Monday, January 28, 2008

Freedom Shenanigan # 19


The Federal Rules of Evidence have been modified to facilitate bad convictions. Rule 404(b) of the Rules of Evidence permits trial prosecutors to introduce evidence relating to “other crimes, wrongs or acts” for which the defendant has not been convicted or even criminally charged; this is permitted in order to prove “motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident” behind an alleged crime. In practice this nullifies the Fifth Amendment prohibition against double jeopardy.

The “Stop Snitchin'” movement – death threats and other forms of intimidation included – is propelled “not by a reflexive anti-law enforcement mentality” or simple thuggishness, but rather a “real sense that the federal system is out of whack and that people are being put away for the rest of their lives” based on the purchased perjury of informants and other “cooperators.”

Geneva France of Mansfield, Ohio was a 22-year-old single mother of three small children when she met Jerrell Bray. At the time, Bray was dating one of France's friends.

Perhaps in the interest of impressing France, Bray boasted that he could stuff her in the trunk of his car and take her to Cleveland – and she'd never be heard from again. He then immediately asked France out, an invitation she quite sensibly – and predictably – declined.

Mr. Bray, a veteran drug dealer, was an informant working under the supervision of Drug Enforcement Administration agent Lee Lucas. On the basis of Bray's unreliable word alone, Geneva France and dozens of others were convicted on drug-related charges.

Last May, Bray – who was still selling marijuana while working as a DEA asset -- shot a man in Cleveland during a drug deal. After being sent to jail, Bray admitted that he had lied when he claimed that he had seen Geneva work as a drug courier. After sixteen months in prisons in West Virginia and Kentucky, Geneva was given $68 and a bus ticket. More here

An increasing reliance on state informants is a reliable symptom of tyranny. Imperial Rome, like imperial America, was lousy with delatores (or informants) who collaborated with accusatores (corrupt, malicious prosecutors), and wretched individuals of both types disfigure much of medieval history. Informants played an indispensable role in modern totalitarian states.

Today he'd wear a wire: Judas Iscariot,

"cooperating witness,"

helps Roman officials arrest a known radical.