Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Presumption of Guilt

It used to be that you were presumed innocent until proven guilty; at least that’s the way it was for most of my life.  Apparently that is no longer true, at least not in Texas. 

There’s an article by David Moye at the Huffington Post which explains that a locksmith in Kerrville, Texas had his locksmith license suspended; but he hasn’t even been to court or had a hearing in front of a judge regarding a bizarre set of circumstances.

Elvis Hernandez, a licensed locksmith, rescued a small dog with no collar or identifying tags that was in the middle of a busy roadway.  Hernandez left his contact information with the customer he’d serviced regarding where to find him but was not contacted by its owner that day.  He eventually gave the dog away because it didn’t get along with his own dogs. 

When the dog’s owner eventually came around to retrieve their pet it was too late since Hernandez didn’t even know who had the animal at the time.  

“The owner filed a police report, a warrant was issued and Hernandez was arrested and charged with theft of property.

While the case is pending, he’s legally unable to work as a locksmith.” 

Instead of thanking Hernandez for rescuing their pet from the possibility of getting run over, these folks got him arrested as if he’d stolen their dog, a dog which was running loose without a collar and without proper tags.  (Does a person who is stealing a dog leave his name and number; just thinking out loud)

Beyond that, Hernandez apparently had his locksmith license suspended by the State of Texas making it impossible for him to apply his skills to support his family.  The State of Texas didn’t wait for Hernandez’ case to go to trial; instead they acted quickly to safeguard the public from a person of dubious character, a person who shouldn’t be trusted because he….saved a puppy from getting run over?

I got a letter several years ago advising me my locksmith license had been suspended.  According to the letter I was to cease working immediately because the State of Texas had not received proof that I’d renewed my mandatory insurance policy. 

Interestingly, I had renewed my insurance policy as mandated by the State of Texas, had mailed them a copy of that renewal and had a signed United States Post Office form indicating the Department of Public Safety had received it prior to the deadline date.  It didn’t matter how inefficient the folks at the DPS were; no, I was found guilty of violating a mandate and my license was immediately suspended.  There was no hearing; you’re out of business until the State of Texas says otherwise.

It was almost rich hearing the folks stammer and stutter when confronted with the fact that I had a signed US Postal form showing they had received the required renewal of insurance.  They never apologized for suspending my locksmith license; instead they simply said to “disregard the letter of suspension” and said, “It happens some times”.

Do these…, I had to stop and change a word; both started with the letter B; do these Bureaucrats, that’s much better; do these Bureaucrats understand they hold a person’s livelihood in their hands and yet, “It happens some times”, is their way of saying it’s no big deal.

I’m here to tell you, it is a big deal!  When the State of Texas can presume you’re guilty of not following some arbitrary regulation and suspend your license without a hearing or a court’s adjudication; at that time the foundations of our society, foundations based on individual liberties and the rule of law have all been thrown away. 

This is a big deal and I’m hoping others feel the veins swelling in their necks and turn that frustration into action.  Guilty until proven innocent is not acceptable!

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

No comments: