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Headlines by E-mail

Win at all costs
Written by Bill Moushey Feedback
Heading toward a police state?

Friday, December 11, 1998

Dear editor:

I've been reading your series on federal law officers' violations of individual citizens' rights in their zeal to obtain prosecutions, as you say, at any cost. In my mind, this illustrates the dangers of, and the direction we, as a citizenry, are headed towards, namely a police state.

City police chiefs, county sheriffs, state governors are generally accountable at the ballot box. Federal officers, as your articles point out, are not.

Currently we have, according to the National Rifle Association, over 1,300 criminal offenses prosecutable at the federal level, crimes formerly enforced at local jurisdictions. And the list is growing. Witness the recent tobacco legislation that John McCain promoted. Numerous criminal penalties would have been imposed for violations.

The answer, simply enough, is to either stop the erosion of local jurisdictions by the federal government or build some checks and balances into the federal system.

Greg Ripke

Veneta, OR

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