Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stigma- The Antithesis of Liberty

  1. A mark or token of infamy, disgrace, or reproach: "Party affiliation has never been more casual . . . The stigmata of decay are everywhere" (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.) See Synonyms at stain.

  2. Archaic A mark burned into the skin of a criminal or slave; a brand.

Token of Infamy, Disgrace, Reproach, a Brand.

All of these are tools to keep the "criminal" from interacting with the rest of society. Criminals are a hated group of society, but one group of criminals brings out the animalistic nature of humans.

Sex Offenders.

Stigma is so heavily attached to sex offenders that a mere accusation is enough to raise the hackles of most people.

Why is this important? Stigma removes Liberty.


1 :the quality or state of being free: a : the power to do as one pleases b : freedom from physical restraint c : freedom from arbitrary or despotic control d : the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges e : the power of choice

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." --Declaration of Independence

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are endowed by our Creator. That means that they cannot be taken away.

When Stigma is present, Liberty cannot exist.

To argue that Stigma is removing Liberty, you must meet the "Stigma Plus" rule. More than just mere reputation must be lost with the Stigma. Such as employment or property of some sort.

Once you meet that requirement, you have proven that Liberty is lost due to Stigma. At that point, suits under 1983 and the 14th Amendment become applicable.

Stigma is created by the lies told. A majority of sex offenders do not recidivate. The numbers that do, float between 3-5% depending on the study. The general public feels that sex offenders are monsters that if given a chance, will do the unthinkable again.

The numbers don't lie.

Yet Stigma still remains.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Peonage, A form of Slavery

A page from LectLaw:

"INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE & PEONAGE - a condition of compulsory service or labor performed by one person, against his will, for the benefit of another person due to force, threats, intimidation or other similar means of coercion and compulsion directed against him.

In considering whether service or labor was performed by someone against his will or involuntarily, it makes no difference that the person may have initially agreed, voluntarily, to render the service or perform the work. If a person willingly begins work but later desires to withdraw and is then forced to remain and perform work against his will, his service becomes involuntary. Also, whether a person is paid a salary or a wage is not determinative of the question as to whether that person has been held in involuntary servitude. In other words, if a person is forced to labor against his will, his service is involuntary even though he is paid for his work.

However, it is necessary to prove that the person knowingly and willfully took action, by way of force, threats, intimidation or other form of coercion, causing the victim to reasonably believe that he had no way to avoid continued service, that he was confronted by the existence of a superior and overpowering authority, constantly threatening to the extent that his will was completely subjugated.

Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 1584, makes it a Federal crime or offense for anyone to willfully hold another person in involuntary servitude.

A person can be found guilty of that offense only if all of the following facts are proved beyond a reasonable doubt:

First: That the person held the victim in a condition of 'involuntary servitude';

Second: That such holding was for a 'term,'; and

Third: That the person acted knowingly and willfully.

It must be shown that a person held to involuntary servitude was so held for a 'term.' It is not necessary, however, that any specific period of time be proved so long as the 'term' of the involuntary service was not wholly insubstantial or insignificant.

Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 1581(a) is the peonage law cited in the indictment.

The specific facts which must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in order to establish the offense of peonage include each and all of the three specific factual elements constituting involuntary servitude as previously stated and explained in these instructions, plus a fourth specific fact; namely, that the involuntary servitude was compelled by the person in order to satisfy a real or imagined debt regardless of amount. "

This was the entire page on Peonage from LectLaw. I copied it here, because to have paraphrased it would have brought an injustice to this work.

How is peonage important to offenders you might ask? Simple.

When an offender is sentenced, they sign their name on the "guilty" line and form a contract with the State. When that sentence is over, the offenders debt to that state is complete. But what happens when the state takes a portion of that "contract" and continually changes it, thus changing the contract.

The offender then no longer has the ability to complete the contract, and, is forced to do things not previously agreed upon.

Also, if this wasn't disclosed to the offender at the time of signing (the ever changing nature of the contract that is), the contract becomes null and void.

Contract Law states:

"Full Disclosure n. the need in business transactions to tell the "whole truth" about any matter which the other party should know in deciding to buy or contract. In real estate sales in many states there is a full disclosure form which must be filled out and signed under penalty of perjury for knowingly falsifying or concealing any significant fact."

If the Court did not fully disclose the nature of your sentence to you, and all the definitions of each portion of your sentencing, then that contract can be viewed as void. (Contract law would be tough to go into and make it easy to understand. Do a word search for Unconscionable.)

And for those that think that sentencing (plea bargains) are not contracts, please read this.

So, if your contract is now null and void, but you have no recourse, you are now suffering from peonage. Why? Because if you don't conform to the new contract, you will be thrown in jail. Coercion. Did the Legislators "knowingly" make a new law to make things tougher for you?

I'll leave that one for you to decide.

Is There "Corruption of Blood" Working in America?

"The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person." --Article 1, Section 3 US Constitution

"In English law, the result of attainder, in that the attainted person lost all rights to inherit land or other hereditaments from an ancestor, to retain possession of such property and to transfer any property rights to anyone, including heirs, by virtue of his or her conviction for treason or a felony punishable by death, because the law considered the person's blood tainted by the crime.

Attainder and the consequent corruption of the blood were abolished by English statutes and are virtually unknown in the United States." --Answers.com

"...Because the Law considered the person's blood tainted by the crime." This phrase can be used on any convicted Felon. The Bureau of Justice Statistics states that as of 2007, one in thirty-one adults are on probation, parole, or in prison.

If the Law considers your "blood" tainted because of your crime, then that taint will effect your children and family as well. These people are the "heirs" to whatever potential you may have had. Does this excuse a crime committed? No.

Once a sentence has run it's course, the person is supposed to return to full citizen status. Today, stigma is attached to being a Felon. This stigma reduces your ability to find employment, a home, and build a positive life. The stigma (taint) of your crime has now turned you into a "second class citizen."

Your family, they will struggle with this for the rest of their lives. Your children will be affected by this through their most impressionable years.

Treason used to be the only crime that Corruption of Blood used to be an after effect of. Now, anything classified as a felony will attaint you with Corruption of Blood.

This stigma now removes many of the rights you were given under the Constitution of the United States of America. No longer are you allowed to vote, own a gun, or be eligible to serve this country in the Military. All of these rights (or their removal) will effect your family.

Collateral Damage is now acceptable in the United States. People say "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime." But I would challenge anyone out there to find me someone that knew what the social stigma would be before his sentencing. The true punishment doesn't become apparent until long after your sentence has run it's course.

Collateral Damage is a polite way of saying that your family is under Corruption of Blood.

Don't like it, then speak up to your legislators.