Texas screwed up

I haven’t said anything about the Texas state raid of the “polygamist compound” but I read a story tonight on FoxNews that kinda ticks me off.  When I get ticked off I need to say something about it, so here goes….

The story is about a supposedly underaged girl who gave birth while in state custody.  The state immediately took the child away and placed it in foster care.  Is this standard in Texas?  Does the state take all children born to underage mothers away from the parents?  I sure hope not!

Another aspect of this case is that the supposed “underage” mother claims to be 22 years old.  Her attorney said “She is 22.”  Shouldn’t the state be required to show some evidence (or at least probable cause) before taking kids from their parents?

But this is the part of the story that ticked me off: 

Child welfare officials and state troopers raided the FLDS’s Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado after a domestic violence shelter received calls from someone claiming to be an abused 16-year-old girl. The girl has never been found and authorities are investigating whether the calls were a hoax.

In other words, the state has based their entire case on anonymous “calls” that may be a hoax.  From what I can tell, Texas has violated the:

Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrents 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.  (Who issued the warrant without having the “16-year-old girl” testify “by Oath or affirmation?”)

Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.  (These people have been deprived of liberty and their property – even their kids! – taken away with no “due process” that I’ve seen.)

Sixth Amendment: 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 where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, 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.   (What have these people been charged with?  Who are the witnesses?  Have they been allowed to “confront” (question) the witnesses?)

Eighth Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.  (Why haven’t these people been released on bail?  I know they can’t be released on bail – because they haven’t been charged with a crime.  Yet the state is holding them against their will without charging them with a crime.  And if taking your kids away with no reason given isn’t “cruel and unusual punishment”, what is?)

Hmmm….  Sounds kinda like Gitmo….   All of you who don’t think it’s a problem to hold people indefinitely without charging them with a crime, raise your hands….  Now, I want all of you with your hands raised to spell Lettre de cachet.

Question: Why is this any different than the people we’re holding in relation to terrorism? 

Answer:  It’s not.  What goes around comes around – when Bush decided it was ok to hold even one person without following the Constitution, we all lost our basic rights.  I hope someone sues the state for this.

gk

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