Tennessee officers, magistrates, attorneys and courts agree that certain constitutinally guaranteed rights do not exist. For example, the right to travel by car or truck privately is denied by almost all parties (under the fiction that all use of the road is subject to commercial enforcement). The right to be free from warrantless arrest — as protected under Tenn. Code Ann.§ 40-7-103, arrest by officer without warrant — is routinely ignored, and a defense of that right ridiculed (by people such as sheriff’s department counsel Coty Wamp). The right to be given proper notice by sufficient charging instrument is so regularly ignored that I would hazard guessing that charging instruments are legally insufficient in 85 percent of cases.
Have we had enough of these abuses of liberty, freedom, property rights and prosperity? The Freedom County Project has developed a set of priorities for candidates for local office touching on the use and misuse of law. — DJT
All civil magistrates within the county including sheriffs, judges, boards, and their appointees are directly bound to interpose on behalf of county citizens to protect and defend their God given rights from all enemies foreign and domestic. This includes a strident defense of second amendment rights and other freedoms. These magistrates must also respect the limits of their powers regardless of lawless decrees that may be imposed on county citizens from outside the county.
They must respect equality under the law, and this includes county sheriffs and deputies who should have the same rights as other citizens, no more and no less.
Our criminal justice system needs serious reform. The United States has the highest imprisonment rate in the world and holds the most prisoners of any nation. The social consequences of current policies work to destroy the family and inevitably are applied disproportionately in poor communities.
Freedom County Project candidates support:
- Due process for all, guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Phase out victimless crime.
- End the war on drugs including all related civil asset forfeiture and “drug bust” or related no-knock warrants.
- End all forced, no-knock entry where there is not a threat of imminent violence (such as a hostage situation).
- The right to appear speedily before a judge after arrest.
- Following arrest, there can be no pre-trial detention without the judgement of an elected judge who determines only by substantive, credible, facts that the defendant is a risk of flight or an imminent risk of violence to others. Pre-trial detention cannot be based merely on a hunch.
- If there is a pre-trial detention, the defendant has a right to a speedy trial.
- Abolish mandatory minimums and mandatory sentencing guidelines. The punishment should be proportionate to the crime in all cases. This, along with ending the war on drugs, will help to diminish the mass plea-bargain system where defendants are forced to choose between admitting false guilt for a relatively minor offense or risk a trial result with a mandatory lengthy prison sentence. Such trials are commonly dependent on a public defender going up against the full resources of the government. This is not equal treatment under the law.
- Penalties for false witnesses (including civil officers and attorneys) who hide or withhold evidence that would exonerate or implicate the defendant.
- Emphasis on proportionate restitution to the victim instead of resorting to unnecessarily caging people at taxpayer expense.
- The right of jury nullification must be respected.