Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Fifth Amendment

The year is 2010. We still do not have flying cars. We still don't have cool spaceships. And aliens still have no desire to contact us. However, bad taste is now a crime punishable by a short jail sentence and many hours of community service. For your past, you are in court.

Judge: Is it true that you and your best friend saw New Kids on the Block in concert?

the courtroom is dead silent

You: I take the Fifth.

the courtroom stirs

Judge: bangs his little hammer thingie. Order! Order in the court!
Is it true that in high school, you dated a guy for two years with a mullet?

You: I take the Fifth.

the courtroom gets even more noisy

Judge: slams his little hammer thingie three times. Order! We will have order or else I'm going to order this a closed courtroom!
Is it true that you used to wear leg warmers?

You: smiling I take the Fifth

the courtroom erupts

Judge: slamming his little hammer thingie as he shouts. Order! Order in the court! This case is closed.

Your lawyer: turns to you Good job. That will be $1700.



On a serious note, the Fifth Amendment is yet another reason this country is so great. You do not have to incriminate yourself. Did you know that in England, silence is an admission of guilt? Silence here is protected by the Constitution. Here, it's their job, not yours, to find you guilty of something.

Here is the Fifth in all its glory:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


On a not so good note, yet another reason I hate the War on Drugs. It gives the Government permission to confiscate private property and auction it off if you are accused of selling drugs. This is a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment, yet our stupid Supreme Court Justices have yet to declare it Unconstitutional. These are the types of questions our Legislative Branch should be asking a potential Supreme Court Justice.

It is time that we brushed the dust off this beautiful piece of work and started throwing out Unconstitutional laws, instead of creating new ones. There's a saying that if 10% of the laws were enforced, 90% of us would be arrested. If I were running the show, I'd have all laws against private citizens sunset in ten years. Only by voting the laws back do they stay on the books for another ten years. That would really help restore the Constitution.

22 Comments:

Blogger bsoholic said...

It is time that we brushed the dust off this beautiful piece of work and started throwing out Unconstitutional laws, instead of creating new ones.

Right on ZS! I agree with this.

11/29/2005 9:28 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I wish our representatives would be so conscious of our rights as you are Zombie. When are you running again? I'll figure out a way to register in your state.

11/29/2005 10:03 AM  
Blogger lime said...

your sunset laws is a fascinating idea. it might really force legislators to streamline things i think. maybe then we wouldn't have such a meandering, confusing set of laws.

and i refuse to answer any questions about the dress i wore to prom or the guy who escorted me.

11/29/2005 10:05 AM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I love the 5th amendment. Sure, it works against us sometimes but we have come along way from when people accused one another of outrageous crimes with no proof to back it up.
Remember the Salem Witch trials? I saw Zombieslayer running nekkid through the woods last night chasing a black cat for sacrifice! He's a warlock!
ZS--"I plead the fifth"

11/29/2005 11:49 AM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

YUP. 100% agreement w/ you here.

11/29/2005 1:05 PM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

BTW...

I'd have all laws against private citizens sunset in ten years. Only by voting the laws back do they stay on the books for another ten years. That would really help restore the Constitution.

WONDERFUL idea!!!

11/29/2005 1:06 PM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

In MN you can lose boats, fishing gear, 4-wheelers, guns, freezers, even your vehicle, for game violations.

I'm surprised that you didn't go into more about the "just compensation" for private property part. I know how strongly you feel about this bastardization of the constitution.

11/29/2005 3:48 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Rat own!!

11/29/2005 6:49 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Tshsmom - I'm surprised that you didn't go into more about the "just compensation" for private property part.

I really should do this as a separate post. Sucks about the fish and game in MN. Did not know that.

Saurkraut - I love the sunset idea too. Wish it would take off.

Sadie - The Salem Witch Trials are an excellent example of guilty until proven innocent. Another reason to love America. Those happened in the late 1600s, early 1700s, before America was America.

Lime - it might really force legislators to streamline things i think.

I bet it would big time.

As for the prom, I honestly do not remember the name of the girl I went with. I kind of ditched her and danced with someone else the whole time, and afterwards, neither of them talked to me. Whoops. :(

Scott - Thanks. Not sure which state it will be. I don't know how long I'll stay in CA. Love the state, but hate its laws.

Bsoholic - Yeah, we need less, not more laws.

11/29/2005 7:00 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Bridget - Thanks. Do they have this in Canada? I know absolutely nothing of the Canadian Constitution.

11/29/2005 7:01 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

well good that you explained what that 'fifth' thin' is all about... otherwise i would have been like 'huh!!!' everytime i heard 'i take the fifth'....boy! i would say we don't need any rules that binds us... i think people should have common sense... thatway the whole world would be sanner

ps: am glad there's no flyin CArs around in this century... i think Hybrid cars are good enough for the Air we live in
kudos!!!

11/29/2005 7:29 PM  
Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

Oh, that was the ZS running naked through the woods last night. I thought you were going to give that up?

;o)

11/29/2005 8:11 PM  
Blogger Bo Salisbury said...

I was daydreaming once... I thought, "wouldn't it be great if the Constitution contained a clause that mandated all laws to be sundowned after x number of years." Then, each one would have to be revisited and if it wasn't, the conclusion would be that it's an unneccesary law and would just fade away. I think the laws that would be written would be anything but frivelous (something's wrong with this spelling). The same is true of social programs... I'd like to see everything stop and a moratorium for about a month to shake out who's really in need and whose not.

Imagine...

11/29/2005 10:27 PM  
Blogger sweet pinkette said...

Awesome post. We're going over the Amendments thi week in my Govt. class. Amazing how some of the older Amendments are curiously misinterpreted.

11/30/2005 12:54 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

TC - Funny that that expression has reached other countries. I guess it's in our movies and our stupid t.v. shows, that's probably why.

ZL - I was wearing shoes. So not completely naked.

Bo - The same is true of social programs... I'd like to see everything stop and a moratorium for about a month to shake out who's really in need and whose not.

I haven't thought of that. Good idea.

Pinkette - Yeah, amazing how little the average American knows about our Constitution. The other thing that bothers me is most people think the government gives you Rights. We're born with Rights, and a government can attempt to violate those Rights if we let them.

11/30/2005 1:28 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jeez, late to the party again ;P

"Silence here is protected by the Constitution. Here, it's their job, not yours, to find you guilty of something."

What's protected by the constitution and what really happens in a real court are two very different thins. Psychologists have been doing jury studies for years and have generally found that people think someone who doesn't defend themselves has something to hide, and is therefore guilty. Now, legally they can't vote to convict on this evidence - but this assumption can color the way they view the case evidence.

As for the rest of the 5th - it is great. Many people view it as "rights for the criminals" along with the 6th - but you never know when you might be falsely incriminated under the Patriot Act and need your 5th ammendment rights....

11/30/2005 5:03 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Laura - Criminals should have Rights, because with all these stupid laws floating about, you might find yourself a criminal and think you didn't even do anything wrong. Or you might be a criminal for a completely victimless crime.

11/30/2005 8:28 AM  
Blogger jenbeauty said...

I keep hearing the theme to "I love the 80s" from VH1 while reading this!

11/30/2005 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Michele said...

Educantional and funny post.
Remember the old courtroom dramas, how the person would always incriminate himself in the last few minutes? He'd always tell Perry Mason, or whoever, "Yeah, I did it...and I'm glad!" He'd always look proud and tough. That never really happens in true life, but I guess they had to wrap up the show.
I responded again to you on the Harry Potter post.

11/30/2005 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Michele said...

I meant, "Educational". How embaraskin.

11/30/2005 6:04 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Michele - Replied. That was a well-written post, once again. I really like it when you post.

Jenbeauty - Sometimes I wish I had cable. VH1 has those "where are they now?" which always has interesting bands that I've always liked.

11/30/2005 8:24 PM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

Were you once in public office?? I would also love to move to your state just so that I can say I have a politician that I think has a brain as big as his wallet (not that you have a big wallet, but here in jersey --as in every other state, I'm sure--you have to have tons of money to run for anything!!)

Keep up the informative posts. I admire the fact that your political posts don't put anyone down, and you don't seem to talk about the two 'parties'. I loath blogs that go on and on about how much they hate their opposing parties. When will these people realize that the two parties shouldn't be opponents, but should try to work together?!?!

11/30/2005 8:25 PM  

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