More Legislators Jump On The 'Blue Lives Matter' Bandwagon

from the still-plenty-more-'stupid'-in-the-Congressional-storerooms dept

Not wanting to be outdone by idiots in Congress, two idiot senators from the great state of Texas* are pushing their own "Blue Lives Matter" legislation. Senators Cruz and Cornyn have (re)introduced the Backed and Blown "Back the Blue Act," which adds mandatory minimums to any act of violence against most government officials. Oh, and for extra fun, automatic death penalty considerations for anyone charged under this act.

*Federal law requires the descriptor "great state of" to be appended to any state name, but especially Texas.

I'll get out of the way and allow Senator Cornyn to toot his own horn:

“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve families across Texas. Violent criminals who deliberately target those who protect and serve our communities should face swift and tough penalties and the Back the Blue Act sends that clear message. Every day, and particularly during National Police Week, we must give the men and women in blue our unparalleled support,” Sen. Cornyn said.

You hear that, you bunch of ungrateful Americans? No matter how many citizens are gunned down for holding game controllers or toddlers torched by carelessly-tossed flashbang grenades, these fine men and women are to be given "unparalleled support." They apparently "deserve" it -- a term that must be wholly divorced from the process of earning it.

Cruz and Cornyn's 2016 attempt died from a lack of attention, perhaps overshadowed by the DOJ's endless stream of scathing reports on police misconduct. With a new "tough on crime" DOJ boss at the helm and the DOJ's civil rights division neutered, the political climate seems a tad more receptive to glorifying government employees as lowercase-g gods. (But gods nonetheless.)

Several legislators have joined the two senators in stumping for underprotected government employees. Rep. Ted Poe (also of Texas) has plenty to say about the bill at his personal blog. He's all for it, naturally, but more importantly, he summarizes the harsh new penalties awaiting anyone who threatens, injures, kills, or conspires to do any of the above to a law enforcement officer.

Creates a new federal crime for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to the death penalty and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if death results; the offender would otherwise face a minimum sentence of 10 years.

Creates a new federal crime for assaulting a federally funded law enforcement officer with escalating penalties, including mandatory minimums, based on the extent of any injury and the use of a dangerous weapon. However, no prosecution can be commenced absent certification by the Attorney General that prosecution is appropriate.

Creates a new federal crime for interstate flight from justice to avoid prosecution for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for this offense.

Take a good look at the middle stipulation. This means pretty much every law enforcement officer in the nation will be covered by this law, instantly subjecting people who do nothing more than assault an officer (aka, resisting arrest, contempt of cop, etc.) to federal punishments. Almost every law enforcement agency in the nation receives some sort of federal funding. This bill would yank prosecutions out of locals' hands and, presumably, separate defendants from less-harsh local laws.

The bill also allows law enforcement officers (including those whose agencies are the recipients of federal funding) to carry weapons into places citizens can't. Nothing like adding an extra right to a long list of extra punishments.

This chaser would put two "Blue Lives Matter" bills in play, giving Congress multiple ways to make policing worse. Considering the Go Team Blue attitude on display at the White House, these bills have a home team advantage and a president dying to sign a few more citizens' rights and liberties away on behalf of law enforcement.

Filed Under: blue lives matter, free speech, hate speech, john cornyn, laws, police, ted cruz

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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 29 May 2017 @ 5:02am

    Re: Re: Re: What I don't get:

    And why is this person desperate? Because they are a criminal and are about to be caught, right?

    Maybe, maybe not.

    It could be that they're in that position because they deliberately broke the law and knowingly killed a cop, or it could be that it was just a string of bad choices on their or the police's part. Perhaps they were a criminal but didn't mean to kill, a no-knock raid in the middle of the night startles an armed homeowner who thinks they're being burgled, or some other similar situation occurs.

    So instead of giving up, they try to kill the cop trying to arrest them.

    That's the thing though, if they're already facing death if they get arrested because they killed another cop, accidentally or not, doing so won't make their situation any worse, but it might make it better at least in the short-term by allowing them to escape.

    This is one of the reasons the law is so stupid, because it makes it so that people in that position have nothing to lose. They will be executed if they're caught, so why wouldn't they do whatever they could to try to escape? If someone knows that surrender will result in death then why would they ever do so?

    A desperate person is likely to make rash, stupid decisions, and you'd be hard pressed to find a factor more likely to make a person desperate than the knowledge that they are going to die.

    As for the strawman you threw together, starting with the first scenario...

    If the person in question deliberately killed someone, cop or not, and they get caught, then they've demonstrated that they are a very real threat to those around them, so incarceration is absolutely justified I'd say, though death might not be(haven't really put much thought into death as a punishment, though just tossing the idea around for a bit offhand I'd lean away from it in general unless the prisoner chooses it), so 'shitting on the cops', not so much.

    If it wasn't a deliberate murder on the other hand then I'd be hard pressed to agree that execution is justified, given it takes an action that is normally likely to get some prison time(or possible even none) and instantly turns it into a death sentence simple because the person killed has a badge. Such blatant double-standards like that I most certainly don't agree with, though even then I'd be critical of the law and the legal system that applied it, the cop(s) likely wouldn't even enter into it.

    And now the second...

    Starting again with the case of deliberate murder, then a terrible thing is doubled, so nothing to celebrate, though if the only reason they killed again was because of the law then a terrible act was compounded for a stupid reason and there's certainly grounds for a feeling of disgust on top of regret for a death.

    If it was the case of manslaughter, again terrible thing, and once again if the only reason they killed again is because the brilliant law put them in a position such that they had nothing to lose then it's doubly unfortunate that two people died.

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