3 Strikes and you're Out!

July 5, 2004

California, like some other states, has a 3-strike law to identify career criminals and legitimize giving them stiffer penalties than their 3rd crime would otherwise warrant.

As I have observed this case, I think we are experiencing a very different 3-strike reality -- one that is crippling our criminal court system and trampling on our Constitutional rights.

Strike One
You become the target of a police department that makes snap judgments and pulls no punches to get their man.

Strike Two
The media swallows hook line and sinker just about everything that police department feeds them, not checking anything out or doing any investigation of their own.

Strike Three
The public thrives on sensational whodunit stories, believing every little tidbit of gossip they hear, with a strong 'guilty and can't be proven innocent' attitude.

Think how different this story would be with:

1. An LE that required evidence -- wiretaps and search warrants are supposed to produce evidence.

2. Investigative reporters that scrutinized LE's behavior throughout the investigation.

3. Americans who believe in presumption of innocence.

Of course, the *source* of the problem is with LE, but LE could not have perpetrated this injustice without the Media's help; and the Media could not have been successful without an American public that has no respect for the presumption of innocence.

It all boils down to this,

We, The People . . .

are responsible for this atrocity.

We, The People . . .

tolerate inept and/or corrupt LE.

We, The People . . .

gulp down what the media feeds us, thirsting for more

We, The People . . .

have a lynch mob mentality

Until We, The People take presumption of innocence seriously, and are willing to fight to the death for it, then we will always be plagued with two gross injustices:

the guilty will go free
the innocent will be convicted

Of all the principles in the Constitution, presumption of innocence is the one that never really took hold. Those who believe in it are too few and too silent, and those who don't too many and too vocal. They trample presumption of innocence under the pretense of protecting us from criminals. They just want to get the bad guys off the streets to make our homes and our wives and our children safe.

Unless We, The People change our attitude, the media and LE will never change theirs.

If Strike Three isn't called, the batter isn't out.