Law - and Failure to Convict


1871, February 21: Congress Passes an Act to Provide a Government for
the District of Columbia, also known as the Act of 1871.
With no constitutional authority to do so, Congress creates a separate form of
government for the District of Columbia, a ten mile square parcel of land (see,
Acts of the Forty-first Congress," Section 34, Session III, chapters 61 and 62).
The act -- passed when the country was weakened and financially depleted in
the aftermath of the Civil War -- was a strategic move by foreign interests

(international bankers) who were intent upon gaining a stranglehold on the
coffers and neck of America. Congress cut a deal with the international bankers
(specifically Rothschilds of London) to incur a DEBT to said bankers.


Habeas Corpus (1928 film)Image via Wikipedia

This collection went to the mysterious Never-Never during Editing when an interruption in connectivity struck. This is a reworked earlier copy.
I started this list thinking of the 'legal position' of government when the law was blatantly flouted during the Bush/Cheney administration....calling it that's being complimentary. Torture was engaged in before the Get Out of Jail Free card was actually enacted in Congress.

Act of 1871   PDF

American Civil Liberties UnionImage via Wikipedia
 And a 'sensitive' international protocol 'enables' the process of violating international conventions regarding oft advertised - seldom seen 'human rights'.....perhaps because these agree to kill prosecutions of persons culpable under any such laws.

AMICC: Bilateral Immunity Agreements BIA

Bilateral Immunity Agreements (BIA) are an important aspect of the Bush Administration's policy towards the ICC. Each BIA represents an effort by the Bush ...

Status of US Bilateral Immunity Agreements by region - STATUS OF ...

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
STATUS OF US BILATERAL IMMUNITY AGREEMENTS (BIAs). As of 11 December 2006, the U.S. State Department reports 102 agreements; 100 are listed here. OVERVIEW ...

The United States, the International Criminal Court, and Bilateral ...

However, the decision by many Latin American and small Caribbean states to refuse to sign a bilateral immunity agreement with the United States in the face ...
GWB was at pains to repeatedly deny that the United States tortured. This while showing pictures of prisoners restrained in stress positions, kneeling and hooded. And then there are the reports from Abu Ghraib detailing how the professional interrogators were dismissed from being in charge and amateur hour was the activity 'authorized.' More of the same came out of Guantanamo, Bagram and secret CIA 'facilties' in foreign countries and even on ships.
And what was the rationale for 'water torture' in the style of the Salem witch trails or Torquemada's prosecutions in the Spanish Inquisition ? A TV series - '24' - pumping the propaganada of a never seen 'ticking time bomb' scenario and rebranding the process as 'waterboarding'...where permanent injuries occur within the body, not on the skin.
Torture...gets people to 'confess' to anything. That's why such statements are inadmissable in court...just like any other  'fairy tales.'

Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
passed with broad bipartisan support by Congress (91-8-1 in the United States Senate, 293-133-7 in the House of Representatives) following the Oklahoma City bombing
The AEDPA had a tremendous impact on the law of habeas corpus in the United States. One provision of the AEDPA limits the power of federal judges to grant relief unless the state court's adjudication of the claim resulted in a decision that was

   1. contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
   2. based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state court proceeding.
AEDPA enacted special review provisions for capital cases from states that enacted quality controls for the performance of counsel in the state courts in the post-conviction phase in state court. States that enacted these quality controls would see strict time limitations enforced against their death-row inmates in federal habeas proceedings coupled with extremely deferential review to the determinations of their courts regarding issues of federal law.
Other provisions of the AEDPA created entirely new statutory law. For example, before AEDPA the judicially created abuse-of-the-writ doctrine restricted the presentation of new claims through subsequent habeas petitions. The AEDPA replaced this doctrine with an absolute bar on second or successive petitions. Petitioners who attempted to bring claims in federal habeas proceedings that have already been decided in a previous habeas petition would find those claims barred. Additionally, petitioners who had already filed a federal habeas petition were required to first secure authorization from the appropriate federal court of appeals. Furthermore, AEDPA took away from the Supreme Court the power to review a court of appeals's denial of that permission, thus placing final authority for the filing of second petitions in the hands of the federal courts of appeals.

Criminal Injustice
Crime, whether real or imagined, serves a variety of interests in U.S. society. Crime is a commodity that gets politicians elected, creates millions of jobs, and yields enormous profits to news media conglomerates, who compete to report the most heinous crimes. Television, especially, is Washington's propaganda dispenser. And to keep the public from rejecting draconian legislation such as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, the public was force-fed a dosage of tabloid crimes that would convince them to not only accept but embrace such legislation-even if that meant forfeiting basic constitutional rights.
For many, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (known as the Crime Bill) represents one victory in the continuing battle to counter the supposed escalation of crime over the past three decades. This reasoning suits the interests of lawmakers who use crime as an election springboard. However, it contradicts reality. As David Burnham points out in his book Above the Law, "during the whole twenty-year period that presidents from Nixon to Clinton were agitating the public about the national crime menace, the best available evidence shows American people were actually experiencing less and less crime.'' If crime rates have actually been decreasing over the past 30 years, then why is the United States incarcerating more people (1.5 million) than ever before? One answer to that question can be found within the provisions of the Crime Bill legislation.
.....HR 666 permits the police to search your property without a warrant under protection of a "good faith" rule: if the police think they could have obtained a warrant, an exception will be made. Have law enforcement officers exhibited behavior in the past that would reasonably lead the public to believe that they would act in "good faith"? Ironically, the bill itself lacks good faith, since it uses a double standard; this law is enforced in drug cases, but not in cases involving gun trafficking or tax crimes.
The largest single allocation in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 is for prison construction, which has little to do with crime prevention, revealing the true motives of the bill's sponsors. Apparently the idea of crime prevention is not a viable alternative for the authors of the Crime Bill-even though it would cost society a great deal less. The Grants for Prison Construction Based on Truth-in-Sentencing (Title V) authorizes $10.5 billion to be spent in rising increments over six years ($232 million in 1995, $997.5 million in 1996, $1.3 billion in 1997, $2.5 billion in 1998, $2.7 billion in 1999, and $2.3 billion in 2000). The Crime Bill is intended to increase the growth of prison construction, not decrease crime.

William J. Clinton
Statement on Signing the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
April 24, 1996

.....This bill also makes a number of major, illadvised changes in our immigration laws having nothing to do with fighting terrorism. These provisions eliminate most remedial relief for longterm legal residents and restrict a key protection for battered spouses and children. The provisions will produce extraordinary administrative burdens on the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The Administration will urge the Congress to correct them in the pending immigration reform legislation.

I also regret that the Congress included in this legislation a commission to study Federal law enforcement that was inspired by special interests who are no friends of our Nation's law enforcement officers. The Congress has responsibility to oversee the operation of Federal law enforcement; to cede this power to an unelected and unaccountable commission is a mistake. Our Nation's resources would be better spent supporting the men and women in law enforcement, not creating a commission that will only get in their way.

I hope that there will be an opportunity to revisit these and other issues, as well as some of the other proposals this Administration has made, but upon which the Congress refused to act. 

The Federal Death Penalty
The Act, which affects both state and federal prisoners, restricts review in federal courts by establishing tighter filing deadlines, limiting the opportunity for evidentiary hearings, and ordinarily allowing only a single habeas corpus filing in federal court. Proponents of the death penalty argue that this streamlining will speed up the death penalty process and significantly reduce its cost

Answers   Wikipedia on
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996

 The Democrats and the Death Penalty

Habeas Corpus is an ancient common law prerogative writ - a legal procedure to which you have an undeniable right. It is an extraordinary remedy at law. Upon proper application, or even on naked knowledge alone, a court is empowered, and is duty bound, to issue the Extraordinary Writ of Habeas Corpus commanding one who is restraining liberty to forthwith produce before the court the person who is in custody and to show cause why the liberty of that person is being restrained. Absent a sufficient showing for a proper restraint of liberty, the court is duty bound to order the restraint eliminated and the person discharged. Habeas Corpus is fundamental to American and all other English common law derivative systems of jurisprudence. It is the ultimate lawful and peaceable remedy for adjudicating the providence of liberty’s restraint. Since the history of Habeas Corpus is predominately English we must visit that history to gain understanding of American use of Habeas Corpus.
ENGLISH HISTORY OF HABEAS CORPUS: The history of Habeas Corpus is ancient. It appears to be predominately of Anglo-Saxon common law origin. Clearly, it precedes Magna Carta in 1215. Although the precise origin of Habeas Corpus is uncertain in light of it’s antiquity, its principle effect was achieved in the middle ages by various writs, the sum collection of which gave a similar effect as the modern writ. Although practice surrounding the writ has evolved over time, Habeas Corpus has since the earliest times been employed to compel the appearance of a person who is in custody to be brought before a court. And while Habeas Corpus originally was the prerogative writ of the King and his courts, the passage of hundreds of years time has permitted it to evolve into a prerogative writ initiated by the person restrained, or someone acting in his interest rather than by the King or his courts. Magna Carta obliquely makes reference to Habeas Corpus through express reference to “the law of the land”. From Magna Carta the exact quote is: “ free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed except by the lawful judgment of their peers or by the law of the land.”
Responding to abusive detention of persons without legal authority, public pressure on the English Parliament caused them to adopt this act, which established a critical right that was later written into the Constitution for the United States.

Habeas Corpus Act

War Criminals Watch - News

Eco Tort Theatre
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization (reporting about $6.5 million in annual revenue in recent years) which claims more than 2,000 (roughly one third) of the nation’s state-level lawmakers as members.  

According to the group’s promotional material, ALEC’s mission is to “advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public.”

ALEC currently claims over 250 corporations and special interest groups as private sector members.
Hat Tip Lindsay Beyerstein
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