Perquimans County Sheriff Candidates - Part 1 by Laura Bush Jenkins

Death Of Innocence:
Are you Really Innocent Until Proven Guilty?  What are Your Rights?

Amidst two Supreme Court nominations and hype about citizen mistreatment of cops, here's a quick refresher on what the Constitution says.  This applies to your local county, and we've asked upcoming Perquimans County Sheriff candidates about where your rights lie and their authorities coincide:  
  • Fourth Amendment- Probable cause required for search and seizure.
  • Fifth Amendment- Prohibits self-incrimination.
  • Sixth Amendment- You have a right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury.  You can confront your accusers, call witnesses, and have counsel from an attorney.  
  • Eighth Amendment- Prohibits excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment.

From the Attorney

Albemarle Tradewinds columnist and criminal defense lawyer Joe Forbes shares insights so you can better understand the justice system:

"The police aren't necessarily bound by ethics like an attorney or member of the clergy," Forbes says.  In cases with multiple suspects, aggressive questioning happens a lot.  Police can make up a story that someone else you know confessed, and it's perfectly legal.

"It's tough to overcome any policeman not telling the truth," he mentioned.  "Law enforcement are taught to use command force."

"A lot of law enforcement want to present a macho image of 'take no prisoners.'  The public would consider it unethical but [...] anything is legal except torture."    

Forbes mentions people plead guilty all of the time.  It's not because they committed a crime.  It's often to avoid prolonging the legal process in criminal and civil arenas.

In North Carolina, misdemeanor cases are heard by a District Court judge on one day only-Wednesday.  In Superior Court, where a trial could be appealed, the case load could hypothetically be 33 cases.  There's no way all 33 could be heard in a week when it often takes half a day just to pick an unbiased jury.  

The lengthy trial process could involve extended time away from work or accruing child care expenses.  There is no guarantee of when a case is going to be heard, and it's often trail by ordeal.

How Can You Protect Yourself from So-Called Aggressive Policing
  • "If you've had anything to do with [an incident,] you don't want to talk [to the police,]" says Forbes.  Get a  lawyer.  He can stop the trail of questioning and talk to police about your right to remain silent.
  • Use your cell phone to record what's happening.  North Carolina is a one-party consent state when it comes to recording conversations.  "If you suspect anything is going wrong, set your phone to video and make sure the audio is working."  A $40 camcorder installed in the front of your car, or a device on the side could serve you as your insurance policy.

 What are the qualifications to
hold the office of Sheriff?

It’s simple. An aspiring sheriff must be a county resident
over 21. He or she also cannot practice law or serve as a
General Assembly member concurrently with this office.
How was an Interim Sheriff appointed before this upcoming
election? According to Article 1-Chapter 162 of
NC General Statutes, the board of commissioners “shall
elect a sheriff to supply the vacancy for the residue of the
term.” There is no special election.
Is it true the executive committee of the political party of
the previous Sheriff gets to decide a replacement? Not
necessarily. Article 1-Chapter 162 states certain counties
such as Beaufort, Edgecombe, Gaston, and Mecklenburg
elect a Sheriff based on the recommendation of the
party’s county executive committee. But this isn’t spelled
out as a requirement for Perquimans.
There is no legal guideline stating whether Perquimans
County Commissioners must initiate a formal hiring
process or simply appoint someone from their familiar
political sphere to replace a Sheriff vacancy.

Considering the state-mandated qualifications for an NC Sheriff, and the office is a
Constitutional position-- Should the Perquimans County Board of Commissioners have
Interviewed all applicants before filling the most recent vacancy? If only one candidate received
an interview, did the process follow the civil rights act of 1964 as amended in 1972 to include
Equal Employment Opportunity?
You decide in November. 6 2018
Early voting begins- October 17, 2018

Part 2 Tomorrow
Perquimans County Sheriff Candidates - Part 1 by Laura Bush Jenkins Perquimans County Sheriff Candidates - Part 1 by Laura Bush Jenkins Reviewed by kensunm on 9:50:00 PM Rating: 5

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