Ohio Supreme Court: Gun Penalties Don’t Apply To Cops

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a specification in the law that provides stiffer penalties for people who use a gun in commission of a crime cannot be applied to a police officer convicted of wrongdoing while performing his duty.

In a split decision, the court held that Ohio’s firearms specification was intended to deter criminals from using firearms while committing an offense and not to deter police officers from carrying a firearm while on duty.

The case involved an Ottawa Hills police officer, Thomas White, who shot a motorcyclist he had pulled over for a traffic stop, leaving him paralyzed.

By Robert Higgs – The Liberty Crier –

JUDGE RUINS A FLORIST FOR HER CHRISTIAN FAITH

The Noose is Tightening

“If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, ‘The servant is not greater than his lord.’ If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” — John15:18-20 (KJV)

Washington State Benton County Superior Court Judge, Alex Ekstrom, has issued a summary judgment in the case against a Christian florist whose faith prevented her from providing service for a same-sex couple’s wedding. The case was set to go to trial in March, but the judge’s judgment serves as the final word. Basically, he has authorized the “personal ruin” of Barronelle Stutzman.

This ruling makes her personally liable for the claims against her, which places not only her business assets at risk but also her home and personal savings as well! World Net Daily reports that this reprobate judge ordered that the state as well as the sodomite plaintiffs, each of whom filed lawsuits, could collect damages and attorney’s fees from Stutzman.

Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, with the Alliance Defending Freedom stated, “The message of these rulings is unmistakable: The government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage.”

She reports the two men had plenty of other options in the marketplace, and even received offers of free flowers from other vendors. However, this wasn’t good enough for either Groom because Robert Ingersoll and his partner Curt Freed, sued Stutzman for politely refusing to engage in a business transaction that interfered with her faith.

Ironically, Ingersoll had bought flowers for his lover from Ms. Stutzman for years, and she was well aware they were a gay couple. The problem only surfaced when he asked her to arrange the flowers for their wedding. According to her deposition, she put her hands over his, and told him that she couldn’t “because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,” and because of her belief that marriage should only be between the opposite sex.

The State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, also sued based on details he learned in the news. According to arguments in the case, the state of Washington apparently believes the state’s statutory protections for sodomites trump the Constitution’s protection of religious liberty, even though the flower corporation was set up under a state law that protects personal assets except in cases of deception, theft or knowing fraud. None of these circumstances occurred in this case.

The defendant, Ms. Stutzman, said, “America would be a better place if citizens respected each other’s differences and the government still protected the freedom to have those differences. Instead, the government is coming after me and everything I have just because I won’t live my life the way the state says I should.”

By Donna Wasson – News With Views –

Thousands of Americans sent to debtors’ prisons monthly

Once upon a time in Western Europe, circa the 19th century, debtors’ prisons were a common phenomenon. And they were exactly what they sound like: Prisons for people who were unable to pay their debts. People who were destitute or simply had fallen on hard times and were unable to repay court-ordered judgments were “sentenced” to these prisons. They remained there until they were able to either work off what they owed or secure funding from another source.

Now, in 21st century America, debtors’ prisons are making a comeback.

According to a new report from Human Rights Watch called Profiting from Probation, more than 1,000 courts around the country “delegate tremendous coercive power to companies that are often subject to little meaningful oversight or regulation.”

Further, a summary of the report states:

“In many cases, the only reason people are put on probation is because they need time to pay off fines and court costs linked to minor crimes. In some of these cases, probation companies act more like abusive debt collectors than probation officers, charging the debtors for their services.”

Often, the group says, the poorest Americans wind up having to pay the most in fees over time, in what amounts to a discriminatory penalty. When they fail to pay, companies then can, and do, ensure that they are arrested.

So, while such incarceration is not actually called “debtors’ prison,” the result is the same.

In particular, notes the ACLU, which is taking up the cause of ending such incarcerations:

“Human Rights Watch tells the story of Thomas Barrett in Georgia. Unemployed and living off food stamps, Barrett was out on probation and ordered to pay a $200 fine for stealing a $2 can of beer from a convenience store. On top of that, Sentinel Offender Services, LLC, the company administering Barrett’s probation, charged him $360 per month in supervision and monitoring fees despite the fact that Barrett’s only source of income was money earned by selling his blood plasma.”

Barrett was forced to skip meals in order to pay Sentinel. Nevertheless, he still fell behind in payments and at one point wound up owing the company $1,000 in fees — or five times more than the $200 fine that a court had imposed.

In a bid to collect the debt, Sentinel then petitioned a court to revoke Barrett’s probation, which it did. He was then jailed.

….”Imprisoning someone because she cannot afford to pay court-imposed fines or fees violates the 14th Amendment,” says the ACLU.

And Barrett is just one of thousands of cases, the legal assistance group says.

What’s more, the trend towards more, not fewer, such cases has been growing….

By J. D. Heyes – Natural News –