Tag: Criminal Justice

Prison Eugenics in the Golden State »

In 2003, California Governor Gray Davis issued a formal apology for the forced sterilization of inmates in the state’s prisons, a practice officially banned in 1979. “To the victims and their families of this past injustice, the people of California are deeply sorry for the suffering you endured over the years,” he said in...
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How John Locke Should Have Saved The Lone Ranger »

I had a glimmer of hope for the 2013 film The Lone Ranger when I read that young U.S. attorney John Reid, aka The Lone Ranger, arrives in untamed west Texas with a copy of John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government. After watching the otherwise entertaining summer action film, I left the theater wondering...
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Why Fight for King and Country? »

There is something monstrously out of whack about going to war for a large nation state. I can understand why a man might take up arms in defense of himself, his family, his friends, perhaps even his neighborhood or his town. But once we get past the lived-in milieu, a man’s risking his life,...
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Goodbye to the War On Drugs? »

The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) that is meeting in Guatemala this week to discuss drug policy in the hemisphere is one of the few good things this body, whose record on the Cuban and Venezuelan tragedies is pathetic, has done. In early 2012, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina stirred...
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SCOTUS Upholds Taking of DNA from Arrestee »

Today the Court decided Maryland v. King, and held that if the police have probable cause to make an arrest for a “serious offense” they may also as a matter of course use a cotton swab to take the arrestee’s DNA. The Court said that this was a legitimate police booking procedure akin to taking a suspect’s...
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Guardian Against Tyranny: The Writ of Habeas Corpus »

To live under tyranny is to live in fear—especially the fear of being arrested and jailed at the whims of the rulers. This is why America’s Founders regarded the right not to be detained arbitrarily as a cornerstone of liberty, and why they cherished the legal device they believed had secured that right: the...
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What Is the Threshold for Martial Law? »

It seems simple enough. Publicly available evidence shows two young men implicated in the horrific massacre in Boston this Monday, the shooting of the officer at MIT, crimes against others, and violent resistance against the police. One brother is dead and the other on the lam. And so the police have locked down Boston,...
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Why Has Congress Militarized the Bureaucrats? »

The war on drugs and the war on terrorism, I noted in a recent Beacon post, have fostered a crisis mentality that has eroded traditional constraints on domestic law enforcement. The new zeitgeist has resulted in police departments increasingly using “no knock” raids and other military-type tactics formerly considered off-limits to them. But other...
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Legalize Recreational Drugs »

I suspect that most readers of The Beacon tend to favor personal freedoms to a sufficient degree that they will immediately agree with the title of this post. If we want to live in a free country, freedom has to mean that we are free to make choices that others, including others in positions...
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The Totalitarianism of Universal Background Checks »

Finally, some sanity, and from a somewhat unexpected source. The ACLU is concerned about the civil liberties implications of the new Harry Reid Senate bill to establish so-called “universal background checks” for firearms purchases. The organization has tended toward silence on gun rights, but at least now it recognizes aspects of the problem with...
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