Monday, April 14, 2014

Congressional Candidate Ted Lieu Skews Libertarian on Rights of the Accused

California State Senator Ted Lieu (Democrat) is running for Congress, hoping to replace retiring Congressman Henry Waxman.

I won't call Lieu a libertarian. I'm sure he's taken many "progressive" positions I dislike. But he's currently sponsoring a bill that should please libertarians.

According to Gary Walker, writing for The Argonaut (April 2, 2014):

"Lieu's Senate Bill 980 would compel police departments to allow inmate defense teams to conduct DNA testing on biological case evidence and allow courts to act against law enforcement officials who destroy DNA evidence in violation of state code."

I especially like the part I put in boldface. The article continues:

"Law enforcement agencies are currently allowed to destroy biological evidence six months after a conviction, but Lieu's proposal would extend the timeline to a full year. It would also mandate that DNA evidence be run through the FBI's Combined DNA Index System in cases where DNA evidence is found not to match a suspect or inmate.

" 'I think one of the greatest injustices that a government and a society can commit is to wrongly convict an innocent person,' said Lieu, a former Air Force Judge Advocate General prosecutor.

"Since 2000, there have been 244 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States, including eight in California, according to the California Innocence Project, which is co-sponsoring the bill with the Northern California Innocence Project."

You can read the full story here.

I don't know who I'll vote for in June, in California's current Top Two primary system. But Lieu's support of Senate Bill 980 is a consideration. Not just for the issue itself, but because it indicates his willingness to support the rights of the accused, in the interests of truth and justice.


Anonymous said...

Ted Lieusr is NO Libertarian, he's a democrap and democrats AND republoodlcans are sending Billions of YOUR tax dollars to Iraq, Brazil, India, pakistan, saudi arabia, and on and on. Dems and reps are ok with nsa spying. If you want a Libertarian, vote libertarian, not democrap Ted Lieusr or Wendy Cruel

Thomas said...

It is true that Ted Lieu is no Libertarian (though his support of SB 980 should be welcome to libertarians.

However, neither is "independent" Marianne Williamson (whom you praise in your link) a libertarian.

I received a mailer from "independent" Marianne Williamson wherein she boasts of her Democratic Party roots.

She lists among her endorsers Democratic politicians Jennifer Granholm, Dennis Kucinich, Keith Ellison -- and "Co-Chair, Obama 2012" Eva Longoria (the actress).

In her mailer, Williamson says: "I am also a lifelong Democrat, though I'm running for Congress as an Independent. Why? I can assure you it is not because I wish to make war on the Democratic Party. On the contrary, I do so in the hopes of contributing to the restoration of the principles that I've always thought -- and which many of us still believe -- are the party's backbone."