Saturday, August 11, 2007

Terrorist Suspects may go Free

In South Carolina, Ahmed Abda Sherf Mohamed, 24, and Yousef Samir Megahed, 21, two students of at the University of South Florida were arrested near the Naval Weapons Station which holds terrorist prisoners. They were stopped for speeding and police became suspicious when they nervously closed a laptop they had been using and could not explain why they were in the area. Pipe bombs were found in their car. Their attorney petitioned the court to exclude all evidence discovered because they were illegally profiled.
Now the judge will schedule a hearing and the prosecutor will have to prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that the men were not arrested because they looked like middle-eastern Muslims. If the judge feels that they were profiled, then this case will be thrown out because all evidence obtained due to the “illegal” stop will become inadmissible. This is ridiculous and not just because they are terrorist suspects. I am getting quite upset reading about cases being tossed out of court because the evidence was obtained illegally. I know why this happens. This happens because our constitutional rights require protection from any overzealous, totalitarian law enforcement. No one wants a police state like Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Russia. However I don’t want to see criminals and terrorists go free because, in some cases, an “I” was not dotted or a “T” was not crossed. Even in the cases were the abuse was blatant, I cannot stomach murderers and thieves being set free because evidence was obtained illegally.
So I have a solution. Do not change the rules defining the legality of the method employed to obtain the evidence, but change the resulting outcome. Don’t remove the murder weapon from a case because the search warrant that was used to obtain it was based upon an illegal traffic stop. Rather allow the evidence to stand, but discipline the person(s) responsible for the creating the illegal condition. That discipline can be anything from personnel file condemnation letters to felony charges. For example:
- If the search warrant was typed improperly or dated incorrectly or any such stupid mistake, fine or admonish the clerk responsible for the error, but allow the evidence.
- If a search warrant was obtained because a law enforcement officer conducted an illegal search, then that officer should be disciplined; fined, suspended or fired, but the evidence stands.
- If the search warrant was obtained because a law enforcement official lied, then that official should be charged with obstructing justice, but the evidence is allowed.
- If no search warrant is obtained, then the case should be reviewed by the district attorney’s office and the law enforcement officer(s) should be charged with the appropriate crime, up to and including burglary of an inhabited dwelling, but the evidence remains.
The bottom line is if someone is breaking to law in order to make arrests, then they should be punished. Why punish Society by releasing dangerous predators because the evidence against them was obtained illegally? I do not mind losing evidence in minor, illegal activities, but some cases being dismissed are significant, horrendous felonies. Why can’t common sense be applied to the justice system? Justice may be blind, but she can’t deaf and dumb too!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Parole and Prison Terms

Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes, two parolees are charged with abducting a Connecticut family, killing 48-year-old Jennifer Hawke-Petit, causing her two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, to die from smoke inhalation by burning their home and badly beating William Petit Jr. (who escaped and survived). Everyone is outraged; some people are demanding the resignations of the parole board members, others question the leniency of the parole guidelines and still others are horrified by the lenient sentences that were imposed.

Let’s examine these three points shall we?
- Although Komisarjevsky's file was 89 pages, it did not include the transcript of a 2002 hearing at which a judge sentencing him for a string of burglaries called him a "cold, calculating predator." The law requires the board to make sure they have and review all sentencing documents before making parole decisions.
- Hayes’ file was 260 pages yet they did not consider him to be a danger to the community; no “Red Flag”.
- Both had admitted to having drug problems and actually met in rehab.
1. Strike one for the parole board.
- Komisarjevsky served nearly 60 percent of his sentence before parole.
- Hayes served 75 percent of his sentence.
- Only 50 percent is required to be eligible for parole.
2. Strike two for the Parole Board Guidelines.
- Neither were considered violent offenders so light sentences were imposed.
- If a judge considered a Komisarjevsky "cold, calculating predator", why was his sentence so light?
- If Hayes file was 260 pages, why was there no stiffer “repeat offender” sentence imposed?
3. Strike three for sentencing guidelines and/or application.

In my opinion, all three are the problem, so here are my suggestions:

¨ Parole board members must be held accountable for their actions. At the very least, they should lose their job when found grossly derelict in their duties. Maybe then they will make more prudent decisions.

¨ Parole eligibility guidelines need to be reviewed and made stricter.

¨ Individuals dubbed “A threat to society” and Repeat Offenders should be required to serve their entire sentence. No possibility of parole ever, period.

¨ Threats to Society and Repeat Offenders should receive maximum sentences and sentencing guidelines need to be reviewed and made stricter.

¨ When ex-cons (paroled or not) commit crimes after release and the judge was deemed too lenient at their sentencing, then that judge should be sanctioned. If judges accumulate multiple sanctions, they should be permanently removed from the bench.

¨ Parole officers should also be held accountable their actions and if they are found to be negligent in performing their duties, then they should at least lose their job.

The bottom line is that anyone responsible for putting convicted felons back on the streets via early release (with the exception of ethical defense attorneys) must be held accountable for their actions.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Logical Look at Evolution

Much has been made recently about creationists and proponents of intelligent design ignoring the “facts” of evolution and how silly creation museums and their believers are to ignore the scientific “evidence” of evolution. Okay, so now the evolutionists, who were banned from even teaching their theories in the not so distant past, have a place in the sun and want to ban all contrary theories from being even mentioned in schools. In fact, you are not even allowed to question any part of the evolution theory. Why? Why are they so, in my humble opinion, uncompromising in their beliefs? I’ll tell you why. It’s because they have suffered too many defections from their ranks of previously staunch supporters. These defectors are scientists who, after studying and learning about DNA and RNA during stem cell and cloning research, have decided that “Spontaneous Combustion” could not be the way life was created in our universe.
What the evolutionists don’t want you to hear is how they “manipulated” those beautiful, pictorial charts depicting evolutionary lineage. How? By arranging the pictures, such as those of some birds, mammals and ‘pre-human” man to better reflect the “march” of evolution while disregarding the science of when those creatures existed. They have already made some grievous errors (remember the “extinct” coelacanth?) and don’t want more problems to arise that might punch holes in their neat little world. That is why, although the scientific method itself demands constant scrutiny and questioning, evolutionists (who claim to be scientists) demand that their beliefs not be questioned. Well, I’m not a scientist and do not possess an academic background, but I was born with the God given ability (oops sorry for the Freudian slip) to apply logic and common sense to issues. This brings me some problem areas of evolution that my common sense has illuminated:

1. If it is so easy to create life that it can erupt from nothing, why hasn’t some evolutionist somewhere taken the building blocks, carbon, water etc., and produced a living entity from scratch? How about just making a simple protein? We know the elements of life and possess all the raw materials, so why can’t we just stir up a bowl of this “primordial soup” evolutionists are so fond of referencing? Simple logic dictates that although we can slice and dice and transplant and clone and perform all kinds of marvelous genetic manipulations, we cannot generate life from scratch. Now if the extremely intelligent and gifted individuals, who are trying to create life, while professing to know how it is fabricated, cannot produce even one single simple, celled organism, how am I supposed to believe that some inanimate, unthinking federation of rocks, sand, water, lava and whatever could generate and continue to generate life forms accidentally from scratch? I’d even settle for an unfertilized egg cell, as long as they could prove it was alive by fertilizing it to produce a living organism. Oh, and someone please tell me when this all powerful, inanimate cabal decided to stop producing life forms and concentrate solely on mutating the existing ones?

2. Another element of evolution that can only be accepted by “faith” is that not only did life spring from nothing, but even though it was only a one celled gelatinous mass when it first appeared, it somehow developed the urge and ability to alter, change and reproduce itself! How? They had no nervous system let alone a brain. Have faith baby, it’s the “way of nature”, because if you listen to evolutionists, life must evolve or die. I adhere to the concept that life must “adapt” or die, but the problem is that evolutionists use adaptation as a synonym for evolution. Not so fast…I adapt to cold weather by wearing gloves, hat, scarf and a coat. Does this signify evolution? I think not and if it did, why haven’t men who live in perpetually cold climates “evolved” to not require coats, hats, gloves or scarves? We adapt to the water by donning wetsuits, fins and scuba gear, and yet even though man has lived so long by water, he never evolved an “Aquaman”. By the way, to all those evolutionists who say man has not been around long enough to evolve these traits let me point out that you have maintained they have been around long enough for Cheetah to turn into Albert Einstein. Oh yeah and what or who is “Nature” anyway? Oh yeah, that sounds too much like intelligent design…better stifle questions in that area.

3. Let’s assume that a life form could mutate (another evolutionist synonym) and survive (although Science indicates otherwise). As long as it reproduces by cellular division, then a mutated life form could achieve population growth. However, since life must evolve or die, the organisms became more complex (according to the evolutionists). They developed sexual organs that required two; completely different yet totally compatible life forms to mutate at the same time, otherwise the mutation would simply go extinct very quickly. Except, of course, for those organisms that defied the “Theory of Evolution” and remained, unchanged one celled life forms.

4. This brings us to the concept of evolution. It is not a law, it is a theory. Laws are scientific theories that have been proven, such as “The Law of Gravity”. If it cannot be proven, it remains a theory and some theories cannot be proven due to the constraints of physics, like the “Theory of Relativity”. Although theories like this cannot be technically proven, they are accepted as probably factual by the scientific community. The evolutionists want the same consideration, but Darwin is not on the same level as Einstein. In fact Darwin required evolution because that was the only way he could justify his racial prejudice…some races of man were simply evolving at a slower rate. This fact makes it illogical for me to accept evolution as anymore than a biased man’s fancy.

5. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the fact that all this evolving has done nothing to stop the original, simple one celled organisms from still existing unchanged. I guess not all life must evolve or die after all. That is even true of some very large and complicated organisms according to the evolutionists themselves (isn’t this considered an oxymoron?). These life forms would be alligators, crocodiles, sharks etc. The animals are touted as “perfect predatory life forms”. By my logic I assert there can be no such thing in evolution and please, someone tell me when all large life forms on land and in the water were exterminated by an asteroid (or whatever), how did these animals remain “unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs”?

6. Now I come to an item of evolution that has baffled me since I was taught about it in school. This concerns marine mammals, specifically whales. They tell us all life came from the sea, but after living for millions of years on land, the whales decide they have had enough and re-evolve so they can return to the water (I call this retro or de-evolution). Now all other branches on the evolutionary tree simply die out and go extinct when they reach this end of the line, but not the whales by God (oops, there I go again). They simply branch back upon themselves and live happily ever after. It is also true for air breathing dolphins, but they are actually part of the whale family (Orcas or “Killer Whales” are actually dolphins). Is this true for seals, walruses and sea lions, or did they just evolve to a certain point and stop? If whales could then why didn’t a Brachiosaur just decide to de-evolve to allow its immense body to float easily in the water while it peacefully munched on seaweed? Even Mr. Spock would have a hard time explaining the logic of this to me. Oh wait, that’s right, the Dinosaurs changed into birds. Of course they didn’t start as birds, so it’ not quite the same thing as the whales. Logic compels me to ask, how could this happen? I’ve been told all the dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago.

7. Now I need someone to tell me just what “Natural Selection” is. Oh, I don’t mean the definition, but is it some kind of universal, driving force or a twitch in one’s libido? Where did it come from? When did it start? Did some amoeba suddenly decide one day that it should grow sexual organs and only copulate with the meanest protozoan in the pond? Or did it first occur when a one celled organism detected a weakness in itself and discontinued performing meiosis? And by the way, who decides how animals are to determine which potential mate is the “fittest”? After all, some do it merely by size, others determine it by combat, still others by plumage or color or sound or the size of their bank account. How or who defined the rules that individual species use to determine which animal is the fittest? It bothers me that life is so diverse when it all arose from the same, accidental birthing procedure. Logic tells me there should be more conformity to life if it all evolved from the same concoction of elements, using the same process. Animal, vegetable and mineral…how in God’s name (I just can’t help it) did the powers that be (huh?) decide to develop these things? Why only three? How could a pussy willow come from the same source as a Neanderthal?

8. Now let’s get to my last bit of logical reasoning concerning evolution. Logic dictates that, as I previously stated, if so many learned scientists are bailing out of the evolutionary boat, then it stands to reason that this imaginary vessel is no longer sea worthy; a “Ship of Fools” so to speak. Not all these scientific deserters are religious. Au contraire mon ami. Although many have been forced to review their stand on religion, most are still either atheists or agnostics. And for your information, these are the individuals, along with Alien Life theorists, who coined the “Intelligent Design” term, not the Creationists. Creationists believe in “Devine Design”, but persons that did not believe in divine intervention needed another expression (one that did not imply the existence of a meddling God) and since “Intelligent Design” suited everyone, it became a viable alternative to evolution for them. I am a Creationist, but I was always open minded and figured that evolution was possible as long as God directed it. I have never had a problem with the difference in time expressed in the Bible versus the scientific beliefs of the time span. My logic always told me that time is physically different depending on your location. A day is not the same on Earth as it is on Jupiter or Mars. The length of a day is affected by the size of a body and its rotational speed. The length of an Earth day itself has changed since the formation of the planet. Since I am not privy to God’s physical location, I do not know what a day may be to him. How can I even know if the earth even rotated on its axis in the beginning? I can still believe in evolution as a tool of God, but I can never accept evolution as an entity unto itself.