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Old 17th July 2008, 06:53 PM   #1
e-sabbath
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Tax Protester Logic... for Murderers

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/fea...805.carey.html

It makes sense that these gangbangers are picking up tax protester logic. Same educational level, same trust of the government... and same feeling that everyone is on the make and they're being left out of the con.

But yeah, these guys? Up for Murder 1. And claiming the court is not legit, that they are not the NAMES IN CAPITAL LETTERS, the whole nine yards.
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Old 17th July 2008, 07:30 PM   #2
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Suddenly is the one to talk to about this but aparently being stuck in prision for years can result in people trying all sorts of bizar legal theories.
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Old 17th July 2008, 07:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by e-sabbath View Post
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/fea...805.carey.html

It makes sense that these gangbangers are picking up tax protester logic. Same educational level, same trust of the government... and same feeling that everyone is on the make and they're being left out of the con.

But yeah, these guys? Up for Murder 1. And claiming the court is not legit, that they are not the NAMES IN CAPITAL LETTERS, the whole nine yards.
It is weird to say the least, but I have seen this argument come up in CT videos. I don't know what to say about it, other than it was most likely started as an administrative/computer thing; though I would appreciate any correction. What I do know is that early computers and databases didn't have the lower case letters, and so everything was upper case. I believe this just became the standard. Wrong or right, it is still the stupidest defense I have ever read.

I could understand it from some nut arguing about tax evasion, but not someone up for Murder 1 charges. They would be going down in any legal system.
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Old 17th July 2008, 10:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by fullflavormenthol View Post
I don't know what to say about it, other than it was most likely started as an administrative/computer thing; though I would appreciate any correction.

The practice is older than that, if I'm remembering correctly. There were a number of reasons for using capital letters: to make important information in the document easier to find, to indicate filled-in/"variable" information on a template document, etc...
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Old 18th July 2008, 02:47 AM   #5
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I must say this is one of the best histories of the Patriot/militia movement I've ever read.
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Old 18th July 2008, 03:54 AM   #6
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It is. The interesting thing is, I'm hearing about this being used for bank robbers in the 80s. Maybe there was a meetup in jail where it crossed over.

Anyone got any local reports?
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Old 18th July 2008, 10:49 AM   #7
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Wow, that stands as one of the most bizzzare and ironic true life accounts I have ever read.

A nice primer on the history of the Posse movement too.

On a side note, its good to know that there are still true journalists out there too.
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Old 18th July 2008, 12:41 PM   #8
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The whole tax protestor movement is just plain wack.
If you don't like the income tax,fine;work to have the constitution amended to repeal it. But don't come up with BS theories that it is unconstitutional and that you don't have to pay it.
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Old 18th July 2008, 12:42 PM   #9
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BTW has Wesley Snipes started serving his sentence yet? Tax protestor tactics sure worked out good for him.
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Old 18th July 2008, 05:42 PM   #10
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Thoreau was a tax protestor...
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Old 18th July 2008, 05:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by View from Here View Post
Thoreau was a tax protestor...
Different kind. IIRC, when the new wave of tax protestors happens, there were people refusing to pay taxes who complained that the media should call them tax deniers to avoid lumping them with people refusing to pay as acts of protest.
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Old 18th July 2008, 06:24 PM   #12
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Thoreau didn't bawl in court about capital letters and flag fringes. He protested a tax with some grace, and he never once suggested that people who did the same thing he did wouldn't go to jail.

Also, he protested out of some deeper motivation than a mere preference for keeping the money.

Last edited by Gazpacho; 18th July 2008 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 19th July 2008, 11:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
Thoreau didn't bawl in court about capital letters and flag fringes. He protested a tax with some grace, and he never once suggested that people who did the same thing he did wouldn't go to jail.

Also, he protested out of some deeper motivation than a mere preference for keeping the money.
He also did it before the 16th amendment.
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Old 20th July 2008, 12:49 PM   #14
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Wow this pretty much sums up truthers
Quote:
Gale’s racist beliefs were hardly unique. His singular innovation was to devise a “legal” philosophy that was enormously appealing to disaffected, alienated citizens. It was a promise of power, a means of asserting that they were the true inheritors of the founding fathers’ ideal, a dream they believed had been corrupted by a vast conspiracy that only they could see. Gale’s ideas gave people on the paranoid edge of society a collective identity. It told them what they desperately wanted to hear: that the federal government was illegitimate, and that the legal weapons the state used to oppress them could be turned against the state.
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Old 20th July 2008, 02:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by View from Here View Post
Thoreau was a tax protestor...
Thoreau was trying to make a political statment and was willing to go to jail to do it. He made clear in his writings about this he had no objection to paying taxes as a general rule, but refused to pay a tax to support a war he thought was unjust.
If you don't see the difference between that and the loons in the "Tax Patriots" movement, your opinion is not worth taking seriously.
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Old 20th July 2008, 02:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Thoreau was trying to make a political statment and was willing to go to jail to do it. He made clear in his writings about this he had no objection to paying taxes as a general rule, but refused to pay a tax to support a war he thought was unjust.
If you don't see the difference between that and the loons in the "Tax Patriots" movement, your opinion is not worth taking seriously.
this is the key difference between thoreau and pretty much anyone citing civil disobedience in modern times

people nowadays seem to think claiming "civil disobedience" gives them carte blanche to do whatever they want without consequences, when thoreau actually stressed you had to be willing to accept the consequences of your actions
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Old 20th July 2008, 08:20 PM   #17
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The article is a good one, and highlights how some of these current conspiracy theory ideals are indeed based on a history of white supremacy.

On the other hand, I found this information disturbing:
Originally Posted by The Article
Then, on January 22, 2004—nearly two years after the first four murders—the word came down from the office of U.S. Attorney Thomas DiBiagio: the Willie Mitchell case was going federal, and the government was seeking the death penalty. The Justice Department, DiBiagio explained, was going after “individuals responsible for making life hell in Baltimore.”

For Mitchell and company, this was bad news. Instead of jurors selected from the city pool, Mitchell would likely be judged by an all-white panel of citizens from places like Maryland’s westernmost rural counties or the far reaches of the Eastern Shore. He would face better-funded prosecutors, and was far more likely to get the death penalty. Maryland has only executed five people in the last thirty years, but in 2005, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was aggressively seeking death sentences. In fact, the Justice Department was even retrying cases in order to win death penalties for crimes like the Spence murder, for which Shawn Gardner was already serving life without parole.
Now I understand the need in some cases to bring a trial up to higher courts, so it's not necessarily that I find troublesome. I do have somewhat of a problem with the change in jury dynamics, because the chances do drastically alter when playing games with the layout of the jurors, but I think that's a different conversation best held elsewhere on the forum. I have a problem with the fact that the Justice Department was retrying cases, which while I understand the details of problems with mistrials and certain conditional acquittals didn't seem to apply in the case of the last sentence listing the Spence murder. Exactly how is that not a breach of constitutional rights, and thus feeding into their conspiracy theory arguments in the first place?
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Old 24th July 2008, 12:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by GreNME View Post
I have a problem with the fact that the Justice Department was retrying cases, which while I understand the details of problems with mistrials and certain conditional acquittals didn't seem to apply in the case of the last sentence listing the Spence murder. Exactly how is that not a breach of constitutional rights, and thus feeding into their conspiracy theory arguments in the first place?
From a well-informed law perspective, it's not "double jeopardy" because the laws say that it isn't. More specifically, it's a case of overlapping jurisdictions; if the same conduct violates multiple laws, you can be tried separately for each law that you've broken. If the same act violates laws in "overlapping jurisdictions," then you can be tried by each jurisdiction for each of their laws that you've broken.

So, for example, if I speed down a one way street to avoid a policeman, that's three laws I have broken and I will have to stand trial for all three counts. However, since all three are probably state counts, the court will probably hold one trial.

That's not an option if I speed down a one way street to avoid an FBI agent, since fleeing an FBI agent is not a state crime, but a Federal crime. So the state would try me for the traffic offenses, and the Fed would try me for the fleeing. If somehow I had managed to violate the laws of Canada at the same time (perhaps I had a kidnapped Canadian diplomat in my trunk?) then Canada would get a bite at the apple, too.

Mitchell committed murder, which is (typically) a state offense, and Maryland handled that one. But the US prosecutors found a violation of Federal law in his conduct, and so they can try him as well for that violation. Normally this doesn't happen (because, frankly, it's a waste of money; take him out of prison for a week so that you can put him back? Pul-leeeze.) but Ashcroft evidently decided that he needed the headlines that week.

There's also the question of the validity of the additional charges. From the article : "DiBiagio’s office also added a raft of conspiracy charges to the indictment, filed under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act." Basically, it is a crime, under FEDERAL law, to belong to an organization like the Tongs or the Mafia -- and from a public policy standpoint, that makes good sense. The RICO act has generally been a good thing because it provides prosecutors with a tool to go after Don Corleone for acts committed in a wide variety of states at his orders but that he didn't actively participate in (and without proving his direct connection to each crime). For example, no one in their right mind would believe that Don Corleone didn't have something to do with leaving the horse's head in the movie mogul's bed, but under the laws of the 1940s, he (Corleone) was untouchable.

So if Mitchell and company were in fact a criminal organization like the Tongs or the Mafia, then they can be tried in state court for the murders and in Federal court for being mafiosi who order murders done. But I think this is overreaching on the part of Ashcroft (whooda thunk?).

Legally speaking, though, it's all in the clear.
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Old 25th July 2008, 09:10 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by e-sabbath View Post
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/fea...805.carey.html

It makes sense that these gangbangers are picking up tax protester logic. Same educational level, same trust of the government... and same feeling that everyone is on the make and they're being left out of the con.

But yeah, these guys? Up for Murder 1. And claiming the court is not legit, that they are not the NAMES IN CAPITAL LETTERS, the whole nine yards.
It is a vast body of oddly unclear conspiracy theory that is getting more and more mainstream thanks to Ron Paul's exposure and the Libertarian Party nominating Michael Badnarik for president in 2004. Badnarik's campaign book, Good To Be King, is a decent primer on this sort of stuff. There are several names this general stuff goes by, probably the most common is "sovereign citizen" theory.

I research these theories more or less as a hobby, and started a thread in politics I should have started here and will repost here as it is probably the right forum. So I will leave it at that.

I've heard rumors that this kind of argument was filtering into the inner city, this is the first real news I've seen about it.
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Old 25th July 2008, 11:03 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
From a well-informed law perspective, it's not "double jeopardy" because the laws say that it isn't. More specifically, it's a case of overlapping jurisdictions; if the same conduct violates multiple laws, you can be tried separately for each law that you've broken. If the same act violates laws in "overlapping jurisdictions," then you can be tried by each jurisdiction for each of their laws that you've broken.
I don't mean to cut your quote down removing the example and description, but I wanted to say I understood once I got this far. That makes sense enough to me with what little legal knowledge I have. I just didn't know that the federal government makes it a point to exercise this type of power very often and didn't know that they did it with what seems to be such small-beans cases. It just bothers me by the precedent it sets and the cost involved with having federal prosecution try such cases. It seems like it boiled down to prosecuting for the purpose of getting a death sentence, and I didn't like the implication.
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Old 26th July 2008, 07:39 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by GreNME View Post
I don't mean to cut your quote down removing the example and description, but I wanted to say I understood once I got this far. That makes sense enough to me with what little legal knowledge I have. I just didn't know that the federal government makes it a point to exercise this type of power very often and didn't know that they did it with what seems to be such small-beans cases. It just bothers me by the precedent it sets and the cost involved with having federal prosecution try such cases. It seems like it boiled down to prosecuting for the purpose of getting a death sentence, and I didn't like the implication.


In my experience they rarely use it, most of the time if the feds want a piece of someone they jump in at the beginning and the state is happy to let the whole thing go because it saves some bucks. Usually this happens when someone with a prior felony is caught with a gun or someone is caught moving a significant weight of illegal drugs. I find out the case has "gone federal" by getting a dismissal order out of nowhere (I don't do federal cases), and I hear nothing more about it.

There are what I would call abuses of this power. I'm not a fan when they try to get the death penalty for crimes that take place is a state that has abandoned the death penalty. I'm also not fond of when the feds let the defendant know that if he doesn't get X time from the state the feds will make him wish he had.

It is extremely rare for a person to catch both barrels at once.
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Old 26th July 2008, 05:42 PM   #22
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Yes, I know. That's what bothered me about the article, though. It says that Ashcroft began a policy of not only going at things with both barrels when applicable, but actually going back in case logs to find others it could go at retroactively. That strikes me as unduly aggressive (and wasteful) for a federal AG.

Still, I think that this whole tangent is a bit off-course, so I'll say the earlier explanation cleared up my misconception and that I at least understand that they weren't engaging in double-jeopardy.
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