Blog Archives

Principles and plans for pursuing restitution and, when appropriate, punitive damages against wrongful aggressors that have harmed persons or property

Uphold the California Constitution

The California Constitution is a great document, not without defects, but on the whole more protective of personal liberty than the United States Constitution.  It begins with the following declaration of rights:

“All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”

Doing justice requires that laws be understood and enforced in a way that is consistent with this declaration of rights.  As Attorney General, I would keep this declaration of rights foremost in my thoughts, and perform my duties so as to prevent any intentional trespass of these inalienable rights.

This is what justice requires.

Posted in Seeking Justice

Let’s Restore Jury Nullification In California

The right and responsibility of a jury to judge both the facts and the law is a critical protection against government oppression that has been recognized in common-law countries for centuries.  Over 150 years ago, Lysander Spooner wrote of the importance of jury nullification, and warned of government efforts to restrict it, in his “Essay on Trial by Jury.”

Today, having been under assault in the United States for at least 150 years, jury nullification is almost forgotten by the general public.  Prosecutors don’t like it, because it reduces their ability to threaten defendants and coerce plea deals in marginal cases.  Judges don’t like it, because it reduces their power in the courtroom.  The police and prison industries don’t like it, because it reduces the number of criminals in their systems.  Jury nullification is not only helpful for preventing misuse of the law and unjust convictions, it also reduces taxpayer burdens and spurs healthy economic activity by preventing unnecessary imprisonments.

It’s far past time to end the hostility of the California justice system to jury nullification.  As chief law officer in the State, the Attorney General can have a tremendous impact on acceptance and use of jury nullification.  If elected, I would do everything in my power to ensure that every jury in California is instructed concerning its right and civic responsibility to judge not only the facts of the case, but the justice of the law applied.

 

Posted in News & Views, Preventing Wrongful Aggression, Protecting Freedom, Seeking Justice

Prosecute Environmental Crimes

As a large landowner and recipient of property taxes from all private land holders in the State, the State of California has legitimate interests in the protection of its property interests.  When those property interests come under assault by parties outside of the State through environmental pollution, it should act to protect its property interests.

One such large-scale environmental attack is currently going on, and the present Attorney General has shown too little interest in investigating the damage or mitigating its effects.  The meltdown, explosions and continuing releases of radioactive Strontium and Cesium from the Fukushima facility into the Pacific Ocean pose a very serious health and environmental risk to California property and residents.  Both Strontium 90 and Cesium 137, with half-lives of about 30 years, were released to the ocean in large quantities, and some release may be ongoing still.  These radioactive materials are arriving in California coastal waters by action of the Japanese current, and will accumulate here for many years to come.  Bioaccumulation of radioactive materials in marine animals and residents may cause illness and early death of marine flora and fauna as well as people, and possibly extinction or permanent genome damage of less mobile species.  Fukishima radiation undoubtedly poses a serious threat to California, yet is poorly understood and little investigated.  This apathy and state of denial must end.

As Attorney General, I would use all available means to rouse the United States federal government from its deliberate denial and inaction, filing suit under environmental or other laws if necessary.  I would also initiate proceedings against Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) and the national government of Japan in any appropriate forum, possibly including Japanese, U.S., or International courts, seeking information and injunctive relief from inadequate mitigation and remediation measures at the Fukishima site.  Longer term, I would seek appropriate recovery of damages, if possible, against Tepco and the national government of Japan for licensing and operating the Fukushima site without adequate safeguards, for covering up the full extent of radioactive releases, and inadequate remediation.

I would seek to form legal and investigative alliances with the states of Alaska, Washington, and Oregon, the province of British Columbia, the Mexican coastal provinces from Baja California southward, and other interested stakeholders.  The purpose of these alliances would include pooling resources for environmental monitoring and remediation, and to apply legal and political pressure on national governments to put in place effective long-term solutions to radioactive pollution threats.  This may include taking legal action directed towards phasing out all nuclear reactors operating in California, if necessary.  I am not anti-nuclear power in general, but Fukushima has proven that current fission designs susceptible to meltdown in the event of coolant loss are not safe in the event of natural disasters or war.

In short, if elected, I would direct the resources of the Attorney General’s offices away from prosecuting victimless crimes and serving special interests, and towards mitigating what is potentially the gravest environmental threat this State has ever faced.

Posted in Seeking Justice