Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Constitutional Minimums"

I'm not a politician, maybe that's why lines like "Constitutional Minimums" have always bothered me. A direct question gets a response that just feels like it's been tested over a focus group. Worse yet, responses like these generally are employed to mask poor public service and bad public policy.

This week a decades old law suit geared up at the Federal District Court here in Phoenix; Hill v. Arpaio. This lawsuit is different then many others against the Sheriff in that it doesn't seek millions of dollars (thank goodness, at over $42 million that tab's getting high). Rather, the petitioner (Hill) looks to ensure that Pre-Trial detainees (you know, people that have not been found guilty of any crime) have Constitutional protections while in custody.

In a canned response to reporters MCSO Chief Deputy Jack MacIntyre (one of over 30 Arpaio Political Appointees making Six-Figures) stated that Arpaio's Jail's are run "way beyond constitutional minimums." So what does that mean? Minimums? As opposed to what? Non-existent? Are there levels of the Constitution? Are their Constitutional premiums? His non-answer response speaks volumes.

See, the troubling thing about this lawsuit is that the allegations don't revolve around being denied cigarettes, television time or family visits - but rather an inmate's ability to get insulin for diabetes or sleep in a bed. Hill's complaint is that these pre-trial detainees, some of which may be as innocent as the Duke Lacrosse Team, are being forced to eat outdated food, cooked in roach infested kitchens, by unlicensed food handlers. The standards of Arpaio's jail's are so low that many healthy men and women enter the jail, only to be placed in cells with inmates carrying communicable dieses like MRSA. These inmates, not convicted of any crime are deserving of the same Constitutional Protections as all other Americans.

Dan Saban is committed to treating people with humanity, ending multi-million dollar law suits, and running the MCSO professionally. Let's put an end to the politics of Jack MacIntyre and Joe Arpaio and elect a true law enforcement professional.



No comments:

Republicans For Saban Web Site!