Category Archives: 5th Amendment Rights

Our Voice: Hutaree Back On The Street

On Tuesday, May 18th, a Federal Judge ordered the release of three of the Hutaree suspects, accused of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence in connection with a plan to kill Michigan law enforcement officers.  Nine people in all have been charged as part of this plot, but the other six are still in jail awaiting release.

Judge Victoria Roberts initially granted bond to all nine of the accused, but she held off on letting them out at the prosecutor’s request.  You can see her initial bond conditions here.

On Wednesday, May 5th, Judge Roberts decided to let them out and the prosecutor hurried to the Court over her head, convincing the US Circuit Court to grant an emergency “stay” of their release.  Thirteen days later, this “stay” is now dropped and three of them are now out on bond.

I’m glad that Judge Roberts and the Circuit Court Judges above her had the courage to release them.

The bond conditions are pretty severe.  They can’t be around weapons.  They have to stay in their homes, and they are being electronically monitored.  If they leave their homes, the authorities will know and be after them in a heartbeat.  Even with these conditions in place, I understand the arguments of those who wanted them to remain in jail.

But we’re talking about people who were planning an assault on the U.S. government, right?  Are they going to be deterred by the fear of the government coming after them if they leave their homes or track down some guns?  With the deck stacked against them as it is, what’s to say that they won’t just decide to go down in a blaze of glory?

Right now, though, they’re innocent.  Innocent unless (not until) proven guilty.  We hear those words all the time.  But they’re just words until we give them meaning.  We can only give them meaning by making hard choices like this one.  These men are accused of planning to commit some heinous crimes, but they have not yet been found guilty.  Until that time, they should be treated like anyone else in their position.

To quote Judge Roberts in her opinion:  “but for the seriousness of the offenses charged, the Defendants are all people it would normally recommend for release on bond.”

They’re not flight risks.  They’re local people who may or may not have been involved in a dangerous plot against our safety.  The Court was right not to rely on the seriousness of the charges alone to deny these men their freedom.

Does it worry me that they are back out on the streets?  Do I fear that they might go through with the plots that they are alleged to have begun?  Yes it does.

But to quote Benjamin Franklin, Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

It’s the bargain that we all make to enjoy the freedoms that this great country offers us.  And I don’t want to see it renegotiated.

 

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Filed under 5th Amendment Rights, Our Voice - Op/Ed, Terrorism

Facebook Friend? Or F.B.I Foe?

Ambrose Law Group is a firm believer in NEVER talking to the police. We repeat NEVER TALK TO THE POLICE!  Other than your name and identifying information you have the right to remain silent.  Even if you know your innocent it’s best to inform the officer you are choosing to remain silent and request to see your lawyer.  There are a few reasons we urge you to do this.  First, you cannot talk yourself out of being arrested. Nothing you say will  make a difference or help you in anyway, even if you are innocent.  The police have the right to use anything you say AGAINST you in a court of law.  But nothing you say can be used to HELP you.  That would be considered hearsay and inadmissible.  Even if you are innocent it’s easy to make a mistake in your story, forget facts or accidentally lie.  There are many innocent people who are sitting in jail because they chose to speak with the police.  If you are guilty there’s no need to rush into confessing. There will be plenty of time for that later. If you confess you might ruin your chances of working out a good plea deal, having your case dismissed or even having a good defense at trial.

With all of that being said there was a very interesting article in the Free Press yesterday and there’s a chance you might be talking to the police without even realizing it! U.S. Law Enforcement has discovered the world of Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Linked In and more, and they’re using these social networking sites to incriminate you. The FBI has been using fake profiles to go undercover and communicate with suspects as well as gather info to use in court.  They’re using the sites to check alibi’s, find incriminating photos and locate missing suspects.  Read the full story here .

I read the article and then thought about all the social-networking sites I use. Upon a bit of self-reflection I realized good grief there’s a lot of info about me out there! And I’m always accepting people left and right on my facebook and twitter!  Maybe I need to be a little more cautious with some of this internet stuff?! Your thoughts?

So anyways, make sure you know the  friend requests your accepting. Everything you type, tweet, and post could be used against you in a court of law!

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Filed under 5th Amendment Rights, Privacy Laws, Search and Seizure, Social Media And The Law