The life of a Canadian living in California and practicing law at Adams Fietz. Missing Alaska almost more than I can bear, I am building a timber frame house in California to take home to Alaska in the summer of 2018. Timber framing, Family, the Outdoors and how America is quickly going downhill are all frequent topics.
So, Anon # 2 in comments to the last post accused me of having a "narrow view" about our system. I tell you what. I will immediately retire from the practice of law and sign over everything I own to the first person who can point to the word "victim" in the Bill of Rights. It is not there. Granted, it is nonsensically included in the Alaska Constitution. There is an inherent conflict between the the presumption of innocence and "victims" having the same rights as an accused. That issue has yet to be hashed out in the Alaska Courts. The men that sat in this building (Independence Hall) when they wrote the Constitution were not concerned with "victims" or the fact that not all cops are bullies and thugs (although most are...I think it is about time to dedicate a post again to cops killing and abusing again...soon). Indeed the whole system is supposed to protect those accused of crime against the power of the Government. Who do you think the "people" are in the 4th Amendment? Who does search and seizure apply to? Who does "held to answer" apply to in the Fifth Amendment? What about double jeopardy? Not being compelled to be a witness? Due Process? In the Sixth Amendment who does a speedy and public trial right belong to? The right to an impartial jury? 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? In the Eighth Amendment what about the right to bail nor can cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted? Go even further. Look at the presumption of innocence and the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that have been read into the Constitution. Who does that protect? The point is that my "narrow view" is the correct view at law. I am often frustrated about the fact that I am usually the only one in the courtroom who remembers that. Let's face it: only in a very, very, very small percentage of my cases is there a "victim". But in every one of my cases there is a poor person who is facing the might of the Government. Narrow view indeed. Anon #2 you would be wise to study the history of this country and the Constitution before you accuse me of having a narrow view.
P.S. We had a 6.1 earthquake this morning. It was fun being shaken out of bed!
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So. Ten years ago today I arrived in Alaska. I will never forget the sense of amazement and wonder as I arrived. It was, as John Denver sang about, coming home to a place I had never been. Ten years. Gone. I was given some advice by Jeremy the other day. He said I should learn to appreciate the journey more. Sage advice. I am so focused on my return in June 2018 that I often find myself unhappy. That is foolish. Like always, I will miss these days when they are gone. It is true that I am not that interested in being a lawyer much anymore and I feel time pressing on me. But it also true that being a lawyer has allowed me to come to the US. And, if all goes well, it will allow me to retire in a place I love at 44 years old. And that is pretty cool. Ten years. But I will be back. And next time it will be for good.
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