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Old 01-04-2010, 12:46 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Mastermind
That just means they don;t have any evidence to convict. That doesn;t mean there couldn't be evidence found later to convict Tim McClure.
No, not if the charges were dismissed with prejudice (which is what the segment indicated); that means they can never be brought again. It may be possible to bring other charges against McClure depending on what exactly he was charged with, however.

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There is a big difference between being a detective and lawyer.
Well, sure, they have different jobs to do. Any good detective knows constitutional criminal law and the laws of evidence down cold, though.

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The detective doesn't really care who did it, as long a someone is arrested for the crime.
Yes, in theory, although it's not uncommon for detectives to become fixated on a particular suspect, sometimes, but not always, to the detriment of the investigation. I don't think they want just "someone" arrested either, but the right someone.

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Ultimately the defense lawyer could care less who did the crime... just as long their side wins in court. Defense Lawyers could care less if someone got away with murder and killed several people later on. The defense lawyer just wants to make sure his client is out of jail or serving the least amount of time possible.
I think that's unfair. Defense attorneys have a duty to represent their clients, and yes, this duty means ensuring the police and prosecutor do their jobs properly and pursuant to the law. If someone guilty as sin "gets off" because the police screwed up, blame them, not the defense attorney.

Most cases plea out anyway, so both sides cut deals. For most murderers, the "deal" might be as simple as sparing their client the electric chair or getting life with no chance of parole vs. a remote chance of parole.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:20 AM   #107
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Yes Eswango I agree and very good points. I will say as a future defense attorney I find it a bit disturbing that people have this tendency to hate on the defense attorney. Why? I mean have people forgotten that our whole legal system is actually set up under the premise that it is better to let 9 guilty men go free than send 1 innocent man to prison? Have we forgotten this?

Yes in a lot of cases of an 'obviously guilty' suspect take OJ Simpson for instance, if an acquittal happens that is not his defense attorneys fault that happened, that is the cops and prosecutors fault that happened. This is usually due either to corruption or cops and prosecutors thinking they have a slam dunk case thus they let a bunch of things go by or it is due to just good old fashioned incompetence. Or it could be just too the person acquitted was actually innocent.

In terms of the plea bargaining, yes, the vast majority of cases even murder cases are pled out. In fact about 95 percent of cases charged that are not dropped are pled out. But I think people tend to assume these trials happen a lot more often than they really do because the media has a tendency to cover them so much more as that is what sells newspapers and gets TV ratings. However I think people would be amazed at the type of cases pled out on an everyday basis and how you NEVER hear about them.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:44 AM   #108
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Guilty.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:46 PM   #109
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Guilty.
No, he's is innocent till proven guilty. Hence he is technically innocent.

That doesn't mean he shouldn't be the prime suspect in this case, though.

IMHO, until someone comes up with another suspect, Timothy McClure is the prime (and only) suspect in the murder of his mother.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:28 PM   #110
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Mastermind, I do not disagree with those opinions that you posted in your last message, you are correct in them. I do not really take issue so much with your opinions on McClure as I did your opinions on defense attorney's. Being a defense attorney is not exactly easy from what I have seen, yes most people think of defense attorneys like F. Lee Bailey, the late Johnny Cochran, Mark Geragos, Robert Shapiro, Bruce Cutler, etc.

However your average defense attorney is not some millionaire rolling in the dough, they are court appointed. In fact even a lot of the big name guys have been court appointed to cases because they agreed to stay on even after their clients money either ran out or more often when their clients assets are frozen by the court as a result of a civil suit being filed. But like I said, your average defense attorney whether a public defender that works for the county or state or a private attorney that gets appointed by the court, a lot of these guys do not make that much money for all the work that is required to go into a criminal case. Plus the public hates not only the client of the defense attorney but a lot of the time they actually hate the defense attorney just as much if not more then the client themselves.

The defense usually only has one investigator and the court usually curtails funding so that it is hard to hire experts and the like. Whereas the prosecutor has all the resources at his/her disposal. The prosecutor not only has a team of investigators that work for the District Attorney's Office at their disposal, they also have the cops themselves on their side, they have the public on their side, they have the county medical examiner on their side, because especially if it is a county case, the prosecutor often works for the same county or same city as the cops and medical examiner so they are all in cahoots with each other.

Plus a majority of judges are actually former prosecutors so there is a bias there. Like I said, being a defense attorney, while you see certain examples of folks who get the glory for the most part being a defense attorney is a thankless job. Victims hate you, sometimes your own clients hate you, the public hates you. Now granted defense attorneys do get appointed judges and elected to other offices but the chances are far better of being appointed a judge or being elected to statewide office or to congress or something like that if you are a prosecutor.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:11 PM   #111
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Kardamas,

I'm not questioning the validity or competence of attorneys...just pointing out the motives and role in the process of a crime.

Your job as a defense attorney is to serve your client, not the people, or morality. Your loyalty is to the client not to justice.

If your a defense lawyer and you defending a murderer and you succeed...you did your job, but a murderer is still on the loose who could kill again. It is not your problem, nor should it be. But you didn;t exactly solve any case or prevent crime.

If your a prosecutor and you have been given a murder case by the district attorney to prosecute. If during the trial you come accross a piece of evidence that might point to guilt, your job is to prosecute the defendant and find ways around that defense. If you succeed in your case, you potentially have prosecuted an innocent man and let a killer loose. No the only difference here is that technically you should of picked it up or you should asked the detectives more questions. But if you believe in the case or you detectives and the DA believe in the case, your more inclined to go guns blazing and prosecute the case and let the dust settle afterwards. Can you imagine how many prosecutors prosecuted cases simply because they were pressured to do so? If you boss the DA says prosecute, your essentially a foot soldier in an army!


The whole court process is pretty much a refereed debate between two debators trying to convince 12 people that their right. Has nothing to do with morality or justice. Just a mental boxing match.
A lawyer can win cases for several things other than being correct.
a. The judge may be incompetent, biased, senile (insane-don't laugh! I've heard plenty of cases of this being true) apathetic.
b. One lawyer might just be more flamboyant, sexier or funnier than the other.
c. The jury consists or bored, biased or incompetent people that can't be that skilled since they couldn't come up with a good excuse to get out of jury duty.
d. Some archaic, indecipherable or ambiguous law torpedoes your case.
e. Witnesses or one side were awful public speakers, liars, time wasters or just couldn;t articulate what was rehearsed hours ago.
f. You detectives did not suceed in getting the correct evidence or finding the right witnesses needed to prove this point

Someone once said to me, if your interested in crime prevention become a police officer. If your interesting in the legal process, corporate america, politics or being a great debator become a lawyer.

All that being said, I have great faith in the legal system and would change only one thing about it. The jury selection process. There's something wrong about having 12 bored, apathetic people make the ultimate decision.

My experience being a juror for a murder trial was a real eye opener to me on the legal system. So much so, that I have though about writing a book or a screenplay about it.

Personally I think everyone should be a juror at some point (and a cop for a day) just to see what the court system really is.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:14 PM   #112
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Kardamas,

I'm not questioning the validity or competence of attorneys...just pointing out the motives and role in the process of a crime.

Your job as a defense attorney is to serve your client, not the people, or morality. Your loyalty is to the client not to justice.

If your a defense lawyer and you defending a murderer and you succeed...you did your job, but a murderer is still on the loose who could kill again. It is not your problem, nor should it be. But you didn;t exactly solve any case or prevent crime.

If your a prosecutor and you have been given a murder case by the district attorney to prosecute. If during the trial you come accross a piece of evidence that might point to guilt, your job is to prosecute the defendant and find ways around that defense. If you succeed in your case, you potentially have prosecuted an innocent man and let a killer loose. No the only difference here is that technically you should of picked it up or you should asked the detectives more questions. But if you believe in the case or you detectives and the DA believe in the case, your more inclined to go guns blazing and prosecute the case and let the dust settle afterwards. Can you imagine how many prosecutors prosecuted cases simply because they were pressured to do so? If you boss the DA says prosecute, your essentially a foot soldier in an army!


The whole court process is pretty much a refereed debate between two debators trying to convince 12 people that their right. Has nothing to do with morality or justice. Just a mental boxing match.
A lawyer can win cases for several things other than being correct.
a. The judge may be incompetent, biased, senile (insane-don't laugh! I've heard plenty of cases of this being true) apathetic.
b. One lawyer might just be more flamboyant, sexier or funnier than the other.
c. The jury consists or bored, biased or incompetent people that can't be that skilled since they couldn't come up with a good excuse to get out of jury duty.
d. Some archaic, indecipherable or ambiguous law torpedoes your case.
e. Witnesses or one side were awful public speakers, liars, time wasters or just couldn;t articulate what was rehearsed hours ago.
f. You detectives did not suceed in getting the correct evidence or finding the right witnesses needed to prove this point
g. Whether your client looks like Jamie Gumb from silence of the lambs. Or looks like your sweet old grandma baking cookies on a Sunday.

Someone once said to me, if your interested in crime prevention become a police officer. If your interesting in the legal process, corporate america, politics or being a great debator become a lawyer.

All that being said, I have great faith in the legal system and would change only one thing about it. The jury selection process. There's something wrong about having 12 bored, apathetic people make the ultimate decision.

My experience being a juror for a murder trial was a real eye opener to me on the legal system. So much so, that I have though about writing a book or a screenplay about it.

Personally I think everyone should be a juror at some point (and a cop for a day) just to see what the court system really is.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:17 PM   #113
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Well to be honest Mastermind, I would actually like to hear your story on being a juror. Especially in a murder trial. Yes that is something that has long been a concern to me too is the jury selection process. Nothing like having a jury full of bored people who do not want to be there and who just want to get home. 12 angry men is one of my favorite movies and the way that jury acted in the beginning, I imagine that is more often the norm than the exception to the rule but I have seen rampant examples of jury misconduct, I could go on and on about it.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:09 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastermind
Kardamas,

I'm not questioning the validity or competence of attorneys...just pointing out the motives and role in the process of a crime.

Your job as a defense attorney is to serve your client, not the people, or morality. Your loyalty is to the client not to justice.

If your a defense lawyer and you defending a murderer and you succeed...you did your job, but a murderer is still on the loose who could kill again. It is not your problem, nor should it be. But you didn;t exactly solve any case or prevent crime.
Which is why it takes a special kind to do it. It's very easy to give lip service to the maxim that it's better to let 1000 guilty people go free than 1 innocent people go to jail, but it's much harder to do it on a day-to-day basis.

Quote:
If your a prosecutor and you have been given a murder case by the district attorney to prosecute. If during the trial you come accross a piece of evidence that might point to guilt, your job is to prosecute the defendant and find ways around that defense. If you succeed in your case, you potentially have prosecuted an innocent man and let a killer loose. No the only difference here is that technically you should of picked it up or you should asked the detectives more questions. But if you believe in the case or you detectives and the DA believe in the case, your more inclined to go guns blazing and prosecute the case and let the dust settle afterwards. Can you imagine how many prosecutors prosecuted cases simply because they were pressured to do so? If you boss the DA says prosecute, your essentially a foot soldier in an army!
Yes and no. Prosecutors, like all attorneys, are officers of the court, and cannot pursue cases they know are frivolous or not well-founded. Prosecutors have the additional duty to disclose all potentially exonerating evidence to the defense. Prosecutors can be and are disbarred and sanctioned for failure to do so.

Quote:
The whole court process is pretty much a refereed debate between two debators trying to convince 12 people that their right. Has nothing to do with morality or justice. Just a mental boxing match.
A lawyer can win cases for several things other than being correct.
a. The judge may be incompetent, biased, senile (insane-don't laugh! I've heard plenty of cases of this being true) apathetic.
b. One lawyer might just be more flamboyant, sexier or funnier than the other.
c. The jury consists or bored, biased or incompetent people that can't be that skilled since they couldn't come up with a good excuse to get out of jury duty.
d. Some archaic, indecipherable or ambiguous law torpedoes your case.
e. Witnesses or one side were awful public speakers, liars, time wasters or just couldn;t articulate what was rehearsed hours ago.
f. You detectives did not suceed in getting the correct evidence or finding the right witnesses needed to prove this point
g. Whether your client looks like Jamie Gumb from silence of the lambs. Or looks like your sweet old grandma baking cookies on a Sunday.
The Constitutional gives you the right a fair trial and counsel in criminal matters; it doesn't give you the right to good counsel or a perfect trial. Some states do have bars of experienced practitioners for serious offenses (especially capital crimes)

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Someone once said to me, if your interested in crime prevention become a police officer. If your interesting in the legal process, corporate america, politics or being a great debator become a lawyer.
Social worker, community organizer, and pastor are good for crime prevention as well.

Quote:
All that being said, I have great faith in the legal system and would change only one thing about it. The jury selection process. There's something wrong about having 12 bored, apathetic people make the ultimate decision.

My experience being a juror for a murder trial was a real eye opener to me on the legal system. So much so, that I have though about writing a book or a screenplay about it.

Personally I think everyone should be a juror at some point (and a cop for a day) just to see what the court system really is.
Although attorneys have some blame too, from picking bad ones (the purpose of voir dire is to dump the bad ones) to poor presentation of a case that puts jurors to sleep.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:50 PM   #115
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Which is why it takes a special kind to do it. It's very easy to give lip service to the maxim that it's better to let 1000 guilty people go free than 1 innocent people go to jail, but it's much harder to do it on a day-to-day basis.
I'm sure the potential high salary doesn;t hurt either.


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Yes and no. Prosecutors, like all attorneys, are officers of the court, and cannot pursue cases they know are frivolous or not well-founded.
You would think so...but like any institution... politics, emotions, careers and statistics destroy that concept.

Quote:
Quote:
Someone once said to me, if your interested in crime prevention become a police officer. If your interesting in the legal process, corporate america, politics or being a great debator become a lawyer.


Social worker, community organizer, and pastor are good for crime prevention as well.

....In conjuction with proper law enforcement technique.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastermind
Kardamas,

I'm not questioning the validity or competence of attorneys...just pointing out the motives and role in the process of a crime.

Your job as a defense attorney is to serve your client, not the people, or morality. Your loyalty is to the client not to justice.

If your a defense lawyer and you defending a murderer and you succeed...you did your job, but a murderer is still on the loose who could kill again. It is not your problem, nor should it be. But you didn;t exactly solve any case or prevent crime.


Which is why it takes a special kind to do it. It's very easy to give lip service to the maxim that it's better to let 1000 guilty people go free than 1 innocent people go to jail, but it's much harder to do it on a day-to-day basis.


Quote:
If your a prosecutor and you have been given a murder case by the district attorney to prosecute. If during the trial you come accross a piece of evidence that might point to guilt, your job is to prosecute the defendant and find ways around that defense. If you succeed in your case, you potentially have prosecuted an innocent man and let a killer loose. No the only difference here is that technically you should of picked it up or you should asked the detectives more questions. But if you believe in the case or you detectives and the DA believe in the case, your more inclined to go guns blazing and prosecute the case and let the dust settle afterwards. Can you imagine how many prosecutors prosecuted cases simply because they were pressured to do so? If you boss the DA says prosecute, your essentially a foot soldier in an army!


Yes and no. Prosecutors, like all attorneys, are officers of the court, and cannot pursue cases they know are frivolous or not well-founded. Prosecutors have the additional duty to disclose all potentially exonerating evidence to the defense. Prosecutors can be and are disbarred and sanctioned for failure to do so.


Quote:
The whole court process is pretty much a refereed debate between two debators trying to convince 12 people that their right. Has nothing to do with morality or justice. Just a mental boxing match.
A lawyer can win cases for several things other than being correct.
a. The judge may be incompetent, biased, senile (insane-don't laugh! I've heard plenty of cases of this being true) apathetic.
b. One lawyer might just be more flamboyant, sexier or funnier than the other.
c. The jury consists or bored, biased or incompetent people that can't be that skilled since they couldn't come up with a good excuse to get out of jury duty.
d. Some archaic, indecipherable or ambiguous law torpedoes your case.
e. Witnesses or one side were awful public speakers, liars, time wasters or just couldn;t articulate what was rehearsed hours ago.
f. You detectives did not suceed in getting the correct evidence or finding the right witnesses needed to prove this point
g. Whether your client looks like Jamie Gumb from silence of the lambs. Or looks like your sweet old grandma baking cookies on a Sunday.


Quote:
The Constitutional gives you the right a fair trial and counsel in criminal matters; it doesn't give you the right to good counsel or a perfect trial.
Then the constitution doesn;t give yoy the right to a fair trial or counsel, just the potential for one. Hence, unfair trials can and will happen.

Quote:
Although attorneys have some blame too, from picking bad ones (the purpose of voir dire is to dump the bad ones) to poor presentation of a case that puts jurors to sleep.
1. There are only so many ways you can make forensic DNA analysis interesting. ultimately it requires some basic human listening techniques and comprehension. Apparently high school students are expected to know molecular biology....but somehow jurors are exonnerated from getting a basic concept of forensics down that my 12 year old can understand.

2. It's not like they have crust of society that is available to choose from in juries. Any competent guy that you would want has probably come up with an excuse on how to get out of jury duty. Most lawyers just cross their fingers and prey that they find an okay mix.

The prerils and unpredictablity of the court process are why so many criminal procesutors and defenders opt not to go to courts and settle.

That's also why getting confessions and gathering damning evidence is so important for police detectives.

Law enforcement has all the advantages in the investigation.
In the trial process it becomes a crap shoot.






2.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:18 PM   #116
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Actually mastermind, I do agree with you on voir dire in that it is not always possible to dump the bad ones. It depends on where the trial is being held, how high profile the trial is, etc. I mean there are some instances where it simply is not possible to get all bad people off a jury. Yes voir dire gets rid of some of them but not always all of them. Almost always there are bad people that will make it to the final pool and slip through the challenges both sides get. Believe me I have seen more than a few instances of juror misconduct. There are some instances to where a change of venue is not granted when it should be granted. There are just some instances where the case is so high profile and so polarizing there is no way the majority of people in a given area could judge a person impartially.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:20 PM   #117
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Getting excused from jury duty is harder in many jurisdictions, at least here in Illinois, but yes, it is impossible to get all the bad jurors off, despite what the very expensive jury consultants will tell you.

And just FYI, Mastermind, criminal defense attorneys don't, as a whole, make very much money. A public defender starts at maybe $30-40K, and court-appointments pay maybe $50/hr, which is far below market rates. Getting paid by most criminal defendants is hit and miss. Big-shot white collar criminal defense attorneys at BigLaw can make a ton, but there's really no more than a handful of them around.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:58 PM   #118
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Thumbs down sigh...GUILTY

Guilty

I wanted so badly to believe that Timmy was innocent. The he was just a "loveable loser" type whose biggest crime was coming across indescribably poorly on television. But alas, no. It just doesn't add up.

Awsi Dooger had a great way of breaking down odds on events happening and I believe his approach on this segment is apt and applicable. The circumstantial evidence against Tim McClure, as well as his own admissions of erratic and bizarre behavior, his bombing the lie detector tests, and…yes…the way he paints himself into a corner when he speaks, I think they all add up to him being guilty of the murder of his mom.

A few questions/concerns:
1. Is the dated memo from the credit card company employee circumstantial evidence? If he were to go to trial is it admissible as evidence at all?
2. The whole “it makes no sense for him to do it, therefore he’s innocent” rationalization doesn’t wash with me. It relies too much on semiotics and reliance on predictability.
3. Was the murder weapon ever located?
4. For anyone born before 1985: aren’t you amazed at the things people could get away with before cell phones, DNA, & video cameras everywhere??
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:51 AM   #119
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4. For anyone born before 1985: aren’t you amazed at the things people could get away with before cell phones, DNA, & video cameras everywhere??
What are you talking about? People still are getting away with crimes. Homicide departments clearance rates are worse today than they were pre-1985.

1. Cell phones? Your killer is not going to sit idly and just let you make call to the police. It also hasn;t stopped people from getting killed in their homes, where they have a phone more than readily available.

2. DNA. It will shock you how many murder scenes have no DNA present. Gun murders from a distance especially don;t leave DNA.

3. Video Cameras- just went through the projects in DC and Balto and saw a bunch of kids throwing stones at the security cameras laid out in the streets. Plus why should criminals worry about cameras, when they always had to worry about eyeball witnesses all the time in pre-1985.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:51 AM   #120
kadrmas15
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Hmm, I disagree with you on this one Mastermind. While it is true that homicide 'clearance' rates have dropped since 1985 you seem to assume all charged were guilty when as we all know that is not the case. While DNA certainly is not present at all scenes it is present more than cops and prosecutors want you to believe as DNA can prove innocence one way or another. I think the point that Corky was trying to make in regards to cell phones was NOT the offender letting the victim make a phone call via cell phone. Rather Corky was trying to make the point offenders even now seem to be oblivious to the fact that the towers can track in a relative distance where their cell phone is in relation to a crime scene at the time of a given crime. While this is not necessarily proof of guilt as phones can be stolen, picked up, etc, it certainly does not help a defendants cause.

To be honest, I feel Corky underestimates how much people get away with these days. That said, I will say prosecutors seem a lot more willing to try cases on nothing but conjecture which is disturbing and unconstitutional in my opinion as it does not even come close to meeting the burden of proof. However again that is just an opinion.
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