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Material witness is this for real in the land of the "free".

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posted on May, 6 2017 @ 04:22 PM
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Material witness warrants originate in the early 1800s, when getting hold of a witness who had left a jurisdiction before trial might involve a long day on horseback. They allowed lawmen to lock up key - "material" - witnesses at their convenience.
Sporadic use of the warrants caused little controversy until 9/11, when law enforcement seized on them as a means to detain terror suspects without probable cause. At least 70 men were held as material witnesses in the aftermath of the attacks while the Justice Department looked for evidence, according to a 2005 report by Human Rights Watch. A third of them for were in prison for more than two months, some for more than six months, and one witness detainee spent more than a year in prison.
Someone arrested on a material witness warrant can in theory be detained indefinitely, and in most states detainees are not granted the basic constitutional protections afforded to suspects under arrest, such as Miranda rights, the right to a public defender, and the right to a prompt appearance before a judge.

BBC

Here are some gems of the use...





"Judges grant these warrants largely on the basis of the DA's word only," said Ronald Carlson, a law professor at the University of Georgia. "And I think the public at large would be shocked to know that a defendant gets the right to an appointed attorney in a felony case, but there is no such right in many, if not most, jurisdictions for a material witness."




The same year, in Houston, a young rape victim who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder broke down on the stand at the rapist's trial and fled, saying she could not continue. The woman, named only as Jenny, was arrested and jailed for 27 days in the prison's general population, where she said she was beaten by guards and inmates.




Ok WTF? Surely this violates your constitutional rights to a fair trial?

By the looks of it material witnesses get less rights than a suspect.

IMPORTANT: New (old) Standards Are Being Enforced (again) For New Threads
edit on Sat May 6 2017 by DontTreadOnMe because: trimmed overly long quote IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS




posted on May, 6 2017 @ 04:34 PM
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a reply to: crazyewok

As a Canadian I also am scratching my head about this.

S&F



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 04:36 PM
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I've heard a little about this material witness deal where they get locked up supposedly to protect them or make sure they get to court. They can be in a cell for weeks waiting. Usually they get compensated, but that doesn't go far if they lose their job.

Seems that the law is twisting this law to use it to detain people who they think may be somehow involved with a crime or impending crime.
edit on 6-5-2017 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 04:44 PM
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a reply to: crazyewok


Material witness warrants originate in the early 1800s, when getting hold of a witness who had left a jurisdiction before trial might involve a long day on horseback. They allowed lawmen to lock up key - "material" - witnesses at their convenience.
Thats because back then they had 'quick and speedy trials'.

Now they are citing that practice as justification for detaining people 'indefinitely'. Not what it was meant for.

Bring back the right to a quick and speedy trial and then yah. As is the broken wheels of justice grind everyone into detention for longer and longer periods of time, not just material witnesses either. Many 'detainees' languish in jail, some for years, without charge, without bail and without a court date.

Thats crminally offensive.



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 05:49 PM
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I don't think anyone would call that justice.

It's a gross abuse of power.

Should turn that around on DA's and see how they like it.



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 06:09 PM
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originally posted by: neo96
I don't think anyone would call that justice.

It's a gross abuse of power.

Should turn that around on DA's and see how they like it.


I know right?

Not sure if the UK can do the same? Will have to check but its horrid.

At the very least the goverment should house them in a 5 star hotel and compensate there empoyeers so they dont lose there job......or better yet abolish it......



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 06:17 PM
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No, it's not justice.

But I'm not sure what we expect when, all too often, we allow it to happen, and say nothing.

We allowed the NDAA to pass with nary a whimper in protest...so we're surprised at this? Why?



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 06:38 PM
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originally posted by: crazyewok


Material witness warrants originate in the early 1800s, when getting hold of a witness who had left a jurisdiction before trial might involve a long day on horseback. They allowed lawmen to lock up key - "material" - witnesses at their convenience.
Sporadic use of the warrants caused little controversy until 9/11, when law enforcement seized on them as a means to detain terror suspects without probable cause. At least 70 men were held as material witnesses in the aftermath of the attacks while the Justice Department looked for evidence, according to a 2005 report by Human Rights Watch. A third of them for were in prison for more than two months, some for more than six months, and one witness detainee spent more than a year in prison.
Someone arrested on a material witness warrant can in theory be detained indefinitely, and in most states detainees are not granted the basic constitutional protections afforded to suspects under arrest, such as Miranda rights, the right to a public defender, and the right to a prompt appearance before a judge.

BBC

Here are some gems of the use...





"Judges grant these warrants largely on the basis of the DA's word only," said Ronald Carlson, a law professor at the University of Georgia. "And I think the public at large would be shocked to know that a defendant gets the right to an appointed attorney in a felony case, but there is no such right in many, if not most, jurisdictions for a material witness."




The same year, in Houston, a young rape victim who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder broke down on the stand at the rapist's trial and fled, saying she could not continue. The woman, named only as Jenny, was arrested and jailed for 27 days in the prison's general population, where she said she was beaten by guards and inmates.




Ok WTF? Surely this violates your constitutional rights to a fair trial?

By the looks of it material witnesses get less rights than a suspect.

IMPORTANT: New (old) Standards Are Being Enforced (again) For New Threads
edit on Sat May 6 2017 by DontTreadOnMe because: trimmed overly long quote IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS



It should be entirely unconstitutional as it deprives the material witness of their rights to Due Process, legal representation and a quick and speedy trial. Especially if people are being held for months without even a bail hearing. It's a revolting concept and another case of an anachronistic law being misused by people who have no respect for basic human rights let alone constitutional rights. To me, it's egregious and excessive.



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 07:09 PM
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Any law in any country can be abused even if written in the beginning with good intentions. Unfortunately there are plenty of idiots who abuse people and laws just because they are borderline sociopaths and can get away with it.

That story about Jenny is horrible and it is early morning here... sorry way to start my day.. I think I will go and smack a few golf balls..!
Will Rogers I believe said,

Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf.


Helps relieve allot of madness and frustration IMO.



posted on May, 7 2017 @ 09:35 AM
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a reply to: crazyewok

What you said gives the naswer:

"Surely this violates your constitutional rights to a fair trial? By the looks of it material witnesses get less rights than a suspect."

Correct. No violation of constitutional rights. Youre not the one who is being charged therefore right to fair trial doesnt apply...because youre not being charged.



posted on May, 7 2017 @ 10:27 AM
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Honestly, most authoritarian use of power is unconstitutional.

Nsa is watching every post you make, every text you send, and logging them with time stamps so they can be used against you.

Right now.

Most things police do these days are against freedom.



posted on May, 7 2017 @ 11:04 AM
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a reply to: crazyewok

No person shall be deprived of their liberty without due process. Courts abuse the 5th routinely when they "compel" a witness or deprive them of their liberty. No one has to testify if they don't want to.



posted on May, 7 2017 @ 11:51 AM
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a reply to: lordcomac

Happens every day



posted on May, 9 2017 @ 08:47 AM
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a reply to: crazyewok

Well, if you were under the impression that the US was actually "the land of the free" you are mistaken. We have some freedoms that others don't have, but we are anything but free.

Look at our prison system for proof.



posted on May, 9 2017 @ 09:28 AM
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originally posted by: lordcomac
Honestly, most authoritarian use of power is unconstitutional.

Nsa is watching every post you make, every text you send, and logging them with time stamps so they can be used against you.

Right now.

Most things police do these days are against freedom.


I'd go further and state that the majority of the actions the federal government undertakes is unconstitutional. Its a beast that was allowed to grow.



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