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"Let them march all they want, as long as they pay their taxes."  --Alexander Haig

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 on: February 23, 2019, 04:06 PM NHFT 
Started by WithoutAPaddle - Last post by Jim Johnson
[rhetorical answer]

 on: February 23, 2019, 12:52 PM NHFT 
Started by WithoutAPaddle - Last post by Free libertarian

If it is recognized now by the magic constitution interpreters that asset forfeiture is "illegal" and maybe they shouldn't do it anymore, etc.  when do you suppose they'll start paying all the people back that they stole from?  (that's a rhetorical question)

 on: February 22, 2019, 06:04 AM NHFT 
Started by WithoutAPaddle - Last post by WithoutAPaddle
From today's ABA Journal:

Supreme Court deals blow against civil forfeiture in ruling for owner of seized Land Rover

By Debra Cassens Weiss
Posted February 20, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Eighth Amendment's ban on excessive fines applies to the states in a decision that could curb state seizure of property from criminal suspects.

The court ruled on behalf of Tyson Timbs, who was fighting the civil forfeiture of his $42,000 Land Rover after he used it to sell heroin to undercover officers for $225. The maximum fine for the drug charge to which he pleaded guilty was $10,000.

Timbs had purchased his Land Rover with insurance proceeds after his father’s death. Indiana had alleged the vehicle was used to transport heroin and moved to seize it. A trial judge agreed the car had been used to facilitate violation of a criminal statute, but barred the forfeiture because it would be grossly disproportionate to the gravity of Timbs’ offense.

The Indiana Supreme Court had allowed the state to proceed with the forfeiture, however, after noting that the U.S. Supreme Court has not applied the excessive fines clause to the states.

The Eighth Amendment reads: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” The constraints on excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishments have previously been held to apply to the states, according to the Institute for Justice, which represented Timbs.

When ratified in 1791, the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government. The Supreme Court has gradually applied the Bill of Rights to the states using the 14th Amendment, adopted after the Civil War.

In her opinion for the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the excessive fines clause was an incorporated protection that applied to the states as a result of the 14th Amendment’s due process clause.

“The protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” Ginsburg said.

Justices Neil M. Gorsuch wrote a concurring opinion and Justice Clarence Thomas concurred in the judgment. There were no dissents.

Thomas had argued the excessive fines clause applies to the states through a different provision of the 14th Amendment—the privileges and immunities clause. Gorsuch said he may agree with Thomas, but nothing in the case turns on that question and “there can be no serious doubt” that the Eighth Amendment applies to the states.

The American Bar Association had submitted an amicus brief in support of Timbs, “to urge the court to consider the fundamental importance of the right to equal justice without regard to economic status and the essential role of the excessive fines clause in preserving that right.” The amicus brief touted the work of the ABA Working Group on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, and its Ten Guidelines on Court Fines and Fees, which was adopted at the ABA Annual Meeting in August.

Timbs was represented by lawyers Wesley Hottot and Sam Gedge of the Institute for Justice.

“Today’s ruling should go a long way to curtailing what is often called ‘policing for profit’—where police and prosecutors employ forfeiture to take someone’s property then sell it, and keep the profits to fund their departments,” Hottot said in a press release. “This gives them a direct financial incentive to abuse this power and impose excessive fines.”

Timbs is being treated for drug addiction and is holding down a job, according to the press release. His goal now is to get his car back so he can more easily go to work, meet with a parole officer and go to a drug recovery program.

The case is Timbs v. Indiana.

 on: February 17, 2019, 04:10 PM NHFT 
Started by Dave Ridley - Last post by Russell Kanning
it is funny how when you dig ... the laws don't exist or don't make any sense

 on: February 16, 2019, 12:13 AM NHFT 
Started by Friday - Last post by Russell Kanning

 on: February 13, 2019, 07:01 PM NHFT 
Started by Free libertarian - Last post by Free libertarian
You're welcome, Tom Sawyer.   

 on: February 13, 2019, 06:34 PM NHFT 
Started by Free libertarian - Last post by Tom Sawyer
Thanks for the report. People gathering to share their feelings with each other...

 on: February 13, 2019, 07:40 AM NHFT 
Started by Free libertarian - Last post by Free libertarian
Bob's memorial service at Liberty Forum was a little unstructured, beyond a reading from Seth Hipple canonizing Bob.   That's not a negative comment on my part, I appreciate that we had a room to gather in, it was good to see some people I hadn't seen for awhile, etc. 

Bob never professed to be religious, so it was sort of like people were uncertain of what to do or what the agenda was. "That's why we need government" (Free libertarian ducks his head to avoid thrown objects) 

 on: February 13, 2019, 07:29 AM NHFT 
Started by Dave Ridley - Last post by Free libertarian

Thanks for posting this Dave.   Sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

I guess the school districts only have a use for guns, when it comes time to collect "their" funding from the tax serfs.

 on: February 12, 2019, 02:34 PM NHFT 
Started by Dave Ridley - Last post by WithoutAPaddle
Washington Post, today:

Four years in a row, police nationwide fatally shoot nearly 1,000 people

By John Sullivan , Liz Weber , Julie Tate and Jennifer Jenkins
February 12 at 11:26 AM

Fatal shootings by police are the rare outcomes of the millions of encounters between police officers and the public. Despite the unpredictable events that lead to the shootings, in each of the past four years police nationwide have shot and killed almost the same number of people — nearly 1,000.

Last year police shot and killed 998 people, 11 more than the 987 they fatally shot in 2017. In 2016, police killed 963 people, and 995 in 2015.

Years of controversial police shootings, protests, heightened public awareness, local police reforms and increased officer training have had little effect on the annual total. Everyone agrees — criminal justice researchers, academics and statisticians — that all of the attention has not been enough to move the number.

Mathematicians, however, say that probability theory may offer one explanation. The theory holds that the quantity of rare events in huge populations tends to remain stable absent major societal changes, such as a fundamental shift in police culture or extreme restrictions on gun ownership, which are unlikely.

“Just as vast numbers of randomly moving molecules, when put together, produce completely predictable behavior in a gas, so do vast numbers of human possibilities, each totally unpredictable in itself, when aggregated, produce an amazing predictability,” said Sir David Spiegelhalter, a professor and statistician at the University of Cambridge who studies risk and uncertainty.

The Washington Post began tracking the shootings after Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, was killed in 2014 by police in Ferguson, Mo. A Post investigation found that the FBI’s tracking system undercounted fatal police shootings by about half, because of the fact that reporting by police departments is voluntary and many departments fail to do so. The ongoing Post project relies on news accounts, social media postings and police reports.

In the wake of the findings by The Post and similar reporting by the Guardian, the FBI in 2015 committed to improving its tracking and last month launched a system to track all police use-of-force incidents, including fatal shootings. The new system, however, is still voluntary.

The Post’s reporting shows that both the annual number and circumstances of fatal shootings and the overall demographics of the victims have remained constant over the past four years.

The dead: 45 percent white men; 23 percent black men; and 16 percent Hispanic men. Women have accounted for about 5 percent of those killed, and people in mental distress about 25 percent of all shootings.

About 54 percent of those killed have been armed with guns and 4 percent unarmed.

“We’ve looked at this data in so many ways, including whether race, geography, violent crime, gun ownership or police training can explain it, but none of those factors alone can explain how consistent this number appears to be,” said Geoffrey Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina who has studied police shootings for more than three decades.

Mathematicians say that the fact that the number of shootings is stable even though each one is a complex, isolated event can be explained through a fundamental principal of statistics coming out of probability theory. This was used notably to examine the accuracy of German bombings of London during World War II, according to Spiegelhalter.


I happen to think this explanation is bullshit, because shootings are deliberate acts, not random ones, and so if you tell someone to not shoot under certain foreseeable circumstances, then if that instruction is obeyed, the number of shootings has to go down

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