Andrew McCullough's Blog

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fiddling with Constitutional rights

November 18, 2007 -- The Deseret News, of Salt Lake City, reports this weekend that a move is underway in the Constitutional Revision Commission of the State of Utah to "clarify" the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Utah Consitutiona. The Utah provision, contained in Article I ยง 14, is essentially the same as the Federal one. On occasion, however, the State Supreme Court has had reason to grant more protections to the citizens of this State than do the Federal Courts. The current Attorney General of Utah, and former Federal Judge Paul Cassell, want to make sure that this does not happen again. In fact, it is also being discussed that the exclusionary rule be eliminated, as much as State courts can do so. That rule says that evidence which is unlawfully seized cannot be used in court. It is the only way courts have found to effectively force police officers to obey the law. The moving parties suggest that a police officer who breaks the law could be punished separately. That has always been a possiblity, of course, but one that simply never happens. It is my view that the Attorney General, who is elected by the people, should answer to them, and not to the police. He should be resisting efforts to lessen our precious consitutional rigths, According to this aritcle at least (it can be seen on my website under "news"), he is not doing that. Well, there is an election next year for his position, and I ask those who are concerned about their freedoms to send a message. It is time for a change. and I ask for your help in making it.


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