Lunaya Pravda

21 February 2007

Prosecuters want falsifying court records legalized

Prosecutors seek OK to create phony files

Florida's prosecutors are floating a proposal to the Legislature to give them the power to secretly falsify public court records -- with a judge's approval -- for undercover law enforcement purposes.

Spurred by Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle, the draft bill would limit the authority to manufacture and plant fake documents in court files to 180 days. But it also provides for an unlimited number of 30-day extensions.

Just wait, it gets better...

A second, longer version of the bill has been prefiled with the House. It would convey authority to falsify any public record to prosecutors, judges, mayors, sheriffs, coroners and other public officers unless they were acting corruptly.

Gee, wasn't there a time when falsifying court documents was considered "acting corruptly?"

Given the lack of oversight already provided when signing search warrants with what are often later revealed to be false statements or gross omissions, excuse me if I don't suddenly have enough faith in judicial oversight in this matter.

Someone needs to put the smackdown on these power-hungry bastards and inform them that transparancy in court proceedings is no longer going to be considered optional.

(Hat tip to henshawe over at TCF for the find.)

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19 February 2007

Tag, I'm it!

No, it's not another meme. I've been selected for the glorious honor of jury duty.

Though the chances of me actually getting into a trial's jury pool, let alone ON a jury, are slim, I can't help what-if-ing myself over this.

On the one hand, it might provide a great opportunity for some monkeywrenching through a chance at jury nullification. On the other, I can't help thinking that participation might imply consent. Consent from me, the governed. The idea of me giving my a-okay to the farce that serves as our "justice" system gives me the collywobbles.

Does participation imply consent? On that subject, I'm undecided. Thus far, I haven't been able to construct a hard-and-fast rule that would apply to all situations. No matter the example - jury duty, elections, driver licensing, taxation - one COULD make efforts to avoid participation. Some efforts obviously come more easily and reasonably than others. Some, such as jury duty, voter registration, and driver licensing, are tied together, forcing a person to withdraw from all to escape participation in one.

For example, I have a driver's license in my home state. That doesn't mean I support the principle of driver's licensing in this or any other form it might take. But at the same time, with all the abuses and usurpations of power by all levels of government, I have to wonder if landing myself in the slammer over failure to obtain a driver's license would be a wise or productive thing to do. Honestly, if government were to drop off the face of the earth tomorrow except for the DMV, I could consider myself fairly content. So why waste my efforts poking the DMV in the eye when there are more significant battles to be fought?

So far, that elusive hard-and-fast rule seems to be dependent upon where one's personal line in the sand is drawn. Some much more radical than myself regarding principle and moral purity have taken the opposite stand regarding the DMV - apparently a driver's license crosses their line, and I support them in taking a stand against that which they find repugnant. If some of these folks might then censure and scorn me for my choice of action, so be it. We all still desire to move in the same direction. If we get to the point where my journey ends, and theirs still goes on - that mythical land where only the DMV has survived governmental collapse - then we can quibble about it.

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