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Old 02-11-2009
 
#1
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Default The overextending arm of the law

I am normally one of the first defenders of our domestic peacekeepers. But in this case, I believe that this is a travesty.

http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=9814127

Quote:
Lott says the picture indicated a law was being broken in his jurisdiction. He said he couldn't ignore the violation just because Phelps is rich and famous.
Firstly, arresting Phelps would be a big mistake. Not only does he have the money to fight it, but this Sheriff would look like a bigger fool than he already does.

Secondly, you're arresting a bunch of kids for smoking pot? Seriously guy, that's an insane waste of taxpayer money that could be used for pursuing some real shit-bags. This Sheriff is either a religious zealot or an attention whore looking for his name in the paper.

Fuck this pisses me off.
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

Smoking pot is against the law, and among all your flawed reasoning you offered no reason why a cop shouldn't be concerned with law breaking. Perhaps you think that a bunch of random strangers' opinion of the Sheriff should matter more than the integrity of his job. Regardless, I don't think "Phelps is rich and famous, he can fight it" is much of a case for immunity to the law, and suppressing the correlative isn't very convincing either.
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

The rationale for my argument is as follows:

I am unconvinced that a photo is sufficient cause to raid and prosecute individuals for possession of a cannabis. Law enforcement works around a concept called probable cause. Without it, their entire case is subject to scrutiny. While I would hope that the Sheriff would have ample legal council to consider the situation, I also wonder if he isn't being blinded by "the mission."

Secondly, law enforcement must always prioritize their agenda. There are a thousand different houses where any deputy could knowingly enter and find drugs and paraphernalia. They don't do it because (a) it's a waste of time, (b) they have higher priorities. The situations that warrant attention are drug "dealing" houses, not drug "users." Apparently they did arrest someone related to selling the drugs, and that's great, but why exactly did they arrest eight individuals for what amounts to a misdemeanor? They didn't do it because they're a threat to society.

As far as I see it, this Sheriff is playing to the press.
 

Last edited by Lackey; 02-11-2009 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 02-11-2009
 
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

There are thousands of people breaking the speed limit laws at any given time. This is not a reason for a police officer to ignore speeders, or claim that because there are murders, speeding isn't worthy of police attentions. This is called suppressing the correlative; a broken law is a broken law. If a law is unpractical or unenforceable, we either need to get more police or have the law changed. There is no legislation from the back seat of a cop car.

The primary reason that police do not raid homes for drugs revolves around the number of suspected houses, you are partially correct. But they also have standards for action and imposition, which involve a warrant and a sufficient evidence to constitute probable cause. A photo constitutes probable cause and evidence, and the sheriff is entirely in his legal and ethical right to pursue people organizing drug parties at colleges in his jurisdiction.

Your position is simply that college students doing drugs at parties isn't a "threat to society", whatever that means, which sounds like a sophisticated excuse for inaction based on moral opinions.
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

Like I said, I'm no legal expert, but I seriously doubt that a photo is probable cause to search a home. That is the crux of my legal argument. Your speeding analogy fails since it is a real time crime committed in the presence of law enforcement. Witness to a crime is one thing. A photo is quite another.

And yes, I don't feel that marijuanna use is a crime worthy of investigation. Possesion while being cited for other visible crimes is understandable, but to spend tax dollars on such endeavors seems a great waste and in layman's terms, it's dumb.
 

Last edited by Lackey; 02-11-2009 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 02-11-2009
 
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

I agree with Nuts. A random picture of a dude smoking pot at a party four months ago is not worth anyone's time other than to get face time with the press. What are they gonna do anyway? Fine him a couple hundred bucks for possesion? Can they even prove there was actually pot in there at the time he allegedly smoked it?

Seriously, come on... Waste of time.
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

LOL the funny thing is I've partied with those kids before when I was going to USC, and yeah they're douchebags. He didn't want to smoke but everyone kept nagging him and he said "ok but no pictures" and not surprisingly somebody took a picture. I've also partied with those racist guys on Borat before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenocideAlive
Smoking pot is against the law, and among all your flawed reasoning you offered no reason why a cop shouldn't be concerned with law breaking. Perhaps you think that a bunch of random strangers' opinion of the Sheriff should matter more than the integrity of his job. Regardless, I don't think "Phelps is rich and famous, he can fight it" is much of a case for immunity to the law, and suppressing the correlative isn't very convincing either.
It shouldn't be against the law, and he shouldn't enforce that law (nullification).
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

How can you prove that someone was smoking pot in a picture?
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
#9
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meghan View Post
How can you prove that someone was smoking pot in a picture?
That's true, you can't self-incriminate, so the only way to know for sure is from witnesses. And if you're going to waste resources on interviewing witnesses, then I think it's safe to say that your agency is failing to protect the public.
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

What law says it's illegal to smoke weed? I've heard of possession, but I never heard of a law that says that actual act of having smoked weed is illegal.
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
#11
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hawaiian View Post
What law says it's illegal to smoke weed? I've heard of possession, but I never heard of a law that says that actual act of having smoked weed is illegal.
Smoking weed is possessing it. I think it's a stretch to claim otherwise.
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
#12
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

I've never once heard of someone being charged with possession based on the fact that they previously smoked it. Not once.

Remember that in criminal court you require evidence. A drug test is usually not submitted as evidence (of possession) in a courtroom because it has to be cross-examined by independent experts hired by the defense and by that time the sample is degraded and unusable.

Thats why when people get away they ditch the drugs because if the police don't physically collect the evidence and present the drugs in the courtroom it automatically gets thrown out. Saying "I saw him throw the drugs" is not evidence, even if they had it on video camera for example. The burden of proof requires physical evidence in all drugs cases.

And by the way, the presence of THC in the urine or bloodstream is not evidence of possession of marijuana, because THC /=/ marijuana. Yes it comes from marijuana but it does not fit the legal definition of what marijuana is (for example, THC is a chemical compound, not a plant, even though it comes from that plant).
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
#13
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

The photo was "probable cause." The charges as they stand now are related to what they supposedly found after they searched the home(s).

But the Sheriff did say that Phelps wasn't above the law, implying that he had done something criminally offensive. So in that regard, I agree, there's not much that could be done legally in my opinion.
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
#14
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

Along with Logic, they should teach a companion course in practicality, I suppose.
 
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Old 02-11-2009
 
#15
United States The Hawaiian
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Default Re: The overextending arm of the law

Oh ok, if the home was searched then they probably found some physical evidence. I thought you were saying they were gonna charge Phelps with possession based on a photograph.

Actually, if HIS home wasn't searched then they have no evidence. All he has to do is simply claim it's not his (which it probably isn't anyways). If the cops search another persons home that you were smoking in, but you weren't there when they searched, you're free to go.
 
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