The furry monsters on “Sesame Street,” the children’s show that has been teaching America’s youngsters about the alphabet and kindness for more than four decades, are getting a new friend: one who highlights the harsh reality of flaws in the American justice system. Alex, a hoodie-clad creature with blue hair and a green nose, is […]
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 has become a rubber stamp for secret government surveillance of regular Americans, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has become a permission-slip clearinghouse. Since Sept. 11, 2001, “judicial oversight” has really meant “judicial blessing.”
In any dealings with the Internal Revenue Service, and contrary to American jurisprudence, you are first considered guilty unless you can prove your innocence. There is little that sends more chills down the spines of American “taxpayers” than a letter or call from an IRS functionary.
The New York State Senate has passed a bill that would make it illegal for people in the State to “annoy” police officers; critics believe the bill, if passed by the State’s other legislative body, will enable police to abuse their power.
The Department of Homeland Security has released a long-awaited 2011 assessment of the civil liberties impact of its policy of conducting suspicionless searches of electronic devices at the border in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU calls the results of the DHS assessment “disappointing” for civil liberties advocates.
A plea bargain is defined simply as a “deal” between a criminal defendant and his/her prosecutor. The accused gets a reduced charge or charges and subsequent sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to a lesser crime. Most qualified information shows that plea bargains take place in 90-plus-percent of all criminal cases filed in the U.S. each year and innocent victims of false prosecution feel the brunt of it.
Usually, an innocent defendant is charged with numerous (stacked) criminal charges and they are informed by their own attorney that they are facing many years in prison. The defendant’s attorney usually explains the downside to not accepting the plea bargain (lesser sentence) in a subtle, yet alarming manner. Faced with a life-ending sentence if convicted on the stacked charges, most defendants break and take the deceptive plea bargain.
A majority in the U.S. Senate has told President Barack Obama not to do it. There’s no doubt that an overwhelming majority of Americans would oppose it — if the media ever told them about it. Nonetheless, this past Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that Obama will sign a controversial gun-control treaty promulgated by the United Nations.
Despite repeated claims by members of the elected class and government functionaries that the USA Patriot Act was designed to catch “terrorists” and was not being used to spy on Americans, the National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon. The records include both local calls and those made to people abroad.
The IRS/Tea Party Scandal doesn’t hold a candle to the size and scope of IRS abuses… So, it sheds no light on anything. Let’s boil this scandal down to simple words; words like “Tea Party” and “Patriot” and “Constitutional”; words that when used in paperwork to become tax exempt organizations, keep the people filing from being treated fairly.
Weeks ago, many people throughout the Nation expressed concern that a version of a forthcoming immigration reform bill included provisions that would allow the Federal government to keep a “biometric database.” A Monday Supreme Court ruling brings the prospect of a Federal biometric database closer to reality—and it could affect anyone in the United States caught in the criminal justice dragnet.