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Thread: Henry II's Usurpation Still With Us Today--Crime and the State

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    Henry II's Usurpation Still With Us Today--Crime and the State

    Did the idea that a crime is an offense against the state ever bug you?

    When did the idea that the state can be offended by a crime against an individual get established in English law?

    What sort of expansions of government power could this idea lead to?

    Origins of the Fifth Amendment: The Right Against Self-Incrimination, by Leonard Levy. This book won the Pulitzer Prize in History. I've read that book a few times, but only recently did I notice a particular passage. I'll quote that passage below, but first let me paraphrase a bit of history from the book.

    In medieval England, trials were held locally by the clergy and local lords, barons, earls, etc. Trial by ordeal. Carrying a hot iron in your hand for so many paces, thrown into water to see whether you would sink or float, etc.

    When the Normans arrived in 1066 from France and took over, they brought with them trial by battle.

    Here is the passage from the book:

    What was long an irregular and in some respects an extraordinary procedure became under King Henry II (1154-89) normal and systematic...Henry II increased tremendously the jurisdiction of the royal courts [by sending royal judges on circuit into the country-side]...More boldly than his predecessors he regarded breaches of peace or threats to life and limb as offenses of a public nature, warranting more than private retribution. Crimes of a serious nature he took to be offenses against the king's peace, requiring settlement in the king's courts by the king's system of justice...(bold emphasis added by Citizen)

    I think I just found the culprit, or one of them, for the idea that a crime is an offense against the state. Private offense vs offense against the state. Besides anything else, look at how upside down things have gotten: consider the movement for victim's rights over the last 20 years and the opposition to it.

    Where does collectivism fit into this picture? How about government being the means for social change? How about regulating firearms?

    Here's a question that's sure to ruffle some feathers. How about when some fellas in 1776 shifted from the king being the state to the people being the state?
    Last edited by Citizen; 11-29-2012 at 05:44 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    The state should be forced to appear in the courts, not some representative of the state.
    Last edited by Freedom1Man; 11-29-2012 at 05:59 PM.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    The state should be forced to appear in the courts, not some representative of the state.



    "Your honor. I, Citizen, as a member of the state, am here to represent the state. Neither I, nor the state, was harmed by the defendant's possession of marijuana. No offense occurred. We are dropping the charges."

    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post


    "Your honor. I, Citizen, as a member of the state, am here to represent the state. Neither I, nor the state, was harmed by the defendant's possession of marijuana. No offense occurred. We are dropping the charges."

    Or....

    "Your honor. I, OC for ME, as a member of the state, am here to represent the state. The state harmed the defendant by violating his unalienable rights, the most egregious of crimes. The state pleads guilty and recommends that they be banished to Canada."
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Another book added to the list......
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    That's why I have issues with speeding tickets ... they used to be crimes (and at least had some legal basis 'cause of that Henry II?)

    Now they are civil offenses. But in civil offenses an injured party is generally required. And with most speeding tickets, there is no injured party.

    So now this has spilled over to civil cases in most states...how did that happen?

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    Regular Member Keylock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    That's why I have issues with speeding tickets ... they used to be crimes (and at least had some legal basis 'cause of that Henry II?)

    Now they are civil offenses. But in civil offenses an injured party is generally required. And with most speeding tickets, there is no injured party.

    So now this has spilled over to civil cases in most states...how did that happen?

    I'd guess it came about when the state decided it could raise revenue by requiring people to obtain a drivers license when the automobile became common. Once licenses were required, the state could raise more revenue for infractions. When I sit back with a beer (or two) and begin to think about how little freedom we really have, it's obvious that we're not much more than tax livestock for those who control the seat of government. When someone says "land of the free...", I really want to gag. Compared to the nomad who roamed around at the beginning of time we're nowhere near free. The birds and squirrels in my backyard are more free than I am. Kinda sucks.

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