Thursday, December 22, 2005

An Idiot's Guide to the Bill of Rights-Amendment Five

I know that y'all are chomping at the bit to understand the rest of the Bill of Rights, so I will not disappoint. The Primer for Moonbats continues...

Amendment Number Five: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

You say, "Holy crap! That's one hundred eight words! I'll never understand that many words, Two Dogs!"

Rest easy, Rainbow, and easy on the exclamation marks. I'm gonna straighten it out for you. Let's break this one down for ease of understanding. It's really easy after dividing it into four parts.

Part Uno: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger

This little blurb means that before you can be charged with a crime, the government must first present the case against you to another group of citizens. After these folks have heard the argument from the government, they can indict you for those crimes. If you happen to be in the military, you have no such recourse. The military takes care of its own trials. Coupled with the fact that soldiers are technically property of the government, your chances rest with your owner.

Part Dos: nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb

Simple. If you have been acquitted, you cannot be retried for the same crime. Times have kinda changed on this one. Remember OJ getting acquitted and then tried in civil court? To me, this IS double jeopardy.

Part Tres: nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

This simply means that if you are tried, you cannot be forced to testify and the jury cannot take that into consideration. Furthermore, the government cannot keep you from enjoying your stuff while you are still innocent.

Part Quatro: nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Uh, I think that this got trashed not too long ago. It seems that the government can now take every damn thing you own if you get caught making crystal. Also, the Supremes say that local governments can steal your property to build Wal-Marts. But, that is actually a different story altogether.

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