Progress, one county at a time.

Progress, one county at a time.

This is a discussion on Progress, one county at a time. within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The front page of the Journal Courier, Jacksonville,Illinois's daily newspaper has an article stating that the McLean County state's attorney will no longer press charges ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array GunGeezer's Avatar
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    Progress, one county at a time.

    The front page of the Journal Courier, Jacksonville,Illinois's daily newspaper has an article stating that the McLean County state's attorney will no longer press charges against people who violate Illinois gun laws that he considers unconstitutional.

    In a four page statement, Ronald Dozier said that he will no longer use the power of his office to criminalize and punish decent, otherwise law abiding citizens who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and their families. He further stated that the result of most gun-control laws is that law-abiding citizens go defenseless while criminal thugs are armed.

    He called the state's FOID card requirement "draconian" and pointed out that Illinois is the only state that still bars people from carrying concealed weapons.

    Southern Illinois' Edwards County is also adopting a similar policy.

    I don't know whether or not all of IL. County's, should they choose to act similarly, would have enough political power to force Chicago's Cook County to re-capitulate. But it's worth a try!
    joker1 and peckman28 like this.


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    Interesting! I am not familiar with all of the legal considerations, and Dozier's role, but this will be interesting to watch. Chicago and Springfield will react accordingly I am sure.

    "I felt like I just wanted to make a statement to the Legislature," said Dozier, a retired judge who was appointed state's attorney in December and plans to step down in October.

    And legal experts say he's completely within his rights.
    Too bad he's retiring in December.

    The governor isn't pleased and suggested that Dozier abide by his oath of office.

    "You have a duty to respect the law," Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, said Wednesday. "If you don't agree with the law, we have procedures where you can challenge the law properly."
    State's attorneys as a group haven't taken any position on Dozier's action or the issue of legalizing concealed carry, said Matt Jones, associate director of the state Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor. He said it's long been established that each county prosecutor has almost complete discretion on how to use the office's limited time and money.
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    Ex Member Array bmglock23's Avatar
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    How would you feel about prosecutorial vigilantism if they were selectively prosecuting illegal aliens or voting fraud?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmglock23 View Post
    How would you feel about prosecutorial vigilantism if they were selectively prosecuting illegal aliens or voting fraud?
    Being an illegal alien is not constitutionally protected. Your analogy fails hard.
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    Ex Member Array NotMallNinja's Avatar
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    Oh the beauty (at times) of prosecutorial discretion. In Illinois they have a Special Prosecution Unit at the State's Attorney General's Office which can assist and/or prosecute cases when asked by a local prosecutor. It appears that the Attorney General's office can only involve themselves if asked but they could not help in other cases if the prosecutors above refused to prosecute gun law violations as indicated above. Other than that the only option *might* be for them to convene a grand jury at the state level though I'm not certain they can in Illinois.

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    Senior Member Array GeorgiaDawg's Avatar
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    Not sure how I feel about this. First instinct is a "hell yeah!", but really I'm not thrilled with the prospect of officials picking and choosing which laws they want to uphold. I might agree with the particulars this time, but maybe not next time.
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    "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

    “The purpose of the law is not to prevent a future offense, but to punish the one actually committed” - Ayn Rand

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaDawg View Post
    Not sure how I feel about this. First instinct is a "hell yeah!", but really I'm not thrilled with the prospect of officials picking and choosing which laws they want to uphold. I might agree with the particulars this time, but maybe not next time.
    Prosecutorial discretion... Activist Judges...

    We are fighting this here in Iowa too... Seems that if a Unanimous Panel of the State Supreme Court reads the State Constitution literally, and determines that a class of people are being discriminated against, and that that is unconstitutional... Some people get all upset and refuse to (through the power of the vote) re seat as many of those justices as they can in any election cycle... Instead of working to MAKE the constitution as Discriminatory as they want it to be... (that would be too much trouble).

    I don't know IL's constitution any more, I used to know it very well when I was a citizen of the state... was required to in order to pass from Jr. High to H.S.. But most judges and prosecutors first oath is to the constitution of their country and their state...

    If under the state constitution the gun laws are unconstitutional... then the prosecutor is not obliged to prosecute under that law... And a judge can likewise dismiss charges brought under unconstitutional law.
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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    Not sure how I feel about this. First instinct is a "hell yeah!", but really I'm not thrilled with the prospect of officials picking and choosing which laws they want to uphold. I might agree with the particulars this time, but maybe not next time.
    Welcome to the world.

    Its always been that way and its always gonna be that way.

    I'm just tickled at the fact that one Prosecutor had the stones to not prosecute an unconstitutional law.

    That is the way it is supposed to be.
    Its one of the checks and balances of the system. The problem is, most attorneys, prosecutors and even LEO's don't know that because they aren't taught it anymore.
    peckman28, ccw9mm, jem102 and 1 others like this.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    Distinguished Member Array kapnketel's Avatar
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    I am mixed on this also. While I like the concept, I am very critical of other public officials who refuse to enforce laws both local and national (like immigration for instance). On balance, the law is the law and the way to change it is to elect officials who will change the law. If they do not do that, then shame on them.
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    I'd rather be lucky than good any day

    There's nothing that will change someone's moral outlook quicker than cash in large sums.

    Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapnketel View Post
    I am mixed on this also. While I like the concept, I am very critical of other public officials who refuse to enforce laws both local and national (like immigration for instance). On balance, the law is the law and the way to change it is to elect officials who will change the law. If they do not do that, then shame on them.
    Why would you want anyone enforcing unconstitutional or illegal laws?

    I hear this alot. If a local law was passed that stated that you had to have red hubcaps on your car or get fined, would you want me to enforce it?
    Not all law is good law.

    There are lots of bogus laws passed by little Hitlers running towns and citys...mostly because of ignorance and because they feel the need to exercise some form of power over the voters.

    How about me taking your gun, throwing you in jail and seizing your vehicle because a local law was passed abouit gun ownership in vehicles, in spite of state firearms preempton laws that specifically prohibit it?

    Still want me to not use "officer discretion"?
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    I am not mixed on this at all. Refusing to uphold an illicit statute should be the norm, not the exception. Just because something is law doesn't make it correct. I am sure that every dictatorship, including those who commit mass atrocities against their citizens are operating under the rule of law. In the case of Illinois, the law is obviously handed down by a corrupt authoritarian system, ergo, "The Chicago Machine", otherwise known as Cook County.
    sigmanluke likes this.

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    I think that there should be some officer discreation, but we cannot have those chraged with up holding the law to just ignore laws that they don't agree with.

    We have a system to change laws and to challege laws that are unconstituional, we can remove elected officals, admend to consitution but we can't just ignore laws that we don't agree with. Suppose (becasue it is in the news) that someone refuses to arrest, charge or prosecute someone for rape because they feel that the victim wasn't beat up enough to have resisted, therefore it wasn't rape?

    Our system of government is far from perfect, but it does work even if it does lose it's way from time to time, but it only works if we stay involved and abide by the agreed set of rules
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    Member Array tet4's Avatar
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    I am mixed on this also. While I like the concept, I am very critical of other public officials who refuse to enforce laws both local and national (like immigration for instance). On balance, the law is the law and the way to change it is to elect officials who will change the law. If they do not do that, then shame on them.
    Actually, I'm pretty sure the DAs have sworn an oath to uphold and protect the CotUS, even at the expense of disregarding other local and federal laws.

    If IL passed a law that forbade Christians from meeting in their homes for prayer, the DA could choose (and very wisely) to not prosecute based on the grave unconstitutionality of the law.

    This is because the law he is failing to prosecute is unconstitutional. If is were constitutional, then we would have an activist DA.

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    Senior Member Array GeorgiaDawg's Avatar
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    I understand the notion of a DA or other prosecutor ignoring unconstitutional laws, but isn't that up to the courts to determine if something is "constitutional"? The legislatures make the law, the police, DAs, etc. enforce the law, and the courts interpret the law. Do we really want people outside of the bench making those interpretations? To be fair, I don't always want the courts to be making those decisions, but that's how our system is set up to run right now. If a law is unconstitutional, then it should come out during the appeals process, not during the prosecution. That's my take on it, anyway, and I'm open for correction.
    "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

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    I think that there shold be some officer discreation, but we cannot have those chraged with up holding the law to just ignore laws that they don't agree with.
    That's what a lot of people fear, but it is not reality based. For instance, If I flat out refused to enforce say...a speeding law, where some yahoo busts through a school zone doing over 100 miles per hours, I wont be doing it for long. It's a law, there is nothing out there that even remotlely makes it an illegal law, because clearly, the local authorities have the legal precedence to make that law and enforce it.

    On the other hand,lets say that we had a constitutional amendment that says that is it legal to 100 MPH through a school zone. Yeah, its a stretch of the imagination, but its just an example.
    Now the local city council says, "we dont care about the constitution,speeding though a school zone is dangerous!" So they make a law contrary to the U.S. Constitution.

    Anyone that challenges a speeding ticket in court, might win on a local level, but eventually a higher court will strike down the conviction as being unconstitutional. In the meantime, the speeder spent 50,000 dollars to get it there. After that, any LEO that enforces that law, knowing that it was unconstitutional to beging with, could be held liable for harrasement, illegal enforcement and what ever other charge that was legit.

    So using officer discretion, I choose not to enforce it. The mayor may hate my guts for it, but I am really doing the public a service by not enforcing unconstitutional law.

    There will always be much argument about discretional enforcement, mostly by people that dont understand the concept or have never had to use it. Its not something to be taken lightly, because at some point in time you'll have to justify your actions to people that can fire you if they dont happen to agree with your reasoning.
    pgrass101 and sigmanluke like this.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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