Monday, June 29, 2009

American Justice?

I used to feel good about our justice system. It seemed it used to be the best in the world as far as having a level playing field for those who have been charged with a crime. But since Reagan's War on Drugs and Bush's War on Terror, more and more laws are being passed that give almost unlimited power to prosecutors. Laws have been passed out of fear. Some of these laws encroach too heavily on our 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendment rights.

Too often, I hear people say that as long as you don't do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from these laws. The thing is that far too many people are being caught up in these laws. The three strikes and you're out laws now give the same level of punishment to those who pass bad checks to those who murder.

A law passed two years ago, the Adam Walsh Act, was meant to protect society from sexual predators. It was meant so that no other parents had to go through what Adam Walsh's parents had to go through. The sad thing is because of all the new rules implemented with the Adam Walsh Act, the system is becoming so overloaded that the police can no longer keep track of the true sexual predators.

We see teenagers being charged for child pornography when they take a picture of themselves and email and send it via cell phone to their boyfriend/girlfriend. These kids, if convicted, will have to register as sex offenders for at least ten years.

We see ten year olds having to register as sex offenders for playing doctor with an eight year old.

We see young adults younger than 21 who inadvertently download child pornography, having to register as sex offenders for 10 years or more. Is it justice when 9 child porn photos are found out of hundreds of thousands of files on a person's computer and that person is charged with a felony and will have to register as a sex offender if convicted?

We see 17 year olds having to register as sex offenders after being charged for statutory rape for having sex with their year old boyfriend/girlfriends. Is this justice? Does it really keep us safe? Does it really keep our children safe?

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