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Archive for December 22nd, 2008

The judicial crisis: without a secure foundation for the economy, there are no rights

Posted by Charles II on December 22, 2008

Art. 3 Sec. 2, US Constitution: “The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury…”
Amendment 6, US Constitution: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…
Article 16, NH State Constitution: Nor shall the legislature make any law that shall subject any person to a capital punishment, (excepting for the government of the army and navy, and the militia in actual service) without trial by jury.
Article 20, NH State Constitution: In all controversies concerning property, and in all suits between two or more persons except those in which another practice is and has been customary and except those in which the value in controversy does not exceed $1,500 and no title to real estate is involved, the parties have a right to a trial by jury.

Bob Drogin, LA Times (via t/o): Come February, the red-brick Rockingham County Courthouse, one of New Hampshire’s busiest, will arraign criminal suspects, process legal motions and otherwise deal with murders, mayhem and contract disputes. What it won’t do is hold jury trials….

Financially strapped New Hampshire has become a poster child for the problem. Among other cost-cutting measures, state courts will halt for a month all civil and criminal jury trials early next year to save $73,000 in jurors’ per diems. Officials warn they may add another four-week suspension….

Criminal defendants have a constitutional right to a speedy trial. Judges usually give such trials priority over civil cases involving broken sidewalks, medical malpractice and the like.

As a result, civil litigation and family law cases are bearing the brunt of the disruptions. And cascading bankruptcies, foreclosures and business disputes have only increased the backlog.

What this really means is that every civil verdict will be up for challenge on the basis that it was done under plainly unconstitutional conditions. Since New Hampshire hasn’t executed anyone in 70 years, criminal trials are probably beyond challenge.

In reality, the whole judicial system has been denying fundamental rights for many years. Legal defense for indigent defendants is often a bad joke. The middle class has been excluded from engaging in civil action by the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to file a suit. Some people can’t even afford to get divorced. And, of course, there’s no justice when people who ought to be prosecuted and jailed aren’t. Since most crimes–even serious crimes–go unpunished in the United States, that’s a lot of injustice.

We all know that if there’s no justice, there can be no peace. But if there’s no money, there’s no justice.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, judiciary, You're On Your Own-ership Society | 1 Comment »

RIAA Gives In to Reality

Posted by MEC on December 22, 2008

The RIAA hasn’t given up on trying to stop illegal downloading and file-sharing, which of course it has a right and a duty to do.

It has, however, recognized the futility of trying to bankrupt anybody who gets caught, however trivial or inadvertent their offense.

It’s not ending the practice because some people were wrongly punished or the punishment often exceeded the crime. They’re stopping because their own legal expenses exceeded the settlements they collected.

Instead of filing lawsuits, they plan to work with Internet providers to send warnings to people who are detected sharing files illegally, and to cut off service if the file sharers persist.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Greenish News For A Monday Morning

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 22, 2008

— Got an iPod? Looking for a speaker dock, but want something more attractive than white or black plastic? Try these wood-enclosed units from Vers. They look pretty spiffy to me!

— I should try this: The fine art of using miniature greenhouses, or cloches, to extend a short growing season.

— Wondering how much energy your roof could give you? If you live in San Francisco, wonder no more (h/t Time Magazine). You can find out your roof’s potential solar output, as well as the cost of a solar system, simply by going to this website and typing in your address.

Posted in gardening, global food crisis, solar, sustainability | Comments Off on Greenish News For A Monday Morning

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