Well, our constitutional protections are beat down even more. The Kansas Legislature is making it a crime to exercise your fifth amendment right. It is a long held belief that you don't have to do anything that provides evidence to prosecute you in a criminal case
, but that looks like it will be changing on July 1, 2012. The legislature is making it illegal to refuse to blow in a breathalyzer.
This just doesn't make sense to me and I can't see how it will stand up to the fifth amendment when it gets to the Kansas Supreme Court, which is surely will. I don't understand how anyone can use the legal argument like used in the article below? Punishing people more harshly for a law that they don't even know exists does nothing to deter criminals. That and to say that its ok to violate our constitutional protections because it makes the streets safer is moronic! Why don't we just start going into people's houses and start searching for illegal things, I mean if it keeps the streets more safe it would be justified by this line of thought. Or better yet we could just suspend the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendment altogether.
Here is the article that inspired this post.
Judges hopeful new DUI laws will equal safer streets
By Craid Andres
Wichita, Kansas --
the last five years Kansas had the second largest increase in
alcohol-related fatalities in the nation. One Wichita judge says a new
law may help change that statistic. Beginning July first, if you
refuse to take a breathalyser test on a suspected DUI traffic stop
a crime. A second traffic stop
and refusal is a felony. "I think the new law will certainly help," says Wichita judge Phil Journey. For Journey, it's personal.
I've been working on the issue and trying to improve the DUI laws in
Kansas for almost a decade now," explains Journey. "Since I started in
the Kansas Senate years ago. I started running bills when I was in the
Kansas Senate and it was always a very difficult and emotional issue." But
Journey says making the second refusal to take a breathalyser test, a
big move. A move he hopes will get the attention of those who chose to
drink and drive. "Well, I can't tell you how frustrated I get
sometimes when I see an offender that has come before me two or three
times in the past and that they just can't seem to make a little better
choice in their life," says Journey. "But, I think that we will find
eventually that these will be very positive changes in Kansas law that
will help make us all a little bit safer."
Some attorneys in Kansas are left wondering if personal freedoms are being infringed upon with the new law.
time anybody comes in and says we need tougher DUI laws
sounds good initially," says Wichita Attorney Kurt Kerns. "Oh, sure, I'm
all for tough law enforcement. But there reaches a point where you're
sacrificing essential liberties and essential freedoms."
been long held that nobody accused of a crime should be forced to do
anything to... Provide evidence against themselves. Yet here we are
passing laws that basically say that's the case. You have to offer
evidence that could be used against you. And I think it violated the 5th
amendment. I always have."
Judge Journey counters with keeping
the streets safer. He also says, as a judge, he tries to use preventive
measures to keep DUI offenders
from offending again. "I think it's
really important as a judge that I have an array of options in front of
me," says Journey. "You can't just jail them and expect them to get
better. You need to have as many tools in the toolbox as possible and
the statutes do give me more tools. For example, on repeat offenders
they can be sent to the Department of Corrections for treatment prison
rather than simply just be warehoused in the county jail. And then,
after they come back from the treatment program, I can decide whether
they stay in jail or get probation."
The new law begins July 1st.