Giffords Law Center Presents Anti-Gun Arguments That Contradict Not Only The Constitution, But Their Own Positions

Herschel Smith · 22 Apr 2020 · 4 Comments

In an Amicus Brief submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Miller versus Becerra, the Giffords Law Center and associated attorneys make the following argument. Such combat-style features distinguish military rifles and their semi-automatic counterparts from standard sporting rifles, and are not “merely cosmetic”—they “serve specific, combat-functional ends.” H. Rep. No. 103-489, at 18. The Regulated Assault Rifles include features that…… [read more]

False Confessions

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

It happens every day in America.  Hundreds of thousands of men are in prison for false confessions. Here’s a particularly bad example.

Two months ago, Robert Davis was getting ready to set up chairs for Bible study when he received some life-altering news: Within hours, he’d be walking out of Coffeewood Correctional Center, a free man for the first time in nearly 13 years.

Davis, 31, stepped out of prison December 21 to face television cameras, probably as surreal an experience as his last night of freedom in February 2003, when he was surrounded by police, slammed to the ground and handcuffed.

He was 18 years old then, a senior at Western Albemarle High and by his own admission, “naive.”

He didn’t know that he didn’t have to talk to police without a lawyer about a horrific double murder that had happened a few days earlier in his Crozet neighborhood. He didn’t know that police can lie to suspects to obtain a confession. And he didn’t know that after hours of a middle-of-the-night interrogation when he just wanted to sleep, if he told the officer what the cop wanted to hear, he wouldn’t be able to straighten things out in the morning.

Davis wasn’t familiar with the term “false confession” in 2003, and he didn’t realize he would become the face of the phenomenon to which juveniles and the exhausted are particularly susceptible. Nor could he have guessed that his story would be the subject of a national television show that aired on “Dateline NBC” February 14.

Robert Davis has learned a lot since 2003.

Snow was on the ground the morning of February 19, 2003, when the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department got the call of a blaze in Crozet Crossing, a subdivision of entry-level homes.

At 6047 Cling Ln., once the fire was out, responders discovered a sinister scene: The body of Nola Charles, 41, known as Ann to her family and friends, in a bunk bed upstairs, with her arms duct-taped behind her. It took Albemarle police forensics technician Larry Claytor a while to notice the charred handle of a knife in her back.

Another shock awaited in the smoldering house. In Charles’ bedroom, the body of her 3-year-old son, William Thomas Charles, was found under debris. He’d died of carbon monoxide poisoning from smoke inhalation.

Almost immediately, police focused on a couple of neighborhood teens: Rocky Fugett, 19, a senior at Western Albemarle, and his sister Jessica, 15, a freshman. During interrogation, the two started throwing out names of other students to deflect the blame, both later told a reporter. One of those names was Robert Davis.

In a 2011 interview at Sussex II State Prison, Rocky Fugett admitted that he’d picked on Davis, and said he never dreamed Davis would confess to being there the night Charles was killed.

In the world of television crime, wrongful convictions are a hot topic, as evidenced by the radio podcast “Serial” and Netflix’s “Making a Murderer.”

An expert in false confession who appeared in the “Dateline” episode as well as in “Making a Murderer,” Northwestern law school’s Laura Nirider, who is the director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, has been aware of Davis’ case for years, and sent a 64-page report supporting his petition for clemency in 2012. She has called his interrogation “one of the most coercive confessions I’ve seen.”

It was after midnight when Davis was arrested at gunpoint, and almost 2am when the interrogation by Albemarle Police Detective Randy Snead began.

Snead had been the resource officer at Ivy Creek, the special ed school Davis had attended, and Davis says he trusted him.

Davis denied he had anything to do with the Charles murders dozens of times, according to the video of his six-hour interview. He offered to take a polygraph to prove he was telling the truth multiple times. And he told police if they were going to arrest him, to go ahead and do it so he could go to sleep.

Police widely use the Reid Technique of interviewing and interrogation, which says if a suspect asks to take a lie detector test, that should be taken as a sign of innocence, according to Nirider. That alone should have been a red flag to investigators, she says, but there were other details that made Davis’ interrogation a textbook case of false confession.

She points out how police fed him the details of the crime. Snead lied and told Davis police had evidence he was at the crime scene. He threatened Davis with the “ultimate punishment,” and said Davis’ mother could go to jail if he didn’t tell the truth. Finally, at nearly 7am, Davis said, “What can I say I did to get me out of this?”

“The young and those with mental limitations are most vulnerable to making false confessions,” says Nirider.

She notes a recent study that shows the sleep-deprived are way more likely to falsely confess to a crime. Exhaustion “absolutely plays a role,” she says. “There is a correlation.”

UVA law professor Brandon Garrett has examined many cases of false confession, and points out the interviews in those cases lasted over three hours. If someone is exhausted, he says, he thinks if he just goes along with the interrogation, he can clear it up later.

Today, Davis says the overriding emotion during that interview was fear. “I was scared shitless,” he says.

With Davis’ confession and the testimony of the Fugetts putting him at the crime scene, his attorney, Steve Rosenfield, says it was a “grave risk” to go to trial. He feared a jury would ask the question most people ask—why would you confess to a crime you didn’t commit?—and give Davis a life sentence.

When the commonwealth offered a deal, Rosenfield advised Davis to enter an Alford plea, in which he maintains his innocence but acknowledges the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him, and take a 23-year prison sentence.

Davis says it’s hard to recall a lot about entering that plea because he was on medication for anxiety and depression. Mainly, he thought, “At least I get to go home eventually.”

“I told Robert one day the Fugett kids might tell the truth,” says Rosenfield. “It took a long time—with Jessica especially.” She recanted her allegations about Davis in 2012.

Two years after Davis was convicted in 2004, Rosenfield received a letter from Rocky Fugett that said he had some information that would be helpful to Davis. Fugett signed an affidavit saying Davis had nothing to do with the slayings, and in 2012, Rosenfield sent a petition for clemency to then-governor Bob McDonnell.

There it lingered until McDonnell’s last day in office, when he denied the petition. According to Rosenfield, McDonnell’s administration conducted no investigation of the petition’s claims.

That was a particularly bleak time for Davis. “It was crushing having to wait so long and even more crushing when Bob McDonnell denied it without doing any investigation,” he says.

When Davis walked out of Coffeewood the day Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a conditional pardon, he pointed to Rosenfield and said, “If it weren’t for that man there fighting for me, I wouldn’t be out right now.”

He’s probably right. Rosenfield submitted six volumes of documents supporting the clemency petition. “There wouldn’t be a realistic mechanism if a prisoner tried to do that,” he says.

Rosenfield was Davis’ court-appointed lawyer in 2003, but since Davis took the Alford plea in 2004, he’s been Davis’ pro bono lawyer. He estimates he’s spent between 1,500 and 2,000 hours working on the case, legal expertise worth about $600,000. And that doesn’t include the couple of thousand dollars he’s spent out of pocket.

“I’m glad he’s out,” says the attorney. “It’s a lot less work.”

Years in prison, more than half a million dollars in legal time, the innocent get punished, the guilty go free, and the cops and attorneys couldn’t care less because they got their conviction.

By feeding him details, threatening his mother, lying about other things, all to a sleep deprived adolescent. This is why the Scriptures require the testimony of two or more witnesses to convict a man of a crime, and self incrimination isn’t allowed by the Bible.  Because our judicial system no longer recognizes the Scriptures as God’s Holy law, they make up their own system of “righteousness,” a false righteousness in God’s eyes.  A damning righteousness in God’s eyes.  For more, see Rousas J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law.

Torture could become the norm without Biblical law, and while they didn’t inflict physical pain on the boy, it was a form of torture.  Torture is simply not allowed by the Scriptures, and only wicked men do it, some in the name of local security, and some in the name of national security.

Teach your children, wife, and even relatives well.  Do not talk to the police.  Explain to them why.  The Scriptures do not allow self incrimination.  Do not be naive, and do not be trusting.  Do not cooperate with your own false imprisonment.

Minority Report

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

News from Colorado.

Domestic abusers are generally prohibited from possessing firearms, but in many states, ensuring these offenders turn over their guns is difficult. A new investigator in the Denver, Colorado, District Attorney’s office is trying to change that by removing guns case-by-case.

The investigator spends his days listening to 911 calls, scanning social media and talking to family members, looking for signs that someone who has been charged with a domestic violence-related offense and who has a restraining order against them, has a gun.

Prosecutors can use the evidence collected by the investigator to ask a judge for a warrant ordering the removal of the gun. Sometimes removal is worked out on the fly by the lawyers in court as a condition of bond release.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office says that in his first four months on the job, the investigator — whose name the office won’t release due to safety concerns — helped take 49 guns from 14 people.

The father of one of those people described his 47-year old son as troubled.

“Relationship breakdowns, bipolar, drug abuse, on his own, no job, despondent,” Tom said of his son. Guns & America agreed not to use the father’s last name or his son’s full name because a criminal case against his son is pending.

Those qualities made Tom think about descriptions of mass shooters he has heard on the news.

“He had a very extensive gun collection,” Tom said, explaining why he was so worried. “Which brings us to our conversation about guns.”

Last October, there was an incident. According to the police report, Tom’s son and his girlfriend had been fighting. He had left her dozens of voicemails, emails, texts and showed up at her apartment, which “alarmed the victim and terrified her,” according to the police report. Tom’s son was charged with harassment and stalking. A judge issued a restraining order against him, which meant he was no longer legally allowed to have guns.

At that point, Tom says the domestic violence investigator at the Denver District Attorney’s Office got involved, coordinating among the father, his son, and the police to get the guns shipped and legally transferred to Tom.

“It gave me some hope that there are ways of doing the right thing,” Tom said. “Those guns are now registered to me and my son cannot get a hold of them right now.”

What is rare about the investigator’s work is that it is active instead of passive, taking guns from people who are barred from having them before they use them to commit a crime.

“One of the key overarching firearm violence prevention strategies that we use in the U.S. is to prohibit the purchase and possession of guns among those deemed high-risk of committing violent acts,” said Hannah Laqueur, an assistant professor of emergency medicine with the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis.

Minority report.  Knowing all about who is going to commit violent acts before they actually do them.  And it’s a “key overarching feature of violence prevention” in the U.S.

Where the author got this very wrong is parroting the statement that this is rare.  It has quickly become the most abused nanny-state program in the country.  It essentially replaces the AWB, the lack of UBC, and the lack of gun permitting by the CLEO.  One by one, it’s the most effective gun control effort by the controllers by far, and they know it.  Florida has confiscated thousands of weapons since implementation of their red flag law.

I say again: Be careful what you say over social media.  Have control over your family.  Have children that obey.  Be a good husband and spiritual leader in the home.  Show you wife love, mercy, tenderness and care.  Lay down your life for her as Christ loved the church.

And never call the police for anything.  You are always in more danger when the police are around.

All About Suppressors

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

FOIA Response Concerning Virginia Delegate Mark Levine

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Recall that I had made a FOIA request to the city of Alexandria, Virginia, concerning an incident where a man with a gun stood “outside Del. Mark Levine’s window.”  The city of Alexandria has responded.

OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY

301 KING STREET, SUITE 1300
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA 22314

http://alexandriava.gov

02/26/2020

RE: W014261-021820

Dear Sir/Madam,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) dated 2/18/2020 referenced above. Based upon the information contained in your request, we have conducted a thorough search of the records held by the City and find that no police report for this event exists.

This letter is for your records and to inform you that the FOIA request file is now closed.

Sincerely,

David Lanier

Assistant City Attorney

So what the hell was that all about?  He clearly stated that he engaged the police and that the police responded and interacted with the man.  He also later stated that he wanted to press charges of some sort.

He can’t press charges without a police report.  What’s going on here?

UPDATE: David Codrea notes that “speculation that it may have been Fairfax County Police, not according to the news account quoting Alexandria police Lt. Courtney Ballentine. Someone is not being truthful and/or compliant here.”

Clint Eastwood Joins Other ‘Hollywood Action Hero’ Frauds with Bloomberg Endorsement

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

David Codrea.

So the actor who went from a TV cowboy, to earn international fame as the iconic Man with No Name in spaghetti Westerns, with perhaps his most famous role being the .44 Magnum-wielding Dirty Harry, supports a rabid gun-grabbing zealot?

That may not be his intent, but it may be, and regardless, that’s the effect this has. Irrespective of whatever other reasons Eastwood may have, he is supporting a billionaire who will add the weight of the U.S. government to disarm his countrymen, including Eastwood and his fans. He is, to put it bluntly, but accurately, giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

So what makes people think that Hollywood actors are such paragons of value judgment righteousness?  Maybe he is just getting senile in his old age, or thinks this sort of virtue signalling is necessary before he meets his maker.  That would betray a shallow intellect, but most Hollywood types have a shallow intellect.

Doubtless though, Bloomberg and the forces of darkness will use this to their advantage for the idiots among us.  The best way to mitigate the damage is to teach the masses.  That’s a long term project.

Pete Buttigieg’s Military Experience: Vaporware

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

NRO.

The third thing that stands out about Buttigieg’s military service is his bizarre brag that he used to travel around Afghanistan in various motor vehicles. Has anyone who has ever served the U.S. military on overseas land not driven around? When he launched his campaign last April he bragged about “119 trips I took outside the wire, driving or guarding a vehicle.” That’s . . . not a thing. There are no such stats. Sorties in aircraft are an official military statistic. Motor-vehicle trips are so routine no one would bother to keep track, any more than someone would log how many times Pete Buttigieg took a shower. No one cares. So Buttigieg himself created this phony statistic. Picture it: He made himself a little Hero’s Log but all he had to put in it was “routine trips.” It’s pathetic. It’s hilarious. It’s apple-polishing, résumé-buffing, box-checking, attention-seeking vaporware. Just like his whole career.

But because of his military “experience” and “training,” he knows that his “weapons of war” have no place in America – except with the police.

Hey Pete.  My son wants to know how many satellite patrols you went on, and how many times you were shot at?

How Latinos Vote

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

How Latinos Vote.

In separate questions, Latinos were presented with hypothetical races between Donald Trump and varying Democratic candidates. Bernie Sanders receives the strongest share of the Latino vote relative to Trump; 80 percent say they would vote for Sanders, while a mere 16 percent would vote for Trump. Joe Biden also wins a significant share of Latino voters: 72 percent (Biden) to 19 percent (Trump).

We know what Joe Biden thinks of guns.  How about Bernie?

  • Take on the NRA and its corrupting effect on Washington.
  • Expand background checks.
  • End the gun show loophole. All gun purchases should be subject to the same background check standards.
  • Ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons. Assault weapons are designed and sold as tools of war. There is absolutely no reason why these firearms should be sold to civilians.
  • Prohibit high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • Implement a buyback program to get assault weapons off the streets.
  • Regulate assault weapons in the same way that we currently regulate fully automatic weapons — a system that essentially makes them unlawful to own.
  • Crack down on “straw purchases” where people buy guns for criminals.
  • Support “red flag” laws and legislation to ensure we keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers
  • Ban the 3-D printing of firearms and bump stocks

You think maybe the Latino vote will affect future gun control?  You think this has anything to do with immigration?

Open Carry Texas: Return To Olmos Park

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

The traitor responsible for the continued violations of the constitution of the U.S. and of Texas law is none other than a sworn defender of the same, Olmos police chief Rene Valenciano.  He is an awful person who cares not the least about lying and abandoning his oath.

So the claims on their web site are all lies.  He and his traitor officers have no intention of obeying Texas law, in which open carry is legal.  This also raises yet another question: where the hell is the Texas attorney general?  A police chief is violating Texas law and infringing on constitutionally protected rights.  Where is the Texas attorney general on this?  Missing in action?

Police chief Rene Valenciano’s email address is: policechief@olmospark.org.  Feel free to tell him he’s a traitor.  The city manager is Celia DeLeon, and her email address is: citymanager@olmospark.org.  Is she a coward?  Just why hasn’t she shut down Valenciano’s traitorous henchmen yet?  Is she waiting for a massive lawsuit that bankrupts the city?

By the way, police chief.  That fat boy officer in the video, yea, him.  Tell him to go on a diet, put on a backpack, and hit the trails.

And as for my readers in Texas (I know I have a lot of them), you know what to do next.

Truth, CAIR And Islam At The U.S. Army War College

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Raymond Ibrahim writing at PJM.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”)—also known as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the largest terrorist funding case in U.S. history and a designated “terrorist organization” for nations allied to America—is again vehemently protesting my forthcoming appearance at the U.S. Army War College, urging the latter to “reconsider its decision and disinvite Ibrahim,” since my lecture will no doubt be “hypocritical, ahistorical and hateful.”

[ … ]

For the record, my lecture will revolve around my book, per the War College’s request—hence why CAIR regularly targets it. As such, here one must ask: if the book’s findings are so “unsubstantiated,” why does CAIR fear it so much? Does CAIR have such a low opinion of the intellectual capacity of the U.S. Army War College and its students, as to expect them to believe anything they are told, without adequate evidence?

[ … ]

… to reiterate my supposedly self-incriminating words—Islamic terrorism and extremism are intrinsic to Islam, and have been from its first contact with Western civilization in the seventh century.

This is of course a true statement.  CAIR fears the truth, or a better way of saying it is that the only thing Muslims consider truth is what promulgates and benefits Sharia.  Raymond’s lectures won’t do that, despite being true.  Do you see the distinction?

This is a good time for readers to recall my run-in with Professor Steve Metz at the U.S. Army War College.  He is blithely indifferent to any of this except to call truth-tellers full of hate, and he compares Sharia with “Boy Scout law.”  We should be worried about “creeping Boy Scout law.”

As for the intelligence level of most U.S. military officers today, I wouldn’t be so sanguine as Raymond.  They’ve been trained their whole lives to listen to their Marxist professors and to hate America.  Raymond may have a big job on his hands and get some pushback.  I hope he expects it and is prepared for it.

Not Exercising Your Right To Bear Arms In A Virtuous Manner

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Tell me it can’t happen.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Having a few too many at home shouldn’t make handling one’s own firearm illegal, according to an Ohio man challenging his arrest on a charge of possessing a weapon while intoxicated.

The Ohio Supreme Court plans to hear arguments in his case Tuesday, with a decision not expected for several weeks.

Attorneys for defendant Fred Weber say the 2018 arrest was unconstitutional because he was in his own home and the weapon was unloaded. Weber was arrested in southwestern Ohio by sheriff’s deputies after Weber’s wife placed a 4 a.m. 911 call saying her husband had a gun and was drunk.

Inside Weber’s house, deputies saw Weber holding an unloaded shotgun in his hand with the barrel pointed down, according to court records. Weber told officers he was drunk, and officers described him as “highly intoxicated,” the records show.

Weber’s attorneys argue that Weber never should have been charged or convicted under current law, since there was no evidence the shotgun was being carried with an intent to use it.

Furthermore, the law itself is flawed because it means nearly anyone with a gun at home who also consumes alcohol is breaking the law, Weber’s attorneys argued in a filing with the Ohio Supreme Court last year.

“Whether one is drunk or sober should have nothing to do with the right to possess a firearm in the hearth and home,” said attorney Gary Rosenhoffer in an Aug. 20, 2019, filing. As a result, the law is a violation of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, Rosenhoffer argued.

Prosecutors disagree with Weber’s argument and say the law was constitutional as applied to his situation.

By handling his weapon while he was drunk, Weber scared his wife enough that she felt compelled to call police, Nick Horton, a Clermont County assistant prosecutor, said in a Sept. 18 filing.

Weber, “by holding his firearm while intoxicated, was not exercising his right to bear arms in a virtuous manner,” the prosecutor said.

Not only do we have a police/prosecutor state that can predict the future with red flag laws, but they can also decide what’s virtuous and what’s not.


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