|All the Attorney General’s men|
|Written by News Desk|
|Tuesday, 10 June 2014 16:05|
By Art Parker
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is trying to squelch indictments issued against state employees and another person tied to a raid by the AG office. This is not only unprecedented but dangerous to the freedom and liberty of every Alabamian.
A Grand Jury returned indictments of three persons connected to the 2011 AG raid on bingo operations in Greene County. According to media reports those indicted were a "gaming expert" and two law enforcement officers connected with the AG staff.
In 2011 the AG got his buddies on the Alabama Supreme Court to give him a judge he preferred to secure search warrants to raid businesses in Greene County, as opposed to a judge elected by the people in that area. The AG raided locations confiscating equipment and money. At a later date the judge that signed the warrant ordered the AG to return assets confiscated because the search warrant he issued was improper and illegal. Why? According to the ruling Judge Houston Brown said, "It is apparent the State presented statements which are clearly false, misleading, or were made with a reckless disregard for the truth. Moreover, the testimony recounted in the affidavit and presented to the Court in chambers by the State's gambling expert must be disregarded. Once the affidavit's false material is set to one side, the remaining content is insufficient to establish probable cause."
Of course all of this went into the trash when the state Supreme Court overturned Brown's ruling in favor of the AG. No surprise. Must be nice to get your own judge knowing you can get rid of him if he disagrees with you. I don't know why the Justices on our state's high court bothered to even appoint a special judge. Two plus two equals four, but if the AG and the state Supreme Court want it to equal five then they will just keep changing people and the rules until they have it their way.
After musical chairs was played with decisions and judges the Greene County District Attorney, Greg Griggers, sought for and secured indictments against those named for perjury and lying. Those accused have allegedly committed these crimes so the AG could gain illegal access and illegally confiscate the property of private businesses.
Now the Attorney General has begun to take the cases against those accused from Griggers with the intent of discarding the indictments. The AG has some right to take over cases under Alabama law, but his actions to do so cause an unbearable stench in the air. Griggers has taken a step to try and stop Strange by asking the court about possible ethics violations and conflicts of interest.
Let's examine how terrible this situation is. For the moment just forget that these businesses are gambling institutions. Let's say it is your business, or the business owned by your brother, sister, etc. It is a grocery store or a lawnmower shop. Let's take it a step further and include the security of your home and children.
Just as important as other freedoms is our right to privacy and our protection from illegal searches and seizures. This was very important to those who started this great country, so important that the Fourth Amendment was made part of our Bill of Rights, and it says, "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 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."
Our forefathers wanted us to be protected against government and those with power in government. That is why warrants are required. The founding fathers wanted us to be protected against what King George used, instruments known as Writs of Assistance, a warrant so broad that search and seizure are virtually without legal resistance. That's why it is important in our system that law enforcement present evidence to get a warrant. It is important that the truth be told to a judge to get a warrant. It is important that the warrant be specific so that your home or business is not invaded on a hunch and that your property is not ruined and taken by a police officer trying to find "something."
The first issue related to the AG and his men are the alleged lies told to get a warrant. The second issue is the effort of the AG to "cover up" the alleged illegal behavior of those accused.
It makes no difference who you are, what you do for a living or what Church you attend, if we let them by with this activity then ALL people will be subject to the will of the AG and other powerful men. You may not like your neighbor or you may not like his business, but we must all stand together against those in power that attempt to do as they wish and impose their will upon us. Believe me, if the AG will do this to another person he will do it to you.
Perhaps this entire saga should be called, "All the Attorney General's Men," similar to the movie made about Nixon and Watergate. I feel sure the last thing Strange wants is for the public to think he and his men were intentionally raping one of our most precious freedoms. I feel sure this is why he wants to snuff out the indictments.
So, while we wait for a ruling on this AG episode I wonder what else his office will do. I wonder how long it will be before other illegal searches are conducted to seize personal possessions...such as our handguns.
That doesn't sound too good, does it?
Tamara Martin, with Millbrook Civitans Katherine Lantz, Penny Nichols and Willow VI, a trained facility dog.
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