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Maine law allows police to arrest victims to make sure they testify
PoliceStateUsa.com ^ | September 23, 2013 | PSUSA

Posted on 09/26/2013 9:09:09 AM PDT by Altariel

Maine law allows police to arrest victims to make sure they testify

http://www.policestateusa.com/2013/m...-they-testify/

CHELSEA, ME — A battered woman was arrested by police in an effort to force her to testify against her abuser. She was detained without charges, locked in a cage, and a bail was set. The startling practice of arresting the victim is actually legal in Maine, thanks to a seldom used statute.

Jessica Ruiz, 35, was the alleged victim of domestic violence at the hands of 45-year-old Robert Robinson, Jr., in an April incident. On September 17, police arrested Ruiz to make sure she testified against Robinson.

“They parked down the street, they pounded on her door and they arrested her,” explained Lisa Whittier, Ruiz’s appointed lawyer, according to the Kennebec Journal.

Ruiz was taken to jail, subjected to a warrantless pat-down search, locked in a cage with a bail set at $5,000. She was locked up without charges, with two other women, for 17 hours.

While she was detained, officers served Ruiz with two subpoenas, ordering her to come to two separate trials of Robert Robinson on domestic violence and witness tampering.

Whittier called the incident “outrageous conduct on the part of the state.”

Maeghan Maloney, district attorney in Kennebec and Somerset counties, was elected last year after campaigning on a zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence. She defended her decision to arrest the victim, saying “I would rather have to explain why she was arrested than why she was dead.”

“I know there’s a lot of people who disagree with it, but I don’t know how else to keep the victim safe other than to take every step that I possibly can to prosecute it,” Maloney said to WMTW.

But Maloney’s apparent concern for Ruiz’s well-being did not placate the distraught victim or civil libertarians. Zachary Heiden, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, was shocked at the arrest, remarking, “If the concern was for the witness’ safety, it seems there should be other ways of keeping her safe.”

The practice appears to be legal in Maine, under Title 15 §1104, regarding Material Witnesses.

If it appears by affidavit that the testimony of a person is material in any criminal proceeding and if it is shown that it may become impracticable to secure the presence of that person by subpoena, the court may order the arrest of that person and may require that person to give bail for that person’s appearance as a witness…

The feigned concern for Ruiz’s safety might have been a excuse all along. Robinson was already incarcerated, has a long criminal history, and was facing multiple charges.

“There’s no possibility that Mr. Robinson could have gotten out of jail,” said Lisa Whittier. “He’s being held on a probation hold and he’s being held on another charge, so they were not protecting her safety.”

“She has never said she wouldn’t testify,” explained Whittier. “She was always willing to testify and she would have honored a subpoena, had she been served a subpoena.”

Even Robinson’s lawyer stuck up for Ruiz. William Baghdoyan, who represents Robinson, assured reporters that Ruiz’s testimony was not the only thing keeping Robinson incarcerated. “If the domestic-violence charges disappeared, he’s not going anywhere,” Baghdoyan said. “He’s not a danger to anyone. He will continue to remain incarcerated.”

“My interest in this is professional, as a former prosecutor and a member of the Maine bar,” Baghdoyan continued. “She’s gone through unnecessary trauma. She is a very nice young woman, and she has been treated shabbily.”

Witness safety can be a real concern in cases like these. But there are other, more appropriate methods of protection. Slapping a traumatized victim in handcuffs and then into a jail cell is not an appropriate act of compassion. It is emotionally stressful, damages the arrestee’s reputation, interferes with their job and family life, among other inconveniences that come with being involuntarily locked in a cage.

Maine residents should tell their state representatives that Title 15 §1104 needs to be repealed. It is inexcusable to treat victims this way.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: 666; donutwatch; govtabuse; maine; policestate; rapeofliberty; tyranny; victims; victimstwice; zerotolerance
Ensuring they are victimized twice.
1 posted on 09/26/2013 9:09:09 AM PDT by Altariel
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To: Altariel

Whatever happened to a subpoena?


2 posted on 09/26/2013 9:10:21 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Altariel
While she was detained, officers served Ruiz with two subpoenas, ordering her to come to two separate trials of Robert Robinson on domestic violence and witness tampering.

So the witness is arrested to force her to testify in a witness tampering case? Will she be beaten for testifying in a way the state isn't satisfied with?

3 posted on 09/26/2013 9:16:50 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Why is our military going to be used as Al Qaeda's air force in Syria?)
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To: KarlInOhio

I’m sure that’s coming, if it hasn’t already.


4 posted on 09/26/2013 9:18:18 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Smokin' Joe
In the world we now live in, they are no longer needed. When the State decides to use its power to prosecute someone, The Constitutional protections, the law and truth go out the window. The persecution and prosecution of George Zimmerman is a case in point. Zimmerman prevailed at that point, but it was because the jurors in his case had the courage to follow the law.
5 posted on 09/26/2013 9:18:28 AM PDT by sport
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To: Smokin' Joe

Subpoena? Subpoena? We don’t need no stinkin subpoena.


6 posted on 09/26/2013 9:18:55 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel
The problem was that she was intimidated, threatened and frightented to death of being killed is she testified - but the conundrum was that, if she DIDN'T testify, the monster would be set free and she WOULD end up dead.

They took this drastic measure in an attempt to save her life - and not have her end up just another statistic.

Drastic? yes? Strictly legally speaking, overboard? Yes.

But her testimony will put this cretin behind bars where he can't kill HER - or OTHERS.

(How many of you, if she didn't testify, and he then killed her and others, would be castigating and blaming the judge and others for the consequent crimes?)

7 posted on 09/26/2013 9:20:33 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does - by their fruits)
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To: Altariel
The perp:

Whenever anybody runs a "zero tolerance" campaign, they need to be laughed off the stage as having "zero intelligence."

8 posted on 09/26/2013 9:24:52 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear.)
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To: maine-iac7

Better an innocent woman imprisoned than a guilty man go free, or something like that I guess. Once we’re all in jail, crime statistics will be fantastic!


9 posted on 09/26/2013 9:28:31 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Who is John Galt?)
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To: maine-iac7

The attorney for the Defendant says he would still be in jail even without the abuse case this gal got locked up for. He has more “issues.”

This is about “zero tolerance.” What they aren’t tolerating is a victim who may not help them incarcerate somebody. The DA’s statement about wanting the vic to testify, not dead, is 100% pure hyperbole designed to feed the lust of the Low Information Voters who elected her, and will elect her again.


10 posted on 09/26/2013 9:28:34 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear.)
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To: Cyber Liberty

Oww my eyes! Please warn when posting graphic content.


11 posted on 09/26/2013 9:30:17 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: maine-iac7
Oh, one more thing:

The problem was that she was intimidated, threatened and frightented to death of being killed is she testified - but the conundrum was that, if she DIDN'T testify, the monster would be set free and she WOULD end up dead.

Do you have familiarity about this case, beyond what the article in the OP says? Or are you inserting your personal opinion as fact?

12 posted on 09/26/2013 9:32:05 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear.)
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To: Resolute Conservative

Sorry. You are, of course, correct. I should have substituted that picture I saw posted earlier of the baboon grabbing a reporters boob and said the DA looks like that baboon.


13 posted on 09/26/2013 9:33:23 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear.)
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To: Cyber Liberty
I'll jump in - this article is FULL of personal opinion. The name of the website source gives you one clue, the use of "cage" for a jail cell gives you another. Also, it relies primarily on "civil libertarians" and the defense attorney. So it's pretty clearly biased in one direction.

The only way you're going to get the straight facts is to check the pleadings, which we don't have. But it is certainly possible that the prosecutor was trying to protect the victim.

If I had a dollar for every domestic violence victim who refused to press charges and wound up dead . . . they refuse to testify for a lot of different reasons - frequently they are not rational about their situation, or they are afraid of the partner. Sometimes, victims try to extricate themselves from the situation on their own and wind up 'setting the guy off'.

Just because other charges have been made means little. The guy could make bail, then go home and kill the victim because he blamed her for his problems. I've seen it happen.

14 posted on 09/26/2013 9:39:51 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: Maine Mariner

ping


15 posted on 09/26/2013 9:43:39 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: AnAmericanMother

If I had a dollar for every domestic violence victim who refused to press charges and wound up dead


That is a truism all over the country. It’s going to be one sad place to live if we starting incarcerating victims of crimes to “protect” them. Why don’t we just jail everybody in the name of “safety?” Why wait for a crime to be committed? We can call it “Crime Prevention Zero Tolerance.” If just one life is saved....

We’ll see a lot more people putting up signs, “Warning: We don’t call 911” or simply refusing to report crimes at all.


16 posted on 09/26/2013 9:45:54 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear.)
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To: Altariel

They could really use such a law in states with inner-city war zones and a “stop snitchin’” culture.


17 posted on 09/26/2013 9:55:05 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: AnAmericanMother

So you believe that it is better for The State to incarcerate you, depriving you of your rights, than for them to not do so?


18 posted on 09/26/2013 10:02:25 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Cyber Liberty
It may or may not be a truism, but it's true.

The prosecutor is between a rock and a hard place. Try to help someone who is really not in her right mind (the way these silly women moan, "Oh, but I luvvvvv him!" while they are black and blue with broken bones, makes you want to slap them silly until you realize that they really are not sane) and the cop-haters launch on you. Let them refuse to press charges, the violence escalates until they die, and then the law-and-orders launch on you for failing to protect the victim.

It is absolutely possible for a judge to hold a witness in contempt for refusing to testify, whereupon they wind up . . . in jail. This appears to be the same destination for the same reason, but by a statutory route.

If there's a problem with the law, the legislature needs to address it. But I don't think we're getting the whole story here.

19 posted on 09/26/2013 10:03:22 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: Altariel
If you are a complainant but then go back on your word and refuse to testify, I think that's a little different situation than being incarcerated out of the blue.

Such a person has made a false report of a crime (a felony in many states) or is now attempting to compound a felony.

Unfortunately many victims of abuse rightly distrust the justice system because it has NOT protected victims in the past. And the perps *always* blame the victim for calling the cops, and escalate the abuse. So it never ends well, and there's plenty of blame to go around.

As I said before, we don't know all the facts here, but if she made the initial complaint, she is hardly an innocent victim of State overreaching.

20 posted on 09/26/2013 10:08:53 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: Altariel
“She has never said she wouldn’t testify,” explained Whittier. “She was always willing to testify and she would have honored a subpoena, had she been served a subpoena.”

That part aside, and aside from whether or not the following should be the case, I thought it was already legal in many if not all states to detain a material witness.

21 posted on 09/26/2013 10:13:28 AM PDT by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: Altariel

There is a growing movement to criminalize crime victims....whether its ignoring criminal activity because criminals are minorities...or arresting victims to testify

This prosecutor needs to be removed


22 posted on 09/26/2013 10:17:13 AM PDT by SeminoleCounty (Unemployment is so high...its getting harder for Obama to job people anymore)
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To: AnAmericanMother
I don't deny anything you say. But it's a slippery slope to a very bad place when we start jailing people "for their own good." I have a quote from C. S. Lewis I keep posted over my desk about the dangers of exercising tyranny "for the good of its victims."

My wife was a Court Reporter for years, and she has filled me in on the "But I Luv Heem!" statements. I am not insensitive to that. I would not approve of jailing a vic just so later I don't have people complaining I didn't protect her, as this DA specifically says in the story. (It's a quote, so it's not leavened with the bias you detect.) How selfish can a government drone be?

As I said, if "zero tolerance" is the game, then we need to jail everybody alive to keep them from becoming crime victims. It's the only way to shut the critics up. It's the same thing, the only difference being the level of degree.

Here's the CS Lewis quote. It's best read in its entirety.

23 posted on 09/26/2013 10:18:04 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear.)
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To: AnAmericanMother

If you are commenting from this article without any other substantiating details about this story, I shudder to think what other freedoms you think should be sacrificed in the name of safety. I really do. The post to which I am replying makes a *lot* of assumptions about this person.


24 posted on 09/26/2013 10:21:33 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear.)
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To: Altariel

If I was a juror and knew a person was testifying because they
were.arrested and caved to insure they testified I’d call that
testimony under duress and assume it was not believable.


25 posted on 09/26/2013 10:39:27 AM PDT by nvscanman
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To: Altariel

This is what happens when yahoos create hysteria and pass these stupid laws that take away the discretion of judges and juries. We wind up with zero tolerance nonsense, mandatory minimums, stupid laws named after dead kids. And the most imprisoned nation on Earth.


26 posted on 09/26/2013 10:45:49 AM PDT by Forgotten Amendments (I remember when a President having an "enemies list" was a scandal. Now, they have a kill list.)
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To: Cyber Liberty
Big fan of Lewis, and understand exactly what you're saying.

My only point is that we don't have all the facts here, and that there ARE possible justifications for this other than just "police state".

On the one hand, somebody's got to figure out a way to protect idiots.

On the other hand, people who report a crime, get somebody else arrested, and then go back on their word should have SOME consequences for that act.

27 posted on 09/26/2013 11:19:20 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: AnAmericanMother
On the other hand, people who report a crime, get somebody else arrested, and then go back on their word should have SOME consequences for that act.

I agree 100%. People who use the criminal justice system as a tool to manipulate other people really piss me off.

As for this DA, check out this quote from the story: She defended her decision to arrest the victim, saying “I would rather have to explain why she was arrested than why she was dead.”

She's not all that worried about the woman, she's more afraid of having to explain herself later if something bad happens. This is a terrible character flaw!

28 posted on 09/26/2013 11:30:58 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear.)
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To: Altariel

Maine law allows police to arrest victims to make sure they testify

That’s a sure fire way to get them to cooperate!
What asshats........


29 posted on 09/26/2013 1:12:01 PM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I go to sign for the American Revolution 2013 and the Crusades 2013?)
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To: AnAmericanMother
On the one hand, somebody's got to figure out a way to protect idiots.

Why?

On the other hand, people who report a crime, get somebody else arrested, and then go back on their word should have SOME consequences for that act.

Um, aren't both of the above the same hand, since both are justifications for the state's action in this case?

Way too much nanny state for me. No thanks.

30 posted on 09/26/2013 1:50:22 PM PDT by Ken H (First rule of gun safety - have a gun)
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To: AnAmericanMother

The only suggestion that anyone has “gone back on” anything comes from your post, not the information from the source.

I find it concerning that you are resorting to assumptions and inventions to justify government overreach.

If you grant the State the power to arrest you, the victim, to be sure you testify, one day, the State will reason that it also has the opposite power—the power to arrest you to ensure that you do *not* testify.


31 posted on 09/26/2013 2:13:36 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; albertp; Alexander Rubin; Allosaurs_r_us; amchugh; ...



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!

32 posted on 09/26/2013 2:29:09 PM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: Smokin' Joe

“Whatever happened to a subpoena?”

Not nearly as fun as kicking down a door and dragging someone off to jail.


33 posted on 09/26/2013 3:55:19 PM PDT by lowbridge
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To: AnAmericanMother

“On the one hand, somebody’s got to figure out a way to protect idiots.”

And why is that? That’s the same reasoning the nannies use for all their laws and regulations. If I want to do something idiotic, leave me the f*&k alone, it’s not your business.


34 posted on 09/26/2013 4:32:03 PM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: Altariel
Whittier called the incident “outrageous conduct on the part of the state.”I'll say! They should have no power to compel testimony, even against someone else. Your knowledge is your property. You should be able to dispose of it at your sole discretion.
35 posted on 09/26/2013 6:06:38 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Cyber Liberty

The prosecuter has “crazy eyes.”


36 posted on 09/26/2013 6:20:37 PM PDT by Chickensoup (...We didn't love freedom enough... Solzhenitsyn.)
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To: Ken H
Well, I generally am of the opinion that idiots should be left to their own devices, but not when it's likely to be fatal.

When somebody is not just an idiot but deluded, and that delusion may result in their death, I'm more inclined to think intervention is o.k. It's the same thinking that undergirds petitions to appoint an adult guardian or to involuntarily commit. Which are well-established functions of government, back long before we were worried about creeping socialism and Big Government.

The two instances I proposed are NOT fingers on the same hand. Reporting a crime and then taking it all back is generally considered a crime: if you were lying, then you just got somebody arrested for no reason (a major trauma for them and false report of a crime for you, usually a misdemeanor but sometimes a felony); if you were telling the truth, now you are compounding a felony (also a crime).

Again, this was the law a LONG time ago, not just recently.

37 posted on 09/26/2013 6:22:51 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: Altariel
As I said initially, the source is hopelessly one-sided.

I am simply speaking generally from my experience, because I'm pretty sure there is a lot more to this story that is not being told.

38 posted on 09/26/2013 6:25:22 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: Altariel
Nope, that's subject to habeas corpus, which (unless somebody pulls a Lincoln) will always get you out.

Incidentally, the idea that a corrupt government would jug you to keep your testimony out of court forms the central theme of R.L. Stevenson's Catriona or David Balfour (same book, different titles in England and America). It's the sequel to Kidnapped, which is pure action adventure, but it's a political thriller with some adventure thrown in. A really good read.

39 posted on 09/26/2013 6:29:13 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: Cyber Liberty
Since DAs are elected, they always worry about how the public perceives them.

This DA rightly observed that it's a lose-lose situation - SOMEbody (either the victims-rights group or the civil liberties group) is going to be really mad at her no matter what she does, and campaign against her at the next election. I can understand how that bothers her - it's probably not her primary motivation, though. Most DAs really care about the victims of crime, I've seen some of them get almost physically ill when they lose a victim or a witness to a repeat criminal.

Those particular words are just what the author of this article seized on. Given the title of the blog and some of the language in the article, I'm pretty sure he set out to make her look bad. He's certainly succeeded, but I think we should at least reserve judgment.

40 posted on 09/26/2013 6:34:21 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: AnAmericanMother
When somebody is not just an idiot but deluded, and that delusion may result in their death, I'm more inclined to think intervention is o.k.

Well of course if they're mentally unsound and a danger to themselves you intervene! That's not what you said, though.

Do you have any evidence that the lady in the article is mentally unsound?

41 posted on 09/26/2013 7:45:30 PM PDT by Ken H (First rule of gun safety - have a gun)
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To: AnAmericanMother

You have far too optimistic a view of politicians and politics in general to suppose that they would not be willing to suspend habeas corpus to justify their ends.

Again, let’s stick to the available facts, not suppositions or assumptions.

It’s hardly a possibility limited to literature. If you are willing to allow the camel to stick his nose into your tent, do not be surprised when he bites you on the rump in return for your willingness to grant him the benefit of the doubt.

Freegards,


42 posted on 09/26/2013 7:50:46 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: AnAmericanMother

Be careful. In the eyes of a government employee, *you* could be considered “idiotic”.

Believe in God? you must be a simpleton.

Own a gun? You’re clearly a vile fiend.

All it takes is the right—or wrong-—person to believe you require the “care” and “protection” of The State, and you are in the same situation as the woman in this account.

By the way, government overreach, corruption and tyranny are also “well established functions” of government-—be careful what you defend on the basis of a practice being “well-established”.


43 posted on 09/26/2013 7:56:10 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: AnAmericanMother
The prosecutor is between a rock and a hard place.

Actually, the prosecution has a job. Most places aren't idiotic enough to imprison victims to make the prosecutor's job easier. This is just another reason to stay below the Mason-Dixon line.

I think it's sad that there are people who would defend this practice.

44 posted on 09/26/2013 9:37:10 PM PDT by zeugma (Is it evil of me to teach my bird to say "here kitty, kitty"?)
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To: zeugma
My point (I'm repeating myself but I'm trying to make it clear) is that we don't know the whole story.

Sure this sounds bad as presented, but the story was framed in so one-sided a way that it makes me suspicious. "Somebody ain't tellin' all they knows."

I am not saying that I know what happened here, because given this extremely slanted article crammed full of buzzwords and setting out to paint the DA in the worst possible light, we can't know. I am simply pointing out circumstances under which it is possible that the DA was trying to do the right thing. Unhinged victim or intimidated victim who swears out a warrant and then changes her story, dangerous offender who may be released on bail, threats against victim, etc.

I know the default at FR is "jack booted thugs and you're next" but I wouldn't hang a dog on this basis, let alone a DA. And anybody who thinks a DA is "just a job" . . . nope. It doesn't pay well unless you're in a big county with a supplement. I know a few hacks in crooked counties, mostly urban ones < cough cough Nifong cough cough > but most DAs are dedicated to the job and honestly want to do the right thing.

45 posted on 09/27/2013 5:22:22 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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