Admission of Guilt as a Condition of Pre-Trial Release: Welcome to the USSAWill Grigg
May. 29, 2014
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Under the American concept of criminal justice, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Due process and free speech guarantees protect the right of an accused individual to make public statements proclaiming innocence and protesting abusive treatment by law enforcement.
None of those constitutional guarantees apply in at least one jurisdiction in Texas, where a judge has ordered a woman who was abused by law enforcement agents to make public statements exonerating the officers who assaulted her sister
Ilana Lipsen and her sister, Arielle, were at their smoke shop when a large party of DEA agents kicked in the door and seized merchandise and business records. Arielle was thrown to the ground and then stuck in the face with the butt of an M-16 rifle, then charged with assault. This story was covered by the local press and confirmed by an eyewitness on the scene, a neighbor who was also threatened by the raiders.
A judge has ordered Ilana to pay a $10,000 bond and write a letter recanting her public complaints and stating that the agents had a “legitimate” reason to invade her business. In short, she is being compelled to admit guilt as a condition of pre-trial release, and to apologize for daring to assert her innocence.