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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » This country sucks, part 4012

This country sucks, part 4012

From the Norman Transcript:

A new ordinance unanimously approved Tuesday by the Norman City Council will require residents to prove, in a court of law, they did not litter, rather than having the city attempt to prove they did.

The council unanimously approved the ordinance that holds businesses and individuals accountable for unlawfully discarded trash or litter.

Guilty until you prove yourself innocent – over litter. In these dire economic times, local governments must take drastic actions to keep their revenue up.

But then again, they’ve been doing this with DUI laws for ages, so I guess it’s not that big of a deal. Especially when they make it so much trouble to fight it. Which is how they win. But don’t take my word for it, take this lawyer’s word for it:

The breath machines (commonly — and inaccurately — referred to as “Breathalyzers”) used to obtain the BAC are, obviously, critical to the drunk driving case. As for the per se offense, the only evidence of the crime is the machine: if the thing says .08% or higher and the jury believes it, the defendant is guilty. In effect, if you are accused of driving with .08% BAC, you will face “trial by machine” — and you will not be able to confront your accuser.

It gets worse….Even as to the DUI charge, the readings will be considered presumptive: if the BAC is .08% or higher, the jury will be instructed by the judge that the defendant is presumed to be guilty — and he must be found guilty unless he can prove his innocence. See “Whatever Happened to the Presumption of Innocence?”.

And this hurts me in a place I can quite accurately describe as being just under my right asscheek. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the country you have constructed. These are the laws that you either went along with because they didn’t affect you or encouraged to be passed.

Thank you.

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