Thursday, April 26, 2007

Brought to you by the War on Drugs

If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.
--Exodus 22:2

Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England:

Burglary, or nocturnal housebreaking, has always been looked upon as a very, heinous offense, not only because of the abundant terror that it naturally carries with it, but also as it is a forcible invasion and disturbance of that right of habitation, an invasion which in such a state would be sure to be punished with death, unless the assailant were the stronger. But in civil society, the laws also come in to the assistance of the weaker party; and, besides that they leave him this natural right of killing the aggressor, if he can. . . .

On November 21, 2006, three armed men burst through the door of Kathryn Johnston's house. It was about 7 pm, which according to my almanac, was about an hour and a half after sunset. Ms. Johnston was reported to be 92 years old. She owned an old pistol. She shot once at the invaders.

The men who kicked down the door returned 39 shots and killed her. They were on a mission in the name of the Atlanta Police Department. They were performing a drug raid under authority of a no-knock warrant obtained by perjury and on the tip of an unnamed informant. The informant later stated that he was coerced by the police to lie about buying drugs at the house.

Today, two of the officers pled guilty to manslaughter and other crimes, including violation of oath, criminal solicitation, and making false statements. One of the officers admitted committing perjury. They pled down from charges of felony murder. The other officer faces trial.

The two guilty officers are facing 10 years in prison.

By Biblical standards, the English Common Law, and the State of Georgia's statutes, Kathryn Johnston was justified in shooting at the intruders. They were committing the felony of residential burglary--breaking into a house unlawfully. It was unlawful because they were using a warrant obtained by perjury. And the guilty officers admit that.

Under the felony-murder rule, generally, if a person causes the death of an innocent person while committing a felony, it is punishable as murder. Nevertheless, the vagaries of our modern justice system apparently compelled the prosecutor to agree to a lesser charge. Soft "justice."

Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
--Genesis 9:6.

Those who favor the police using military tactics, no-knock warrants, warrantless wiretaps, and constant surrveillance consider this:

You have long since lost assurance that the armed wing of the state will leave you alone if you "have nothing to hide."

Thank the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, and whatever other War on Abstractions yet to come. As they say, Freedom isn't free.

1 comment:

lauren said...

No, it isn't free. Patrick Henry spoke as if there were a choice; but for Mrs. Johnston, there wasn't any choice.