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Improper attire for criminals and cowardly lawmakers PDF Print E-mail
Written by News Desk   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 15:21

artparkerBy This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Editor

When it comes to the lunacy of some of the pre-filed bills in the Legislature let's say...the hits just keeping on coming. The session begins next Tuesday, January 14 and lawmakers will be in a hurry to terminate the session since it is an election year. By the looks of some pre-filed bills we are better off if they stop the session before it starts.

House Bill 29 (HB29) is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. Rep. Randy Wood of Anniston seeks to make the wearing of a bullet proof vest or other body armor, during the commission of a crime, an act required to carry minimum sentences like those of other felonies. In other words, don't overdress for the occasion if you are going to break the law. I wonder what sentences Wood proposes for the guy who steals a car while in tux and tails? Are we concerned that an act is offensive to the law or are we concerned about the clothing of the person who violates the law? This is like saying people don't kill people, only guns do. If this dingbat legislator is going this far he needs to add that the wearing of tennis shoes should carry another minimum sentence, after all, it is easier to run from the police wearing those instead of loafers, dress shoes or cowboy boots. One thing lawmakers' do that plays upon the emotions of people is to make laws with the notion that legislation stops crime. Making a law never stopped a crime from being committed as lawmakers wish for you to believe. And I promise, passing a stupid bill like this will not stop any crime. Just imagine one bank robber telling another, "Don't wear that bullet proof vest, you may really get in trouble!" It's not going to happen. But the other thing in play here is the desire to have the police administer justice instead of our legal system. Forget due process, just make it easier for the police to kill anyone they THINK may have committed a crime.

In the upper chamber we have Senate Bill 58 (SB58), which is co-sponsored by my friend Dick Brewbaker, who normally sponsors sensible legislation. I know Dick is not going to like what I have to say about this. I firmly believe that SB58 should be named the "Coward's Bill" because it allows a lawmaker a fantastic opportunity to avoid his constituents and gives the lawmaker a great opportunity to avoid showing up for work. The proposed legislation says...This bill would allow members of governmental bodies as defined in the Alabama Open Meetings Act to participate in meetings and deliberation via electronic communications under certain circumstances. To be fair to the sponsors, they did have the wisdom to forbid a quorum counting a member not physically present. But this is still another way for an elected official to avoid scrutiny from those that sign his paycheck. When are these guys going to learn that we pay them to show up, represent us (not themselves) and be accountable? And that includes the right of the taxpayer to scream at them at a meeting site, face to face. They are our servants, not our lords, and I am convinced that the passage of this bill will lead to more cowardly and irresponsible behavior by elected officials.

Of course there are some proposals that make sense. Rep. Chris England of Tuscaloosa has introduced HB47, which states, This bill would provide that any judge authorized to issue a search warrant pursuant to the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure may issue a warrant for the installation, removal, maintenance, use, or monitoring of a tracking device. This bill would also establish the crime of unlawfully installing a tracking device if any person installs a tracking device without following the procedures of the act and would provide certain exceptions. Bravo! Something to protect the people from an overreaching government. Law enforcement should follow strict rules before they invade your privacy, your home, your records, etc., and this bill is a step in the right direction to make sure the government doesn't step over the line.

Stay tuned. I'm sure more legislative "gems" await us!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 15:25
 
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