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Re: Our inalienable rights (was APD V3 #1161

Helo Steven,

I agree with all you said about the US Constitution!

You forgot, however, an old Yankee saying: An ounce of prevention is
worth a pound of cure -- 

Have you priced lawyers lately? It can turn into quite an expensive
assertion of one's rights! Or do you know an attorney that does such a
defense of our _inalienable rights_ *pro bono*? :-))



> Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 10:05:51 -0700
> From: "Dixon, Steven T. (Exchange)" <stdixon at ben_bechtel.com>
> Subject: Hydroponics Shopping
> At the risk of extending an off-topic conversation . . . .  but since I
> do shop at hydroponics stores for my planted aquaria supplies, and
> because I refuse to allow any intimidation of the sort recently
> mentioned, I will comment on Amelia's comment:
> <<< Perhaps CA has stricter laws about what police can and can't do than
> NM but here I could easily see the police pulling a stunt like that.
> Here they require that the contraband be in "plain view", which only
> means that a law enforcement agent _could_ see it without breaking any
> laws.  Flying over your house hanging out of a low helicopter would be
> considered acceptable as a means of getting the evidence to get a
> warrant.  I also wouldn't feel too safe just yet.  We do still live in a
> country where if you are charged of almost any drug crime gov. agencies
> can confiscate everything you have and even if you are found not be
> guilty of anything you have no right to have anything that was
> confiscated returned, nor will they compensate you for your losses.  A
> bit unconstitutional, but no one's complaining too loudly yet, so the
> gov't doesn't care.>>>
> I AM a US lawyer, but since I don't practice 4th amendment law, take
> this with as many grains of salt as you like.  The American constitution
> doesn't vary from state to state.  It is ultimately interpreted by US
> federal courts.  A state may have laws which are more protective of
> citizen's rights than the US constitution (as does California), but not
> less protective.  So the US 4th amendment is the same whether you're in
> CA or NM.
> The "plain view" doctrine is the current federal standard for searches
> (when I last checked) but the problem (for the police) is that blue
> light is absolutely NOT contraband.  It is after all just blue light.
> One would have to research the case law to know for sure, but blue light
> does not give rise, it seems to me, to a "reasonable suspicion" which
> would form the basis for the "probable cause" required for the issuance
> of a search warrant.  (I have no idea what the Queen might require in
> Canada under similar circumstances! <G>)
> Nor is it true in the US that if the government confiscates one's
> property, one is not entitled to return of the property or 'just'
> compensation.  This issue concerns the 5th amendment which prohibits
> takings by the government without compensation.
> When I was illegally and falsely arrested years ago, when my vehicle was
> seized by the government and illegally broken into without a search
> warrant, when the police perjured themselves in court in violation of
> their sworn oaths, I fought back step by step and charged the police
> with false arrest, illegal detainment, civil breaking and entering, and
> illegal conversion of property!  And that was before I became a lawyer!
> For heaven's sake, stand up for yourselves and have some spine.  Pay for
> your hydroponics supplies with checks and credit cards!  I do.
> Otherwise, you'll get the government you deserve!  (meant lightly)
> Regards, Steve Dixon in San Francisco where the police wouldn't give
> blue light a second thought (I hope) <G>