalienable rights of the citizens are inviolate. The rights of Property are paramount to the people of Jefferson. There will be no violations, nor any legislative, statutory, or regulatory infringement of the rights to self-defense, property, privacy, trial by jury, or any violations of the Declaration of Rights. Jefferson represents personal liberty for all of its citizens. The primary duty of the Secretary of Constitutional Compliance will be to ensure that statutory, judicial, legislative and regulatory processes do not interfere with the inalienable rights of Jefferson.
The Jefferson Constitution represents the contract which defines the government created to serve the people. The rights of the people are absolute. The people of Jefferson do not surrender their sovereignty to the government created to serve them.
Our goal is to create a constitution designed to secure liberty for our posterity. Jefferson’s Constitution will be very difficult to change. If we succeed in our endeavor to restore Liberty through Constitutional Republic to Jefferson, we will have fulfilled our mandate, our promise, and our duty to future generations. Please stand with us.
The Time Has Come For 51
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I just love The Love Boat.
I don’t know what it is but I get so excited every time an old episode comes on TV. I really should break down and buy the DVD set but you know, catching an episode by surprise on broadcast TV really kind of makes it all the more sweeter. Like watching it for the very first time again. Silly but true, I feel so guilty…
The thing is, EVERYTHING always works out on The Love Boat, always. No matter what difficult or complicated situations arise, it’s always a happy ending. I love that. I like happy endings.
I’m a child of the Eighties and as far as I’m concerned, it was the golden age of the century. Maybe the Twenties might have compared (or the Sixties…) but I wasn’t alive then so for me, it was the Eighties case closed. I guess everybody feels that way about the decade of their youth but I think that we of the Eighties had it all, movies, music, television, fashion, the economy, everything was golden.
Watching those old episodes is like stepping into a time machine for me, I’m nine years old all over again. TV was big back then, there were only seven channels, if you were really lucky you had Home Box Office. That was it. So, when a new show came on everybody watched the first episode like it was an event or something. The Love Boat was no different. We only had a black and white TV so to watch it now in color on a big screen well, it really is a treat.
The Love Boat had all the contemporary stars too, all of them wanted to do the show. Some of them did the show so many times that they were almost written in as regular characters, like Marion Ross of Happy Days fame. She kept getting invited back so much that she eventually became Captain Stubing’s wife (Emily Haywood to Emily Stubing) and a permanent member of the crew! That was another thing about the show, you had four different stories in one hour, by four different writers that almost never cooperated. The continuity problems just added to the freshness and charm. Makes it hard to find an episode that you really liked though, four different titles for every episode. Not all of the “guest appearances” were contemporary stars, The Love Boat was so popular it was an excellent way to begin a comeback for luminaries of yesteryear. It was great because there was no other show where you might see someone from Vaudeville fame working with a new up and comer. It made for such great chemistry and kept the show fresh.
It wasn’t just slapstick or situation comedy, The Love Boat tackled everything from divorce to crime, alcoholism to broken families and of course love and romance (my favorite). The show was bold and surprisingly so for a context centered around a “pleasure cruise”, you just never knew what they were going to be doing next. I just got finished watching an episode where Loretta Swift of MASH fame was playing a Communist Cruise Director of all things, and it was good too! No matter how silly the premise, you always got sucked in because you so wanted to see the happy ending (although that particular episode ended in tears for her and the Doctor, she wouldn’t defect to stay with him).
The regular cast had a never ending arc as well. One of those arcs that was just a little to much for me though, was when Gopher (Fred Grandy) became all suave and sophisticated near the end. It just didn’t suit the character very well. Another character that I never really warmed up to but was nonetheless good for the show, was Captain Stubing’s (Gavin MacLeod) long lost daughter Vicki (Jill Whelan). I was totally in love with Cruise Director Julie (Lauren Tewes) and resented Vicki stealing her screen time. Jill Whelan’s character did however, expand the show’s dimensions by affording story lines that featured children and young adults but, since I was a kid myself, I couldn’t appreciate that at the time. I so wanted to be older so that one day I could go on The Love Boat too and experience all the adventure and romance myself. I wanted to do what adults liked to do.
Sad, but I recently found out that the Pacific Princess cruise ship used in the opening shot was recently sold for scrap in 2014 to a salvage company in Turkey. It would have been nice to have actually boarded it at least once before it was gone. Actually, the show itself was shot on many different ships as well as land based studio sets too so, I don’t feel too bad about losing the opportunity. In reality, since the time of the show’s run on TV I have actually been on four cruises and seen ships that make The Love Boat look like a relic, but I’m always glad every time I see it. She will always be “top of the line” to me.
One of the most beautiful shots of the show is when the characters are out on deck at night, wow, so pretty. I can’t think of any seascape more mystical and lovely than when on board a ship at night looking out over the water at an endless horizon, in full moonlight. Just to be able to do that with someone you care about is worth the price of a ticket alone. It really does look just like that but the actual experience cannot be compared. The gentle breeze as the ship makes way, a sky full of endless stars, the gentle shimmering of the water in the midst of soothing quiet and the gentle rocking back and forth. If you stand against the railing and look straight out at the horizon, the ship disappears from underneath you and you are magically standing in the middle of the ocean, flying even, ala Kate Winslet in Titanic.
Gavin MacLeod, Bernie Kopell, and Ted Lange are the only cast members to appear in every episode of the series, including the last three made-for-TV movies. Fred Grandy was in every episode throughout the run of the series, but was not in the last of the TV movies. MacLeod was not the captain in the first two TV movies, however. However, when MacLeod’s character was introduced, there was mention of him being “the new captain.”
Among the series’ attractions was the casting of well-known actors in guest-starring roles, with many famous film stars of yesteryear making rare television appearances. It was not the first comedy series to use the guest-star cast anthology format—Love, American Style used the formula seven years earlier, but The Love Boat had such success with the formula that future shows in similar style (such as Supertrain and Masquerade) were inevitably compared to The Love Boat. The show was followed on Saturday nights on ABC by Fantasy Island, which was also produced by Aaron Spelling, and had a similar format.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The term felony, in some common law countries, means a serious crime. The word originates from English common law (from the French medieval word “félonie”), where felonies were originally crimes that involved confiscation of a convicted person’s land and goods. Other crimes were called misdemeanors. Many common law countries have now abolished the felony/misdemeanor distinction and replaced it with other distinctions, such as between indictable offences and summary offences. A felony is generally considered a crime of high seriousness, while a misdemeanor is not.
A person who has committed a felony is a felon, and upon conviction of a felony in a court of law is known as a convicted felon or a convict. In the United States, where the felony/misdemeanor distinction is still widely applied, the federal government defines a felony as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. If punishable by exactly one year or less, it is classified as a misdemeanor. Note that the actual prison sentence handed out has no effect on this; the decision is based on the maximum sentence possible under law. For example, if a person is sentenced to six months, but the charge can be “up to two years”, it counts as a felony, in spite of the actual time served being well under a year. Individual states may differ in this definition, using other categories as seriousness or context.
Similar to felonies in some civil law countries (Italy, Spain) are delicts, whereas in others (France, Belgium, Switzerland) crimes (more serious) and delicts (délits, less serious); and still in others (Brazil, Portugal), crimes and delicts are synonymous (more serious), as opposed to contraventions (less serious).
The ex-offender has a life-long artificial handicap that makes them vulnerable to exploitation by people far more dangerous than themselves. Why do you think you can’t get a security clearance if you have a bunch of outstanding debt? Because debt makes you vulnerable to manipulation. It is the same for the ex-offender who is legally less of a person than those surrounding him or her. They end up being exploited by the very government that locked them up. A life-long, permanent disability. The “Deep State” then takes control.
We have a “Shadow Government” in this country comprised of different factions (mafias), some benevolent and some not. All however, are vying for the control of us. No one is more vulnerable to the influencing of and co-opting by this type of officially sanctioned criminal organization, than the ex-offender. A person who has less legal protections nor ability to function than anyone else in society. Ever wonder how revolutions are fomented in other countries? They are accomplished by scooping up the disenfranchised from the depths of society and elevating them to states previously not afforded by the mainstream, states imbued with legal impunity and subversion. History has shown that it is dangerous to maintain such a hopeless population within one’s midst.
*We lock up the most people second only to the Seychelles
|Country (or dependent territory,
subnational area, etc.)
|Seychelles||799. See notes below.|
|United States of America||693. See notes below.|
|St. Kitts and Nevis||607|
|Virgin Islands (USA)||542|
My argument is simple. Just as the government employed criminals in the Old West like Wyatt Earp or the Italian Mafias more recently, the same thing is happening with Gang Stalking today only this time, the goal is the total destruction of America.
“There is no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”
– Ayn Rand (author of “Atlas Shrugged” 1957)
There is no such thing as a “clean slate” for those who break the law in the “Land Of Liberty”, it doesn’t exist. Don’t think so? Take the short quiz below to test your knowledge of US criminal law.
(Answers at the bottom of the post coming soon)
I’ll Be Seeing You (1944 film)
Oscar winner Ginger Rogers and Joseph Cotten top a stellar cast in this tender wartime love story about two troubled strangers who meet by chance and try to crowd a lifetime of love and laughter into eight days. “Studded with brilliant performances” (Variety), I’ll Be Seeing You “manages to ambush your emotions and hasten your heart beats” (Hollywood Citizen-News). After serving half of a prison sentence for accidental manslaughter, Mary Marshall (Rogers) is allowed a holiday furlough to visit her family. Keeping her history a secret, she falls in love with a kindhearted GI (Cotten) who’s struggling to overcome shell shock. Both long for a normal life. But can they have it if he learns the truth about her?
Contrary to what many think and believe, once you break the law it is held against you for the rest of your life, no matter what good you do from that time on.
In the United States there is no way for someone convicted of a crime to ever make themselves a whole citizen again with full restoration of their civil and constitutional rights. We have millions of people living here who don’t enjoy all the rights and benefits of the United States Constitution, for the rest of their lives. A permanent “underclass” trapped in a caste of undesirables reminiscent of Jim Crow. Need I tell you that it is both a self-perpetuating and dangerous thing to maintain said population in ones very own midst, with neither the incentive nor ability to work for redemption? The Shadow Government however, welcomes these people with open arms and industriously exploits their unique talents as;
And why wouldn’t the offender go along? They have effectively been rendered non-citizens by society anyway, nothing but upsides when compared to living as a destitute outcast. They get to continue their crimes with government sanction to boot and little to no expected punishment. Totally outside of the system and without their former accountability, equipped with an inexhaustible “get out of jail free card”. All they gotta do is stay loyal to their new gang, the Shadow Government and everything is golden.
All seemingly reasonable arguments and having been in jail before I will admit that, there are a lot of people who need to be locked up for sure. Kind of ridiculous sounding however, when viewed in light of the points made above. Most of these people do get released someday, the problem being that they are now permanently crippled. When we use the criminal justice system as a means of political control and apply the penalties unevenly, we create option deprived monsters ripe for the picking within our midst. It just doesn’t make good sense and is embarrassingly naive. The criminal justice system has been hijacked by covert interests and is no longer tasked with keeping society safe rather, it is being used to control, enrich and eliminate. We are unwittingly manufacturing their foot soldiers.
To illustrate my point, a few quick facts;
“Somebody recently figured out that we have 35 million laws to enforce the ten commandments.”
-Attributed to both Bert Masterson and Earl Wilson
There are many practicing attorneys that passionately state an ex-offender should be fully restored automatically after completing their sentence and an appropriate amount of time without re-offending, typically five years. Five years of formal probation or parole is the standard amount of time one has to endure for conviction of a felony, the successful completion of which demonstrating rehabilitation. One must stay crime free for ten years, a decade, before one can apply for a Governor’s Pardon, a process I will be embarking on shortly. Unfortunately, a Governor’s Pardon is completely at the discretion of the Governor no matter what the ex-offender has done to prove their rehabilitation. Traditionally, pardon’s are usually only granted to political operatives as compensation for doing the dirty work of governorship, rehabilitation be damned. Again, the “Shadow Government” at work. Some Governors grant no pardons at all, perhaps a bit more honest.
I suppose the ex-offender should feel lucky to have just survived the criminal justice system, many innocent people were killed by the death penalty until DNA exonerated so many and proved the system flawed. What does it say about California that they are one of the few states that voted to keep it? And what ever happened to all of those crime lab technicians who got busted for falsifying physical evidence? Did they have to go to prison? What about the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives they destroyed and for whom did they do it? They did it for the “Deep State Shadow Government” of course. They were, like much of law enforcement, Gang Stalkers eliminating Targeted Individuals.
Former SFPD crime lab technician Deborah Madden, who plead guilty in March to misdemeanor cocaine possession after two federal trials on greater charges ended with hung juries, has skirted jail time and was sentenced in U.S. district court last week to one year of home confinement.
She’ll also get five years of probation, a $5,000 fine, and will have to serve 300 hours of community service.
Prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to get Madden tossed in the clink for at least a year in light of the circumstances through which she obtained the cocaine — namely a mishandling of evidence in the crime lab in 2009 which lead to the dismissal of 700 criminal cases. Juries, however, when Madden was tried on charges of obtaining cocaine by deception or fraud, took pity on the 63-year-old, who has been sober since the incidents in 2009 and was likely one of several SFPD employees who tampered with or otherwise mishandled drug evidence. (You may recall the earlier testimony that everyone in the crime lab used to “laugh” at small discrepancies in the weight of drugs in evidence envelopes. And all that investigators ever found in Madden’s possession was less than one tenth of one gram of coke.)
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that our criminal justice system just doesn’t work, it serves special interests rather than the people. There is no way that the average citizen can affect it either, most employee positions are by appointment. A concerted effort has been made by covert interests to corrupt the judiciary, prosecutorial, corrections and police agencies that has largely been successful, only the facade of justice remains.
If there is ever going to be a solution, the path back to redemption has to be clearly defined for the offender. By the same token, the person also has to know that if they behave criminally there will certainly be clearly defined consequences which apply equally to everyone. Judicial, prosecutorial and police discretion is the Devil in the details here, they need to arrest, prosecute and try every valid crime or be held accountable if they don’t. Should more manpower (or woman-power) be needed to accomplish this then give it to them. Everyone will then know where they stand in the eyes of the law and will make the smart choice to obey. There will always be however, a certain percentage of incorrigible deviants unable to control their behavior and it is those for whom prisons should be for. Offenders see the error of their ways and want to change should be afforded every opportunity to do so with a definite result assured, complete and total restoration of both their civil and constitutional rights. A legally whole person once more.
We also need to pare down the quantity of laws as well. Laws should only be written to define how people are actually living and only then when a novel problem arises. As it is now, we have somewhere in the neighborhood of between three hundred three thousand, six hundred (303,600) to three hundred four thousand, five hundred (304,500) laws total in the United States. Fifty five (55) new laws are being cranked out by legislators and politicians every day. You are expected to know each and every one of them too. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense. Considering that the vast majority of us play no part in their authorship but yet have to live under them, I would say they are more tools of tyranny rather than instruments of justice.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, is the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself.
Ignorance of the law, we are often told, is no excuse. “Every man is presumed to know the law,” says a long-established legal aphorism. And if you are charged with a crime, you would be well advised to rely on some other defense than “I had no idea that was illegal.”
But not everybody favors this state of affairs. While a century or two ago nearly all crime was traditional common-law crime — rape, murder, theft and other things that pretty much everyone should know are bad — nowadays we face all sorts of “regulatory crimes” in which intuitions of right and wrong play no role, but for which the penalties are high.
If you walk down the sidewalk, pick up a pretty feather, and take it home, you could be a felon — if it happens to be a bald eagle feather. Bald eagles are plentiful now, and were taken off the endangered species list years ago, but the federal law making possession of them a crime for most people is still on the books, and federal agents are even infiltrating some Native-American powwows in order to find and arrest people. (And feathers from lesser-known birds, like the red-tailed hawk are also covered). Other examples abound, from getting lost in a storm and snowmobiling on the wrong bit of federal land, to diverting storm sewer water around a building.
“Regulatory crimes” of this sort are incredibly numerous and a category that is growing quickly. They are the ones likely to trap unwary individuals into being felons without knowing it. That is why Michael Cottone, in a just-published Tennessee Law Review article, suggests that maybe the old presumption that individuals know the law is outdated, unfair and maybe even unconstitutional. “Tellingly,” he writes, “no exact count of the number of federal statutes that impose criminal sanctions has ever been given, but estimates from the last 15 years range from 3,600 to approximately 4,500.” Meanwhile, according to recent congressional testimony, the number of federal regulations (enacted by administrative agencies under loose authority from Congress) carrying criminal penalties may be as many as 300,000.
And it gets worse. While the old-fashioned common law crimes typically required a culpable mental state — you had to realize you were doing something wrong — the regulatory crimes generally don’t require any knowledge that you’re breaking the law. This seems quite unfair. As Cottone asks, “How can people be expected to know all the laws governing their conduct when no one even knows exactly how many criminal laws exist?”
Of course, we may hope that prosecutorial discretion will save us: Just explain to the nice prosecutor that we meant no harm, and violated the law by accident, and he or she will drop the charges and tell us to be more careful next time. And sometimes things work that way. But other times, the prosecutors are out to get you for your politics, your ethnicity, or just in order to fulfill a quota, in which case you will hear that the law is the law, and that ignorance is no excuse. (Amusingly, government officials who break the law do get to plead ignorance and good intentions, under the doctrine of good faith “qualified immunity.” Just not us proles.)
To solve this problem we need for judges to abandon the presumption that people know the law, at least where regulatory crimes are concerned, and require some proof that the accused knew or should reasonably have known that his conduct was illegal. Alternatively, Congress should adopt legislation requiring such proof. (And I would favor allowing defendants in any action brought by the federal government — civil or criminal — to have the option of arguing to the jury that the government’s action against them is unfair or biased, with the charges dropped and legal fees being charged to the government if the jury agrees.)
Under the vagueness doctrine, a law is void if a person of reasonable intelligence would have to guess at its meaning, because it would be unfair to punish someone for violating a law that cannot be understood. It seems just as unfair to punish people for violating a law that they couldn’t reasonably be expected to know about.
Law that can’t be known is no law at all. If we wish to remain a nation of laws, Congress and the courts need to address this problem, before it’s too late.