Archive for the ‘marijuana’ Category

Swamped under

September 10, 2009

Dr. Susan MacManus was commissioned to do a poll in our county. The poll asked various questions about what residents and voters felt about various topics. Obviously, the number one overriding issue was the economy and jobs. But was interesting to me is that crime was 3rd from the bottom at 3% and nearly 50% of respondents said that they absolutely did not favor a temporary tax increase for a new jail even though the current facility is at capacity.

During a recession as severe as this one, you might expect that violent crime would go through the roof. More people without money means more robbing, stealing, and gun play because people are frustrated over their situations. However, this isn’t happening. Overall crime in Charlotte County was down 27.4 percent. Its unemployment rate is 12.1 percent.

What is happening, however, is that our jail is filled with non-violent, victimless crime “offenders” who either can not extricate themselves from the “system” or have just said the heck with it at least I can get medical care and food here at the jail. We have turned our local jail into a debtor’s prison. Something the House of Burgesses did away with in 1619.

The system is not going to get any more money to build more jail space, so they have to deal with it.  This is what should be done.

What the State Attorney should do immediately is inform law enforcement that he will not prosecute <20 grams of marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia arrests. These are both minor misdemeanors and this would certainly lighten the load on the court and the jail.

Shoplifting prosecutions under $100 should be suspended and a seminar should be done with store managers to educate them how to deal with this issue internally.

Also something has to be done with the innumerable arrests for no or suspended DL’s. I haven’t got an answer for this yet, but the fine, suspend, arrest, fine, arrest for contempt, fine and no collections on these “crimes” is idiotic.

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Retire the dogs

August 24, 2009

The case of Nicholas Magnusson (18). We are going to follow this case here on this blog.

On August 13, 2009 at approximately 9:25pm, Mr. Magnusson was a subject of a traffic stop on Toledo Blade and Woodhaven (city of North Port) for a burned out tag light by arresting Officer Bush.  He was eventually arrested for having about half a pound of weed in the trunk of the car. According to the police dispatch report, which anyone can view online, the arresting officer called the K9, but the dog unit didn’t get there for two hours at 11:35.06 pm. There are some conflicting times in the reports. The K9 officer reports the time of 23:34. The Sheriff’s office reports the arrest at 10:02pm(which is the time written on the probable cause affidavit). Could there possibly be some fudging of the times on the police report? The booking time is 1:00am on August 14.

The arresting officer said that Mr. Magnusson was arrested as the result of a dog sniff by K9 Gino and said in his report that the dog was there when he finished his paperwork.

in Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 407 (2005), the Scotus found that a seizure (traffic stop) that is justified at its inception may become unreasonable if it is unreasonably prolonged in duration. Thus, if the sole reason for the stop is to issue a warning to the motorist, the stop becomes unreasonable if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably necessary to issue the warning. And if a drug-sniffing dog is used during this unreasonable extension, the use of the dog violates the Fourth Amendment.

Mr. Magnusson is currently out on bail, but there is no attorney of record, yet. His arraignment date is 9/11/2009.

The Epidemic of Pot Arrests in New York City

August 14, 2009

This will tell you what we are up against.

http://www.alternet.org/story/141866/the_epidemic_of_pot_arrests_in_new_york_city/?page=1#comments

Leos arrested 430,000 people for pot possession and it’s legal there. How many would they have arrested if it was illegal?