Latest posts by Steve Stanek (see all)
- Don’t Expect Big Changes to Come from the Republicans’ Big Wins - November 5, 2014
- Fear the Day Government’s Great Fiction Lies Exposed - October 26, 2014
- Abusive Tax Policies Are to Blame for Corporations Going Overseas - October 18, 2014
Tell me we haven’t become a police state. This is in today’s Chicago Tribune:
“The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that people cannot keep police from entering their homes, even if the entry is ‘unlawful.’
“In a 3-2 decision, the court held there are valid reasons for police officers to enter homes without a warrant and without knocking , including concerns for an officer’s safety or that a suspect may escape or that evidence may be destroyed.
“‘We believe . . . a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,’ wrote Justice Steven David. ‘We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest.'”
So there were have it: The Indiana Supreme Court believes cops may enter and search our homes any time they like and do it with no court order and without even needing to knock. If we try to stop an illegal entry and search, we can go to prison. And we’ll be blamed for any injuries that might occur, not the police who illegally enter our homes.
And did you catch the cute “incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence”? Modern. The modern interpretation. That would be the interpretation based on the “living, breathing” characteristics of the Constitution — the characteristics that enable government officials to change the law of the land to suit whatever purposes they have in mind. The characteristics that enable them to read these words in the Fourth Amendment — “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the places to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” — and declare that cops may burst into our homes with no warrant, no cause, no oath affirmation, no description of the premises, and no idea of the persons inside or items they might end up seizing.
Carefully note the wording of the Fourth Amendment — “The right of the people . . . shall not be violated . . .” The right exists. It is not granted by the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. It exists even if there is no Bill of Rights. The document says the right may not be violated. The Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling violates the Constitution’s prohibition against violating the right! Modern interpretation.
I have in my files an article from the March 3, 2007 edition of the Chicago Tribune that says Illinois’ criminal code in the 1960s covered 72 pages. Repeat: 72 pages. As of 2007, it had reached nearly 1,300 pages. Yes, it’s grown from 72 pages to 1,300 pages.
Illinois had 8,000 prison inmates in 1970. Now it has more than 45,000. Do you think this explosion in the state’s prison population might have something to do with the explosion in the size of the state’s criminal code?
Illinois is not unique in this explosion of punishing laws and in the number of people in the prison system. All states have acted similarly. So has the federal government. The Cato Institute reports there were only three federal crimes when the Constitution was enacted. Now there are more than 3,000 possible ways to go to federal prison.
Cato also notes, “In 1930, at the height of alcohol prohibition, there were about 400 FBI agents. Today the federal government employs over 69,000 full-time personnel who are authorized to make arrests and carry firearms.”
Result? University of Michigan’s Professor Mark Perry has been tracking prison incarceration rates across the globe. He says . . . well, here’s his chart. It speaks for itself.
Q: Which repressive country puts the most people in jail for violating government laws?
B. Saudi Arabia
E. United States of America
It’s not even close…………..
World Rank, 2010 Country Prisoners per 100,000 Population
1 U.S.A. 743
37 Tunisia 297
52 Turkmenistan 224
53 Iran 223
61 Libya 200
61 Mexico 200
69 Colombia 180
70 Saudi Arabia 178
92 Bahrain 149
116 China 120
126 Venezuela 114
137 Iraq 101
140 Ethiopia 98
150 Egypt 89
156 Yemen 83
185 Syria 58
187 Afghanistan 56
198 Sudan 45
198 Pakistan 45
The table above shows how the prison incarceration rate for in the United States (per 100,000 population) in 2010 compares to some of the roughest countries in the world. The full list of 216 countries is here, the countries above were selected as some of world’s the most repressive regimes (Iran, Saudi Arabia and Libya), some of the world’s least economically free countries (Venezuela, Turkmenistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, according to the Heritage Foundation) and some countries with the biggest narco-terroism problems (Colombia and Mexico). But none of them even come close to the incarceration rate of the World’s #1 Jailer – the United States, largely because of the “war on drugs”