Subject: civil rights, hassle, High Times I rarely read this group so forgive me if this h

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Subject: civil rights, hassle, High Times I rarely read this group so forgive me if this has been discussed before. I read this in the local paper and thought you might find it interesting. Karen Lynn White "Seeker and ye shall find her" Medical Science Indiana University ARPA: seeker@copper.ucs.indiana.edu Bloomington, IN 47405 UUCP: {pyramid,ihnp4,pur-ee,rutgers}!iuvax!seeker ---------------- 'High Times' they aren't at hassled Worm's Way Inc. You're driving down South Ind. 446 near Lake Monroe and you decide to stop at Worm's Way gardening store to buy some tomato seeds. You grab a couple of packets of seeds and toss a dollar bill on the counter. The man behind the counter says he can't sell you anything, however, not even tomato seeds, until you read an information sheet provided by the U.S. Department of Justice. The paper states that Worm's Way has been indicted in U.S. District Court and is subject to forfeiture to the United States. "All customers making a purchase from Worm's Way, Inc. will be required to provide his/her name, resident address if different from mailing address, telephone number, and driver's license number with state of issuance and date of expiration or comparable identification if a valid driver's license is not held," it says. The paper goes on to say "Worm's Way, Inc. shall refuse to sell any equipment or supplies to any customer who solicits advice concerning the cultivation of marijuana or refuses to provide the information requested below." It then provides big, bold lines for customers to write their name, address and other information. Worm's Way owner Martin Heydt doesn't deny his recent indictment on eight federal counts relating to either the conspiracy to, or the actual aiding and abetting of the cultivation of marijuana plants. He gestures toward the gardening equipment, fertilizers and other inventory in his store and says, "Virtually everything in here could be used for illegal purposes if a person wanted to. "But whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?" he asked. "We've not been proven guilty of anything. We've not had our day in court." When federal officials served their initial indictment of Worm's Way last summer, they searched Heydt's business and nearby home from top to bottom, going through his 10-year-old daughter's room and even his wife's jewelry box. They found no marijuana, no paraphernalia, not even a marijuana seed. "It's Big Brother at his biggest," Heydt said. "It's pretty chilling if the government can come in here and do this. Basically, they're trying to run me out of business by putting fear into people who shop here." Assistant U.S. Attorney Donna Eide counters that the government is neither trying to intimidate Heydt nor put him out of business. "It certainly is not intended as a harassment," she said by telephone from her Indianapolis office. "It's the result of a balancing test. The government could have actually seized the business. We decided to take the less restrictive avenue." Eide wouldn't say the Heydt's case is a "War on Drugs" prosecution any more than any other drug-related case, though she acknowledged she has never handled a case in which an indicted citizen's business has been required to question its own customers. "We want to ensure that the business is run in a legal manner," she said. Heydt disagrees, of course. "They're trying to set an example. They're trying to make a national commitment out of this and use us to further their cause." Apparently, the government got on the trail of Worm's Way's because it advertised its organic and hydroponic gardening equipment in publications including High Times and Sinsemilla Tips. Both magazines focus on marijuana culture, cultivation and the like. The case against Worm's Way alleges that several people bought Worms's Way equipment and grew marijuana after seeing advertisements in the so-called marijuana advocacy magazines. Heydt argues, "If somebody buys a gun from Don's Guns and they go out and rob a ban, is Don liable for that?" Other counts allege that Heydt and employee Harold Bryant either directly advised customers about growing marijuana or "weed," or used code language, such as "tomato plants." The most serious of the charges, conspiring to aid and abet the cultivation of more than 1,000 marijuana plants, carries a sentence of 10 years to life. Six other charges carry 5- to 40- year prison terms each. Though Heydt's case is scheduled for trial on March 25, he said that the government has refused to comply with his attorney's motions for discovery of evidence - a standard trial procedure. He also claims the government has engaged in various forms of harassment, including the confiscation of his computer equipment. "I said 'Copy the hard drive. You don't need the hardware.' Well, we finally got one computer back after eight months. But they're keeping the other as evidence, and for what reason I have no idea." "If I'm guilty of anything, it's bad judgment," the Worm's Way owner said. "If I had it to do over, I sure wouldn't ha e advertised in High Times magazine. If anyone had come to me and said, 'You could be in serious trouble if you advertise there,' I'd have pulled my ads, I don't need this." But whatever the case, I think the point here is that this isn't even about marijuana. It's about rights and due process. They're judging us guilty before we've had the chance to argue our innocence. and they're making it difficult to even do business before we've had our day in court." ============================================================================ The Final Confiscation? The following is taken from Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (Washington, D.C. : U.S. Government Printing Office, 1947): TOP SECRET 4 copies, first copy Economic Aspect of the Action Reinhardt, gathered together in the SS Economic and Administrative Head Office -- Special Task "G", which I am in charge of and of which I have not been relieved: The entire Action Reinhardt is divided into four spheres: A. The expulsion itself. B. The employment of labour. C. The exploitation of property. D. Seizure of hidden goods and landed property. [Poster's note: I'm skipping a lot of details concerning A.,B., and C. for the sake of file space. Here follows a very general totaling of assets obtained under D.] Assets delivered from Action Reinhardt The following assets from the Action "Reinhardt" were delivered to the SS Economic and Administrative Head Office, Berlin, for further transmission to the Reichsbank or to the Reich Ministry of Economics: a. Reichmark sums totaling 53,013,133.51 b Currency in Bank notes from all the principal countries in the world (half a million dollars being particularly to be noted) to a total value of 1,452,904.65 c. Foreign currency in gold coins to a total value of 843,802.75 d. Precious metals (about 1.800 kg. of gold and about 10.000 kg. of silver in bars) to a total value of 5,353,943.00 e. Other valuables such as jewelry, watches, spectacles, etc. (the number of watches being particularly worthy of note -- about 16,000 in working order and about 51,000 requiring repair; they have been placed at the disposal of the troops) 26,089,800.00 f. About 1,000 wagons of textiles to a total value of 13,294,400.00 Total ..................................RM 100,047,983.91 [sgd.] Globocnik SS Gruppenfueher and Lieut. General of Police ------------------- end of excerpt ----------------------------- Now that the people accept confiscation, and now that the government says there are 2.2 million hopeless once-a-week or better cocaine addicts with property to confiscate, think of the profits that can be made. And they'll get a neat tattoo out of it too! ============================================================================ This is an anonymous, forwarded post. Please edit the attribution line accordingly. Thank you. ------------------begin forwarded message-------------------- San Francisco Examiner 08/30/90 Warren Hinckle OPERATION SNOWCAP : A drug war fiasco "The biggest, costliest, most dangerous failure of American policy since Vietnam." -- Former DEA superagent Michael Levine on the war on drugs In march 1987, the Drug Enforcement Agency unleashed its secret weapon to halt the avalanche of cocaine cascading into the United States: Operation Snowcap. Snowcap put armed American DEA agents into the field with military units of the cocaine plantation nations of Bolivia and Peru to destroy the drug at its roots. The goal, routinely hypothesized in press conferences called by DEA executives, was to reduce the amount of cocaine entering the country by 50 percent within three years. In 1989, the much-ballyhooed Operation Snowcap became a linchpin of the Andean strategy of President Bush's expansive war on drugs, which twined DEA Snowcap interdiction raids with greatly increased involvement - - and escalated U.S. funding -- of the military of Columbia, Peru and Bolivia. On Aug. 14, the House Committee on Government Operations of the 101st Congress released a report on Operation Snowcap that sent shivers through the high timbers of the DEA. After three field trips to observe Snowcap in action, the committee concluded that the DEA adventure in the Andes was flaky : "Despite the courageous efforts of agents conducting operations in the jungles, (cocaine) trafficking organizations have neither been disrupted nor dismantled as a result of DEA paramilitary activities in Peru and Bolivia. Three and a half years and nearly $200 million later, Operation Snowcap is failing to achieve its goals," said Rep. Bob Wise (D-W.Va.). Snowcap has not achieved any significant reduction in the cocaine flow, put DEA agents at risk in dangerous paramilitary situations and afforded many opportunities for the U.S. taxpayer to be once again ripped off. The study said that Bolivian military commanders used trucks and boats provided by the U.S. war on drugs for "commercial purposes," including renting them for the delivery of cocaine-processing chemicals. The congressional study found that things had not improved since a critical 1989 audit by the State Department's Office of Inspector General of U.S. anti- narcotics programs in Peru and Bolivia concluded that, under Snowcap: "Coca production in those countries has increased every year and less than 1 percent of the illicit drugs have been seized." The DEA's bragging of mammoth reductions in cocaine cultivation has assumed the status of the ludicrous. "DEA officials have been unable to state whether or not there has been _any_ decrease in the amount of cocaine coming into the U.S. since Operation Snowcap began," the congressional report said (_italics_ added). Snowcap comes across as a prototype for a drug wars version of "M*A*S*H" In one telling chapter, the committee described the hilarious situation of DEA agents on raids regularly running narcotics roadblocks manned by Bolivian troops because they know if they stop and identify themselves the soldiers will telegraph their intentions to the cocaine traffickers. The Bolivian troops of course shot at the anti-drug squad of DEA agents and Bolivian soldiers who crashed their checkpoint. This makes for exhilarating duty. The chapter includes: "To date no casualties have been reported, however, a knowledgeable DEA agent believes that it is only a matter of time before this situation will result in United States or (Bolivian) fatalities." The drug wars' version of friendly fire. So widespread and open is the profitable military cooperation with the cocaine lords of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia that instances of what Bush's drug warriors call the "host country" military shooting at DEA anti- drug raiders are common. On June 22, 1989, during a Snowcap raid on Santa Ana, a drug-trafficking center know as the Medellin of Bolivia, the Bolivian navy fired on U.S.-provided anti-drug helicopters. In Peru, soldiers shoot at passing DEA copters. The DEA's show biz approach to Snowcap -- all rockets, no explosions -- is evident in the Nov. 8, 1989, Snowcap raid on the town of San Ramon in eastern Bolivia to seize a half-dozen cocaine-processing facilities and capture a Bolivian narcotics "kingpin." The kingpin escaped, but the U.S. Embassy in La Paz called the raid - involving 30 DEA agents and 300 Bolivian military, "the largest encounter-narcotics enforcement operation in recent times" in "embassyspeak" - an "overall success." Congressional investigators found that only a small amount of cocaine from the supposedly huge processing center was seized and no cocaine base was found. The 20 Bolivians arrested all were out of jail and free within 10 days. The San Ramon raid fizzled out because the Bolivian military had tipped off the cocaine processors 12 hours before, giving them sufficient comfort to clear out of town with their equipment and supplies of cocaine hydrochloride. The final insult to U.S. drug wars bravado came from the Bolivian air force, which charged the U.S. Embassy commercial hourly rates for the use of their C-130s in the raid. The committee reported that "senior U.S. officials knew (in advance) that the raid had been compromised" but proceeded with the raid and declared it a public relations victory. Despite the Bush administration's costly reliance on the military of Peru, Bolivia and Columbia to win the war on drugs, the committee found "no indication that the military establishment in each country is interested in combating the narcotics trade." Operation Snowcap-as-M*A*S*H is nothing new to former DEA undercover agent Michael Levine, who put more than 3,000 drug dealers in the hoosegow but has concluded that the war on drugs is basically "a fraud." In his book "Deep Cover," an insider's account of the drug wars published earlier this year, Levine recounts a meeting of the "suits" - his affectionate name for DEA leaden-pants executives - in Washington, D.C., in 1988 where the DEA brass admitted that Snowcap was a shuck. Levine had told his bosses of an undercover meeting with Bolivian cocaine barons who laughed at Snowcap's pretensions and told him of cocaine runways in Bolivia large enough for a 747 to land. Levine was told angrily that "Snowcap is our answer" to the cocaine plague by officials who in the same breath admitted that: "DEA did not have aircraft with 'near enough range' to reach the cocaine lab, and that the corruption problem was 'insurmountable.' That the Bolivian cocaine traffickers were warned three days before every recon flight and that every recon flight and that every cocaine seizure Snowcap did make was 'a gift, to keep us happy.'" "The drug war," wrote the embittered ex-supernarc, "like the Vietnam War, is being fought with no intention of winning." Research assistance provided by Bob Callahan. -----------------end forwarded message--------------------------- -- paul hager hagerp@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu "I would give the Devil benefit of the law for my own safety's sake." --from _A_Man_for_All_Seasons_ by Robert Bolt ============================================================================ From: dgross@polyslo.CalPoly.EDU (Dave Gross) Subject: Forwarded Anonymous Posting (lots of neat stuff) This is an anonymous posting from someone who doesn't have posting privs. yet and contacted me to try to get this posted. Please change attributions to reflect this. Thanks. ----------------------begin forwarded message------- A Mount Everest of Time Convicts' numb disbelief at new drug-sentencing laws By A Federal Prisoner note : This essay is by a convicted bank robber and prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix who has been a frequent contributor to Sunday Punch. Under a recent court ruling now being appealed, federal prisoners may not have their writings published in the news media under their bylines. Therefore, in an attempt to protect the convict-writer from further disciplinary action, The Chronicle has chosen to publish this essay anonymously. The big prison story these days is the story of Patrick Grady and Gordon Brownlee and Kevin Sweeney and Curtis Bristow. They all made serious mistakes, and they will all have decades to brood over those mistakes. Grady 42, has been a close acquaintance of mine over the past two years. He's a Vietnam veteran who wears a mustache because a Viet Cong fragment grenade slightly disfigured his upper lip and part of his cheek. He was also wounded in the leg by gunfire and decorated repeatedly for valor in combat. Along with his wounds in Vietnam, Grady picked up a drug habit. When he returned to his hometown Seattle, he began selling drugs to support it. In 1988, he was convicted of numerous counts of conspiracy to possess and sell cocaine. It was his first felony charge. A federal judge in Tacoma, Wash., sentenced him to 36 years in prison. He will have to serve 31 years before he can be released. Grady has a wife and a 4-year-old daughter and professes shock over the severity of his sentence. "I can't believe that the system of government that I put my life on the line for could do this to me," he says. "I may be naive, but I've always thought a person could recover from one mistake. I grew up on the old cliche about a 'three-time loser.' Now I've made a mistake, and my wife will be 70 when I get out and my daughter will be 34. That's the end of my family, I can't ask them to wait that long." Grady doesn't say much about his sentence, but I can see in his eyes a form of terror and despair akin to what was probably there when he saw a fragment grenade land nearby. A few days ago, he asked me a question. "How is it that I get 36 years in prison for selling cocaine when people who rape a woman, bash her head in with a rusty pipe and leave her for dead only get 10 years? Am I supposed to be four times more evil than them?" The bitterness and numb disbelief of Patrick Grady are mirrored in the minds of thousands of men and women in the federal prisons, and the numbers are increasing at a alarming rate. In 1989, there were 44,891 criminal cases filed in federal courts, according to a U.S. judicial report. That was almost triple the 15,135 cases filed in 1980. Those numbers, more than anything, represent the escalation of the drug war in the past decade. More than one-fourth of all criminal cases filed in district courts are drug cases, according to the same report. But there's a darker side to those statistics because many people sentenced under new federal drug laws aren't ever getting out of prison. Some who will get out may be so old that they won't remember coming in. Even prisons such as the one here at Phoenix that are designed for medium-security prisoners are experiencing a large influx of men who have been sentenced to nightmarish terms of incarceration. Since 1987, federal sentences have been non-parolable. the maximum good time that can be earned is 54 days a year. Thus, a person with a 20-year sentence will serve about 17 years if he or she is a model prisoner. It used to be that a 20-year sentence would result in seven to 12 years of "real time." Many people outside applaud the big numbers and harsh sentences. But those I see in here who are weighed down by the years are not gunslinging stereotypes; they are real, hurting people and they have families outside whose lives, like their own, are devastated. The people who support those new sentences should at least look at their effect on the people I meet in here. A former college professor from the Bay Area whom I met here at Phoenix got life without parole for possession of seven kilos of cocaine. A Sacramento man who is 45 years old received 27 years for conspiring to manufacture methamphetamines. They both have wives and children who hope they will get out someday. Now that most of the power is in the hands of prosecutors, long sentences are no longer oddities - they have become the norm. Gordon Brownlee, a San Francisco native who lives down the tier from me tells about the pressure a San Francisco prosecutor put on him. "I was arrested in 1989 with one gram over five kilos of cocaine and charged with possession with intent to sell. Had it been under five kilos, the sentence range would have been five to 40 years. But the extra gram made it 10 years to life," he says. "The only criminal record I had was a charge in 1982 for trying to buy marijuana from an FBI agent. The prosecutor told me that if I would become an informer I could get off lightly, but if I didn't he would use the 'prior' to enhance my sentence to 20 years to life." Brownlee is 42 years old and has a wife and baby daughter. On July 28, 1989, after a plea of guilty, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. His release date is 2006. Few people in here, including those who were apprehended for drug violations, believe they should get a slap on the wrist or be let off lightly. But convicts believe that this country has entered an era of criminal justice when the punishment for drug offenses heavily outweighs the crimes, and the result in human terms is disastrous. Bob Gomez, an elderly man who helps fellow convicts with legal work, contends that an oversight by Congress created most of the problem. "A few years ago," he says, "Congress designed some harsh new sentences for drug offenses. Those terms were drafted with the thought in mind that offenders could be paroled in one-third or do the entire sentence in two-thirds of the total amount. "When the new non-parolable sentences were approved, they simply grafted the big numbers onto the new sentencing code. No politician had the temerity to jump up and say: 'Hey, we're giving these guys too much time.'" The problem goes beyond the sheer number of years people get under the new drug laws. Enforcement agents outside, spurred on by the public's drug hysteria, at times seem to be coercing crime as much as they are fighting it. Kevin Sweeney, 33, and Curtis Bristow, 32, are both former residents of San Diego. They received 20 and 14 years respectively for conspiracy to make methamphetamines. Their cases raise troubling questions about the "war" against drugs. Sweeney and Bristow were jailed along with 100 other defendants arrested in a four-year DEA sting operation in San Diego. One defendant was sentenced to 30 years. But the police operation itself had some ugly aspects. A chemical store had been set up in 1985 by a man who was working with the DEA, according to a DEA agent. He began selling chemicals and glassware to would-be methamphetamine makers and turning their names and addresses over to the DEA, the agent testified. In the ensuing four years, according to trial testimony, he sold hundreds of pounds of ephedrine over the counter. Ephedrine is the key ingredient in illicit meth. It's illegal to sell in the state of California. One of his customers was a 15-year-old boy. At the time, a DEA agent was also directly involved in the store's operation. At the culmination of the sting operation in 1989, the store owner testified that he cleared $900,000 in one year from the sale of ephedrine that the DEA allowed him to keep in addition to money they paid him. He also testified that he taught novices how to make the drug using the chemicals and glassware he sold them. A rough estimate of the amount of drugs he put on the street under the auspices of the DEA is mind-boggling. Attorneys have appealed the charges as "outrageous government conduct," but given the political nature of drugs today, no one holds out much hope for relief. Bristow, who worked for the government as a sandblaster, had no criminal record other than traffic violations. He was sentenced to 163 months for possession of the chemicals he bought from the chemical store. Sweeney, with one prior felony on his record, got 240 months in federal prison. It's easy for a judge to say "20 years" or "30 years." It takes only a few seconds to declare. It's also easy for the person in the street to say: "Well , this criminal has harmed society and should be locked up for a long time." The public is unable to imagine what the added time does to a convict and what it does to his family. Two years is a lot of time. Twenty or 30 years is a Mount Everest of time, and very few can climb it. And what happens to them on the way up makes one not want to be around if and when they return. The first thing a convict feels when he receives and inconceivably long sentence is shock. The shock wears off after about two years, when all his appeals have been denied. He then enters a period of self-hatred because of what he's done to himself and his family. If he survives that emotion - and some don't - he begins to swim the rapids of rage, frustration and alienation. When he passes through the rapids, he finds himself in the calm waters of impotence, futility and resignation. It's not a life one can look forward to living. The future is totally devoid of hope, and people without any hope are dangerous - either to themselves or others. These long-timers will also have to serve their time in increasingly overcrowded and violent prisons. As I write this, authorities are building a pre-fab unit next door to my cellblock that will hod 300 new convicts. Some two-man cells here already hold three people. There are 1,200 of us in a prison that was designed and built for 500. A more sinister phenomenon is the growing length of the chemical pill line daily at the prison hospital, the place where convicts go for daily doses of tranquilizers and psychotropic drugs such as Prolixin and Haldol. The need for these medications is a sign of the turmoil inside these long-timers. Indeed, it is ironic that men who are spending decades incarcerated for illicit drug activities are now doped up by government doctors to help them bear the agony of their sentences. Two years ago, the chemical pill line was very short. Now it snakes along for a good distance. Society is creating a class of men with nothing else to lose but their minds. -------------------------------- I have a question about drug use upon the body that I hope someone can (with sources) answer: A friend of mine had a teacher in high school that had two down syndrome children. The doctors told her that her and her husband had taken too many drugs in their life time. That their drug usage had permanently "altered" their genes, that they would never be able to have normal children. My question is : what are the sources disproving a connection between drug use and the chromosomes, and if it is sufficiently disproved, what kind of legal response can the teacher bring upon the doctor. ----------------------------- On the Willie Nelsen thread ... from the Examiner. Willie Nelson says he doesn't care much for politicians, but he's all for Kentucky's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith because Galbraith is all for marijuana. Galbraith wants to legalize marijuana and even use it for food and fuel. "I'm for the war on drugs," Nelson said Sunday at a Democratic Party rally, in Frankfort, to the consternation of more traditional Democrats. "I'm not in favor of the war on flowers and herbs. Marijuana is an herb and a flower," the country singer said. "God put it here. What gives them the right to say God's wrong?" Nelson and Galbraith say they are regular marijuana smokers. --------------------end forwarded article------------------ ************************* dgross@polyslo.CalPoly.EDU *************************** Dover, Del. (AP) -- Drug traffickers in Delaware, which outlawed public floggings less than 30 years ago, could be stripped to the waist and given 40 lashes if legislation introduced in the state Senate becomes law. ============================================================================ From: turpin@cs.utexas.edu (Russell Turpin) Subject: Why drug testing is dangerous. ----- Underlying the push for universal drug testing is the idea that it is all right to deny people employment, access to schools, job training, driver licenses, and favors and permissions from the government because they have broken a law. On the face of it, this seems a reasonable assumption. It reflects laws in many states that prohibit felons from voting, owning weapons, or otherwise participating in activies and benefits available to the law-abiding members of society. The problem with this line of thought is that felons have been convicted in court. Our legal system has scrupulous rules -- rules that are vital to our liberty -- about determining a suspect's guilt *before* she or he is deprived of normal social relations. Universal drug testing is an attempt to bypass these rules and the protection they afford. This is easy to see if one looks at other kinds of illegalities. Theft is against the law, and unlike drug use, there is not doubt about the damage it does others. Suppose that in order to get a driver's license, fill out an employment application, apply to a school, buy a weapon, etc, one had to yield one's bank records for examination of any suspicious deposits, which one would then have to explain. If one could not explain the legal source of income for a suspicious deposit, then one would be turned down on the grounds that one had thieved or otherwise acquired money illegally. How is this different from a drug exam? One might complain that the DPS, prospective employer, school dean, and gun salesman have no business knowing how much one earns or how -- just as those opposed to drug testing complain that these have no business knowing the list of prescription drugs one takes. One might complain that this is an invasion of privacy -- but any more than collecting one's piss? One might complain that if the federal government were to require this, then it would be a violation of the 4th amendment. If true, then so is drug testing. We are moving from a system where one is innocent until proven guilty to where one must prove one's innocence to live in society. The Constitutional principles against this are being bypassed by the government pressuring secondary institutions (state departments, employers, schools, etc) to implement the program. But it is still the government in control. If this trend is successful, the closing of our society will be as certain as if it were federal officers demanding one's piss (bank records, official papers, etc) instead of employers, school deans, and other semi-private officials. Russell ============================================================================ From: turpin@cs.utexas.edu (Russell Turpin) Subject: Re: Innocent Until Proven Guilty Summary: Innocence until guilt proven is part of due process. Civil RICO is a travesty of American legal tradition. ----- In article <32068@shemp.CS.UCLA.EDU>, pierce@lanai.cs.ucla.edu (Brad Pierce): > She continues with the part that confuses me, "The governent seizure takes > place through civil proceedings where the burden is on the defendant to > prove his or her innocence, unlike the 'innocent until proven guilty' > due process guarantee of criminal proceedings." > > In reading previous net postings I had received the impression that in > the US there is no constitutionally guaranteed right to be "innocent until > proven guilty". If there is, in fact, such a right, then why doesn't one > possess this right in a civil trial? ... The fifth amendment says that the federal government may not deprive citizens of life, liberty, or property without "due process" of law. The fourteenth amendment extends this protection to all citizens equally, and from state and local governments as well as the federal government. It all sounds good, but what is due process? The answer is that our legal system rests in part on English common law, and it is from that tradition that our courts decide what is or is not due process. The Constitution does not spell out in detail all the rules that apply to criminal proceedings; instead the framers relied on what had already been spelled out in the English tradition. Thus, "due process" includes an adversarial system, an impartial judge, and the burden of the state to prove the guilt of the accused. (For contrast, one can examine jurisprudence in countries whose legal system derives from the Napoleonic code.) In the English tradition, the lower courts do two things: try accused criminals and resolve disputes between citizens. A burden of proof makes eminent sense when imposed on the power of the state to punish citizens. But if you and your neighbor are arguing over the boundary between your lands, this no longer applies. Who would have the burden of proof, and why? Instead, civil law allows resolution based on the "preponderance of evidence". In the war on drugs, the government has found the burdens of criminal prosecution too great, and so it has tried to escape them by using civil law to punish. Instead of proving a person guilty of dealing drugs and levying a fine, it passes a law that "defines" the state as legitimate owner of all property used in drug deals, siezes the property it suspects, and then makes the aggrieved citizen sue to get her or his property back. Since both possession of property and the suspicion of the law enforcement agents are evidence in civil court, the citizen is already at an evidential deficit which must be overcome to reclaim their property. This is one of the greatest legal atrocities in the history of American law. If allowed to continue, it holds the possibility that criminal law -- and our traditional rights in that area -- will become largely obsolete, because the state will be able to effectively control citizens solely through civil procedures. Currently, the state has bypassed the need to prove guilt or even indict citizens before imposing arbitrary fines. The state could similarly bypass safeguards on citizen liberty by instituting a national service and defining as the qualified draftees everyone involved in the drug trade. "Trial?? We don't need no stinkin' trial. You haven't been *jailed*, after all, just impressed into national service. If you think you were selected wrongly, just sue us!" Contrary to the drug warriors who support this terrible change, I believe there is considerable difference between a bank robber's swag being returned to the bank, since both the bank and robber are private parties, and a drug dealer's property being siezed by the state, which unlike the bank, gets to define ownership in any fashion it pleases. To allow this kind of seizure obscures irredeemiably the distinction between criminal punishment and civil dispute. > ... Are there any other rights that a person no longer has if > undergoing a civil trial, such as the right not to incriminate > oneself? Yes, but I do not have a good grasp of which. Hopefully, some of the legal eagles in this newsgroup will provide the answer. You will see that allowing the state to prosecute crime through civil procedure is a huge step backwards in civil rights. Russell ============================================================================ From: rab@well.sf.ca.us (Bob Bickford) Subject: Bill would declare martial law, suspend Constitution, for Drug War Keywords: drug war constitution concentration camp ------------------------- EMERGENCY -- ACT! by Tomas Estrada-Palma and Larry Monaghan A new bill, HR 4079, co-sponsored by Representative Newt Gingrich and Senator Phil Gramm, would open the way for American concentration camps to be built, and thereafter permit the state to round up suspected drug users so they can be forced to work without compensation for the state. "The Drug and Crime Emergency Act" drips with patriotism as Gingrich tries to vaguely connect the freedom movement in eastern Europe with America falling deeper and deeper into "the slavery of drug addiction". The bill proposes suspending the Constitution for five years so millions of illegal drug users can be held by the state in concentration camps. All internees will be forced to work and if anyone is caught with drugs in the camps they will have one year added to their sentence each time -- with no right to appeal. HR 4079 calls for declaration of a five year national state of emergency --in essence, martial law. It proposes reopening the concentration camps of WWII, using active and inactive military bases as prisons, and a new privately owned prison system as well. To aid in accomplishing this, the 4th Amendment, the 8th Amendment, and habeas corpus are either superseded, redefined, or disallowed. A provision has been built in to allow the government to purchase goods manufactured by prison slave labor. To ensure the duration of this labor force, all previous maximum sentences would be changed to minimum sentences. New mandatory sentences would be applied, and probation, parole, and suspension of sentences revoked. To provide an even greater pool to draw from, mandatory drug testing of just about everyone above junior high school level has been included. The resolution carefully avoids addressing the funding necessary. Even after 30 press releases were sent out to all the national and local news outlets by Maryland Libertarian Party members, there has been practically no mention of the bill in the media. The state evidently is hoping to sweep this bill into law right under our noses while we are all preoccupied with other events taking place around the world. Surprisingly, the response from libertarians as well as mainstream folks has been one of complacency. Everyone needs to make phone calls and write letters. Direct your correspondence to the media and your representatives as well as Gingrich and Gramm. If they don't think you care about this bill becoming law -- it will! Act now or cry behind the barbwire later. --------------- reproduced from the July 1990 Libertarian Party NEWS -- Robert Bickford {apple,pacbell,hplabs,ucbvax}!well!rab rab@well.sf.ca.us /-------------------------------------\ | Don't Blame Me: I Voted Libertarian | \-------------------------------------/ ============================================================================ Annual drug deaths: tobacco: 395,000 alcohol: 125,000 'legal' drugs: 38,000 illegal drug overdoses: 5,200 marijuana: 0. Considering government subsidies of tobacco, just what is our government protecting us from in the drug war?

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