"Persons who fit “drug courier profiles” may be detained and harassed by the police, although such profiles include getting off the plane early, late, or in the middle as an element of the profile. Infrared sensors spy into people’s homes, with no probable cause. Except in the home, the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause requirement has been mostly abolished by a “law and order” Supreme Court. Under forfeiture laws, billions of dollars of private property have been seized from persons who have never been charged, let alone convicted of any crime. Pre-trial detention, a gross contradiction of the presumption of innocence, has become routine. Citizens traveling on busses, on trains, or in private cars are liable to be pulled over and searched by police and drug-sniffed by police dogs for no reason at all. Urinalysis has become a routine condition of initial or continued employment, and the medical privacy of many persons taking lawful prescription medication has been compromised as a result. Stalinesque “Drug Abuse Resistance Education” programs in the schools encourage children to turn in their parents for illegal drug possession. Attractive young police officers pretend to be high school students, and pester socially awkward teenagers into selling them drugs. Punishment for crime has become grotesquely disproportionate to the offense, as teenagers in possession of $1,500 worth of LSD are sent to prison for longer terms than kidnappers and arsonists. America has a higher imprisonment rate than any other nation in the world, and yet violent criminals serve less and less time in prison as America’s rapidly expanding prison industry takes in more and more young people convicted of drug offenses. The United States Army is conducting domestic law enforcement operations in California and Oregon; the National Guard has been turned into a militarized drug police. Wiretapping has never been more common. Financial privacy has vanished as banks must report currency transactions; car dealers must report customers who buy with cash."
David B. Kopel
American author, attorney, political science researcher. contributing editor to several publications
Crime and Punishment Symposium: A System in Collapse: Peril or Protection? The Risks and Benefits of Handgun Prohibition, 12 ST. LOUIS U. PUB. L. REV. 285, 320-21 (1993)
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