Thursday, December 19, 2013

In Texas It's OK for Police To Break The Law; And In Washington D.C. ?

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Scott Henson @ "Grits For Breakfast reported this week that a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruling has allowed "...another court-created federal exception to the exclusionary rule in state-level search and seizure cases that allows evidence to be admitted in the face of clear police misconduct, even though Texas has a statutory exclusionary rule that - unlike the court-created federal version - includes no exceptions on its face..."

Henson says:
"...The case - Wehrenberg v. State - involved a drug bust in Parker County in which officers received a tip from a confidential informant that the defendant and others were "fixing to" cook meth later that evening. Three or four hours later, after midnight, officers illegally entered Mr. Wehrenberg's residence "without a search warrant and without consent," handcuffing everyone inside and escorting them all into the front yard, conducting a "protective sweep" of the house. Then they held everyone outside in handcuffs for an hour and a half while one of the officers went to find a judge to secure a search warrant. The search warrant affidavit did not inform the judge that officers had already entered the premises and detained everyone found in the house. The judge issued a warrant, police found contraband, and charged Mr. Wehrenberg with a second degree felony, for which he was convicted..."

In a nut-shell, cops allegedly lied to a judge to get a warrant.  Ostensibly and arguably, as the defense might have contended, the "evidence" seized was taken illegally and should not have been allowed.

Yes, there was a crime allegedly committed or about to be committed, and the argument that judicial action was warranted in order to thwart that crime was warranted might pass inspection at the muster of those same troopers that contend the ends justifies the means.  But what if this becomes a precedent for law enforcement to target someone for political reasons?

Sound familiar?

Just look at what happened with the NSA. Ostensibly NSA'ers were given permission to spy on terrorists via electronic means. Somehow, the geniuses at the NSA, fueled by the enthusiasm of the new toys of digital espionage, extrapolated that they could spy on Americans just "cuz" you never know who might be plotting what. And of course, they even got a special court to decide when it was ok to do that, which from what most now are able to discern, is, anytime they feel like it.

Partner that with the fact that Congressional oversight committee members get campaign contributions from government "intelligence" contractors, and there you have a hot recipe for an illegal plate of enchiladas certain to result in a severe case of Constitutional indigestion.

Where should the lines get drawn then?  At the local and state level?  Or at the point where you have wholesale violation of Constitutional rights being violated for "national security" reasons.

When does it become "too late?" to restore your Freedoms?

And, as Henson writes,

"...In that light, whether or not the majority's hair-splitting legalisms are valid, the net effect of the ruling in this particular instance was to allow police to gloss over actions that everyone agrees were illegal conduct. Bottom line: In Texas, if citizens break the law, they go to jail. If police break the law, some activist judge will find or create a reason to excuse their misbehavior, which is precisely what happened in this case..."

And at the federal level, when it involves your "national security," when millions of Americans are being subjected to violations of privacy, and with respect to the possession of their information, illegal search and seizure, shall we just twiddle our thumbs and turn the nation back over to King George?

Vanguard of Freedom
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