A few thoughts regarding the Sun Times' coverage of Thaddeus Jimenez (http://chicago.suntimes.com/news-chicago/7/71/400788/even-25-million-couldnt-keep-wrongfully-convicted-chicago-man-trouble), a man who served 16 years, wrongly convicted of murder, who has since been arrested for a series of petty "drug offenses." (This is in quotes for good reason, since a "drug offense" is not really an offense against anyone.)
Upon being released from jail, and paid $25,000,000 in damages, one would think that it might give the Chicago Police Department just a little bit of pause in aggressively prosecuting Jimenez for "victimless crime" offenses. (Let's face it, if drug use and minor anger issues are your only problem after losing 16 years of your life to police misconduct, you're probably a better-balanced person than most people would be in similar circumstances.) And let's face it: possessing plant products (which are almost all safer than alcohol) is technically a non-crime, according to the Bill of Rights. (There will be people who argue this point, so I deal with it more fully in a moment, clarifying the legalese that is designed to obfuscate the issues. How is legalese designed to obfuscate the issues? It makes us dependent on licensed lawyers for legal protection from increasingly more arbitrary laws. There is no "conspiracy," other than that licensed attorneys have shared interests: they realize that if no jury will convict anyone, and the legal language is straight-forward, defendants would have no reason not to represent themselves pro se.)
In 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed, which allowed the government to regulate drug quality without intervening jury trials. The public stupidly (unwittingly self-destructively) and ignorantly (without all the facts) ignored the fact that this law was in direct violation of the property rights of all citizens. By having "gotten away with" passing the 1906 Act, congress essentially received "feedback" from the American public that they weren't paying any attention to what congress was doing. In 1914, the Harrison Narcotics act was passed, illegally, and in direct contradiction to the entire U.S. Constitution (again, they noticed that there were no crowds with pitchforks and torches assembled outside their offices; no literate people to hold them accountable for making laws that criminalized the behaviors of racial minorities and jazz musicians). Over the years, the Harrison law was strengthened by the marijuana stamp act (1937), which was also never successfully challenged. In 1971, Richard Nixon ignored the Shafer Commission's report indicating that marijuana should be legalized, and escalated the drug war via a series of (also totally unlawful) presidential edicts. Ronald Reagan, (who confusingly claimed to favor a "free market"), did the same thing, resulting in grotesque denial of even the most basic property rights (primarily by claiming allegations of drug dealing could result in the confiscation of non-drug property, without any proof or an intervening jury trial).
Every single drug prohibition law flatly ignores the foundation of property rights that the USA was built upon, in multiple ways. (And yes, slavery also ignored that foundation, but ultimately was overturned because of it. Abolitionist Lysander Spooner's famous essay "The Unconstitutionality of Slavery" was adopted by Frederick Douglass as the core argument against slavery. This same argument popularized the Free Soil Party, resulting in bringing multiple western states into the Union as "free states.")
Every single drug law (and presidential edict) was also initially pushed through congress as a means of legalizing bigotry (bigotry against racial minorities, jazz musicians, drug users, Native American churches, etc). This allowed racist police and public to physically assault minorities under the excuse of "looking for contraband." (A free society where all individuals are equal under the law cannot label any private property as contraband, other than human beings, and "weapons of mass destruction." A "WMD" can be defined as any weapon that cannot be targeted purely defensively.)
So what part of the Bill of Rights technically outlaws a drug war? The same part of the Bill of Rights that outlaws prohibitions on "unmarried cohabitation." The 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments.
The "common law" (referred to in the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution) requires that every "crime," in order to be properly considered a "malum in se" (a wrong, in and of itself; an inherent wrong) must possess two elements (as a part of "due process"). The two elements are: "injury" (to a specific, named individual or group of individuals), and "intent to injure" (the same, specific, named individual or group of named individuals). When both elements are present, there is said to be a "corpus delicti" or "body of the crime." When a "malum in se" has occurred, the prosecutor is to determine if there is adequate evidence of a valid "corpus delicti" that can be assigned to an accused. If so, the accused is charged. This is what the term "corpus" in the 4th Amendment refers to.
When the state criminalizes non-criminal actions (actions that lack a valid "corpus delicti"), the state has created a condition of "false crime" known as a "malum prohibitum" (plural: "mala prohibita"). The creation of mala prohibita is, itself, a crime. Why? Because the creation of false laws allows police to use force against innocent people. By definition, those who are not guilty of "malum in se" are innocent.
The creation of "mala prohibita" has resulted in the creation of an American police state, where the police powers have become the "standing army" the Founders once warned against.
The "injuria et damnum" ("injury" and "intent") requirement exists precisely to prevent the government from outlawing things that are not inherently criminal. ...Such as the drug possession and gun possession Jimenez was charged with. (No form of gun possession is even considered a crime in AK, AZ, VT, and WY, even under pseudo-law that now governs most of the USA. Further, the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Putting people in prison for gun possession is an immense infringement, as is escalating other unrelated "mala prohibita" charges.).
By enforcing laws that criminalize non-criminal behavior, the U.S. has become the number one incarcerator in the world. The U.S. has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of the world's prison population. This gives us the highest per-capita prison population, by far. By most counts, there are now 2.4 million people in prison, with over 60% of them incarcerated for victimless non-crimes. The existence of these prisoners is, by many accounts, even worse than the existence of plantation slaves. (This is only meant to compare the rationality of the every day voter who votes for the two faces of "the prison party," but would never consider voting for the two faces of "the slavery party.")
So, America has become an unfree country. It's no longer "The Land of the Free, and The Home of the Brave." It's just another police state that imprisons arbitrarily, unequally (one in three drug offenders is black, in spite of equal drug use in the white population), and unfairly. The unfairness of the laws is largely because police officers can clearly see who is black, enabling their racism and allowing them to respond to perverse incentives favoring the enforcement of unjust laws against populations that are not large enough to defend themselves via the vote. (Former U.S. Marshal and DEA Joint Task Force Agent Matt Fogg has stated in a youtube video that he was told not to plan drug interdiction in white areas, because they'd "arrest a judge or senator's son and they'd pull the plug on this thing.")
So, why doesn't the public know this already? Simple: They are taught in government schools by tax-financed educators who have no interest in creating a nation of legally-literate tax-resistors. So, "Civics" class has been substituted with "Social Studies" and "Government" class. At no point in a child's education do they learn about the ideas inherent in the Enlightenment, nor the long battle for security in one's "persons, papers, and effects."
The last State to resist universal "free and compulsory" government-run education model, Vermont, had been operating under government schooling for 14 years, (since 1900). Prior to that time, parents strove to educate their children according to the independent nature of a free society. As free men and women, they had every incentive to educate their children well. Clay Conrad, in his book "Jury Nullification: The Evolution of a Doctrine" indicates that Giles Jacobs' "New Law Dictionary" was the most popularly read law-book in the colonies, with many thousands of copies in circulation. One way that we know that Jacob's intent was to create a society full of free people capable of defending themselves in front of a jury, if they should ever be charged with violating an arbitrary law, was the title of his next book: "Every Man His Own Lawyer."
America has been hijacked by licensed attorneys, and a sociopathic political class. This political class (prosecutors, legislators, cops) doesn't mind putting your sons and daughters in prison for non-crimes. When you hire an attorney, their license prevents them from attacking the legitimacy of the law. They thereby legitimize a system that is totally illegitimate, by attempting, usually unsuccessfully, to dance around the fact that their client clearly broke an unjust law.
This is what makes America unfree. Without property rights, there is no freedom, because we all live in material reality. Your body is material property; you own it. The unconstitutional, unlawful police State disagrees.
Do you mind? Does knowing this make you mad? If you don't mind being unfree, then please, keep voting for Democrats and Republicans, and don't bother to look up the term "libertarian," or "jury nullification of law." Don't bother to find out what you need to do to survive "voir dire" (more legalese!), the unconstitutional and unlawful "jury selection process." (Voir dire was originally used as a means of kicking abolitionists off of juries, so that the Fugitive Slave Act could be enforced in the pre-Civil-War North.)
If you do mind, then "dummy up" when you're called to serve on a jury, so you get seated. The judge will kick you off for answering any differently than "yes your honor" when asked if you can "agree to apply the laws as given to you." Once seated, render a holdout "not guilty" vote, if you serve on a victimless non-crime case, no matter whether it's a billionaire drug cartel on trial, or a teenager with $25 worth of marijuana.
Without a valid "corpus," there is no crime, no matter what any group of legislators has decided. In much the same way that the legislators are not allowed to build concentration camps for Jews (no matter who wins any election, and no matter what percentage of the public is bigoted against Jews), they are also not allowed to make laws that criminalize self-ownership, or private property. In a democratic republic, citizen-jurors limit the power of the government.
We were intended to have "a republic, if we could keep it." We have lost it. Restoring it means taking responsibility for the propriety of our jury verdicts, supporting those who fight the government, and voting "not guilty" in victimless non-crime "cases."