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Speed Bump Ahead: Police and County Attorney Moved Too Fast to Prosecute Keith Meyer, While a Jury Trial Proved Common Sense Can Prevail PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Todd McGreevy   
Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:40

(Note: Links to PDF documents can be found within this article.)

This photo, entered into evidence by the Scott County assistant attorney in the jury trial of Keith Meyer, shows Meyer on his property at 1012 Marquette Street in Davenport.

Last week, justice was served in Scott County when a jury of 12 level-headed Iowans found Keith Meyer, Davenport’s former Ward 3 alderman, not guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor: “assault while displaying a weapon.” In November, Meyer was accused by his neighbor, John Fahs – with whom he has a well-documented history of trouble – and arrested by Davenport police. If convicted, Meyer could have been sentenced for up to two years in prison.

Meyer chose to represent himself in this matter, which necessarily consumed his time and energy for four months. It is no small matter to represent yourself in the administrative code system, because the rules are stacked against regular folks without attorneys. But Meyer is not your typical go-along-to-get-along citizen, and he is clearly smarter than your average bear. In addition, he is nearly totally deaf. Yet he prevailed, albeit largely because the prosecutor’s case was so weak.

The case against Meyer should never have been brought. There was no injured party. It was bogus from the jump. Back when courts made more sense, any charge that could potentially result in being jailed for more than 30 days required a grand-jury indictment. Today, however, under administrative procedural rules, county attorneys have effectively usurped the people’s authority by removing grand juries from the process.

 
Master Madigan Botches His Attempt at “Leadership” PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 03 March 2013 05:16

Nobody ever really knows what’s going through the head of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan except for Madigan himself. So the actual purpose behind last week’s highly choreographed gun-control and pension-reform debates – ordered up by Madigan – wasn’t completely clear to anyone.

That’s by design, of course. Madigan prefers to keep people in the dark until he’s ready to make his final move.

But I did hear one theory from a Democrat that made quite a bit of sense – at least for a while.

 
The U.S. Supreme Court: Architects of the American Police State PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:16

“The unspoken power dynamics in a police/civilian encounter will generally favor the police, unless the civilian is a local sports hero, the mayor, or a giant who is impervious to bullets.” – Journalist Justin Peters

From time to time throughout history, individuals have been subjected to charges (and eventual punishment) by accusers whose testimony was treated as infallible and inerrant. Once again, we find ourselves repeating history, only this time, it’s the police whose testimony is too often considered beyond reproach and whose accusations have the power to render one’s life over.

In the police state being erected around us, the police can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts. Making matters worse, however, police dogs – cute, furry, tail-wagging mascots with a badge – have now been elevated to the ranks of inerrant, infallible, sanctimonious accusers with the power of the state behind them. This is largely due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Florida V. Harris, in which the court declared roadside stops to be Constitution-free zones where police may search our vehicles based upon a hunch and the presence of a frisky canine.

This is what one would call a slow death by a thousand cuts, only it’s the Fourth Amendment being inexorably bled to death. This latest wound, in which a unanimous Supreme Court determined that police officers may use drug-sniffing dogs to conduct warrantless searches of cars during routine traffic stops, comes on the heels of recent decisions by the court that give police the green light to taser defenseless motorists, strip-search nonviolent suspects arrested for minor incidents, and break down people’s front doors without evidence that they have done anything wrong.

 
General Assembly Faces Difficult Questions on Concealed Carry PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 24 February 2013 05:04
Illinois House Democrats were told during a private caucus meeting in Springfield last week that, despite what Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says, inaction on concealed carry would have very serious consequences.

A federal appellate court has given the General Assembly until June 8 to pass a new law allowing some form of public carrying of loaded weapons. After that deadline, Illinois’ laws against public carrying would be struck down. Illinois is the only state in the nation that totally bars concealed or open carry by citizens.

However, an aide to Alvarez told the House Judiciary Committee last week that the federal appellate ruling means nothing to the state.

 
Knowledge Is Power PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 09:16

It is glaringly obvious that the tragedy surrounding the Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut, shootings is being grossly objectified to achieve a political agenda of disarming Americans.

I am no lover of weapons. In fact, I abhor any violence, including the disgraceful warfare the United States is currently engaged in. I despise the weakness that characterizes our lack of civic will in the 21st Century to hold our governments accountable for perpetuating both warfare and welfare upon the people.

We are truly a pack of sheep when it comes to preserving our legacy as a republic governed by the rule of law. Let’s be crystal clear, folks: America was not founded as a democracy. America was founded as a republic. There is a huge difference that needs clarification – again.

 
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