Monday, June 12, 2006

Security In American Courthouses

A sniper reportedly shot a Reno, NV judge moments ago. SWAT teams are combing nearby buildings in a manhunt for the shooter. That brings up the concept of Court security and the loss of Fourth Amendment Constitutional protection from warrantless searches where authorities lack probable cause.

Today’s Reno shooting came from outside the building, defeating all of the frisking and privacy invasion programs in place.

Judges have been murdered in America. I can only remember two killed while in court in my lifetime. Fulton County, GA, Judge Rowland W. Barnes and Marin County, CA Judge Harold J. Haley.

Judge Haley was kidnapped and murdered during the 1970 escape attempt involving the Soledad Brothers who were in court over an attempted prison break where a guard was murdered. Haley’s death came before the modern wholesale frisking of citizens conducting business in courthouses. Judge Barnes was killed by an escaping prisoner in an Atlanta courtroom where the frisk everyone policy was in place.

This century only two Federal judges were murdered and both of those crimes were committed away from the courthouses. New York Federal District Court Judge Richard J. Daronco was killed at his home. The other killing involved Houston, Federal District Court Judge "Maximum John" Wood who was shot outside his home.

Judges are not immune to attack or murder and deserve trained and armed bailiffs for personal security. This was the system for 200 years. Courthouses do not need to search every visitor like a criminal. This vile and un-American practice needs to end.

Judges are more likely to be attacked on the street or at home anyway. If the judges are so afraid they should take jobs as convenience store clerks or taxi drivers so they can be safe.

I will never submit to being frisked in response to a Jury Summons just on principal.


Anonymous said...

If you take away the court security check points you will need nets to catch the judges jumping out the windows.

Anonymous said...

so what would you do if you got a summons when you went through a security checkpoint? refuse? walk away? fight? i'm curious how you'd handle it

Paul Huebl Crimefile News said...

I don't understand the question!

A summons for what?

You can refuse a summons all you want but if you're served, YOU'RE SERVED!

If it's a jury summons you got at home and your responding to it I'd get in the frisk line and stop before I submit to anything and tell them your here for jury duty and not to be frisked. They will laugh at you and you walk away.

I'd send a written response of the refusal to be frisked to the jury commissioner or whoever ordered you to appear.

I suspect you will simply be quietly excused in most jurisdictions.

The ACLU just make take up your case for free if you keep it as a simple Fourth Amendment issue.