Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Right to Privacy and the Law

7:44 PM by Hegrins ·
As everyone who reads this knows I'm a big advocate for the right to privacy. I had to write about this because I thought it very interesting that a 2002 Law and Order episode spoke about the right to privacy and it even cost the police a conviction with maximum sentencing.

Facts of the show
  1. Shrink is killed
  2. Killer is a convicted felon forced into therapy.
  3. Right to privacy was violated when the police cracked shrinks PW to access patient records wich were used to coerce a confession. (the reason they cracked the file was because the date modified was the day after the murder. They knew who the person's file was, but wanted to find out what it was before it was changed and what it was changed to.)
Now the emotional person would say, hey they have that right to search since she was murdered, but I say no they didn't. These are the grey lines that are missed out on when right to privacy is voilated and condoned. The law protects you the person and the police can gather sufficient evidence through proper channels or other means that are lawful. Here's the problem though, a politician trying to get elected takes up the case for his political platform. Now he tells everyone we need to give the police more rights to search because this man didn't get a maximum sentence because of a road block. We as emotional citizens would then allow this law to be passed and then the police can use this law as another tool to catch criminols. The thing is that can be used in so many instances that it would seem to be abused, weather intentionally or unintentionally, but it doesn't matter it's abused.

Now the other part of the story. During the last of the investigation they find that the killer was able to attain information about the victim from a company that compiles research on people upon request. The government decided to investigate the company. The end result was the the company gave a convicted felon personal information on people. The company ended up being taken down by the government.

Ok, so, if we would have allowed the police to have access to client information without a search warrent and condoned their actions because he was a top suspect after seeing the file was modified of a specific file justice would not have been served. You might say, no, they cought the killer, but justice was not totally served without the company that was providing personal information. The killer will spend many years in prison, but creepers could have potentially had access to personal information indefinately or until they were brought before the law.

The police have all the tools they need. Other than new technology the greatest asset to the police is the local citizens. If the police are constantly violating our inalienable rights provided to us by our creator (weather you believe in God or not). We need to think really hard if we want to give up our rights when they really don't need to be. By giving up our rights we actually can create strife between those who are supposed to protect us and those who are supposed to be protected. Once we give up even just a small portion of our rights we will never receive that freedom back and it's just a slippery slope from there on out. Just think before you act and don't use emotion to help guide a decision because it will most likely put you down the wrong road which there may be no return on.

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