"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous
crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in
cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in
actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be
subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb;
nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against
himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process
of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just
Nothing there places burden of proof on the government. Only establishes
"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy
and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein
the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been
previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause
of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have
compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the
Assistance of Counsel for his defence. "
Nothing there places burden of proof on the government either.
I'm not going to quote the whole thing there but the equal protection clause
does not place burden of proof on the government.
I think you will find that the presumption of innocence comes out of English
common law and was established in the US by case law rather than by
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Are you making the argument that the Constitution is ad definitio
Or, are you making the argument that the Constitution does not have
its roots in Common Law (I find no need to distinguish between
English Common Law and whatever you might have in mind for its
You might also want to look into the concepts of Natural Law, Common
Law and their inclusion in the arguments of those who have petitioned
the court in matters regarding the definitions expressed and implied
in the document.
I would again direct your attention to the case of Coffin v. United
States, so that your reading may inform you as to the niceties of
analysis and argumentation in matters pertaining to rights that may
be found in the Constitution.
I would particularly direct your attention to the reception of implied
definitions, as accepted by the court.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
Being a former security officer, I can tell you there is more than one way
someone, unfortunately it generally takes physical force to do it. I can
also tell you that depending on the state, firm you work for, local laws,
and store, that there are times when you are NOT ALLOWED BY LAW to touch a
person unless you are willing to personally "citizens arrest" that
individual and then take full reprecussion if that person is found innocent
of charges. Furthermore if you do hold that person against their will YOU
can be charged with False Imprisonment/holding someone against their will.
I believe, and this is MY opinion, that the laws are way too lax and that
too many people get away with too much junk because of lawyers (not all)
that want to make a quick buck. For example
- somoene broke into a house, and cut their leg on the glass that THEY
broke and sued the homeowner and won.
- someones family filed a wrongful death suit against a homeowner who shot
and killed a person who broke into their home.
- someone was awarded a large sum of money for spilling HOT COFFEE from a
popular restaurant drive through
Damn, someone has been busy, and we are paying for it
stepping off the soapbox, breathing in fresh air while I still can for free
Citizens arrest applies to any crime, misdemeanor or felony as long as the
citizen is willing to see it through, cases in point :
A delivery driver ran me and my wife off the road, misdemeanor because no
physical damage was done, arrested by me after getting license plate,
investigating, and finally arresting
A drunk driver, arrested by me, because when I called it in the cops said
since they didnt see they couldnt pull him unless he was driving funny,
nevermind he knocked over a mailbox, but since I was the one who saw it,
only I could prove it with my word, arrested by me, convicted
Assisting an officer who was pushed down by a "bystander" because his
brother was being arrested, cop didnt see it, but guess what, I did, ok the
cop got to arrest that one :-)
Point being, anyone can have someone arrested on *ANY* charge provided they
are willing to see it through
**NOT A COP, TEMPER NOT GOOD ENOUG**
Reading these posts and watching the
morning news about Scott Petersen is
making me obsess about society and
morality. The term "sociopath" was
defined in connection with the Petersen
case. I never realized it before, but do
you realize that sociopaths are necessary
for the functioning of our society? Where
would John Gotti have gotten without
grunts like Sammy the Bull? How would
the Chicago Carpenter's union survive
without the ability to intimidate people
like my friend with a roofing business,
by sending goons out to drive his own
trucks through his overhead doors and
kill his pet pig, which was the company
mascot? Thank God there is a stabilizing
force in society so that in some cases,
at least, a Gotti will end up powerless.
I would like to read a thesis about how the
percentage of remorseless individuals
in society are used to control and
manipulate us. I think the remorseless-
ness begins with the one who is willing
to take what does not belong to them,
I also believe that if the Democrats win
the upcoming election, the world will
become more comfortable for the Scott
Petersens among us, and that they will
destroy the world. Do we all want to live
in New Jersey?
John Gotti was a sociopath himself.
The latter prt of your diatribe is ridiculous. I don't know if Peterson is a
sociopath...he sounds to me like a garden variety nasty piece of work as far as
women are concerned. If he did kill his wife, I'll concede sociopathological
That said, I doubt very much that these people (sociopaths) are made more or
less comfortable by whatever political party is in power.
How this discussion got to this point from a WalMart clerk tackling and
injuring a suspected shoplifter I have no idea.
"Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen." Ambrose Bierce, The
And crime in the US tends to be higher than most places. I blame lax
liberal laws. I say let the laws be come more simple and let the jury
decide. Right now a person is scared to defend his property or him self for
fear that he might become the victim again.
Scott Peterson's on the side girl friend is becoming a victim.
Take the guy that murdered his pregnant girlfriend and turned himself in
after seeing Passion of the Christ. Why on earth does this need to go to
trial????? Simply whisk him off to a mental hospital and determine if he is
crazy or not. If he is not crazy, use a bullet on him.
Take the guy that killed his neighbor, cut his body up, and dumped the
remains in Galveston bay. The jury found him innocent after he confess to
the crime. His excuse was that he murdered his neighbor by accident and was
afraid that no one would believe that it was an accident. YEAH, it was an
accident so hack the body up and dump it in to the bay. AND THE JURY FOUND
HIM INNOCENT. Lax laws... they allow the criminals to piss on our shoes
and tell us that is raining.
Ok, when I say liberal laws, please do not take that as laws created by
liberals. Take that as laws that have no bite. Laws with too many loop
holes. Laws that let the guilty get off because of what ever reason. Laws
with absolutely too much protection of the guilty.
And it has been for a long time, through conservative and liberal
administrations, through conservative and liberal judges, through
conservative and liberal shifts in public opinion. We are "liberal" in
respecting personal freedom, and we need to accept the concomitant, that
self-interest can go beyond the bounds of law.
I blame lax
The "liberal laws" could just as well have been applied by the juries to
find the accused guilty and put them in prison or kill them. It wasn't the
laws' fault--it was the juries'. You know, those peers of ours who are the
Walt Kelly was right.
The problem, as with this entire thread, is not the presumption of
innocence. Everyone is innocent in his or her own mind of any wrongdoing.
The problem is that many on juries, as many in this discussion, presume the
"system," its restrictions and minions, are automatically guilty.
Of course, they are encouraged and abetted by constant reinterpretation of
the law, increasing the obligations of those in authority and the rights of
those in violation. Remember, it was only a 5 to 4 decision by the Supreme
Court that recently reaffirmed a citizen's obligation to give their proper
name to authorities.
Well more often than not the jury does not get to rule on what they should
be ruling on. Meaning, the jury is not to decide if the guy intentionally
murdered the neighbor, they are to determine if it was an accident or not.
The fact that the guy cut the neighbor up and dumped the parts in the bay
was to play no part as to whether the murder was accidental or not. Draw
your own conclusion given "all" the facts.
Not true. The jurors explicitly stated that the cutting up of the body
was part of their deliberations
The jurors were told, however, that Durst was not on trial for the
actual cutting up of the body.
Interestingly, Durst claimed that Black, the victim, was in his house
illegally. If he was, then surely you agree that it's "on his head."
To edit Clarke's comments:
"This is realism. He [broke in]. He thus risked apprehension. When
apprehended [by the owner], he resisted, and thus risked application of
force. When force is applied then death is a possible outcome. He took
the chance, what happened after that was on his head."
And to think all this time you were blaming the victim.
I was using that case more of an example in this instance but given your
input here, the law has failed. He should have been put away permanently
when he confessed. Why go farther with a trial?
Because he didn't confess to murder (did he?), only to _killing_ Black.
If you take his "confession" at face value, and the man was in his house
illegally, then, by the logic that has been employed in this thread --
by you and Clarke -- it's Black's fault he got himself killed. i.e.,
Durst is innocent of murder by reason of protecting his property.
I use this example as a means to demonstrate the absurdity of a man
dying while being apprehended for shoplifting diapers, and you (and
Clarke) saying he should have anticipated it. If Black really broke into
Durst's house, then he should have anticipated this possible outcome and
it's his own damn fault.
But by your vehement spite for the jury, laws, whatever, you seem to be
applying your standard inconsistently. Instead of consistent application
of principles, I see someone who merely wants to impose _his_ ad hoc
view of whatever situation arises.
Extrapolate this now to cops/security guards/soldiers/people with guns
and you get a very dangerous situation. People who are damn sure they
know what they're seeing and not realizing the consequences of being
wrong. That's why I'd like to have some protection from over-zealous
authorities. That's why laws to protect _suspects_ are important.
Have the laws gone too far? Maybe. It's always easy to find the
outrageous cases to prove a point (I've twisted the Durst case pretty
good for my own devious purposes ;) I do know I'd be pretty ticked to
have my years on Earth cut in half by some nit-wit rent-a-cop.
You gotta use a little horse sense here. Is that rain on you shoes there?
I think the fact that he admitted to hacking the body and tossing it in the
bay screams murder and guilty. The security guard that aprehended the guy
stealing diapers did not finish by hacking the body into pieces and tossing
them in tho the bay or river. Come on a little thinking works wonders.
Yeah if he really broke into the house he should have considered the
possible consequenses. But Durst did go a bit farther to try and get rid of
Is that what you are doing here?
Absolutely but when there are witnesses and you catch the guy red handed,
the stage of suspect has been passed.
Well, you have no controll over when you go and if you go early, it was
intended. The killer was merely an instrument to make what is suppose to
happen, happen. I seriousely doubt you would be ticked if you were dead.
eyewitness testimonies are notoriously unreliable
and many, many people have been framed for crimes they did not commit.
but you really don't want to deal with any complicated scenarios, do
you? being suspected of a crime is enough for a death sentence to be
carried out by minimum wage rentacops....
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