Saturday, June 8, 2013

California Again Leading the Way...

 to hell. 

This time with the brilliant idea to allow non-Americans to serve on your jury when the State decides you've broken one of its plethora of laws. 

Perhaps it doesn't matter at this point. Americans have no recollection of their rights and responsibilities when they answer jury duty, and trust the judge and lawyers to fill them in all the missing details. Even so, can you imagine the freak-show that will exist when testimony has to be translated into Spanish, Mandarin and Creole? When jurors, alone in the jury room, argue the merits of the case in three or four different languages as they seek to decide your guilt or innocence? 

Legislation working its way through the State Capitol has sparked considerable debate in law schools and coffee shops across the state on a fundamental question – should non-citizens be allowed to serve on juries?
The measure, Assembly Bill 1401 (Wieckowski) would authorize legal immigrants to serve on juries in both civil and criminal trials.  It was recently approved by Democrats in the State Assembly on a partisan vote, and is now being considered by the State Senate.
Listening to the debate, I was very disappointed to see partisanship and the politics of immigration have clouded what I believe should be a very serious constitutional discussion.
For me, the question of whether non-citizens should serve on juries is separate from the debate we’re having in California over state services provided to undocumented immigrants or the federal immigration reform proposals being considered right now in Washington.
This is not a measure that’s being clamored for by judges up and down the state.  No one has made the case that California has a shortage of jurors.  So why is this legislation being pushed in the first place?  I believe that it’s about partisan politics, pure and simple.
In my view, this is a debate about the rule of law in our country.  The Constitution, federal law, and our state’s legal traditions are clear – only United States citizens may serve as a juror judging their peers....

Just another sign if one can see...

Oh, what a beautiful week it has been here. Today was my first day to experience the sun in the out of doors and I really needed it. 

Last night, driving home after work I got to within about 1/2 mile of home. The sun had long since dropped behind the hills and dusk had descended. As I rounded a corner of the small, two lane road I saw a large black dog 100 or so feet in front of me step out to cross the road. I was driving slowly - 25 MPH or so. The dog was really large, though he lumbered with an unusual, rear-heavy gait. As he got midway across the road I realized he wasn't a black dog, but an Olympic black bear similar to this fellow:

He hustled his way across the road and immediately disappeared into the woods. 

Now, would you rather have neighbors that looks like the one in the photo above, or in the photo below:

Yeah, I'd rather a whole tribe of bears, too. 

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