The sixth amendment gives you the right to face your accusers, but only in a court of law. What if you never get there?
The sixth amendment to the Constitution states that,
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Notice the part in red. In other words, when an American is faced with criminal charges, s/he has the right to know who is accusing him or her.
Over the years we’ve seen reports of many false complaints — reports that people walking their dogs had supposedly been attacked by “pit bulls” though no Animal Control report for the incident could be found, or reports that a shelter or a person was abusing animals when they weren’t, or that people had “pit bulls” in towns where they were banned, though the dog often turned out to be a mixed-breed with no provable lineage to the banned or restricted breeds. Given certain circumstances, these types of complaints could all lead to criminal prosecutions…if they were true.
I am a Waterford resident that moved here in 2010. I had a complaint the first 2 weeks we lived in our house, that we had a pit bull. The officers showed up at my door and asked to see her. We brought her to the door and the officer said that looks like a Pit Bull. I told them she was a Bull Dog Mix. They told me I would have to deal with the city prosecutor to determine her breed. Thanks to one NOSY neighbor. I had to spend 200.00 dollars + vet bills of 150.00 to get a DNA test. It took 3 weeks to come back. When it did come back it clearly stated that she was mixed with American Bulldog, Mountain Dog and chines crest. When I took it to the prosecutor he looked at it and said thanks, I will put this on file as a legal canine. I feel since this was the cities mistake for assuming, they should of reimbursed me the money for the expense. The neighbor that called should of been charged with filing a wrong police report and had to pay for the cost of it. Plus the stress it put on us thinking we were going to lose our dog that is so kind and sweet. I VOTE TO REMOVE THIS BAN!!!!! BLAME THE OWNERS NOT THE BREED!!
Tia M Donovan
First of the all, the burden of proof should be on law enforcement and/or the prosecutor. So Tia is right, that they should’ve conducted the DNA test and paid for it. But then even if Tia doesn’t pay for the DNA testing, it’s her tax dollars wasted on DNA testing to enforce an impotent and unconstitutional breed ban anyway.
In addtion, Tia’s experience illustrates perfectly that those who pass breed-specific legislation can seldom if ever properly determine a restricted breed from an unrestricted breed as defined by their own ordinances. For example, in the 2004 case of Margolius v. The City of Denver, it was shown that Mr. Margolius’ due process rights were violated when Denver’s own Animal Control Officers could not discern what was and was not a “pit bull” as defined by their own ordinance. Denver violated dog owners’ due process rights again when the Denver Daily News reported that in January 2011 (and in 2009) Denver’s Animal Control officers could not tell the difference between a Boxer mix and what Denver’s ordinance defined as a “pit bull.” The findings in these cases are a wake-up call for those who claim that Denver’s “pit bull” ban has been successful. Regardless, because breed-specific legislation is unconstitutional at its outset, the onus will remain on the dog owner and s/he will be considered guilty until having proven his/her own innocence in direct defiance of our laws and our Constitution.
Second, who was Tia’s nosy neighbor? Does she know? Certainly she has a right to know since this person accused her of breaking the law. No, perhaps Tia’s incident didn’t lead to criminal prosecution, but if it had, would Tia be allowed to confront her accuser, and they her?
Similarly, a mysterious, untraceable complaint was sent to the Georgia Department of Agriculture recently about a shelter within the state. The Savannah Morning News reported that,
In early May, the Georgia Department of Agriculture received a complaint about Diane Abolt’s animal shelter on Wilmington Island.
The email purported to be from an “N. Maxwell” who listed a Gloucester Road address around the corner from the Abolts.
But Nancy Maxwell, who lives at that address and who goes by Zan, said she didn’t write the complaint.
“I didn’t even know they had dogs before the stories in the paper,” she said.
Nor did Maxwell recognize the Yahoo email address the complaint was sent from. Her email is with a different company, she said.
The complaint, sent on May 7 to Mark Murrah, animal protection manager with the Department of Agriculture, begins:
“It is without the support of my spouse, who fears retribution, that I write this letter of concern about an excess of dogs and cats being housed and apparently being adopted out by individuals in our community.”
Maxwell’s husband is David Maxwell, the finance director for the city of Savannah. Zan Maxwell said as a city employee, her husband wouldn’t fear retribution over a county matter.
The complaint, received by the Savannah Morning News through an open records request, continues:
“Several neighbors have shared concerns about the situation as they walk by the residence at 110 Olde Town Road, hearing dogs barking at intermittent hours.”
It then indicates concerns about the animals and the safety of the neighborhood and inquires about the shelter’s license.
…The initial complainant, whoever it was, indicated a preference to remain anonymous but “by providing my personal information I trust that you will give this request a greater level of credibility.”
Murrah said Friday there’s no need for a complainant to use a false name — anonymous complaints are accepted by the department.
Diane Abolt’s animal shelter was found to be in compliance, which leads us to ask, Should anonymous complaints be accepted by the Georgia Department of Agriculture?
Should anonymous complaints be accepted by any law-enforcement department? Because my hunch is that the false name given by the complainant was false because it was a radical animal rights activist or activists, who, as already noted, make a frequent practice of filing false complaints against “pit bull” owners, shelter operators, and breeders, to name a few, in a throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks kind of way. Eventually, if they phone in enough “anonymous” or false-name complaints, someone will eventually get prosecuted for animal cruelty or abuse. In the meantime, perfectly innocent people will be unnecessarily scrutinized and have their lives upheaved as a result of the criminal actions of radical animal rights groups, many of whom have been listed on the Department of Homeland Security’s domestic terrorist watch list.
We already know radical animal rights activists don’t care about human life, the lives of domestic animals, or even the Constitution. In fact, the only time you’ll ever hear a radical animal rights activist even mention the Constitution is when they get arrested for attempting to blow up a research scientist or a research lab. Then you’ll hear these radicals calling for their due process rights all over the place!
But what about law enforcement? Don’t they have an obligation to find and prosecute these radical animal rightists making false claims? It’s not hard. Follow the IP address. I’ve reported several harassers to this blog just this way, and their ISPs have issued warnings, so don’t tell me these people are untraceable. And yes, we’ve seen these radicals tell their disciples to use their library’s computers when undertaking to harass someone precisely because they know what they’re doing is illegal; i.e. wrong. But that’s why libraries have surveillance cameras. So again, don’t tell me these false reports can’t be investigated. It’s just a matter of law-enforcement deciding to do so.
Again, too many times we have seen so-called “anonymous” complaints where an anonymous person phones in a complaint about a person who has supposedly broken the law. Should this be? Should there be such a thing as an anonymous or false-name complaint when a perfectly law-abiding citizen like Diane Abolt is harassed for simply trying to run an animal shelter, or when a person like Tia Donovan is forced to endure, as she said, the stress of having a law-enforcement officer come to her door, having the onus of proving her dog’s breed incorrectly put on her, and then having to endure the agony of weeks of waiting to find out if she may keep her dog or not? Is this innocent until proven guilty? No, it absolutely is not. Is this even the Constitution? No, it is the negation of fundamental constitutional rights including the 4th amendment right to not have your home and property searched without a warrant or probable cause.
In Tia’s case, did the officers have a warrant? Is an anonymous or false-name complaint all it takes for so-called “probable cause” these days? “Probable cause” meaning, “A reasonable ground to suspect that a person has committed or is committing a crime or that a place contains specific items connected with a crime.” (And my Black’s Law Dictionary, from where this definition originates, further explains that, “Under the Fourth Amendment, probable cause — which amounts to more than a bare suspicion but less than evidence that would justify a conviction — must be shown before an arrest warrant or search warrant may be issued.”)
Yes, you could say that neither Tia Donovan’s nor Diane Abolt’s situations involved a criminal prosecution, but law-enforcement officers still need a reason, a reasonable reason, to be at your door. Too many of these false-name or anonymous false-claim complaints have led to unwarranted law-enforcement harassment. And one thing’s for sure, these sociopathic radical animal rightists aren’t going to stop with these false complaints until law enforcement stops them by making it ineffective and costly to make a false-claim report; i.e. deterrence.
Let me explain just how dire the consequences of false-claim complaints can be by using another real-world example. The dog lobby, myself included, have written many times about what happened to Floyd Boudreaux in Louisiana, though Blue Dog State wrote it best. Long story short, Floyd Boudreaux was fingered by the “Humane” Society of the United States as being a “dog fighting don.” Forget that it could not be proven that Boudreaux was “the don of dog fighting” in a court of law, which is why the case was dismissed, the HSUS, some say in collusion with the Louisiana SPCA, unceremoniously killed all of Boudreaux’s “pit bull” dogs, some in reportedly very horrific ways. The dogs that hadn’t dehydrated to death or suffocated during transport were summarily killed once arriving at the Louisiana SPCA, even the puppies.
I always remember the HSUS’ mass killing of Boudreaux’s innocent dogs any time I see one of the HSUS’ commercials meant to tug at your heart strings by showing abused and abandoned dogs. (All so the the HSUS can continue to fund-raise and go on to not care for abused or neglected dogs in shelters, but use that money instead to lobby for unconstitutional legislation that negates people’s rights and often acts as a stepping-stone toward ending domestic animal ownership, which is the stated agenda of radical animal rightists. Apparently the HSUS enjoys the IRS’ protection as well since the HSUS has yet to even be censured for lobbying while claiming to be a 501(c)3 charity, which they’re not supposed to do.) Well, dogs just like the abused dogs shown in the HSUS commercials had worse done to them by the HSUS and the Louisiana SPCA.
So, was Boudreaux guilty? Did it matter? Was punishment of a guilty person or persons even the purpose of the raid, or was the HSUS just looking to accomplish their agenda?:
We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding. — Wayne Pacelle, Humane Society of the United States, Animal People, May, 1993.
Do you see why anonymous, false-name, and/or false-claim reporting should never be allowed under the law, with the exception being a whistle blower who exposes some kind of corruption or other criminal wrongdoing anonymously because they fear for their life (like in a Karen Silkwood kind of situation)?
It sounds like Tia Donovan was not the victim of a nosy neighbor, but of a radical animal rights activist who wanted her dog dead and her hassled. Diane Abolt also clearly appears to have been a victim of the kind of dive-bomb, false-name/false-reporting of radical animal rightists. Floyd Boudreaux and his dogs were absolutely the victims of radical animal rightists on a much bigger scale, with the agenda being the same: to kill all his dogs and keep Boudreaux from breeding any more. I’m sure the fact that the stress caused Mr. Boudreaux by the HSUS’ witch hunt also pleased radical animal rightists, but that kind of judgement is left for God to sort out.
Now, if Boudreaux had been convicted of dog fighting, no one in the dog lobby would’ve had a problem with the raid on Boudreaux’s property. But again, the intent appears not to have been to get a conviction on Boudreaux; it was to wipe out all his dogs, which the HSUS and the Louisiana SPCA accomplished handily. Why? Because again, the HSUS not only doesn’t have a “problem with the extinction of domestic animals,” they may very well be actively seeking to wipe them out. In this way, the HSUS plays God and judge, jury, and executioner.
So why did Louisiana law enforcement and the Louisiana SPCA along with the HSUS play a part in killing Boudreaux’s “pit bulls,” i.e. the evidence in Boudreaux’s trial, before there even ever was a trial scheduled? Because, as Blue Dog State, many in the dog lobby, and myself theorized, the objective was never to actually go to trial; and the “evidence” — Boudreaux’s “pit bulls” — was not evidence of Boudreaux’s wrongdoing; these dogs, and the lack of evidence found on Boudreaux’s property, actually became evidence of malicious prosecution. (Malicious prosecution is defined as, “The institution of a criminal or civil proceeding for an improper purpose and without probable cause,” which is why many have of course argued that there is an obvious tort here. But then, civil damage awards won’t bring back Mr. Boudreaux’s health or his dogs.) And, as already noted, the killing of Boudreaux’s dogs, fit nicely with the HSUS’ own statement that they had “no problem with the extinction of domestic animals.”
So, do you see why anonymous, or false-name, and/or false-claim reporting, which, for example, could land you on a dangerous dog database/registry, could potentially be a free-for-all for radical animal rightists who want to give targeted people, like “pit bull” owners, shelters, breeders, etc. a hard time? Do you see now through the example of Floyd Boudreaux how breed-specific legislation is, and has always been, animal “rights”-sponsored legislation and why? Do you also see via the Floyd Boudreaux disaster how so-called “puppy mill” legislation wasn’t about radical animal rights groups shutting down abusive breeders, but all breeding entirely, as a direct result of their own publicly-stated agenda? And do you see how government on the federal, state, and local levels has played a part in protecting these radicals when they should be prosecuting them?
Ironically, while I was looking up the definition of “malicious prosecution,” I came across another phrase in Black’s Law Dictionary: malum in se. In Latin, malum in se means “evil in itself,” and while it has a very specific definition under the law to apply to inherently immoral crimes like murder or rape, I would say bearing false witness — which is considered extremely immoral in the Bible and counted as one of the things God hates (Proverbs 6:19) — could also be considered malum in se, because look at how much damage it does. Look at the innocents — people and animals — who are horribly abused and mistreated because of a lying tongue and a false witness, and look at how wickedly dark the agenda underlying it is.
There is an antidote for a lie: the truth. And the truth, as we all know, shall set us free.