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Author Topic: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME  (Read 3547 times)

scarface

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Re: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2006, 11:36:19 PM »
Judge Donald Lay would disagree with your "pretty strong reasons" statement. 

And the fact that he isn't in prison does not negate the fact that no drugs were found.  Nevertheless, $124,700 is confiscated from a man with no criminal record and a plausible reason for having the money.

Taking peoples hard earned money with little to no proof is an abuse of the law...

"Possession of a large sum of cash is 'strong evidence' of a connection to drug activity."

Translation:

A non-English speaking Hispanic possessing large sums of cash in bum-screw Nebraska is "strong evidence" of a connection to drug activity.



kinakjou

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Re: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2006, 07:04:15 AM »
Studies show Americans close to being the worst educated and least aware population among first world countries. Americans easily stumble into war and give up their rights because of exaggerated fears of terrorists and criminals. Americans have been losing accountable government, liberty and justice for a long time. At some point these values become irretrievable.

Consider justice. The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world and imprisons 6 to 10 times as many people as any other industrialized country. Between 1990 and 2000 the US population increased 13%. The US prison population more than tripled. There are hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans in prison. They are there because the criminal justice system no longer works to discover the truth of a crime, but to convict at all cost whoever happens to be charged with a crime. And they are there because the US criminalizes more acts than any other country in the world, including tyrannical police states.

In the US there are three categories of prisoners: the guilty, the innocent, and those convicted as a result of prosecutors' interpretations of vague and broad statutes that deem conduct to be criminal that reasonable people—and every other country—do not recognize to be criminal. For example, in the Martha Stewart case, the prosecutor criminalized her exercise of her constitutional right to declare her innocence. He said it constituted fraud for her to declare her innocence and tacked on the charge. Remember that if you ever stand before a judge.

Almost everyone in prison is wrongfully convicted, even the guilty. According to the US Dept. of Justice (sic), 95% of criminal convictions result from plea bargains. What is a plea bargain but self-incrimination, conviction without a trial by jury and without a test of the evidence against the defendant. An uninformed public believes plea bargains to be sweet deals for criminals. Sometimes they are, but more often pleas result from prosecutors piling on charges until the defendant, innocent or guilty, cries "uncle" and gives up. Prosecutors not only coerce defendants, they coerce witnesses to give false testimony. Sometimes coercion takes place behind closed doors. Other times it takes place in full public view.

Consider husband and wife defendants Andrew and Lea Fastow in the Enron case. The Fastows have two young children. In order to coerce "cooperation" and testimony against Enron executives, the federal prosecutors threatened to put both father and mother in prison, effectively rendering the two young children orphans.

In Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz's immortal words, Andrew Fastow is being taught not only to sing but also to compose. To keep his wife out of prison, he will give the prosecutors whatever testimony they want against his bosses. The American public watches all this in plain view and then believes the testimony! You may think that Enron officials deserve what they get. But do you approve of the illegal and unethical methods used to produce the convictions? In effect are the prosecutors as guilty of criminal behavior as those they pursue?

"Junk bond king" Michael Milken was put into a similar situation. Unless he agreed to a plea, the prosecutors threatened to indict his younger brother. If prosecutors can so easily frame the wealthy and politically connected, what do you think happens daily to the inner city poor? Prosecutor Rudy Giuliani was a master at using the media to destroy the reputations of his victims, thus pre-empting a trial where evidence of a crime could be tested. Giuliani climbed over the bodies of his high-profile victims to become mayor of New York and a 911 hero.

Now it is Martha Stewart and mutual funds who have been targeted as a prosecutor's path to a political career. Martha Stewart was falsely charged with "insider trading," an offense of which she cannot be guilty as she is not an insider and had no information from an insider. Legal scholar and law school dean Henry Manne showed that prosecutor Eliot Spitzer's charges against mutual funds are largely trumped-up. The offenses are partly the unintended result of a Security and Exchange Commission "reform," which capped redemption fees that mutual funds used to discourage market timers. Prosecutor Spitzer's claims about mutual funds were based, not on law, but on an academic paper written at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. In other words, the prosecutor had a "theory." Professor Manne had shown the academic paper to be incorrect. What we are witnessing is a mutual fund witch-hunt based on an incorrect academic theory.

And Americans think they live under a rule of law!

No doubt some mutual fund managers exercised bad judgment and some may have broken some rules. But Spitzer’s ambition has blown the cases out of proportion. We certainly do not want to criminalize bad judgment. It is hard to find a worse case of bad judgment than the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq.

even

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Re: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2006, 07:56:07 PM »

The entire premise of the article is mistaken. This is not a criminal case; it is a case of civil asset forfeiture pursuant to 21 USC s. 881(a)(6).  Such things are not considered "property" in this country: the statute says that there can be no rights with respect to them (like the right to exclude others), and that no one can claim title to them.  Such things may be seized pursuant to 18 USC s. 981(b)(2)(B), for which the standard is whether there exists "probable cause to believe that the property is subject to forfeiture and . . . the seizure is made pursuant to a lawful arrest or search; or ... another exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement would apply."  The standard of probable cause was certainly met here, and there is no indication that the search was unlawful (they had CONSENT to search the car).

This isn't a criminal proceeding. Gonzolez is not being charged with anything; he isn't going to prison.  All that has happened is that he doesn't get to keep the cash.  Why?  Because the feds caught him with it and have pretty strong reasons for believing that it is drug money, even if they can't prove that Gonzolez has committed any drug offense.  This is not an unreasonable or unreasoned decision on the part of the Eighth Circuit.


I'm pretty sure anyone would prefer being charged with a crime rather than having $125,000 confiscated. This case is a d a m n shame for the U"S justice system.

fiji

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Re: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2006, 08:09:57 PM »
Amen even!

ashley06

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Re: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2006, 01:00:31 PM »
Cases like this are why voting matters.

The 8th circuit (which made this brilliant decision) is the most conservative appeals court in the nation, with 9 of the 11 justices appointed by Republicans, including 6 by, you guessed it, our current "fearless leader."

Edit: This court also seemingly ignored precedent set by the 11th circuit back in 2003:

http://www.fear.org/ffjournal/$242,484.html

11th Circuit reverses $242,484 cash seizure:  Court draws line for probable cause: "More than suspicion is necessary" to separate property from owner
Attending: FSU
Accepted:  Barry ($$$), FCSL ($$), Stetson ($$), Ole Miss, UF, Memphis, Miami (FL)
Waitlisted:  UGA(W)
Rejected:

Strong

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Re: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2006, 02:09:38 PM »
yeah, those crazy republicans that don't want people crossing state lines with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash in their car they didn't rent, in an ice chest. Having that much cash is probable cause to use a drug dog.


Police take a few hundred dollars if a dog alerts on it.

scarface

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Re: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2006, 03:04:02 PM »
yeah, those crazy republicans that don't want people crossing state lines with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash in their car they didn't rent, in an ice chest. Having that much cash is probable cause to use a drug dog.


Police take a few hundred dollars if a dog alerts on it.


The police had enough probable cause to initially arrest and seize his money! No one is challenging that fact!

However, the fact that he had plausible reasons for having the rental car and money, and there was no follow-up evidence to keep him incarcerated, is enough reason for him to get his money back!   Not only did the lower court ruling agree with that fact... there is also precedent set by the 11th circuit that "more than suspicion is necessary" to separate property from owner!

xferlawstudent

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Re: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2006, 03:17:56 PM »
The 8th Circuit is not bound by the 11th Circuit.  I agree that the 8th Circuit ruling is scary and violative of our rights, but stop talking about 11th Circuit precedent--its merely persuasive authority.

scarface

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Re: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2006, 03:30:54 PM »
The 8th Circuit is not bound by the 11th Circuit.  I agree that the 8th Circuit ruling is scary and violative of our rights, but stop talking about 11th Circuit precedent--its merely persuasive authority.

Even the Supreme Court recognizes and takes into consideration precedent when making rulings…

xferlawstudent

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Re: DRIVING WITH MONEY IS A CRIME
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2006, 03:34:26 PM »
sure it is recognized, but it is by no mean binding.

That said, a split in the Circuits' decisions is a good indicator that the Supreme Court will grant certiorari (sp?)