Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

May 5, 2009

Last Minute Senate Rewrite Jeopardizes Colorado Death Penalty Repeal

Only 2 weeks ago the Colorado House passed H.B. 1274, a bill which would repeal the death penalty and use the savings to solve homicide cold cases, by a single vote. Foes of the bill in the Senate stripped out the death penalty repeal provisions and added an alternative source of funding to satisfy those [...]

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April 28, 2009

Fake Cops, Fake Raid, Real Guns

Here’s yet another example illustrating why the practice of SWAT style raids should be ended: robbers posing as cops. Here’s the news story from WRAL: This is the unedited surveillance video: As bad as this situation was, it could have ended much worse. It’s very fortunate that the armed robbers encountered the man on the [...]

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April 27, 2009

Cato Report: Portugal’s Seven Year Experiment with Drug Decriminalization “a Resounding Success”

In July of 2001, Portugal tried something which would horrify policy makers the world over: the decriminalization of all drugs. As a result, Portugal turned into a country overrun with drugs, stoners, drug tourists, and criminals…right? Not according to a report by Cato’s Glenn Greenwald entitled Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and [...]

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April 22, 2009

Colorado One Step Closer to Abolishing the Death Penalty

The Colorado House passed the bill which would eliminate the death penalty by 1 vote. The Denver Post reports on the dramatic moment: In the hushed state House chamber, all eyes Tuesday stared up at the vote board, which showed lawmakers deadlocked 32-32 on whether to repeal the death penalty in Colorado. All but Rep. [...]

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April 11, 2009

Reforming America’s Prison System: The Time Has Come

Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) in his recent article calling for a major reform of America’s prisons in Parade Magazine brought some very disturbing, eye opening, statistics about America’s prison system to light. In summary this is some of what he found: -Since 1984, America’s prison population has quadrupled from 580,000 to 2.3 million -Though the [...]

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April 1, 2009

Open Thread Question of the Day: How Can We Fix Our Prisons?

Our prison system, holding nearly 25% of the worlds reported prisoners, may seem like an April fool’s joke but certainly is not a laughing matter. I’m in the early stages of writing a post in response to Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) recent article in Parade entitled: Why We Must Fix Our Prisons. Sen. Webb is [...]

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March 30, 2009

Maryland House Passes Mayor Calvo’s SWAT Bill by 126 to 9 Vote

Despite the objections of the National Tactical Officers Association, the bill championed by Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo passed the Maryland House by a wide margin: Delegates adopted a bill, on a 126 to 9 vote, that would require law enforcement agencies to report every six months on their use of SWAT teams, including what [...]

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March 26, 2009

Obama’s Policy to Fight Mexican Drug Cartels is Doomed to Fail

The Obama administration, rather than dealing with the root cause of the violence along the Mexican border, has decided to adopt a policy to deal with the symptoms. The problem is that this policy will neither alleviate the symptoms nor come close to treating the problem. WASHINGTON – The Obama administration promised Tuesday to help [...]

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March 20, 2009

Abandoning the Rule of Law

The United States is a banana republic. The Jeffersonian ideal of a series of republics built upon enlightenment values of freedom and reason has died. It wasn’t a sudden death, like that which occurs in a car crash; where one can pinpoint to the second where death occurred. Rather it was a slow lingering death, [...]

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March 19, 2009

Quote of the Day II: Gov. Bill Richardson on the Death Penalty

(CNN) — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill Wednesday repealing the death penalty in his state, his office confirmed. “Regardless of my personal opinion about the death penalty, I do not have confidence in the criminal justice system as it currently operates to be the final arbiter when it comes to who lives [...]

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March 9, 2009

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Last night, 60 Minutes ran a fascinating piece about a man who spent 11 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, the woman who (incorrectly, it later turned out) identified him as her attacker, and the unreliability of eyewitness testimony. Here’s Part I: Watch CBS Videos Online And, Part II: Watch CBS Videos [...]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 3:23 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Crime and Punishment,Criminal Justice Reform,Individual Rights,Legal
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March 6, 2009

The Hubris of the National Tactical Officers Association

In my report following the live chat @ The Agitator with Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo last week, I made mention of some very modest reforms he was pushing in Maryland. The bill would require all police departments with SWAT teams to provide monthly reports to the state’s Attorney General, local officials and the general [...]

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March 3, 2009

A Song and Open Letter to a President Who is “No Stranger to the Bong”

Thank you, President Obama, for keeping your campaign pledge to end raids on medical marijuana dispensaries that are legal under state laws in California and elsewhere. Thank you for reversing an inhumane policy established by the Clinton administration and continued by the Bush administration. Given the experience you and other elected officials have had with [...]

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March 2, 2009

The Root of the Mexican Drug Cartel Violence Spillover Into the U.S.

For those of you who believe that Libertarians focus too much on the War on (Some) Drugs, perhaps it’s time to pay attention to the escalating violence in Mexico which is spilling over into the U.S. PHOENIX (Reuters) – Hit men dressed in fake police tactical gear burst into a home in Phoenix, rake it [...]

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February 26, 2009

Live Chat With Mayor Cheye Calvo Tonight @ 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. PST) @ The Agitator

Check in this Thursday night at 8pm ET with your questions for Cheye Calvo, the Berwyn Heights, Maryland mayor who was subject to a violent, botched drug raid last year. Calvo’s pushing legislation that would bring transparency to how Maryland’s police departments use their SWAT teams. I’m hoping to be home in time to participate [...]

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February 25, 2009

Colorado General Assembly to Consider Repealing Death Penalty; Savings to be Used to Solve Cold Cases

For reasons I have expressed in earlier posts, I am opposed to the death penalty. I simply do not trust our criminal justice system enough to make a life or death decision on the innocence or guilt of an individual (based on recent news concerning Dr. West and others, it seems my distrust in the [...]

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February 23, 2009

It’s Time To Lower The Drinking Age

Last night 60 Minutes ran an interesting piece about the suggestion from some that the drinking age be lowered back to 18: (CBS) Last fall, a group of over 100 college presidents – including the heads of Dartmouth, Virginia Tech and Duke – signed a declaration stating that the 21-year-old drinking age is not working, [...]

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Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper: “Legalize All Drugs”

Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper recently appeared on Fox News’ Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld. Stamper belongs to an organization of current and former police officers called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

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February 19, 2009

Dr Michael West Filmed Committing Attempted Murder

Over at Reason, Radley Balko has published a damning article and video of Dr Michael West attempting to murder a man named Jimmie Duncan. In 1993,  [Dr Michael West and Dr Steven Hayne]  conducted an examination on a 23-month-old girl named Haley Oliveaux of West Monroe, Louisiana, who had drowned in her bathtub. The video [...]

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February 13, 2009

A Few Thoughts About the Ryan Fredrick Case

The long and short of the case is that three days after his home was broken into, Fredrick fatally shot an intruder who turned out to be a police officer. Fredrick promptly surrendered to the police once he realized the intruders were in-fact a SWAT team serving a warrant (a very small amount of marijuana [...]

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