29 July 2005

The ACLU and Its Opposition To S. 1088

Senate Bill S. 1088, The Streamline Procedures Act of 2005, is somewhat offensive to the lunatic bats at the ACLU. Why? They seem to have their panties in a twist over the provisions relating to writs of habeas corpus.
Here is what they say on their site:
The Senate Judiciary Committee today has begun to consider legislation that would strip federal courts of their jurisdiction and take away defendant's safeguards against being wrongfully convicted and even executed. The committee will continue to consider this legislation after the August recess. The American Civil Liberties Union opposes this bill, saying it unconstitutionally violates the doctrine of Separation of Powers and threatens the independence of the federal judiciary. Senate bill 1088, the Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005, eliminates state prisoners'’ ability to access federal courts in order to have their criminal cases reviewed. If passed, it would prevent the federal courts from reviewing many types of legal errors in criminal cases. "This bill virtually eliminates a state prisoner'’s ability to call for a federal court to review their case, if for example, their lawyer fell asleep during trial." said Jesselyn McCurdy, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. "Inexperienced lawyers, and prosecutorial misconduct, among other things are some of the reasons why convictions are overturned as a result of habeas proceedings. This bill would eliminate state prisoners'’ ability to access federal court as a court of last resort." Since 1976, when capital punishment was resumed in some states, federal habeas corpus has been the principle means by which the federal courts have forced the states to adhere to constitutional standards for the imposition of the death penalty. Those standards are essential if capital punishment is to be administered in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner. Yet death penalty statutes are complex and state courts often fail to interpret them correctly. Thus, in many cases federal habeas proceedings become the court of last resort for state prisoners with claims of innocence. If S.1088 is enacted many wrongfully convicted people will never have the opportunity to establish their innocence in a federal court. Currently, courts determine whether states have established competent legal counsel for people sentenced to death. Under S.1088, the U.S. Attorney General, the chief prosecuting officer, would have the authority to decide whether states'’ indigent defense systems are providing adequate representation. It is inappropriate for the Attorney General, an unobjective observer, to make this type of decision and this demonstrates that supporters of this legislation are not sincerely interested in providing competent legal representation . "The bottom line is that this bill strips the federal judiciary of their power by taking away the ability for state prisoners to gain access to the federal courts," said McCurdy. "This bill should be called '‘the Steam Roller Procedures Act of 2005'’ because nothing will be left of habeas corpus in this country if this legislation is passed."
Steam Roller Procedures Act of 2005, and I thought they didn't have a sense of humor.
Now, I've read the bill. It puts restrictions on the jurisdiction of the federal court to second guess sentencing of the state courts. It puts limits on the review processes of the Attorney General. Establishes time limits on the filings of writs of habeas corpus. Restricts the review of Capital Punishment cases. And raises the burden of proof where state court procedure are challenged. The bill also changes guidelines for the review of Capital Punishment cases, the issuing of clemency, and pardons. The Bill addresses victims rights and Ex Parte Funding requests under the Controlled Substance Act (go figure). There isn't a person in this nation who believes in strict penalties for committing crimes against the people that will agree with the ACLU on this. Why? Because we believe in the Do the Crime Do the Time idea. But the leftists in this country love to put the blame for the plight of the criminal mind on others. Like inexperienced attorneys. According to the ACLU attorneys, all attorneys are inexperienced except them. In typical "progressive elitist" fashion, only they have the intelligence to save the nation. When in fact, they waste their abilities on a system that has failed each time it has been tried. We support the passage of Senate Bill S. 1088 on the grounds that hopefully it will limit the ability of the federal government to interfere in state matters. And put an end to the continued violations of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution. You can review the provisions yourself in the pdf file. That is straight from the United States Senate not some watered down review by some leftist leaning ACLU attorney who wants you to believe every word that he says. Dear Lefties, When are you people going to wise up and realize that your rights are the last thing on the ACLU's minds. Obstructing progress of this free nation is. And they hide under words like Civil Liberties and Progressive Thought. When in fact it should be Restricting Liberties and Obstructive Thought. Continuing to follow them is an exercise of futility. America has figured them out, and we are now going to take them down. End of Rant.
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