Monday, August 6, 2012

just say No!

This man made one simple mistake: He let the cops search him and his vehicle. He thought he had nothing to worry about because he had nothing to hide.

I have begun telling my kids how to respond if they are ever stopped by police. I tell them to say, "I do not consent to any searches." I tell them that even if the cops are polite and friendly they should still refuse consent to a search, even when they are sure they have nothing to hide. I think of this as preparation for the day when they will be driving with their friends in the car. When friends are in the car, they could spill pot, drop pills, leave something behind that law enforcement could find suspicious.

The justice system is controlled by bureaucrats, people who follow the rules and don't know how or when to discriminate among details.

All of this was supposed to be temporary. James hoped that after 12 months, his record would be wiped, and he could find his way back into the finance industry.   
He was wrong. While his probation officer told James that he could break curfew if he was working late (and only then), she didn't tell him that he needed permission from the judge do so. This led to him being charged with violating his probation, and the extension of his punishment until March 2008. And those two years were more than enough time for every third-party private background-check company in the state to register him as having pled no contest to a possession charge.

Just as with this man, even when the situation is generally understood to be unjust, the justice system has no way to stop, think, and reconsider. No way to back out of the course it is set upon.

It is best to Just say No.

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