Posts tagged ‘cops’

Freedom of the Press #13 – Sojourn to Sacramento

Freedom of the Press #13
Sojourn to Sacramento

Gary Hunt,
Outpost of Freedom
April 11, 2017

Introduction

This past Friday, April 7, I returned home from a week long visit the Sacramento County Jail.  I was in jail based upon a Warrant for my arrest for failing to appear at a show cause hearing on March 10.  The Warrant and what led up to it will be the subject of a future article.

I am writing this article to explain a system that, quite frankly, ignores our rights, especially when only accused of a crime.  It will give a little insight into life behind bars, at least those of the Sacramento County Jail.  I can’t say that this compares to the treatment that those currently held in jail in Oregon (Jason Patrick) or Nevada (many still innocent people) are receiving, but, perhaps it will help to understand that they are being treated similarly, or worse.

It will also explain what I have gone through.  Now, when I go to Court in Portland, next month, I will be entering the courtroom on the terms that I had to establish.  Fortunately, though without a plan going in, the final result is that I achieved a bit more than I could have expected, thanks to Judge Anna Brown.

The Arrest

Around noon on March 30, 2017, a nice, sunny, warm day, here in Los Molinos, California, I received a phone call from FBI Special Agent Catalano.  This was the fourth call he had made to me, since back in January when he first provided me a copy from the US Shyster demanding that I cease and desist publishing information obtained from the United States v. Ammon Bundy, et al, discovery evidence.  He began by saying, I am here in Los Molinos with the US Marshals, and I suppose you know what this is about.”  About that time, my wife buzzed me and told me that lunch was ready.

I then asked if it was to arrest me.  He affirmed that that was the purpose.  I asked if I could have about an hour to explain to my family what was occurring.  After conferring with someone on his end, he said that would be okay.  I told him that I would call him when I was ready.  I must say that I honestly believe, because of the tone of his voice, that SA Catalano did not enjoy his task

I called my team and gave them the simple message, “I am going to be arrested and transported to Sacramento.”  Please post that on my Facebook pages.”  I told them that there was no more to report, at this time.  Then, I went to the house, planning to do a bit more preparation, after I had eaten.

As I sat down to eat lunch, the task that I had anticipated, though somehow hoped would not occur, became reality.  My wife and children know what I do, but our agreement is that my work stays in my office, and out of the house.  They had no idea what I had been writing, but that was about ready to explode, big time, as I began, “I am going to be arrested within an hour.”

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #13 – Sojourn to Sacramento’ »

Burns Chronicles No 55 – Marshall Spring & Ben

Burns Chronicles No 55
Marshall Spring & Ben

 

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
January 23, 2017

Marshall Sawyer Spring served as a Marine in Iraq with one of the defendants. He received a Purple Heart, but his honor stopped there. His and Ben’s betrayal, of patriots and fellow Marines, as informants includes not only informing, but goes well beyond, as you will see.

Spring and his partner, known only as “Ben”, live in Loveland, Colorado. Spring is a “Marshal” appointed such by Bruce Doucette, self-appointed “United States Superior Court Judge”. This would, according to the “appointment”, make Spring’s title “Marshal Marshall Spring”.  Doucette arranged to meet Spring and “Ben” in Burns, to set up a Common Law Grand Jury. Spring and Ben’s visit to Burns coincides with the two FBI form 1023 (CHS Reporting Document) reports, and it is quite apparent that the reports are tracking Doucette as much as they are the events in Burns.

Doucette, on January 14, 2017, confronted Spring with the information I had. Of course, Spring denied that he was an informant, however, even though a subsequent meeting was scheduled, it seems that Spring has given up his phone, as it is no longer in service.

Efforts to contact “Ben” have been futile, and even his last name is unknown. He had red hair and was around the Refuge by January 12 until, at least, January 15, 2016. He was about 5′ 7″ or 5′ 8″ and weighed about 175 pounds. He sported a Fu Manchu goatee and moustache.

Whether Spring or Ben filed the respective reports is unknown. However, by some of the information contained within the reports, it appears that Spring is CHS #12.

January 12, 2016

[heavily redacted]

Later in the day, Doucette met other individuals involved with the standoff including Pete Santillli and Joseph O’Shaughnessy aka “Captain O”. O’Shaughnessy claims to be part of a militia group from Arizona and part of the Pacific Patriot Network. O’Shaughnessy is attempting to get a helicopter to come to the area to conduct counter surveillance. O’Shaughnessy does not like how the holding of the refuge compound is being handled. He believes that a very limited number of Federal Agents could take back the refuge.

Doucette also met with individuals that claim to be part of the press covering the standoff named Mike LNU of the TVOI News Network, Vicki Davis, Chuck Greenwood, telephone: [omitted] and Tim Davis. Mike LNU says they have a “brother” in the Sheriff’s Department and if this comes to a fire fight it will be between the cops.

Doucette’s plan in Burns is to convene two common law grand juries in the area. A common law grand jury consists of 25 jurors and 1 Grand Jury administrator. It takes 25 jurors to indict and 12 to decide on a presented case. The starting point of forming a grand jury will be to discuss the idea with the Safety Committee [Harney County Committee of Safety] on Friday at a party that is planned to take place in town. Roger with the Grand Jury in Florida is assisting remotely with writing all of Bruce Doucette’s decisions and indictments.

Doucette believes that if Bundy gets what he wants (return of the land to the ranchers) that in 6 months it will be taken back by the Federal Government. Accordingly, Doucette stated that, “we can’t leave here until a new Sheriff has been appointed and a new government is installed.” Doucette believes that a sheriff can be appointed because the current sheriff, his department and local government are all corrupt.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 55 – Marshall Spring & Ben’ »

Burns Chronicles No 52 – Will Kullman (Nighthawk) #2

Burns Chronicles No 52
Will Kullman (Nighthawk) #2

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
December 30, 2016

I have been contacted by a number of people who were contacted by Kullman, after the “Burns Chronicles No 51 – William “Will” Kullman (Night Hawk)“went out. His line to them is that I (Hunt) am a BATF agent. Heck, that accusation goes back to 1993, and in all of that time, nobody has been able to provide any substance to that accusation. That just shows how cheap talk is.

I have also been provided a copy of a text conversation from back in September, about the time the Portland Trial, Ammon Bundy, et al, began. So, we will begin with that text conversation. I have indicated Kullman’s comments with K and the other participant as S. This discussion took place before and during the trial that began on September 7, 2016.

SEP 4 AT 10:08 PM

K:  I’m going to Portland for the Bundy trials. Will you be there

SEP 21 AT 5:46 PM

S:  Dude… People are freaking out your like McConnell… is this true?

K:  Excuse me?

S:  Ya. Everyone is telling me you were buddy buddy with him and you mysteriously left last week after they showed your picture. I’m not saying it that’s not me… it paranoia all over again… someone said you are testifying for the prosecution. Blah blah blah… figured you would want to know

K:  First and foremost before the Bundys before the trials before any of this Mark and I Marine brothers just like John Ritzheimer and our bond is before everything else. Period. I have no idea what you mean by showing my picture I left on Thursday afternoon because I had trial myself here in Washington Friday morning for my son in custody. I’m not testifying for anybody and I risked a lot going to the courthouse, and because I was in Portland for a week and didn’t see my son before my trial I end up losing custody of my son so I sacrificed to be there don’t lump me in with Jason Blomgren just because he squealed like a pig.

Note that he mentions Ritzheimer, claiming that their “bond is before everything else.” This was brought up in ” Burns Chronicles No 51 – William “Will” Kullman (Night Hawk)“, when Kullman told Peltier to tell Ritzheimer, “Semper Fi!”

Now, we will jump to the end of the next discussion, which took place on Facebook. The initial discussion began on the day that LaVoy Finicum was murdered, January 26, and concluded on the next day. The conversation picks up again on December 28, 2016. It is this last portion that we will begin with. This is the day that the first Kullman article was published.

8:23 pm [December 28, 2016]

Friend:  Not sure what is going on but you are being tagged in the Patriot community as an informant against the refuge guys.  Outpost of Freedom has evidence and has written an article against you.  What the hell is going on?  I trusted you

8:37 pm

Kullman:  I’m not sure.  I was just told of it.  And haven’t finished reading the article myself

I don’t know how they would come to that conclusion, I’m one of the biggest patriots in this state and make it known because I’m proud of who I am.

8:39 pm

Friend:  I’ve been hit up by the armchair warriors stalking my page that keep pming me telling me how terrible I am that we are “friends” on fb…but I can’t find your name on my list.  Strange.  Gary Hunt called you for your input but you hung up on him.  What the hell is going on?

Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 52 – Will Kullman (Nighthawk) #2’ »

Burns Chronicles No 48 – Robert “Rob” Seever (R.W. Seaver) #2

Burns Chronicles No 48
Robert “Rob” Seever (R.W. Seaver) #2

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
December 20, 2016

Rob Seever was the name and spelling that I was given in my first article on Seever. I was told, at the time, that he had helped to expose a law enforcement officer in Washington or Oregon. I had the wrong spelling of Seaver’s name, no name of the officer, and unsure of the location, I was unable to substantiate that claim.

However, my first article led to contact by two people with information applicable to Robert W. Seaver. So, we will first discuss Seaver’s activities dating back, at least, to 2009.

The Willamette Weekly published an article on October 13, 2009. The article is titled, “The Ice Man Weepeth – A Portland cop denies a new video’s accusations of Nazism“. The allegations made against Central Precinct Captain Mark Kruger by Seaver are lengthy, and include dressing in Nazi uniforms, posting a plaque above the II-205 honoring five World War II German soldiers, and other claims demonizing Kruger.

From that article, “Seaver, a former legal aide with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, claims he first came forward against Kruger six years ago to make amends for his own racist past.”

Seaver also posted a YouTube video he had made to demonize Kruger. The video was removed by YouTube after complaints of violations were submitted.

There is a note at the end of the article that provides even more insight into the character of Robert Seaver. I haven’t researched the accuracy, though I would suppose that the Willamette Weekly would not have published it – if they hadn’t verified that accuracy.

FACT:

In the late 1980s, Seaver fell in love with Diane Downs, who was serving a life sentence for shooting her three children in 1983, killing one. Seaver plotted to spring Downs from prison, then testified against her in 1990.

So, we can see that Seaver will go after someone he disagrees with “tooth and nail”. That appears to be the case in his targeting of Corey Lequieu, in that Seaver didn’t agree with what Ammon Bundy and the others were doing by occupying government property.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 48 – Robert “Rob” Seever (R.W. Seaver) #2’ »

The Bundy Affair – #19 – Schuyler Barbeau Responds to Ryan Payne

The Bundy Affair – #19
Schuyler Barbeau Responds to Ryan Payne

Schuyler Barbeau

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 30, 2016

Schuyler Barbeau receives copies of my articles, via mail, while detained at SeaTac Federal Detention Center. After reading “Ryan Payne Explains Some of the Circumstances Surrounding the Bundy Affair in April 2014“, Schuyler sent me the following to post, in response to that article.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

11/14/2016
FDC SeaTac

This is an open letter,

To those Patriots, their families, anyone affected by or involved with the indictment against Cliven Bundy and eighteen others, the Government, FBI, Federal Prosecutors, and anyone else concerned with the case,

This letter is my concurrence with an open letter written and published by Ryan Payne.

I, Schuyler P. Barbeau, was present before, during and after the “standoff” event that took place in Bunkerville, NV, near Cliven Bundy’s Ranch on April 12th, 2014.  I arrived at noon on Friday the 11th, and was invited to be a member of the Personal Security Detail that evening.  I then remained a member of the PSD [Personal Security Detail] for seven days.

Ryan Payne made five statements in his letter, that he made speculative, inaccurate, and/or fabricated statements before, during, and after the “standoff.”

“1) There were outcomes that I discussed with Mr. Bundy on the morning of April 8, 2014, upon first meeting him, which were desirable to him and his family.  These were then disseminated through conventional and alternative media outlets, in the belief that those who may decide to protest against the Sheriff’s apparent lack of involvement, and/or against the brutal and militarized actions of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  This would give them more information to aid in making decisions for themselves and their actions.  There was never a plan to accomplish these objectives, in any way, shape, or form, nor was there any intent to support any such plan, by myself, the Bundy’s, or anyone else.  As there was presumed to be a large protest on April 12th, I discussed with numerous individuals, some particular things to be watch­ful for amongst the crowd, for the safety of all involved including law enforcement and federal employees.  However, none of these discussions concerned a plan to achieve any objectives.  This is true to my knowledge.”

. Continue reading ‘The Bundy Affair – #19 – Schuyler Barbeau Responds to Ryan Payne’ »

Burns Chronicles No 45 – Mark McConnell #2

Burns Chronicles No 45
Mark McConnell #2

mm-on-border-2016-2

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 30, 2016

I have obtained some additional information on Mark McConnell that will be of interest to all.  After my last article, “Mark McConnell“, it seems that McConnell kept saying that the information was readily available.  He never really addressed whether he was an informant, or not.  He simply sidestepped the issue of the role he played.

So, let’s separate the issues between what he said and whether he was an informant.  To do so, we simply look to the Court record and see what transpired, on two separate occasions, during the trial of the United States of America v. Ammon Bundy, et al.  The verdict was not guilty on all but one count.

From the rough draft transcripts of the trial, September 21, 2016.  Mr. Gabriel is one of the prosecuting attorneys.  Beckert is an Oregon State Police officer.  Mr. Mumford was Ammon Bundy’s attorney.  Yu will not that the government prosecuting attorney intentionally outed McConnell as a government informant.  I will leave the reader to speculate as to why they would do this.

GABRIEL: Your Honor, Jeremiah Beckert from the Oregon State Police. He will testify to the stop of the Jeep that Ammon Bundy and Mark McConnell and Brian Cavalier were traveling in.

* * *

Mr. Gabriel: So I want to direct your attention to the evening of January 26th of this year, 2016.

A.  Okay.

Q.  Were you a part of a traffic stop on a brown Jeep?

A.  Yes, I was.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 45 – Mark McConnell #2’ »

Burns Chronicles No 39 – Informants – What to do About Them

Burns Chronicles #39
Informants – What to do About Them

3-spy

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 6, 2016

Recently, I watched a video of an interview with Terri Linnell that was couched into an in-studio, live “exposé”, purporting to prove that what Linnell had said was an “obvious lie”.  This whole program was based primarily on my article, “Burns Chronicles No 32 – Terri Linnell (Mama Bear)“, and the host’s subsequent interview with Terri.

In the comment section of that video, I disputed a couple of items that were alleged to be truthful, one, in particular, dealing with the time element, and when people might have known when LaVoy had been murdered.  After all, this set everything into motion, this past January 26.

However, their estimate of when people outside could have known what had happened came out to 10:00 PM. Heck, I knew by 7:00 PM, and as I recall, it was one of my team members that had called me (in Burns) from another state to tell me what had happened.  Subsequently, one of the guests has admitted that they had no idea of what time the information would have gotten out — they were just guessing based upon when they found out about the murder.

I had intended to go back to YouTube and review/comment on the remainder of the 2 hour 25 minute video, since I had commented on perhaps only the first twenty minutes that I have watched.  Since I had been working on another article, I postponed that subsequent review.

Then I found myself tagged in a subsequent discussion on Facebook, I was invited to be interviewed because of my disagreement with the host.  I accepted, however.  I included the provision that my interview had to be done that day.  First, the video was damaging by its untruthfulness, and such lies should be outed in a timely manner.  Second, I didn’t want to wait the “3 or 4 days” for the host to conduct the interview.  I have better things to do than wait around for someone to try to figure what questions he needs to ask to try to cover his blatant misrepresentations.  Heck, the interview would have been about the video he had created, so if anyone needed to prepare, it would have been me.  However, he turned it back on me for not being willing to abide by his schedule.  So be it.  I have broad shoulders and take full responsibility for not doing the interview.

Now, why do I bring this up?  Well, since I posted the article, which I had agreed not to post until Terri testified in the Portland trial, many alleged patriots have attacked her, verbally.  Some understood and appreciate what she had done, but when she left the courtroom, she was stunned and could find no one who would talk with her, nor could she find a place to stay.  It was that treatment of Terri that caused me to put pen to paper, in hopes of providing another perspective on how we should treat informants.

So, let’s look at the three informants that testified during the trial.  First, we have Mark McConnell, though he still denies, or at least sidesteps, his role.  He was outed, intentionally, and quite surprisingly, by the government in their direct examination of an Oregon State Police officer.  It was later reconfirmed by the Court that he was, in fact, an informant.  Mark professes to be a patriot, and he probably is —along the lines of OathKeepers, where the Constitution is what they are told by their superiors, and is patriotism to the government, not to the country or the Constitution.  Mark is one informant that all true patriots should, at least, distance themselves from.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 39 – Informants – What to do About Them’ »

Burns Chronicles No 38 – If You Can’t Continue To Punish Those Who Are Not Guilty, Then Punish Their Attorney

Burns Chronicles No 38
If You Can’t Continue To Punish Those Who Are Not Guilty,
Then Punish Their Attorney

marcus-mumford

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 4, 2016

On October 27, 2016, in a Federal Court in Portland, Oregon, Not Guilty Verdicts were read by the Court and affirmed by the Jury.  Shortly thereafter, a rather interesting and unusual event occurred.

One of the ex-Defendants, Shawna Cox, described what happened when the Jury was excused:

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

As we stood for the Jury to leave the room, I watched in disbelief as the Judge told us to all sit down and remain seated while the US Marshalls removed Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, and David Fry from the room.

We were still standing and Mr. Mumford raised both of his arms and leaning down into the microphone on the desk in front of him he said to the Judge:  “NO Your Honor.  These men are leaving this room with me, as FREE Men!  The Jury has just acquitted them and they are free to leave!”

Judge Brown responded, “The Marshalls are going to take them back to the jail.”

Mumford said:  “You Honor, the jury has just rendered the Not Guilty verdict, and you have no more jurisdiction, do you?”

Judge Brown responded, “Stop yelling at me Mr. Mumford, don’t ever yell at me again, ever.  And No, I don’t.  But the US Marshalls are going to retain them until they are returned to Nevada to stand trial there.”

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 38 – If You Can’t Continue To Punish Those Who Are Not Guilty, Then Punish Their Attorney’ »

Burns Chronicles No 28 – Public Trial – Mistrial? – What stinking Mistrial?

Burns Chronicles No 28
Public Trial
Mistrial? What stinking Mistrial?

anna-brown-judge-bww-crown

Judge Anna Brown

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 19, 2016

A rather interesting what, and from a lay standpoint unjust, occurrence, happened both in the paper chase (at this point, nearly 1300 docket entries) and in the courtroom. It had to do with the testimony of the government’s first witness, Harney County Sheriff David Ward. It was a Motion for Mistrial.

An interesting note on the Motion is that we obtained a copy shortly before it was “SEALED”. This led to the admonishment that is addressed below.

It all began on the 2nd day of the trial (Wednesday, September 14), during cross-examination by Ammon Bundy’s attorney, Marcus R. Mumford is questioning Sheriff Ward.  Here are excerpts from the Motion, taken from the rough-draft transcripts:

Q.  And you had conducted some investigation, into Bunkerville?

A.  I had.

Q.  And did that investigation come – that was in the process of those meetings that you had with the U.S. attorney, and the FBI?

A.  I had – I had gone on to the Internet and googled it, it’s amazing what you can find on there.

I found videos from the things that happened at Bunkerville. I – I looked at a lot of different – lot of different things that happened, throughout that incident. And the thought that have happening in my community scared the hell out of me, where I saw armed people lined up on both sides, advancing, you know, with – with one side advancing against another.

I had learned some of unstable people who had left that situation, and killed two police officers, while they were eating lunch in a restaurant.

I think that there are – there are a lot of circumstances I was attempting to avoid in my community, sir.

Then, Mumford asked that some of Ward’s testimony be stricken:

MUMFORD: Your Honor, I would move to strike that.

THE COURT: Move to strike what, sir?

MUMFORD: The nonresponsive part of the –

THE COURT: I don’t know what you identify as nonresponsive.

The answer seemed responsive to your question, so be specific.

MUMFORD: Okay. Well – I think it was a yes-or-no question, your Honor.

THE COURT: Is there another objection?

Mumford, failing to make any progress, is simply abandoned by Judge Brown. However, Ryan Bundy, acting pro se (representing himself), jumps in, once the Judge recognizes that he, too, has an objection.

DEFENDANT RYAN BUNDY: Yes, my objection, your Honor, hearsay, there, it alludes to events that were not necessarily related to – to the situation.

THE COURT: The court reporter is not hearing you, Mr. Bundy, because of your microphone not being on.

Would you –

DEFENDANT RYAN BUNDY: The mic is on.

THE COURT: Let’s try again. The court reporter wasn’t hearing, would you please restate your objection?

DEFENDANT RYAN BUNDY: Yes, hearsay.

He’s tying in persons that were not involved it (pause, conferring.)

Prejudicial, I change that to prejudicial.

About the folks supposedly killing people that were not associated with us.

THE COURT: Jurors, I’m going to ask you to disregard the witness’s references to events that occurred in Nevada that had to do with the police officers being killed, and whether they were or weren’t associated with Bunkerville.

The answer generally was responsive, in that it reflected the witness’s state of mind, but you’re not to consider that particular part of his answer in any part of your consideration of this evidence.

Now, the transcript is a “rough-draft transcript”, and we are told that there was an Order made by the Judge, referencing “Court’s Sealed Order 1141”. Then, she goes on to admonish Mumford for using quotes from the “rough-draft transcript” in his Motion.

.mistrial-1 Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 28 – Public Trial – Mistrial? – What stinking Mistrial?’ »

Liberty or Laws? – “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”

Liberty or Laws?

“nor shall be compelled in any criminal case
to be a witness against himself”

Does the Fifth Amendment Stop at Miranda?

Miranda wordingGary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
June 6, 2016

The principle element in this discussion is the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

The provision that is of concern is, “No person… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”  And, we must begin by understanding that, as the Preamble to the Bill of Rights says,

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

Clearly, the Fifth Amendment, then, is a prohibition against the government, “to prevent misconstruction or abuse of [the federal government’s] powers

To understand the role of the Supreme Court, at least for nearly the past century, we need to review what Justice Brandeis explained in Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority (1936), in which he explained the “rules” that the Court had adopted to avoid “passing upon a large part of all constitutional questions pressed upon it for decision.”  (See About Ashwander v. TVA)

The pertinent rules from that decision are:

2.  The Court will not ‘anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity of deciding it… ‘It is not the habit of the court to decide questions of a constitutional nature unless necessary to a decision of the case

3.  The Court will not formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied….

4.  The Court will not pass upon a constitutional question although properly presented by the record, if there is also present some other ground upon which the case may be disposed of.

7.  ‘When the validity of an act of the Congress is drawn in question, and even if a serious doubt of constitutionality is raised, it is a cardinal principle that this Court will first ascertain whether a construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question may be avoided

To summarize the pertinent rules:

  • The Court will not decide on the constitutionality, unless absolutely necessary – rules 2 & 4.
  • When the Court does rule on the constitutionality, that ruling will be as narrow as possible – rule 3.
  • The Court will, whenever possible, rule on statutory construction to avoid ruling on constitutionality – rule 7.

Now with this in mind, they won’t rule on the constitutionality, unless necessary, and if they do rule on constitutionality, they will make that ruling as narrow as possible.  We will look at a Supreme Court decision that we are all familiar with, Miranda v. Arizona (1966).

In Miranda, which requires that law enforcement officers notice the person being investigated for possible criminal activity be advised that he have the right to refuse to talk and to have an attorney present.  However, in keeping with Ashwander rule #7, the ruling deals only with those in custody.

So, the question arises, why would one’s right only apply to when one is in custody (they narrow ruling)?  If one the right to not incriminate oneself, “to be a witness against himself”, would that not apply once suspicion was raised against him, or does it only apply after he is in custody?.  Wouldn’t it really be a prohibition against government, both before and after one was in custody?

If a law enforcement office, in uniform or plain clothes, with the intent of trying to elicit a confession, or information that would incriminate someone, while in custody, was prohibited by the Fourth Amendment and confirmed by the Supreme Court, then why would we assume that that prohibition did not also extend to when one was under suspicion?  After all, when one is under suspicion, the law enforcers are just a small step away from putting someone in custody.  Why would that prohibition only come into play when the actual act of custody was implemented?  Is it possible that those who ratified the Amendment intended for that form of chicanery to be acceptable?  Or, was their intention to prohibit divisive means of acquiring incriminating evidence in apparent conflict with the wording of the Amendment?

Now, we need to visit a little historical background to carry the ramifications of the intent into an understanding of changes in practices between the Eighteenth Century and modern law enforcement, to put a proper perspective on how the intent of the Amendment is circumvented.

In the Eighteenth Century, spying, intelligence gathering, and other such undercover work was carried out in higher levels of government, only.  The consequence for being caught practicing such infamy was death.  Consequently, those willing to lay their lives on the line for the greater cause of national politics carried out such work.  The idea of spying on their own citizens was out of the question.  After all, it is the job of any decent government to protect its citizens, not to treat them as they would an enemy.  The idea that such practices could be used in the lower elements of society, in pursuit of criminals rather than state secrets or wartime intelligence, was not a practice, as honor was conscientiously upheld.  To deceive alleged criminals would be to stoop to the level of criminals. Continue reading ‘Liberty or Laws? – “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”’ »