How is it that any crime, no matter how odious or heinous, would be such that it alters the rights of a suspect including his right to due process?
I think this exemplifies this attitude we have that justice is served when a suspect is convicted, even by a plea deal, and even when he was denied a fair defense (by defunding our public defenders and stripping him of his assets -- both are common policies) and yet when suspect is acquitted, it is commonly assumed that he escaped justice on a technicality. Not that the court proved he was innocent, but that the court failed to administer justice.
And we will often try multiple suspects for the same crime, and if both are found guilty, both serve time.
This isn't justice. Justice is supposed to be impartial, and the failure of the legal system to remain impartial because it's a hot-button crime like child porn or terrorism is an indictment of the system.
In the 80s intra-office character assassinations were easy, since a middle manager or low executive accused by rumor-mill of sodomy or child sexual abuse would get quickly discharged. (Heh.) This is the same thing, but with a state-sanctioned legal system behind it.
We don't think much about safes because there's a lot of good technology to cut through them. Some are trapped to lock down when drilling is detected, but who cares when you have a thermal lance handy.
But what if the alleged incriminating evidence is fragile (say, paper) and the safe is designed so that if an drill pierces the detection barrier (or some other intrusion countermeasure is triggered) it bathes its contents in acid or fire, say, activating a big ol' blob of Thermite.
It should not be legal for the state to compel any action to force a suspect to incriminate himself.
So long as we have this work-around the state will merely phrase their inquiries so that they are not subject to the Fifth Amendment exemption.
This won't stop fingerprints. At the time Apple released fingerprint scanning on their phones, we already a means to take a visual fingerprint and render a working artificial finger. (Using atypical fingers at atypical angles may still work as a hack, though.)
It is curious how law enforcement are not penalized for having turned off their body-cams, yet a suspect who permalocks a phone by trying too many times to unlock it will still be presumed guilty of intentional obstruction and contempt. Whether or not you are given benefit of doubt depends on whether or not you are a member of the gang.
So long as the enforcement and interpretation of law is inconsistent we will never have justice in the United States.
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.