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Thread: Washington State Constitution change

  1. #1
    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    It appears that Gregoire has decided to change the Constitution with regards to bails, and allowing for "no bail" to be given for individuals who should not be trusted to run the streets prior to their incarceration. I might have missed something in the article, but it appears that the firearms issue did NOT come up.
    shootings spark proposed changes
    By RACHEL LA CORTE

    The Associated Press


    OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire and several law enforcement groups said Wednesday that they support the idea of a state constitutional amendment that would give judges more leeway to deny bail.

    Gregoire, surrounded by representatives from police groups, prosecutors and judges, told reporters that while several ideas have been discussed, specific legislation still needs to be worked out.

    After the shootings of four police officers in November, Gregoire and others pushed for discussions on possible changes to state law.

    She said she wants to make sure that something as significant as changing the constitution is done carefully, but that she wants to see something pass during the 60-day legislative session that begins on Monday.

    "We owe that to these fallen officers and their families," she said.

    Maurice Clemmons was under supervision by the state Department of Corrections when authorities say he shot and killed four Lakewood officers at coffee shop before the start of their shifts.

    Clemmons was shot and killed by police after a two-day manhunt.

    One lawmaker already has a public hearing scheduled later this month to discuss the circumstances surrounding Clemmons, and why he was on the streets.

    Clemmons had a criminal history in both Washington and Arkansas. His 108-year prison sentence for armed robbery and other offenses was commuted by then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2000. Six days before the shooting, he had posted bail on charges of raping a child, a charge that could have potentially put him in prison for life under Washington state's "three-strikes" law.

    Under the state constitution, bail can only be denied in aggravated murder cases.

    "Judges should have more discretion to deny bail when someone is inherently dangerous and there is a threat to public safety," Don Pierce, executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, said at Wednesday's news conference.

    Pierce said that law enforcement groups also want a review of the bail bonds system, greater research on how to prevent armed encounters with law enforcement, and enhanced benefits for survivors of officers who die in the line of duty.

    Not all of the ideas will necessarily translate into legislation this session, he said.

    "There really are no easy answers," he said. "This is not something that we can fix in a 60-day legislative session."

    Gregoire said she has directed some changes to start now, including better communication between law enforcement on jail bookings and releases.

    Gregoire also said she wants the state Department of Corrections to explore ways to improve the 50-state pact that governs adult offender supervision across state lines.

    At issue is a warrant that Arkansas officials issued for Clemmons. Arkansas corrections officials say the warrant should have been enough to keep Clemmons in jail on a charge in Pierce County. But Washington officials say it wasn't handled properly in Arkansas.

    "I know full well, now that I've seen it up close and personal, that the interstate compact system is not working as it should, and it needs to be corrected," she said.

    A handful of bills sparked by the murders have already been prefiled in advance of the session, and more are expected.

    Rep. Mike Hope, a Republican from Lake Stevens and a Seattle police officer, has introduced one constitutional amendment to exempt potential three-strike offenders like Clemmons from being able to post bail.

    Another measure, sponsored by Rep. Troy Kelley, D-Tacoma, would exempt people from bail if they are potentially dangerous and had a prior felony sentence commuted or pardoned by a governor of any state.

    Kelley also has introduced a bill that would waive all tuition and fees at state colleges for children of police officer or firefighters who die or become totally disabled while in the line of duty.

    On Tuesday, thousands of officers attended a memorial for a Pierce County sheriff's deputy who was shot to death while responding to a domestic disturbance call. Deputy Kent Mundell of Puyallup was the sixth law officer killed in two months in Pierce County and Seattle.


    Copyright © The Seattle Times Company
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

  2. #2
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    It appears that Gregoire has decided to change the Constitution

    Neither the article nor Gregoire said that (thankfully, since the governer does not in fact have that power.) She's merely talking about supporting a possible constitional amendment.

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    Why is Rep. Kelly introducing a bill that already exist?. Dependants of slain officers already get, and have for the last 30 years at least, tuition waived at any state funded college in Wa.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    joeroket wrote:
    Why is Rep. Kelly introducing a bill that already exist?. Dependants of slain officers already get, and have for the last 30 years at least, tuition waived at any state funded college in Wa.
    Many laws that are passed post-tragedy are "feel good laws." The laws that are passed in a knee-jerk response is the politician contructing a symbolic response to the crime(s) that occurred, in order to make citizens feel like something is being done about honoring the fallen officers.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Campaign Veteran ak56's Avatar
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    joeroket wrote:
    Why is Rep. Kelly introducing a bill that already exist?. Dependants of slain officers already get, and have for the last 30 years at least, tuition waived at any state funded college in Wa.
    RCW 28B.5.380 currently states that the colleges "may exempt the following students from the payment of all or a portion of tuition fees and services and activities fees". There is also a limitation on the total amounts the schools may waive.

    My guess isthey are proposing changing it from "may" to "will", and possibly removing the "or a portion" limit.
    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford as quoted in Terry v Ohio.


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    ak56 wrote:
    joeroket wrote:
    Why is Rep. Kelly introducing a bill that already exist?. Dependants of slain officers already get, and have for the last 30 years at least, tuition waived at any state funded college in Wa.
    RCW 28B.5.380 currently states that the colleges "may exempt the following students from the payment of all or a portion of tuition fees and services and activities fees". There is also a limitation on the total amounts the schools may waive.

    My guess isthey are proposing changing it from "may" to "will", and possibly removing the "or a portion" limit.
    I have yet to be denied by any state funded school. It sounds to me, after reading the responses you guys wrote, that he may just be doing it for some recognition about how "caring" and "good" he is. I still think his time would be best spent on issues to try and prevent these things from happening and get out of the feelgood "look what I did" type of bills.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    As I understand it, the proposed change in the Constitution would both allow lattitude to Judges when setting bail for chronic offenders and also allow for NO BAIL for those who are facing a "Third Strike" charge which would provide for Life inprisonment if convicted. This was the case with Maurice Clemmons when he killed the "Lakewood Four Police Officers". It made no sense to grant this waste of DNA bail but under current provisions of the State Constitution the judge had little leeway. This is what one filing would change.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    It is refreshing to see the response, and responsibility be placed where it belongs, which is on our legislature, and courts to assure these types of people are not released, as Clemmons was.

    Usually the response is to levy some stricter law that would hurt law-abiding firearm owners.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

  9. #9
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Sylvia Plath wrote:
    It is refreshing to see the response, and responsibility be placed where it belongs, which is on our legislature, and courts to assure these types of people are not released, as Clemmons was.

    Usually the response is to levy some stricter law that would hurt law-abiding firearm owners.
    Don't take that celebratory drink yet! There is a bill pre-filed that would ban "Assault Weapons". This was done by Adam Kline and others that don't really know what an Assault Weapon is and feel that anything that looks bad in their eyes should be outlawed.

    Does anyone in Olympia realize that nothing really changed when the national "ban" on assault weapons was instituted and subsequently expired? These legislators are trying to pass a bunch of "feel good" laws. If they really wanted to make us all FEEL GOOD, they would lower taxes, raise penalties for using guns in crimes, stop the bargaining system that fails to punish criminals according to the crimes they actually commit, etc. I, of course, would feel really great if all the Lib's in Olympia were "Term Limited. One term to get the hang of it and one to do the job. Then it's out of office and make way for the next. This would give us less of the same old crap we get like "Let's ban guns because we think only cops should have them" attitudes.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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