Remember that our justice system has a 90% conviction rate even before we get to plea bargains.
That's because we give our grossly overworked public defenders very little budget, so they really don't have time or manpower to build a case.
Then we seize the assets of suspects to prevent them from affording a defense. We often do so before they are suspects, on the pretense that the money is criminal.
(And Trump just encouraged county sheriffs in a recent meeting to seize more assets because it's all drug money.)
Then we favor our law enforcement so much (even when they perjur the court) that we favor officer testimony over video to the contrary.
(And I'm not even going to address our shitty overreaching laws, such as our drug possession laws with mandatory minimums and the CFAA and Espionage Acts, all of which are subject to prosecutorial discretion)
So we can pretty safely argue that a significant portion of our prison population -- what remains the highest incarceration rate in the world -- is innocent of the charges with which they were convicted.
Which makes them political prisoners.
If we were a humane country, we'd recognize that imprisonment is containment, pending reform, not punishment. Indeed, convicts typically leave the prison system less capable of reintegrating into society than as the convicts they were when they entered.
Our prison system is way fucked up, and any mistreatment of its inhabitants is sheer abuse, often of falsely-convicted innocent civilians.
In the case of Miami, FL undocumented inhabitants make up about 11% of the city's economy, which documented immigrants would certainly feel, if all those undocumented people were all rounded up and deported.
I'm sure I could rewrite this to be clearer still, but I'm lazy.
In the case of Miami, FL undocumented inhabitants make up about 11% of the city's economy, which documented immigrants would certainly feel, if they were all rounded up and deported.
And that's before regarding that some legal Americans and legal non-American immigrants are related to undocumented immigrants, and breaking up families is very messy.
There are good reasons that most major cities are sanctuary cities, and some of them are obvious enough to regard Trump's contempt for them as direct aggression on urban America.
You might want to read up a bit on why the law's the law doesn't work very well when (as Madison put it) the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
You understand that you likely violate more US and state laws than undocumented immigrants do, yes? That by implying they are illegal you are being completely, if unwittingly, hypocritical.
They may get deported for being here without proper documentation (what is not required of those of us who appear to belong) But if some of the laws you've broken were enforced, you'd be in prison for twenty-five years plus. More likely they'll let you plead to five.
Remember that prosecutory discretion is still a thing, that our attorneys general choose what laws to enforce, and when to enforce them. And it is only by their grace that you (and the rest of us) remain free. If one of them doesn't like you (say if you're the wrong color), then it's off to Sing Sing for you.
So do be careful when invoking law for law's sake.
It's not that we're blaming the new administration, it's that the police state is already here, and it's common practice in law enforcement to wrangle journalists, or intimidate them or even arrest them -- on dubious charges if need be -- as a means of discouraging them.
Trump isn't to blame for this development in culture, but we're pretty sure he's not going to do anything to reverse it. If anything, he's looking to further empower police to have greater authority, and he would like to call a hunt against reporters.
Trump has already declared as much, in that he seldom refers to news media without invective.
If we reformed our election system so that it was no longer first-past-the-post, I cannot imagine how the electoral college as it stands could survive.
With the EC's failure to stop the Trump election, I think we have an indictment that the college portion of it has already failed.
And if we shifted to a pure popular vote system, then every vote would count regardless of the state it was in (every state really is kinda-purplish). Both California and Texas would cease to be the bulwark states that they currently are.
We might want to weight some votes over others (say, make 1 rural vote = 1.1 urban votes) though I can't really imagine a logical reason we would want to...
...wait, yes I can. There are some arguments to be made for giving voters with underage or infirm dependents more weight. But I'd want to see some statistical models of how that would play out first.
This is a problem that is normal with all espionage organizations: what they do is intrinsically criminal, and the state has to depend on a commitment by the organization's members to do criminal things to the benefit of the state.
An organization that operates within the constrains of the US Constitution is no longer espionage, but simply Law Enforcement.
And yes, this is why so many law enforcement agencies (we're looking at you, FBI) are re-branding themselves as national security minded espionage agencies. It allows them to break laws that they could never break before, but it also weakens their standing in the courts. And yes, many institutions want to have their cake and eat it too (have legal enforcement powers without legal enforcement constraints).
Meanwhile back at CIA, its rulebook is meant to define what illegal activities (including unconstitutional activities) are allowable within the purview of state-endorsed criminal action.
Ideally, we'd have a nifty secret court who made sure that our spies didn't get too sloppy or too greedy. A mole in the KGB, for instance, would get his KGB pay docked from his CIA pay. Other policies could get a whole lot more nuanced...
For instance when it is right to retire someone by command of the President...
The problem with passing a law to direct the executive...
...is that it implies the legislature has more power than the executive, which it does not.
This is why, ever since the War Powers Act of 1973, the President has complied with it but only in consistency with the law, not in compliance. If the President were ever to challenge a law, and the legislature and courts insisted that he complied, the United States would suffer a constitutional crisis.
...which is probably going to happen very soon now, since Trump does what ever the fuck he wants. (Including fucking whoever he wants.)