Drug Policy

Day Seven of the Ryan Frederick Trial: Parade of Snitches

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Informant and jailhouse snitch testimony dominated yesterday's proceedings at the Ryan Frederick trial. Frederick is the 28-year-old Chesapeake, Virginia man facing murder charges for killing a police officer during a drug raid (see this wiki for more on Frederick's case). My prior coverage of his trial hereVirginian-Pilot coverage of yesterday's events here.  Coverage from the local libertarian blog Tidewater Liberty here.

The star for most of yesterday was Steven Wright, the informant who tipped police off to Frederick, and who illegally broke into Frederick's home three nights before before the raid to obtain probable cause.

A few observations, before I excerpt from the Virginian-Pilot's coverage of his testimony:

• The Virginian-Pilot article doesn't mention it, but Wright was arrested a few days prior to the raid on charges of credit card theft and fraud. Those charges were dropped shortly after the raid, then reinstated months later, when Wright was arrested again. He was due to stand trial last month. Conveniently, his trial date was moved to tomorrow, two days after his testimony against Frederick.

• Wright's portrayal of Frederick as a vengeful killer with a gangsta' vibe runs contrary to everything I've heard about Frederick from neighbors, coworkers, and friends and family.

• According to Wright and the police detectives the state has put on the stand, Wright not only illegally broke into Frederick's home, he lied to police about it for months, possibly compromising not only a drug investigation, but an investigation into the killing of a police officer. Yet he's never been charged—not for the break-in, nor for lying about it for months.

Here's the Virginian-Pilot's account of Wrights testimony:

Ryan Frederick threatened to kill police informant Steven Rene Wright after learning that Wright broke into his garage and stole five marijuana plants, Wright testified at Frederick's murder trial Tuesday.

"I had a week to turn myself in to him or he was going to go after my family," Wright said from the witness stand. "He said he was going to… kill me if I didn't come."

[…]

Wright said he and a friend, Renaldo Turnbull Jr., broke into Frederick's garage on Jan. 14, 2008, and stole five of about 10 plants growing in a sophisticated hydroponic tent. They then went to another friend's house where they made a cell phone video of the plants.

The plants were never turned over to police, he said, but Frederick learned Wright took them and called with the threats.

Wright said he met Frederick earlier in 2007 while dating the sister of Frederick's fiancee.

In the six to eight months prior to the raid, Wright said, he'd been to Frederick's house at 932 Redstart Ave. 30 to 50 times; he saw the marijuana growing operation at almost every visit; and he smoked the drug with Frederick and others. He said Frederick even explained to him how the hydroponic system produced superior cannabis.

Wright said he became a police informant after seeking help from a drug dealer in an unrelated case who threatened him. He said police paid him $60 for information that led to the arrest of that dealer.

Despite being limited by the judge to testifying about one or two marijuana sales between November 2007 and the night of the raid, Wright blurted out that he bought marijuana from Frederick some 20 to 30 times throughout 2007.

Wright insists he was never asked by Chesapeake police to break into Frederick's home. Rather, he said he did so voluntarily as part of a scheme he planned with several friends. They'd steal half the plants, then leave the other half for the police to find after Wright tipped them off. The problem for the prosecution, here, is that in order to believe Wright's testimony, they'll also have to accept his own testimony that he's a habitual liar who routinely spins out falsehoods when it's in his interest.

The state then called Jamal Skeeter, a jailhouse snitch with a long felony record.  From the Tidewater Liberty blog:

Mr. Skeeter said that he had been in the Chesapeake jail for a period of about 10 days in June of 2008. He had been brought here from the Correctional facility at Lawrenceville, where he was serving a 14 year sentence. He was here to testify as a witness in another case.

He wore red coveralls, indicating that he is in solitary confinement. (Mr. Frederick has been in solitary confinement throughout his entire stay at the jail). He said that in June he was in the gym (on his one hour daily "break") when "someone" pointed Mr. Frederick out (thru a glass door) as "the guy who shot a policeman." Mr. Skeeter somehow arranged to speak to Mr. Frederick (through a glass door) and that Mr. Frederick immediately "broke out in a story" saying that he knew he was shooting a cop, but that he was trying to get off on self-defense.

[…]

He said Mr. Frederick told him that he was high when the police got to his house, and that he had hollow points in his gun. When asked about Mr. Frederick's demeanor, Mr. Skeeter said he "was trying to be a gangsta" and didn't seem sorry for what he had done.

[…]

Mr. Skeeter claimed that he has made no deal with anyone, and that he's doing this (testifying against Mr. Frederick) for Det Shivers family because "it ain't right."

To sum, the career felon Mr. Skeeter took interest in Frederick after "someone" told him Frederick shot a cop. In their first conversation, through a glass door, during an hour-long break in the jail's gym, Frederick apparently confessed everything to Mr. Skeeter.  Skeeter, the felon, then contacted prosecutors, not to get time off his own sentence, but because of the overwhelming sense of empathy he felt for the dead cop's family, and because Frederick's confession violated his own personal sense of right and wrong.

Sure.  Sounds plausible.

The state then called jailhouse informant Lamont Malone, who is serving time for seven different felonies.  Malone has already testified once against someone else, resulting in a reduction in his sentence from life to about 19 years.

Again from Tidewater Liberty:

He said he is currently in the Chesapeake jail (he has also been in Suffolk and Portsmouth), and has "gotten to know" Mr. Frederick. He said Mr. Frederick's jailhouse nickname is "Calvin." He said that Mr. Frederick calls his gun "Roscoe" and that Mr. Frederick shot the police after they kicked in his door because he "panicked" and "had to get rid of his product." He said that Mr. Frederick told him that he grew "Hydro" and that he had to get rid of his plants. He didn't say how he did this.

He said that Mr. Frederick told him that he wanted to keep his case in Chesapeake because of the support, and that he expects that his lawyer is going to get him off.. He said that Mr. Frederick has expressed no remorse.

[…]

He said that Mr. Frederick makes unkind comments about Mrs. Shivers, and that he doesn't seem sorry for what he did. He said that Mr. Frederick has been "laughing it up" with another prisoner, who is facing similar charges.

Laying it on thick, aren't they?

When weighing yesterday's testimony against Frederick's story, it's probably useful to remember that Frederick had no prior criminal record, and had a full-time job that required him to get up early in the morning (with kind words from his employers). Friends and neighbors described him to me last year as a shy, introverted guy who smoked pot recreationally.

It'll be interesting to see if Renaldo Turnbull gets called to testify, and what his testimony might look like if he does.

NEXT: When a Penthouse Pet Loses Her Job, It's a Recession. When a Playboy Bunny Loses Her Job, It's a Depression

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  1. Pure. Fucking. Evil.

  2. sigh. although, i imagine alot of non-libertarians also would highly doubt jailhouse snitches.

  3. Imagine how easily a small group of determined thugs (some with badges, some without) could fuck up your life by doing something similar, even if you keep your nose impeccably clean.

    Hooray for the monopoly “justice” system.

  4. I’m hoping Frederick’s attorneys are giving these liars a brutal cross.

  5. Jeebus. How can the use of transparently and obviously perjured testimony from these snitches not be a violation of legal ethics by the prosecutor? From the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility:

    The law and Disciplinary Rules prohibit the use of fraudulent, false, or perjured testimony or evidence. A lawyer who knowingly participates in introduction of such testimony or evidence is subject to discipline. A lawyer should, however, present any admissible evidence his client desires to have presented unless he knows, or from facts within his knowledge should know, that such testimony or evidence is false, fraudulent, or perjured.

    I defy anyone to argue that the prosecutor in this case “from facts within his knowledge should know, that such testimony or evidence is false, fraudulent, or perjured.”

  6. Imagine how easily a small group of determined thugs (some with badges, some without) could fuck up your life by doing something similar, even if you keep your nose impeccably clean.

    Hooray for the monopoly “justice” system.

    You know, I hate it when socialists wave the bloody shirt to increase statism almost as much as I hate anarchos feeling the need to inject their politics into everything.

  7. Surely, a hard-assed killa with a gangsta vibe – someone who’d run a drug business and threaten to kill somebody’s family – would have some kind of police record.

    I wonder how many A&B, D&Ds, and other arrests Mr. Fredrick has on his record.

    What’s that? None? How odd.

  8. He said that Mr. Frederick calls his gun “Roscoe” and that Mr. Frederick shot the police after they kicked in his door because he “panicked” and “had to get rid of his product.”

    Did Frederick have any plants inside? Isn’t this an obvious lie?

  9. …not like it’s not obvious even without misstatements of facts…

  10. “had to get rid of his product.”

    Ok, so you have a full SWAT team at your door, in your door actually, and you know it. You have a garage full of “product” you have to get rid of. So, you break out a handgun, like this will give you time to “get rid of” your product? Right, then, fire away!

  11. Hopefully the Jury is smart enough to see through this ruse. I know that when i served a fed jury. most of us disregarded all testimony from the “snitches” we just did not feel it credible, i may have had a hand in that, lol. we still convicted, because he was caught red handed and other info we had. but even thinking he was going down, we could not rely on “snitches” for factual Info.

  12. He said that Mr. Frederick calls his gun “Roscoe” and that Mr. Frederick shot the police after they kicked in his door because he “panicked” and “had to get rid of his product.”

    So we’re supposed to believe that Ryan Frederic decided he’d rather be charged with murder than possession of marijuana? Holy shit.

  13. haha badges dont block bullets. This guy got what he deserved when he decided civil rights don’t matter.

  14. According to one of the snitches Frederick shot the cop so he could “get rid of his product” which apparently consisted of a few grams of weed.

    So someone with no criminal record, with a tiny amount of marijuana in his house, knowingly killed a cop to avoid getting charged with possession?

    If somebody on the jury has half a brain I would assume they would see right through this crap.

  15. SpongePaul ,

    pleez tell me it was a drug case, that wood relly make my day

  16. I feel sick.

  17. The problem is that your average citizen doesn’t have the same distrust of police intent that we have.

    This is entirely implausible from where I’m standing. If the guy had 5 plants, how did he get rid of all evidence of them in between when the cops showed up and when they burst through his door?

  18. If the guy had 5 plants, how did he get rid of all evidence of them in between when the cops showed up and when they burst through his door?

    …while laying an ambush for the police?

  19. The problem is that your average citizen doesn’t have the same distrust of police intent that we have

    we do not know if that is true of this particular jury yet.

    Folks, you are already holding a vigil over this. Cheer the fuck up. Once you start acting like victims and resigning yourselves to every atrocity, you might as well roll over and die.

  20. “Hooray for the monopoly “justice” system.

    You know, I hate it when socialists wave the bloody shirt to increase statism almost as much as I hate anarchos feeling the need to inject their politics into everything.”

    QFT

  21. pleez tell me it was a drug case, that wood relly make my day
    __________________________________________
    belive it or not it was! although i am for decrime. of some drugs, this was a cartel from columbia, and they got caught in a port city with the goods, and lets just leave it at that!

  22. And for the record, i think the RF trial is a travesty, and he shouuld be found not guilty. but each case and every situation has its own merits and detractions, and must be weighed as so, not as all the same. each situation in life is unique and must be considered so.

  23. man i hope those jurors don’t buy into this shit and that frederick’s lawyer tears these snitches a new asshole on the cross examination. just from the short comments in this article alone, it looks like he will have some things to go after. and it is an absolute disgrace that the prosecutor down there would bring and rely on this ‘parade of snitches’. karma is a bitch and i hope this asshole gets his, in one way or another.

  24. SpongePaul | January 28, 2009, 5:29pm | #
    pleez tell me it was a drug case, that wood relly make my day
    __________________________________________
    belive it or not it was! although i am for decrime. of some drugs, this was a cartel from columbia, and they got caught in a port city with the goods, and lets just leave it at that!

    Well I’m for legalization of all drugs and would never vote to convict anybody of possession or distribution on principle.

  25. TAO-

    Rolling over and dying is “accepting” the nihilistic proposition that the monopolization of the administration of justice is a good thing and that opposition to the same is bad.

  26. Warren-

    Long live Jury Nullification!

  27. @The Angry Optimist:

    You know, I hate it when socialists wave the bloody shirt to increase statism almost as much as I hate anarchos feeling the need to inject their politics into everything.

    Okay, let’s make a deal: I’ll stop pointing out the flaws of democracy and centralization when you figure out a way to make them work. Sound good?

  28. They actually want a jury to believe, in short order, that Mr. Wright saw the plants, tipped the cops off, the cops then ask him to make sure the plant were there a couple of days before the raid, ( I don’t think Radley mentioned that, but I saw it at the VA-Pilot site), but instead of just checking to see if the plants were there, he stole them, basically stealing the would be evidence out from under the cops noses.

    From the above VA-Pilot link.
    “”Wright told a prosecutor that a city detective told him to go to Frederick’s house “to make sure there were marijuana plants still growing there” prior to the raid. He insisted police never instructed him to break in. He admitted breaking a contract with police by burglarizing the garage, though he was never charged.””

    It is possible that he stole them, if they existed, and gave them to the cops thinking he could gain more favor by helping them do their work, and the cops just trashed them knowing they couldn’t be evidence.

    Sadly, with the books on growning high grade pot will equate to growing in some peoples minds. Sure it’s possible but it doesn’t prove anything beyond interest.

  29. Squarerooticus-5:57

    Well said.

  30. SpongePaul | January 28, 2009, 5:29pm | #
    pleez tell me it was a drug case, that wood relly make my day
    __________________________________________
    belive it or not it was! although i am for decrime. of some drugs, this was a cartel from columbia, and they got caught in a port city with the goods, and lets just leave it at that!

    Well I’m for legalization of all drugs and would never vote to convict anybody of possession or distribution on principle.
    __________________________________________
    Honestly Warren, it was not really the drugs that i had issue with. it was the black market that the guy was involved in. It was WAY MORE INVOLVED THAN JUST DRUGS! This was part of a cartel, with murders on the books. The kind of case where we had to be escorted everywhere by armed gaurds. This was not a simple dealing/possesion case

  31. ….. yet we still disregarded jailhouse snitch testimony

  32. ….. says something about how reliable they really are, I wonder how many juries are actually convinced by this type testimony

  33. We might consider restoring the common-law concept of infamous crimes, by which if someone is convicted of a crime “inconsistent with the common principles of honesty and humanity,” they can’t testify in court.

    Two of these jailhouse snitches have lengthy felony records. I doubt that all of their crimes are inconsistent with the common principles of honesty and humanity. Why should such people, of demonstrated dishonesty, be allowed to give testimony against people like Fredericks?

    I would say that convicted infamous felons may be able to testify in *their own* defense, but not in an attempt to put others behind bars in an attempt to curry favor with the authorities.

  34. doubt that all of their crimes are *consistent* etc.

  35. The U.S. Constitution recognizes the concept of infamous crimes in the Fifth Amendment:

    “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 . . .”

  36. I think Wright left some plants but Frederick was spooked and got rid of them before the raid. The jailhouse snitch’s testimony is risky for the prosecution considering how unbelievable it is. I hope the prosecutor keeps the pedal to the medal and totally loses any respect some jorors may have thought he deserved.

  37. Okay, let’s make a deal: I’ll stop pointing out the flaws of democracy and centralization when you figure out a way to make them work. Sound good?

    Better idea: you look in the mirror every day and thrice say “Utopia. Is. Not. Possible.”

    Rolling over and dying is “accepting” the nihilistic proposition that the monopolization of the administration of justice is a good thing and that opposition to the same is bad.

    LM – stop twisting words. I suppose if you tautologically define “giving up” as “disagreeing with you”, you can repeat the No True Libertarian fallacy all day. That doesn’t make it valid.

  38. IOW, it is not a flaw of government that things do not conform 100% to your preferences. That’s a feature…unless you guys think we should just abolish the whole thing and give the powers to one single libertarian?

    I thought not.

  39. Unfortunately, Mr. Frederick is extra special kinds of screwed after today’s testimony. I don’t trust the jury one iota in their ability to see through just how ridiculous this testimony is.

  40. IOW, it is not a flaw of government that things do not conform 100% to your preferences. That’s a feature…unless you guys think we should just abolish the whole thing and give the powers to one single libertarian?>/i>

    That would be bad, unless I’m that libertarian.

  41. When oh when will the testimony of jailhouse snitches finally be ruled inadmissible in court? I mean, it is already bumping up on the hearsay exclusion, but even in its own right it is rarely reliable and frequently abused by bad pigs and prosecutors out for a pound of flesh.

    Seriously. This is an attempt at a railroad job.

  42. @TAO:

    Better idea: you look in the mirror every day and thrice say “Utopia. Is. Not. Possible.”

    Better yet, you look in the mirror every day and say, “We. Can. Do. Better. Than. This.” Because I certainly think that, anarchy or no; but I also know that doing better is impossible as long as a massive, centralized, self-perpetuating, labyrinthine machine has the exclusive power to create, enforce, and judge violations of the law.

    IOW, it is not a flaw of government that things do not conform 100% to your preferences.

    It is a flaw that there is no way to opt out without uprooting and moving thousands of miles away.

  43. squarooticus – you said “I’ll stop pointing out flaws when I can show that things work”…well, they do work, just not very well. However, your initial point seemed to be advocating a flawless system or bust.

    I also know that doing better is impossible as long as a massive, centralized, self-perpetuating, labyrinthine machine has the exclusive power to create, enforce, and judge violations of the law.

    Frederick is being prosecuted under state law for the killing of a local police officer and in violation of state drug laws. It’s not ideal and I hate it and the WoSD is a grave injustice, but what about that is centralized to you?

    Like I said, even though this is on a state level, you’re waving Frederick’s bloody shirt to ram your anarchism down our throats.

  44. Better yet, you look in the mirror every day and say, “We. Can. Do. Better. Than. This.” Because I certainly think that, anarchy or no;

    There’s one of two ways you can go about it:

    1) Fight the good fight for marginally better change
    2) Sit around masturbating about when the Revolution comes, as if it’s going to become Anarchotopia after that.

  45. Frederick is being prosecuted under state law for the killing of a local police officer and in violation of state drug laws. It’s not ideal and I hate it and the WoSD is a grave injustice, but what about that is centralized to you?

    Let’s say Frederick tries to avoid being railroaded by a corrupt state justice system by fleeing to a different state halfway across the continent? What happens then? That’s right: he gets extradited. Sounds like one big system to me.

  46. That’s right: he gets extradited.

    Automatically? Uhh, no. Wonder why not?

    Again, flaws are not demonstrative of your rightness in your anarchistic beliefs.

  47. Solution 1: Fight for marginal change in the system.

    Whining Response 1: “Waaa…the system is too messed up for salvation!”

    Solution 2: Uh, OK, then maybe a revolution is in order?

    Whining Response 2: “OK, you go first”.

  48. 2) Sit around masturbating about when the Revolution comes, as if it’s going to become Anarchotopia after that.

    Don’t put words in my mouth. You can instead learn what I really think.

    I have long believed the existing system has enough inertia in the wrong direction to be fundamentally uncorrectable. When—not if—it fails, chaos will ensue for a short time, but ultimately a better, less centralized system will result.

    In some very remote areas, this will mean far less government to the point of virtual anarchy, but even in the cities there will be much less government as a result of increased competition between locales that no longer share a massive common base of laws, taxes, and regulations.

    And then the merry-go-round will likely begin again. It is my hope, however, that modern technology will preserve the experience of true liberty in a way that will allow others to understand it and learn to distinguish it from the false promises of politicians.

    I don’t call that utopia. Perhaps you have a different definition of utopia than I.

  49. Automatically? Uhh, no. Wonder why not?

    Have you any doubt that extradition would occur? I don’t. We’re not talking theory here: we’re talking what would actually happen. The fact is that any of the 50 states would agree to extradite a non-resident at the time of the crime in this case, regardless of the merits of the case.

    Whining Response 1

    Okay, you and I are done here. Learn to argue politely and rationally, as I have done.

  50. Nothing personal, I just have a tendency to lose my patience with people who beg the question. In your original statement, you said (sarcastically) “Hooray for monopoly justice!”

    One, you’re begging the question by presuming that the Ryan Frederick trial is somehow a result of the lack of acceptance of anarchy.

    Two…:

    In some very remote areas, this will mean far less government to the point of virtual anarchy, but even in the cities there will be much less government as a result of increased competition between locales that no longer share a massive common base of laws, taxes, and regulations.

    Oh, well, by what right will they have regulations in the cities? Isn’t that, by definition, a monopolisitic control on justice, just confined to a smaller area?

    And that’s the really bothersome part: somewhere, somehow, someway, in some geographical area, someone will be the monopoly justice-dealer. All libertarians want is to reduce the geographical size of that justice provider (some down to single houses).

  51. And I think your justification for bloody-shirt-waving is weak sauce. “Because he might be extradited, I am justified in blaming this travesty on large government”.

    ha. That’s way too attenuated. Ask the Constitution Party: this kind of trial could happen on the state or county level.

  52. Oh, well, by what right will they have regulations in the cities? Isn’t that, by definition, a monopolisitic control on justice, just confined to a smaller area?

    And that’s the really bothersome part: somewhere, somehow, someway, in some geographical area, someone will be the monopoly justice-dealer. All libertarians want is to reduce the geographical size of that justice provider (some down to single houses).

    Indeed. In reality, there will always be some level of government, even in anarchy: that “government” may be an individual or a household, but it will surely exist. Keeping the territorial monopolies on justice/force/etc. exercised by those governments as small as possible is precisely my aim.

    The big problem with modern democratic governments is that they are big. Make them smaller, and they suddenly have less power over you, simply by virtue of their needing you more than you need them.

  53. In some very remote areas, this will mean far less government to the point of virtual anarchy, but even in the cities there will be much less government as a result of increased competition between locales that no longer share a massive common base of laws, taxes, and regulations.

    If you’re that anxious to live in an anarchtopia, I hear Somalia is accepting immigrants. Plenty of competing force-initiators there.

  54. And I think your justification for bloody-shirt-waving is weak sauce. “Because he might be extradited, I am justified in blaming this travesty on large government”.

    ha. That’s way too attenuated. Ask the Constitution Party: this kind of trial could happen on the state or county level.

    Indeed; but they are much less likely to happen when moving a few miles to a different jurisdiction with different rules and a different system of justice would greatly reduce the possibility of being railroaded.

    The centralized nature of the system is the keystone of the injustice bridge, to coin a terrible metaphor. 😉 Competition solves non-economic problems, too. Can you see why I don’t consider this mere bloody-shirt-waving?

  55. If you’re that anxious to live in an anarchtopia, I hear Somalia is accepting immigrants. Plenty of competing force-initiators there.

    Is the lack of a government the only difference between the US and Somalia?

    Thanks for playing.

  56. If two guys (or twenty, or a hundred million) who each decide they’re their own government take exception to each other, it’s going to become very obvious why “anarchy” is commonly used as a synonym for “chaos” and “rioting.”

  57. Make them smaller, and they suddenly have less power over you, simply by virtue of their needing you more than you need them.

    We agree; however, I am wondering now if you will ever again sarcastically proclaim “Huzzah for Monopoly Justice!”…….when you admit that monopoly justice is the only way; you just disagree with the size of the current system.

    Secondly, the current trend of coups and revolutions indicates that things could get a whole whole whole lot worse, even though some libertarians harbor a fantasy about the Revolution, the Revolution could turn us into Nazi Germany.

  58. @joe:

    Do some reading before you get into an argument for which you are overmatched.

    http://libertariannation.org/b/history.htm

  59. Is the lack of a government the only difference between the US and Somalia?

    Presumably the answer is “no” for you; care to elucidate what the differences are and why anarchy would “work” here and it does not work in Somalia?

    I’m eager to hear it.

    squrooticus, lemme toss a hypo your way:

    Let’s say that I contract with Bank A (who uses Security Firm B) to get my home loan (an ARM). I have Security Firm C. Five years later, I feel that the Bank has very unfairly increased my rate and I refuse to pay.

    What happens when Bank A comes for the property?

  60. I don’t see any way to get around the problem of establishing a just government.

    If there are competing justice systems, I presume the cop’s widow would have her own ideas of what kind of justice system to support. What if the widow hires some mercenaries to get Frederick into her clutches?

    Of course, Frederick’s private justice system will try to rescue Frederick from the hands of the widow’s private justice system.

    So the two private justice companies, after exchanging threatening letters full of libertarian rhetoric, will go to war with each other.

    A “war of all against all,” in other words.

    Far better to work for making the system we actually have, more just.

  61. squarooticus, I have another series of questions:

    How is the earth not in a state of anarchy now? How is the United States not in a state of anarchy now?

    When you said that the flaw is that you have to move “thousands of miles away”, what does that mean? What if you only had to move 1000? Or 500? Should you have to move at all? What is the line between acceptable and non-acceptable as it pertains to movement?

  62. when you admit that monopoly justice is the only way; you just disagree with the size of the current system.

    It’s not much of a monopoly when you can move a few miles to get a different system. And that’s presuming a territorial monopoly, which wasn’t even a necessity through most of the history of the West.

    Secondly, the current trend of coups and revolutions indicates that things could get a whole whole whole lot worse, even though some libertarians harbor a fantasy about the Revolution, the Revolution could turn us into Nazi Germany.

    Absolutely. I do have some hope… but a wise man also has an escape plan.

  63. Let’s say that I contract with Bank A (who uses Security Firm B) to get my home loan (an ARM). I have Security Firm C. Five years later, I feel that the Bank has very unfairly increased my rate and I refuse to pay.

    What happens when Bank A comes for the property?

    Presumably Security Firm C decides whether you are right or not, based on the terms you signed with Bank A, which determines whether they will compensate you for any potential loss; then, if Bank A attempts to repossess the property, Security Firm C will do one of: (1) ask you to leave, and compensate you financially; (2) tell you to stay and attempt to resolve the matter with Bank A through arbitration; or (3) tell you to leave temporarily while they battle Bank A’s scantily-clad women in bikinis and powered armor.

    Really, what are the differences between this and today’s model, aside from the lack of a monopoly on arbitration? You don’t see too many insurance companies going to war with each other.

  64. If there are competing justice systems, I presume the cop’s widow would have her own ideas of what kind of justice system to support. What if the widow hires some mercenaries to get Frederick into her clutches?

    Of course, Frederick’s private justice system will try to rescue Frederick from the hands of the widow’s private justice system.

    Refer to Hazlitt. As in, demonstrate to me a business model that would support multiple aggressive, competing justice systems/security contractors.

  65. TAO-

    Please. Every one of your posts on this thread are, at bottom, a whine. Excuse me if some of us do not share your nihilistic attitude. Everybody does not have to buy into your feeble apologies for the current state of affairs-namely, that the monopolization of the administration of justice is an unfettered disaster and is anything but just. Ryan Frederick happens every day in every state all across this socialist cess pool.

    What you don’t seem to get is that people like me and Squarerooticus and FLuffy (I hope I am not being too presumptious in speaking for you two) do not harbor any illusions that a world without a monopolization of the administration of justice would be a utopia. Yet, you twist our posts constantly on this point.

    Moreover, just because one is against the monopolization of the administration of justice does not mean one favors anarchy. Again, you conflate the two. Of course, I am not going to tell you that I am not an anarchist-cuz I am and damn proud of it. However, there are people who recognize that the monopolization of the administration of justice should be relegated to the ashheap of history but who are not anarchists.

    NUANCE. NUANCE. NUANCE.

    Besides, monopolies are always a bad bet.

    I have a healthy regard for the evil that men can do with power. Better to keep them from having the power in the first place.

  66. Mad Max-

    The flaw in your argument is that reality is not with you. Your speculation that there would be a “war against all” is just that: SPECULATION.

    OTOH, we have literaly tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of real life examples of the horrors of the monopolization of the adminsistration of justice.

  67. How is the earth not in a state of anarchy now?

    The various nations of the earth are in a state of anarchy: there is no world government, though there is plenty of coercion by the larger states on the smaller ones.

    How is the United States not in a state of anarchy now?

    There are several overlapping territorial monopolies on justice and force with a final arbiter (the federal government) having absolute authority in disputes between the sub-jurisdictions. This is by definition not anarchy.

    When you said that the flaw is that you have to move “thousands of miles away”, what does that mean? What if you only had to move 1000? Or 500? Should you have to move at all? What is the line between acceptable and non-acceptable as it pertains to movement?

    It depends on the person: to me, it would be ideal to have the Rothbard/Hoppe security contractor concept without any territorial monopoly on justice or force; but certainly any disintegration of the existing system would be better than what we have. I would hold a week-long party, everyone invited (including joe!), if the federal government dissolved. BYOG, though. 😉

  68. Squarooticus-

    I hope I was not being presumptious in my 8:40 post in making the point in the 2nd paragraph.

  69. @libertymike:

    Not at all. I agree with you 100%.

  70. Mad Max-

    Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s is a reminder to christians that it is best to stay away from him, don’t cooperate with him and above all, he is the servant of Satan.

  71. squarooticus,

    I’ll echo TAO’s question about why anarchy would work here but not in Somalia.

  72. ‘The flaw in your argument is that reality is not with you. Your speculation that there would be a “war against all” is just that: SPECULATION.’

    Well, I’m not so sure about that. I could cite Sicily, where the government traditionally hasn’t been able to inspire the confidence of the people, and where justice has often been a matter of each clan faction enforcing its version of justice against others.

    There is even Murray Rothbard’s favorite example, Olde Ireland, with its supposedly private arbitrators. But what happened when some of the Irish kings had a dispute over one of their wives running off with another king? One of the aggrieved parties summoned assistance from England. Which turns out, in 20/20 hindsight, not to be have been the best idea. But without a common justice system, what could have precluded one faction from summoning the English?

    Please enlighten me on this subject.

  73. Funny how Jesus’ opinions magically align with the preexisting opinions of the person quoting him.

  74. Moreover, just because one is against the monopolization of the administration of justice does not mean one favors anarchy.

    Uh, yeah, you do. That’s the definition.

    Again, LM, all that you wrote up there was “nu-uh, you’re the one who is nihilistic because you are defending something I don’t believe!” You have just defined “nihilistic pessimism = belief in the monopoly of justice”…and you coincidentally enough aren’t a believer in that concept.

    Stop twisting words to mean what you want them to mean.

    do not harbor any illusions that a world without a monopolization of the administration of justice would be a utopia.

    Really? One wonders why you’re here, claiming that under your perfect anarchist system, things like Ryan Frederick wouldn’t happen.

  75. squarooticus,

    I’ll echo TAO’s question about why anarchy would work here but not in Somalia.

    I forgot about that. Squarooticus, you owe us an answer.

  76. cunnivore and squarooticus-

    My post at 8:44 is pretty much checkmate.

  77. Really, what are the differences between this and today’s model, aside from the lack of a monopoly on arbitration? You don’t see too many insurance companies going to war with each other.

    There’s no monopoly on arbitration now, squarooticus! Parties in contracts are more than free to bind themselves to private judges or the AAA (American Arbitration Association)…hell, if they really want, they can explicitly contract that Judge Mills Lane will ref all disputes.

    How is that a monopoly? And if the system is no different…what’s your beef?

  78. libertymike,

    I would suggest that ‘rendering to Caesar that which is Caesar’s’ suggests that Caesar is owed *something.* Then we get to the issue of which is Caesar’s and which is God’s.

    Caesar’s business is to be a terror to wrongdoers (Romans 13), but this doesn’t mean he can simply classify anyone who looks at him funny as a wrongdoer. Many Caesars thought the early Christians were wrongdoers, but the Church doesn’t think that was a legitimate function.

    The Church has traditionally held that you owe Caesar (the govt, if legitimately established) some degree of obedience, but there’s other stuff Caesar has to stay out of. In other words, there’s a great deal of nuance involved.

    Yes, I used the n-word.

  79. For the last time, libertymike, no, you can’t move your pawn 7 rows forward and 3 to the left in one move. Poor deluded Paultard.

  80. OTOH, we have literaly tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of real life examples of the horrors of the monopolization of the adminsistration of justice.

    OTOH, I have millions of examples, actually, the entire canon of history, that suggests that governments are inevitable. Even in so-called “anarchist” Somalia, there exists the FRG and the ICU. Those entities act as governments.

  81. I like how the anarchists are screeching about the Frederick case as evidence of the evil of any sort of government — yet when presented with the one real-world current example of a stateless nation, they retort that their anarchy wouldn’t be like that.

  82. @cunnivore:

    I’ll echo TAO’s question about why anarchy would work here but not in Somalia.

    And I will repeat my question: is the only difference between Somalia and the US their lack of a government? Your answer lies there.

    I’ll give you a hint: it has a lot to do with the West’s history of lawfulness (as distinguished from legislation and law enforcement) and cultural distaste for chaos.

    I guarantee you—as much as I can, as a face on the intertubes—that if the federal government up-and-disappeared tomorrow that the resulting 50 newly re-independent states would not devolve into chaos. Guarantee.

  83. I like how

    opponents of anarchy point to the one existing example of anarchy as somehow relevant to successful historical Western examples of anarchy, as if the only difference between Somalia and the West is their lack of a government. I refer you again to this page, in the (perhaps vain) hope that you will actually read some of the articles linked there.

  84. TAO-

    Are you sticking with your assertion that the definition of anarchy is the lack of a monopolization of the administration of justice? You can’t be serious?

    Next, there you go again…you do not read what is typed. I do not harbor any illusions that there would suddenly be paradise on earth once the MOTAOJ vanished. Do you understand? There would be murder and theft and tragedy and injustice. It just would not be anywhere near the scale it is now. Have I stated that I have the “perfect anarchist system”? Arguing facts not in evidence, are we?

    Moreover, part of my post was directed at your propensity to twist people’s words in order to fit them into your narrative. The “perfect anarchist system” statement is but one of many exapmles. You do this quite often.

    You also have a propensity to employ a debating technique that amounts to “just because you don’t agree with it, it does not mean it is bad”. You do this quite often. It is weak.

    As for Ryan Frederick, guess what? Under the current regime where we have TMOTAOJ, what has happened to MR. Fredercik?

  85. cunnivore-

    “deluded paultard”? Why are we being so rough? Did I say something to offend you?

  86. cunnivore-

    Besides, do you think that I would have voted in the republican primary? I love RP, but there are limits…..

  87. Mad Max-

    There is no one absolute view on the matter within the church.

  88. I’ll give you a hint: it has a lot to do with the West’s history of lawfulness (as distinguished from legislation and law enforcement) and cultural distaste for chaos.

    Well at least you didn’t just come right out and say black people can’t handle anarchy because they love chaos unlike us Westerners. History of lawfulness? You’ve got to be kidding me.

  89. the West’s history of lawfulness (as distinguished from legislation and law enforcement)

    Let’s see, rampant pogroms against Jews, burning troublesome women as witches, the KKK, etc. And that’s before we get down to the ordinary garden variety non-governmental force and fraud rampant even in white societies for most of Western history.

  90. Are you sticking with your assertion that the definition of anarchy is the lack of a monopolization of the administration of justice? You can’t be serious?

    Yes, I can.

    Anarchy: Absence of any form of political authority. (i.e. government)

    Government: Monopolistic exercise of authority in a political unit.

    So you tell me.

    Under the current regime where we have TMOTAOJ, what has happened to MR. Fredercik?

    I have a tiger-repelling rock to sell you.

    You think you agree with squarooticus, but he all but admits that this kind of prosecution could happen no matter what size the government. This case is an argument against the use of the SWAT, against the Drug War and against police abuses. It is not an argument about the centralization of authority. Local police, exercising state power, acted to enforce state law; it’s local in its entirety, so please stop making it an issue about centralization.

    I do not harbor any illusions that there would suddenly be paradise on earth once the MOTAOJ vanished.

    There. Is. No. Such. Thing. As. Eliminating. The. Monopoly.

    There are only debates about the geographical reach of the monopoly.

  91. opponents of anarchy point to the one existing example of anarchy as somehow relevant to successful historical Western examples of anarchy

    Not me. I think anarchy is impossible by definition.

  92. I am waiting to hear an answer on this as well:

    Squarooticus said, “Really, what are the differences between this and today’s model, aside from the lack of a monopoly on arbitration? You don’t see too many insurance companies going to war with each other.”

    Given that there is not a monopoly on arbitration, what is your beef with the system?

  93. ‘There is no one absolute view on the matter within the church.’

    This is good to know; some of your remarks seemed fairly absolutist on a first reading.

    ‘Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s is a reminder to christians that it is best to stay away from him, don’t cooperate with him and above all, he is the servant of Satan.’

    Whoa, dude. I certainly know that many of the Caesars of Rome (and other polities) could be quite Satanic, but I wouldn’t want to let Nero, Stalin and [Godwin edit] off the hook by putting them on a moral equivalence with (say) George Washington, Grover Cleveland and Ron Paul.

  94. Someone with investigative capabilities needs to do an end-run and find out who’s pressing the convicts to lie.

  95. I wonder if this Turnbull is related to the former pro football player Renaldo Turnbull. I can’t imagine there are that many Renaldo Turnbulls out there.

  96. I’ve been through the federal system before. In my case, the federal prosecutor “put words in my mouth” to use on the stand. 7 defendants in a federal mail and bank fraud scheme went to jail and my life was a living hell. Unfortunately, our justice system is full of corrupt prosecutors who are trying to make political moves up the ladder … many of them, according to one of the attorneys I worked with, are female prosecutors who think they have bigger penises than men!

  97. This is just the kind of thing I shouldn’t read before bedtime!

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