S254 Legislation Targets Children & all Activists

Mike Steindel (CLaw7MAn@webtv.net)
Tue, 25 May 1999 18:03:33 -0700 (PDT)

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This Bill S 254 targets are much more widespread than just Animal and
Eco activists. The bill as written will have devasting effects upon the
lives of anyone who falls victim to its myriad of legal consequences.
Many activist organizations websites will fit the criteria as laid forth
in S 254 to be deemed criminal. Just one more way for the Feds to limit
our ability to communicate. Another assault on our civil liberties by
the congress of the religious right.  

Just look at who proposed the bill in the first place Orinn Hatch,
remember him his state circulated a flyer stating that one of the signs
of drug use in teens was concern for the enviroment...  This is from
http://thomas.loc.gov  These are the sponsers of this bill. 

S.254 =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0(Major Legislation) 
SPONSOR: Sen Hatch, Orrin G. (introduced 01/20/99) 
Sen Sessions, Jeff - 01/20/99Sen Thurmond, Strom - 01/20/99Sen Abraham,
Spencer - 01/20/99Sen DeWine, Michael - 01/20/99Sen Ashcroft, John -
01/20/99Sen Lott, Trent - 01/21/99Sen Hagel, Chuck - 01/22/99Sen Leahy,
Patrick J. - 05/20/99Sen Biden, Joseph R., Jr. - 05/20/99Sen Feinstein,
Dianne - 05/20/99

This is what the ACLU has to say about this bill: 

Bill Endangers Troubled Youth

In the wake of recent school shootings in Colorado and Georgia, the U.S.
Senate has attempted to appear tough on crime by passing S. 254, "The
Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Act." While this bill was reported
in the media as a vehicle for various gun control amendments, it also
included many provisions that would abandon the fundamental
underpinnings of our juvenile justice system in favor of more punitive
measures. For example, one proposal would allow for the federal
prosecution and sentencing of children as young as 14 as adults!  

The House of Representatives will soon take up similar measures. Urge
your House member to oppose any juvenile justice bill that includes the
following proposals, which abandon our nation's at risk youth.  Congress
Must Oppose Any Bill with these Provisions!

Federal prosecutors must not be given unfettered power to hand down
mandatory sentences and to prosecute juveniles as adults without review
by judges.   

Under current law, it is federal judges, not prosecutors, who decide
whether a child should be charged as an adult. Another proposal in S.
254 would change that. 

One particularly vivid example of the dangers of such prosecutorial
discretion arose recently in Florida, a state that has eliminated
judicial review. In Palm Beach, a state prosecutor charged as an adult a
mentally disabled 15-year-old boy who stole $2 from a classmate for
food. As a result the boy, Anthony Laster, was charged with strong-arm
robbery, which is punishable by life in prison, and extortion,
punishable by 30 years in prison. Judicial oversight is a crucial safety
check to protect against this type of overreaction by prosecutors.  

Congress must not be allowed to disregard disproportionate confinement
of minority youth.   

S. 254 would remove the requirement that states receiving federal funds
seek solutions to disproportionate rates of minority confinement in
their facilities. 

Currently, 68 percent of children in detention centers are children of
color, even though they are only 32 percent of the overall population.
These figures reflect significant increases over 1983, when minority
youth represented 53 percent of the detention population and 56 percent
of the secure juvenile corrections population. Clearly, the need for
federal oversight to ensure racial equality within the juvenile justice
system is still very necessary.  

Youthful errors should not scar children for life.  

S. 254 contains a provision that would open juvenile court proceedings
and records, guaranteeing that those records would be accessible to
schools and future employers. Opening these records would seriously
impede a child's efforts at turning around his life.

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--WebTV-Mail-481779558-2665 Content-Disposition: Inline Content-Type: Message/RFC822 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7Bit Received: from mailsorter-101-1.iap.bryant.webtv.net ( by postoffice-152.iap.bryant.webtv.net; Tue, 25 May 1999 14:33:17 -0700 (PDT) Return-Path: Received: from waste.org ([]) by mailsorter-101-1.iap.bryant.webtv.net (8.8.8/ms.graham.14Aug97) with ESMTP id OAA26742; Tue, 25 May 1999 14:33:07 -0700 (PDT) Received: by waste.org id <79433-25531>; Tue, 25 May 1999 16:25:06 -0500 From: frontline@rocketmail.com To: frontline-news@waste.org Subject: Frontline: ACT NOW! Legislation Targets Activists Sender: owner-frontline-news@waste.org Precedence: bulk Message-Id: <19990525212513Z79433-25531+5754@waste.org> Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 16:25:06 -0500 Frontline Information Service - Update 5/25/99 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Please forward this urgent update far and wide. Juvenile Justice Bill Used to Target Activists :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: The Juvenile Justice Bill (S.254) passed the Senate last week with provisions designed specifically to target animal rights and environmental activists by: 1. Creating a national database of animal rights and environmental activists and their "crimes". This would be overseen by the FBI in a manner that is all to reminiscent of COINTELPRO and is downright Orwellian. 2. Unfairly targetting animal rights activists and environmentalists for increased sentences above and beyond those they would normally face for criminal convictions. 3. Targetting websites and publications that have information on bomb-making in a manner which the ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center and other free speech advocates have described as likely to be abused by overzealous prosecutors and law enforcement agencies. We must act IMMEDIATELY to prevent similar language from being added to the House version of the bill! To register your concerns with your representive via e-mail or FAX, use the link at the bottom of the following page: http://www.aclu.org/action/juvenile106.html Be sure to add in comments that relate specifically to the provisions of the bill designed to target animal rights and environmental activists. For example: I am especially disturbed by S.254's amendment #353 which unfairly attacks free speech and targets animal rights and environmental activists in particular. The idea of creating a National Database to track animal rights and environmental activists is downright Orwellian. Similarly, calling for stiffer penalties against those who commit crimes in defense of animals or the environment is selective prosecution. If someone is convicted of committing a crime they should be sentenced based on what the crime was, and not face an enhanced sentence simply because they committed the crime for some higher cause. Furthermore the threat of persecution for websites and publications which contain information on bomb-making promises to have a chilling effect on freedom of speech. Although the language of the amendment states intent to commit a violent crime must be established, this has been called into question by the ACLU, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and other legal experts and free speech groups who argue that this type of legislation will be abused by overzealous prosecutors and law enforcement agencies. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - F R O N T L I N E - N E W S Now With 1800+ Subscribers! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Questions? Please read our FAQ before e-mailing us. http://www.animal-liberation.net/about/faq.html - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Would you like to subscribe or unsubscribe to the Frontline-News mailing list? http://www.animal-liberation.net/frontline-news.html - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Brought to you by http://www.animal-liberation.net - For general questions, feedback and requests: infosite-mail@usa.net - For problems with Frontline-News Mailing List: owner-frontline-news@waste.org - Frontline Information Service/animal-liberation.net administrator: frontline@rocketmail.com Animal Liberation Frontline Information Service Bringing you uncensored news from around the world since 1994 _________________________________________________________ DO YOU YAHOO!? Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com --WebTV-Mail-481779558-2665--