Sunday, May 9, 2010

Arizona, Missouri, Pennsylvania: A Cautionary Tale

Issues regarding the proper exercise of police powers, or lack thereof, are tearing at the fabric of our country. The issue of wrongful convictions is but one drop in a big melting pot that is now percolating.

Consider first the issue of the Arizona's recently enacted illegal immigration law. The people of Arizona have grown weary of the the serious crime they perceive as being perpetrated by illegal aliens. They therefore passed a law that, among other things, allows their law-enforcement authorities to demand papers from anyone they believe might be in this country illegally, assuming that person has been legally stopped, detained, or arrested. They claim the law will allow them to enforce, at the state level, federal laws already on the books but largely ignored.