Let’s Just Throw Kids in Jail Like It’s No Big Deal (via Free-Range Kids)

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Hi Folks : It’s Lenore from Free-Range Kids, already upset by the post below this one — William Anderson’s piece about kids in a  Mississippi town being incarcerated for “crimes” like violating the school dress code, or even flatulence!

Which reminded me of today’s “happy” story in the NY Post about a young man who’d been given a $100 ticket for riding his unicycle on a Brooklyn sidewalk — even though he offered to show the cop a government web site on his iPhone that stated it is NOT a crime. The cop didn’t care. Worse — when he got to court, at first the judge refused to listen to him.

[Judge] Delury also warned him not to ride his bicycle on the sidewalk again “or I’ll put you in Rikers.”

Isn’t that a little FLIP? A high school student rides a unicycle on the sidewalk (incidentally NOT breaking the law) and the next thing you know a judge is threatening to send him to JAIL?

Eventually the judge backed down — but only after the kid had the guts to request a second appearance in front of him to ask for a jury trial. By then the judge had finally DEIGNED to read the ACTUAL LAW. He then declared the issue “dismissed.”

What a lucky break! The kid is not going to do hard time for not breaking a law! – L

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18 Responses to “Let’s Just Throw Kids in Jail Like It’s No Big Deal (via Free-Range Kids)”

  1. #1 |  Chris C. | 

    As Will Rogers said, “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” Too many in the “law enforcement” community believe that they know all the myriad laws, and can no more be in error than a baseball umpire. In practice, that seems to be true more often than not these days. To paraphrase, “My authority, right or wrong.”

  2. #2 |  Red | 

    Chris, they don’t care what the law is. Their only law is respect my authority.

  3. #3 |  Jay | 

    Ridiculous. He should sue. Really. The cop ticketed him for nothing. If she wasn’t a cop, her boss would not be pleased. The judge threatened this kid for no reason. LE is really just a bunch of costumed bullies.

  4. #4 |  Lawman_45 | 

    A great many Judges act like Aristocrats in 18th Century England. They don’t read, listen or think, they just do what “seems” right.

    They’ve set up the rules for judicial elections so no one who knows (their opponent or any lawyer) can speak freely about their defects. They politicians who appoint them are allowed to know more about the Judge than the voting public is. There is no other elective office where the candidates bias and competence cannot by freely explored.

    BTW, the Justices on the Supreme Court have created out of thin air a rule that gives all Judges ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY from any accountability for their derilections (such as this Judge’s ignorance of the law).

    In practice, Judges have NO accountability at all. They make the rukes, they favored themselves. Than’s not American, is it?

  5. #5 |  William Anderson | 

    Judges, police, and prosecutors are fond of reminding us of the legal doctrine, “Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat.” I will add that Caligula held to that policy and he used to post his edicts in tiny writing on signs nailed to tall poles, so that no one could know what the law might be.

    There is a legal exception to this doctrine, however: Judges, police and prosecutors are not required to know the law and if they make errors, they are not punished for their transgressions. My recent post about how federal prosecutors got wrongful pleas and convictions against people who had not broken federal gun laws (but were wrongly accused of doing so) is instructive, as federal prosecutors and judges have said openly that they bear no responsibility.

    Think about what this means. These players in the system violated the law, and pursued people and had them imprisoned despite the fact the accused had not broken the law. The only lawbreakers were police, prosecutors, and judges, yet they pay no penalty whatsoever.

    When the people who can have us put into prison are not subject to the law, then what we have is tyranny. That is right; I believe that Americans today do live under tyrannical government.

  6. #6 |  William Anderson | 

    I would like to add that these players also can have us executed. The Supreme Court already has noted that the Constitution does not protect people from being wrongfully executed. And as for Judge Scalia’s comments that death penalty cases are closely scrutinized for errors to ensure that the people executed actually are guilty, he has read nothing what Radley has written about the sloppy and wrongful procedures in Mississippi where frauds like Steven Hayne and Michael West can give testimony that puts people onto death row.

    And if prosecutors and judges are wrong, even in something as serious as a wrongful execution, they are protected from any legal consequences. That would seem to be a good definition of Tyranny.

  7. #7 |  EBL | 

    Well, flatulence is a serious crime. There are victims everywhere. I know. I am one.

  8. #8 |  EBL | 

    If some says “pull my finger”…DON’T DO IT!

  9. #9 |  Jason Sonenshein | 

    “If some says ‘pull my finger’…DON’T DO IT!”

    Indeed. The finger puller could be charged as an accessory.

  10. #10 |  croaker | 

    The kid is black. I got a dollar that says the cop and the judge are white.

  11. #11 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    This is the current trend. We’re all becoming surfs and

  12. #12 |  croaker | 

    Surprisingly, Scott Greenfield is defending both the cop and the judge:


  13. #13 |  Bergman | 

    A thought:

    There is no lawful basis for a judge to declare himself (or anyone else) exempt from the law. In fact, a plain text reading of our fundamental laws and the reasoning behind them would seem to indicate that an attempt to do so is itself a crime. The judges apparently can only do so because they say they can do so.

    So if a judge has the same lawful authority to make such a decision that a private citizen does (none), does that mean that a citizen that proclaims himself to be exempt has the same sort of exemption?

    It then comes down to monopoly of force. Disobeying someone with nuclear weapons when you only have a semi-automatic rifle is a good way to end up vaporized. But it simplifies the moral aspect considerably. It’s certainly immoral to oppose true justice. But it’s not immoral at all to oppose naked force with no morality of its own behind it.

    Such oppositions to force happen every day out in the natural world. Are moose evil? Mice? Bear cubs?

    Granted, rifle vs nuke is a good way to lose big. But if it were wrong to oppose injustice through force of arms, we’d still be British.

  14. #14 |  John David Galt | 

    Abuses like this will continue to happen until both the cops and judges who do them face jail time.

    Let’s all write our Congresscritters and demand exactly that.

  15. #15 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @14 – Ensuring that they twist the system even more.

    Or, you could replace the need to be seen as “hard on crime” in elections with professionals.

  16. #16 |  John C. Randolph | 

    Judge Scalia’s comments that death penalty cases are closely scrutinized for errors to ensure that the people executed actually are guilty, he has read nothing what Radley has written

    That’s giving him the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I think he’s fully aware of how many innocent people are killed by the state after wrongful convictions, and he just doesn’t give a shit. After all, what’s a couple dozen innocent lives compared to the glory of the ruling class?


  17. #17 |  supercat | 

    //Judges, police, and prosecutors are fond of reminding us of the legal doctrine, “Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat.”//

    Under a just system, ignorance of the law should be a valid justification if and only if such ignorance was reasonable, with reasonableness being determined by a jury if necessary. That doesn’t necessarily imply that jurors could not convict someone for violating laws of which the jurors had been previously unaware, if the defendants should have had particular reason to know those laws, but if a jury finds that a defendant had made a good-faith effort to ascertain the law and comply with it, it should not convict on the basis of details in the law which the defendant could not reasonably have known.

    On the other hand, agents of the state who detain people without legal basis should be prosecuted for kidnapping, subject to the same constraints as above, but with the proviso that they should be regarded as having particular reason to know the laws they’re enforcing. Prosecution may not be appropriate in every case where a cop arrests someone for doing something which a detailed examination of some obscure wrinkle of case law would identify as not being illegal, but a cop who arrests someone for doing something which isn’t illegal should be presumed to have done so in bad faith unless he can justify his actions.

  18. #18 |  achdulieber | 

    #11 Yizmo Gizmo: We’re becoming ocean waves and game birds?