We have become a disposable society, in that if it’s broke and don’t bother to fix it we just throw it away. Most of us realize that anything we buy today has built in obsolescence, meaning that we don’t expect it to last, and rather than fix it when it quits our tendency is just to throw it away.
It’s part of consumerism that things are designed to not last any more, the premise behind this is so that people have jobs building new ones and selling them, no matter the cost to the consumer. Myself and other older Americans remember the days when IF something broke that you could fix it yourself for a small amount of money. Today’s products are designed so that it is almost impossible for the backyard/home mechanic to repair anything without a ton of specialized tools or high cost component modules. Simple repairs are the thing of the past because companies today have chosen to design their products that way.
It’s sad that we carry that perception of mechanization over into society itself. This is showing up in everything from relationships including family dynamics to our outlook on other individuals. For the most part when there is a problem with the person it’s easier to just throw them away rather than help them repair themselves. In fact we go out of our way to not only not help those in need of repair or let them get a fresh start. We purposely put roadblocks so that they cannot reintegrate into society and we say that were doing it for society’s protection. What a pathetic justification. People are not throw away things, from a moral standpoint almost all religions point out that there is redemption after sin. But although we have plenty of religious organizations most of them treat certain members of society as if they can never be redeemed. Their justification for that stance is not based on Scripture, but based on bias, mythology and lies.
The United States is unique in this world in that we have a true moral compass, no matter what your belief system or your religion that compass comes from our Republics Constitution, the declaration of independence, and the Bill of Rights. they set the moral code for this country. And that moral code is quite simply NOT based on the rights of the mob/majority, but on the individual’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as guaranteed by our constitutional documents. When any group attempts to take away any individuals or other groups rights rather they based their arguments on a religious belief or a public safety argument they are in fact unconstitutional. When those lobbying groups that assault our legislators with their bias that have base their information on falsehoods, lies or self delusions formed from mythology, they should be shown for what they are, political terrorists that are attempting to destroy this country from within.
Groups that lobby our lawmakers based on moral outrage need to recognize that there is a separation between church and state and if their moral outrage is based on the religious belief then it has no business being turned into a law. The only moral outrage that true patriots should be offended by in this country is when any group attempts to deprive another group of the constitutional privileges that they want themselves. Victims advocates complain that criminals have more rights than victims that is as far from the truth as can possibly be victims and their perpetrators have exactly the same rights, those same victims advocates would steal the rights from another group to satisfy their thirst for revenge or need for power over others. How petty can you be.
We also have the statement that says “follow the money”, It is time to look at legislative lobbying groups, no matter what the circumstances of what they are lobbying for. There needs to be a conscious look at how the law will affect the lobbying groups bottom line. There are many lobbying groups that say that they are doing it for public safety. The reality is that they are only interested in it because it will put more money into their pockets, quite simply put, if a law restricts or denies a citizen of this country from enjoying the same freedoms and privileges as his neighbor then that law is in fact unconstitutional. No matter how the people pushing the law try to justify its enactment.
There are in fact exceptions to this rule and they are also built into the Constitution the primary exception is when someone breaks a constitutional correct law. At that point the state has the right to punish them through fines and restrictions of some of their liberties by placing them in confinement for that lawbreaking. But even that has limits that’s what the eighth amendment was all about. At the time of the Constitution our framers had seen how the governments had excessively punished people for breaking laws. They chose to be a country that was based on humane principles, yes a person should be punished for their indiscretions, but not excessively and/or cruelly. And the punishments were limited to fines and jail time, once a person had paid their fines or serve their jail time they were allowed to reintegrate back into society with no further restrictions.
When the legislators have taken it upon themselves to attempt to punish specific groups of people because of some moral outrage, history has shown us that misguided legislative actions have shamed our country, you have only to look at the way the Tories were treated at the end of our war of independence or to look at the laws that were passed after the Civil War requiring a oath of allegiance or Jim Crow laws or the creation of the Japanese internment camps during World War II, or for that matter the laws that were passed during the McCarthy era. denying specific groups and individuals employment opportunities. Today the legislators have passed laws denying people who have criminal convictions the same benefits in society be it housing, schooling, travel, or employment. Just to mention a few of those restrictions that have been placed on people who have been convicted of criminal offenses. Once a person has served their time and paid their fines they should have no further restrictions placed upon them by legislative bodies. The myth that people convicted of crimes lose their constitutional rights is not true*1. The laws that are passed to do that are in fact unconstitutional and violates the moral code of our Republic’s Constitution in most cases they are in fact bills of attainder or lesser pains and penalties *2 Bills of attainder are expressly banned by Article I, section 9, of the United States Constitution, many of these laws are also in violation of article 4s prohibition against the privileges and immunities clause of the Constitution.
When legislative bodies attempt to pass laws restricting constitutional freedoms after a person has paid their fines or serve their time and are no longer under judicial punishment, rather the legislative bodies call them regulatory or outright punishment they are still banned by our Constitution and usually are in violation of either special legislation*3 or under state and federal constitutions of the ban on bills of attainder and lesser pains and punishments or violate article 4 the privileges and immunities clause of our Constitution. Only the courts have the ability to levy a fine, a fee or punishment it is outside the constitutional authority of both the executive branch and the legislative branch to fine or punish a person or group.
Where are these legislators getting the idea that they can make society safer by passing these laws. For the most part they are getting it from the lobbyists that are in it for revenge for some act that has affected them or for the money. There are also the supposedly experts who have shown an adversarial alliance or a personal bias in the studies that they put forward. Recognize even these experts have a fiduciary interest in continuing the mythology of dangerousness of people who have been convicted of crimes. Most of the experts are involved in treatment programs of one form or another or are paid to buy state and federal organizations to justify their mistreatment of former criminals. As long as they do studies showing the dangerousness of individuals, they will continue to receive money and funding for more studies. If these experts are involved in treatment programs it guarantees a continuous flow of individuals and money into their programs. That is why when you see a study done you need to carefully dissect their conclusions looking for the real information within the study that they are trying to gloss over, for example using rearrests to show high re-offense rates where in fact it’s not a recidivism number unless they are reconvicted in a similar crime.
So legislators should remember their sworn oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of this Republic. That means not removing any single individual or minority groups constitutional rights. The legislators should before they take any information or advice from lobbyists or special interest groups look at the true reason behind the rhetoric that the lobbyists are putting forward and not take that information at face value. legislatures must seek out any counter information. legislators should also remember that individual rights are what this country was built on and why it has survived as long as it has. When legislators attempt to remove those constitutional rights from individuals or disfavored groups they themselves become the political terrorists, that is why before the legislators take any of the lobbyists information seriously they should look into the true facts of the situation and remember the Constitution. Remember our Supreme Court has said it is better to set a guilty man free than to convict an innocent man, following that logic — When in doubt It’s better to not pass a law that is needed then to pass a law that is unconstitutional and violates the moral code of this country.
*1 The myth that one “loses all rights” on conviction
So where does the notion come from that a defendant “loses all rights” upon conviction, rather than just those rights disabled and deprived in the sentencing order? Incompetent legal thinking, aided by the lack of political clout by convicted felons and a general public attitude of “let’s get tough on crime”, but it is unconstitutional.
Cases such as Lewis and Caron illustrate the subversive way that stare decisis doctrine operates to effect a drift away from original understanding. By assigning greater weight to later precedents, and using rules like limits on the length of briefs, and a judicial bias against argument from first principles, the result is akin to the walk of a drunken sailor, from bad precedent to worse, until it becomes extremely difficult to bear the heat from breaking back to constitutional fundamentals.
So now we can see what the statutes codified under 18 U.S.C. 922-924 do. They legislatively impose a criminal penalty (although it would make no difference if it was civil) on the class of persons convicted (or even just indicted) of a crime, in many cases retroactively, without prescribing it as part of what is to be imposed in the sentencing order. Logically, that is a violation of the requirement for due process and of the prohibitions against bills of attainder and ex post facto laws. It makes no difference that persons convicted or indicted for a crime might present a threat to public safety. So do law enforcement officials acting without lawful authority.
*2 Bill of Attainder
According to former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist: a bill of attainder is a precise legal term which had a meaning under English law at the time the United States Constitution was adopted. A bill of attainder was a legislative act that singled out one or more persons and imposed punishment on them, without benefit of a judicial trial. Such actions were regarded as odious by the framers of the Constitution because they understood that the traditional role of a court was to judge an individual case, first to determine guilt and only thereafter to impose punishment
Rehnquist’s exposition, claiming that a bill of attainder has four parts, As part of a technical legal analysis, we would need to find: (1) a legislative act – relatively straightforward, (2) a particular or easily defined group or individual (3) a punishment – well-established in American jurisprudence to including the loss of life, liberty, property, and or freedom to work; and (4) the lack of a judicial trial to impose a punishment.
Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 165: Bill of attainder. Legislative acts, no matter what their form, that apply either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial. United States v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437, 448-49, 85 S.Ct. 1707, 1715, 14 L.Ed. 484, 492; United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303, 315, 66 S.Ct. 1073, 1079, 90 L.Ed. 1252. An act is a “bill of attainder” when the punishment is death and a “bill of pains and penalties” when the punishment is less severe; both kinds of punishment fall within the scope of the constitutional prohibition. U.S.Const. Art. I, Sect 9, Cl. 3 (as to Congress);’ Art. I, Sec, 10 (as to state legislatures).
*3 Special law The special law is a law that is passed within a state, county or city for a specific group of people and denying them or granting them privileges that are not given to the general public.