Justice System Tuesday: The New American System of Justice

In my time as a lawyer I have a devoted most of it to being  a criminal defense lawyer and a prosecutor. Working as the latter I specialized in search and seizure issues giving me an expertise on the Fourth Amendment continually advising police officers relative to what they could and could not do. I also had great familiarity with the  Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Here is an edited view of what they say:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, . .  against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, . . .

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, . . . and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

These Amendments have other language but for the purpose of this discussion I omit it.

Why I spelled out what I did was to remind you of our protections. These are protections not just for citizens but for the “people”or the “person” who are in this country. These are not to protect us from other people but from the Government. They tell us what the Government cannot do.

Notice in Amendment IV that the people are to be secured in their persons against unreasonable seizures without probable cause. In other words the government cannot just grab you unless there is probable cause to believe you committed a crime. I thought that was pretty elementary.

That was until I heard the Trump appointed head of Trump’s Homeland Security Department Chad Wolf a former lobbyist for Wexler & Walker,] a defunct lobbying firm,  and an early architect of the family separation policy  say: “we are having to go out and proactively arrest individuals.I assume that means you seize (or kidnap) a person before you have probable cause to believe the person committed a crime. I listen to all the comments here from the Trumpets about how corrupt the federal prosecutors and courts are but the sound of silence coming from them after Wolf said that is deafening.   

Proactive arrest has all the earmarks of Cheka or the KGB, but then again why wouldn’t it since Trump has been in continuing contact with former KGB officer Vladimir Putin. Any one with the simplest grasp of our most fundamental rights should be shocked by this. The attorney general of the United States should have condemned it. He too was silent which shows he too must have been part of the decision.

If a person can be arrested without having committed a crime will the arrest be justified ex post facto with some type of charge? Can they pin any crime they want on the person? Or why not if we are having seizures of people before they commit a crime why not try them – preemptive trials – and then convict them – preemptive sentencing like Alice’s queen would have it “sentence first and then the verdict.” 

Isn’t that how Joe Stalin did it? Grabbed people – tortured them – (I notice John Yoo the legal genius who justified torture is back in the picture working with the Trump) – force them to confess to something everyone knew they didn’t do – read out their confessions and then execute them.

Oh, as for those pesky Amendments, AG Barr will point out they are merely advisory but need not be followed.



20 replies on “Justice System Tuesday: The New American System of Justice”

  1. News at noon…..


    Tech-enabled ‘terror capitalism’ is spreading worldwide. The surveillance regimes must be stopped
    Darren Byler and Carolina Sanchez Boe

    Also see


    Violence in Portland exposes the real purpose embedded in law enforcement
    American policing was designed to uphold white supremacy — not keep people safe



    Ten More Things You Never Knew about Mohamed Atta

  2. Back in the 1950’s my mother had a beauty shop on the corner
    of Charles st and Revere st in Boston’s West End.
    During the week I would trek up to the Peter Fanueil Grade School
    on Joy st and after school play stick ball in the schoolyard.
    On weekends I would work the juke joints in Scollay Square
    with my shoe shine box, saving my money so when I became of
    age I could afford a front row seat ticket to the Old Howard.

    Alas, today the Peter Faneuil has been converted to condos
    and Joe and Nemos has disappeared.
    The shoe shine paste in their round tins has hardened .
    I can no longer remember the brands of shoe polish and have
    forgotten the conversations I had with my customers.

    That is why I will be forever grateful to Barrister Matt
    for creating this therapeutic milieu , this psychological
    soup kitchen for the political down and out , a place
    where I can express myself without fear or ridicule.

    In other news……


    The Palmer Raids were a series of raids conducted in November 1919 and January 1920 during the First Red Scare by the United States Department of Justice under the administration of President Woodrow Wilson to capture and arrest suspected leftists, mostly Italian and Eastern European immigrants and especially

    Also see

    ‪FBI agents give US Police State Swiss Government give US Guerilla Warfare pamphlet‬


    Total resistance – A 1950s manual to guerrilla warfare for Mr and Mrs Swiss

    ‪Why not…….‬

    1. Bravo”….psychological soup kitchen”. Those few words almost make suffering the rambles worth it. Thanks.
      PS Did you ever hang out with Bunzo?

    2. “Joe and Nemos has disappeared.”

      Oh, God. Those wonderful steamed dogs. Three of my father’s six sisters lived in Chelsea and on the way home from our visits we would stop and I would get two dogs with everything and a root beer on ice. I can taste those dogs right now. Unbelievable.

      1. Honest:

        Have to admit there was nothing better than a Joe and Nemo hotdog with everything on it. Used to have at least two in downtown Boston on way home at end of work day. Never admitted it to wife. She would wonder at dinner why I had no appetite.

    3. MS:

      Ah the shoeshine box. I still have one in my basement. I was never a shoeshine boy but had friends who would go up to Dorchester Avenue and try to shine shoes to make some pennies. There was though a shoe shine store on Savin Hill Avenue on the left side between St. William’s school and what became Carl’s drugstore. One day in my early teens I thought I’d get a shoe shine. I had enough money at the time to get it, probably saved up like you. It was to be a new experience so I had a little apprehension going into the store and climbing into one of the two seats. As I sat there guys walked in from the street, they’d nod knowingly at me, and head into the back room and come out after a minute or two. I stayed there for a while until I finally despaired of anyone coming out of the backroom to shine my shoes. Later I’d be told it was a bookie joint and the bookie was pleased I was sitting in the chair.

      My memory of the Old Howard which I never got to was going into a small bar nearby close to the top of the hill on Cambridge Street. It had a piano player who looked like he only had one good eye. He played all the old ditties that have stuck in my mind since like: “Any Ice Today Ladies” and “I Used to Work in Chicago.”

      I’m trying to remember the name of the shoe polish. I’ll have to go down to my shoe shine box to recall it and I’m going to be mad that I do not remember it. I’m back. I never would have remembered Kiwi although I recognized the containers. I also had some Esquire and Griffin polish. Makes me want to put on my shoes and give it a good spit shine. Good memories of youth.

  3. Matt, wrong again. You take one word, “proactively”, and extrapolate to Stalin. And again you engage in the ad hominem, throwing mud at the head of Homeland Security, because what? He was a lawyer like you but not employed by the State, but employed in private practice with a lobbying firm. The right to lobby and petition the government is also enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

    But let’s examine what offends you: the use of the word proactively.

    Why not interpret “proactively arrest” as this: During the course of a riot, or an assault on federal buildings, or during a mob’s attempt to destroy federal property, when people are throwing incendiaries, explosives, and heavy objects, especially potentially deadly objects at Federal Security Forces . . .why not interpret “proactively arrest” as arresting someone in a group of rioters who is in possession of a deadly weapon, deadly object, dangerous object, etcetera, or arresting someone who has just hurled such a deadly object, or arresting someone who disobeys a lawful order to vacate an area?

    Why not contrast proactively arrest with inaction, with the attitude of so many Democratic Mayors and Governors who sit back inactively and let the rioters destroy property.

    There is no constitutional right to destroy the property/businesses of others, nor to destroy Federal properties. Let rioters and looters run amok? Or proactively arrest rioters before they do damage or further damage. No, you say, you must wait until you have probable cause to arrest. What more probable cause than rioters attempting to destroy property?

    Silence? There is no silence. Almost all Americans condemn the senseless destruction of rioters.

    Kidnapping? Arresting someone is not kidnapping. Here again, we have devolved to the War of the World’s Words, where some think words have no meaning and are infinitely malleable, like Pelosi and Schumer and Schiff calling Federal Security Officers “stormtroopers”, accusing them of kidnapping, like their three years insistence they had concrete, conclusive evidence of Russian Collusion. Hogwash from the Leftists.

    3, Again, you set up imaginary straw men: people who are not vexed, not alarmed by the phrase “proactively arrest” and then condemn them for not being bothered by what is a benign, neutral expression, and for being silent about an innocuous, apt expression. I wish there were more proactive arrests of rioters who refuse to disperse or who begin hurling objects, or are carrying deadly objects, or are fleeing the scene after hurling a deadly object.

    Probable cause? They are part of a mob assaulting officers and assaulting federal buildings.

    4. Proactive in contrast to inactive, doing nothing, sort of like preventive medicine, you arrest the guy who is carrying the explosive before he hurls it. If someone is carrying a deadly weapon or dangerous weapon, and is part of mob surrounding a federal building hurling objects at it, can he be proactively arrested, or must you wait like many mayors have until after he throws the explosive, and you review the video tape, and try to track him down?

    5. Matt, your hatred or intense dislike of President Trump and his Administration has clouded your vision.

    1. How does “proactive” apply to people throwing projectiles , possesing weapons, etc? Isn’t it crime to do these things?

    2. Willliam:

      1. Unfortunately you don’t know the first thing about criminal law. Your examples are of people who committed crimes and can be arrested. Proactively refers to before a crime is committed or before probable cause exists to believe a crime has been committed.
      2. Seizing a person who has not committed a crime is kidnapping. Grabbing a person off the street without probable cause to believe the person has committed a crime for which a subsequent arrest cannot be made is kidnapping. Learn the law.
      3. Proactive arrest isn’t benign or neutral except in the minds of those who close them. Unfortunately in your inane defense of everything Trump is doing to America you talk about rioters and looters but not about the peaceful protesters who have been gassed and bullied by the stormtroopers.
      4. It’s really difficult discussing something with a person who doesn’t understand the issues.

  4. So Trump isn’t Hitler anymore. He is just Stalin. TDS is as widespread as Covid 19. To assume that proactive arrest means without probable cause or justification is silly. It can mean to aggressively arrest. Many cities in America have experienced rioting. This rioting has included looting, arson, assaults on Police, destruction of property and vandalism. Many thousands of crimes have been committed by the peaceful protesters without hardly any prosecutions. Newbury Street and Downtown Crossing were trashed, Courthouses, Churches and Police Precints have been torched. Yet the Liberals are silent. The local mayors, governors and DAs do nothing. They encourage and condone lawlessness by their inaction. Crime has skyrocketed. Biden calls for defunding the Police. Trump on the other hand is trying to prevent the destruction of Federal property and restore law and order. He is preserving and protecting the Constitution. Even people in Portland have Constitutional Rights to Life, Liberty and Property.

    1. This liberal sees the thuggery being played out on streets as having nothing to do with legitimate protests. I wish there were some statements from the left making that clear. Sadly, none.

    2. NC:

      As one who knows the criminal law give me an example of a proactive arrest that is legal. The idea of proactive arrest is that they are done without probable cause to arrest otherwise they would be simply known as arrests.

      We all know about the rioting and looting but you don’t because of that have the right to seize anyone you want. It is an oxymoron to say peaceful protestors commit crimes. Criminals or violent protestors commit crimes.

      The local officials follow the law. You need to be able to show who committed the crime to arrest the person. If I am in a group of people and one person breaks a window I am not guilty of it. You know the law. Don’t get caught up in the Trump nonsense.

  5. The confessions of those arrested by the security apparat were used to implicate others, and, start the whole the whole torture scheme, over, again. Stalin used execution, and, torture, to psychologically raise the level of terror in Russian society. He wanted to scare people, so, bad, they wouldn’t even think of crossing him. Stalin’s objective was to control the conscious mind on a mass level. Glorious Leader is trying to work something similar in America (Solzhenitsyn/Roy Medvedev.)

      1. Abe: In his official photos, sure, but, in real life, Stalin’s coiffure was thin, and, grey (Solzhenitsyn). Of course, I’ve not considered Glorious Leader’s elaborate comb-over. That should count for something. Speaking of hair on politicians, Enver Hoha’s great hair was the wonder of the Balkans. Trotsky’s reddish tinted shtetl mop can be seen when he puts his head out a window of his famous fire-engine-red armored train to harangue the troops. Perhaps, we should take Trump’s rug, more, seriously. Bill?

        1. wa-llahi! Let me clarify, a Shtetl mop is an Ashkenazi Afro. I have a photo of my pal Rif squatting in a Ochi yard passing a smoky splif to Bongo Seeley. Seely’s dreads occupied about four cubic yards of air-space, but, Rif was competitive. He had a spectacular auburn afro that made it seem that he was talking to you out of a cloud.
          See “Birds of Passion” movie buffs. It’s all about the folks who live on the Guajira Peninsula of Colombia, out Santa Marta way. One of the bit characters reminded me of me, back in those halcyon days. It’s in sub-titles. Doesn’t help to speak Spanish, much. Most of the dialogue is in the Wagyo language. It’s a fascinating film on many levels, fast-paced, with plenty of shooting, but, quite thoughtful, as, well. It brought back a lot of memories.

        2. Have you seen the movie The Death Of Stalin? If not, see it. Steve Buscemi is Khrushchev. Fucking hysterical movie. And its not a comedy.

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