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(NPR)   Federal judge questions doctrine of "qualified Immunity"   (npr.org) divider line
    More: Interesting, Supreme Court of the United States, Police, Black people, federal judge, way Judge Carlton Reeves, Black man, President of the United States, white police officer  
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2668 clicks; posted to Politics » on 06 Aug 2020 at 3:50 PM (11 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-08-06 3:04:20 PM  
Ya think?
 
2020-08-06 3:08:39 PM  
The proverbial get out of jail free card for cops.

Possibly if you didn't give them a get of jail free card, they might actually have to protect and serve.
 
2020-08-06 3:18:42 PM  
An excellent start but ultimately meaningless without a SCOTUS decision.  As if we needed another reason to vote.
 
2020-08-06 3:36:47 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: An excellent start but ultimately meaningless without a SCOTUS decision.  As if we needed another reason to vote.


I'm just not feeling that inspired to vote this year. No one is really speaking to my wants and needs. And, I want a pony.
 
2020-08-06 3:41:14 PM  

NewportBarGuy: common sense is an oxymoron: An excellent start but ultimately meaningless without a SCOTUS decision.  As if we needed another reason to vote.

I'm just not feeling that inspired to vote this year. No one is really speaking to my wants and needs. And, I want a pony.


Only if it's sky blue one. If it's not sky blue, I'm not voting. I don't want a purple pony.
 
2020-08-06 3:45:23 PM  
A list of what SCOTUS has said it  is fine with them.

Police approached Shaniz West, saying that they believed her ex-boyfriend - who had an outstanding arrest warrant - was inside her home. After West gave an officer the key to her door and permission for the cops to enter her home, a SWAT team smashed several of her windows, punched holes in her walls and ceilings, and fired so much tear gas into the home that West could not live in it for two months.
a federal appeals court determined that the cops were entitled to qualified immunity. There was no previous case specifically holding that when a homeowner gives police consent to enter their house, that consent does not entitle police to use violent tactics like the ones they used on West's home. So the SWAT team's actions did not "violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known."

Corbitt v. Vickers
An officer, while attempting to kill a harmless pet dog, missed with one of his shots and hit a boy lying on the ground next to the dog. The officer was granted immunity.

Cooper v. Flaig
Norman Cooper was at his family's home in San Antonio having an "acute mental health episode." His brother was worried Norman would harm himself and called the police.
Two officers, Oliver Flaig and Arnoldo Sanchez, arrived on the scene and rather than attempting to calm the man through extended de-escalation measures, the officers pulled their tasers. They used it nine times on Cooper, resulting in Cooper's death.

Quamaine Dwayne Mason. Responding to a 911 call, Lafayatte, La., police officer Martin Faul first released his service dog on 21-year-old Quamaine and almost instantaneously shot at Quamaine Mason eight times, hitting him seven times, the Masons recounted in their petition. A jury found Faul's conduct unreasonable but he was still deemed immune from suit for his actions

Hopefully Congress removes qualified immunity for what would otherwise be called criminal behavior of police.
 
2020-08-06 3:54:46 PM  

GardenWeasel: NewportBarGuy: common sense is an oxymoron: An excellent start but ultimately meaningless without a SCOTUS decision.  As if we needed another reason to vote.

I'm just not feeling that inspired to vote this year. No one is really speaking to my wants and needs. And, I want a pony.

Only if it's sky blue one. If it's not sky blue, I'm not voting. I don't want a purple pony.


Do you also want it to have wings and rainbow hair?
 
2020-08-06 3:54:47 PM  
I really get a kick out of the people that try to say. "If they get rid of this, no one will want to be a cop!"

You know what? There where cops before QI, and there will be cops after it, and any cop that wont accept repealing QI got into policing for the wrong reasons.
 
2020-08-06 3:54:55 PM  
We are a nation of laws, not of men.  Well except for the police.  They can break any law they wish, even murder people, as long as they're doing their jobs.


Yea, fark that shiat.
 
2020-08-06 3:55:14 PM  

eurotrader: A list of what SCOTUS has said it  is fine with them.

Police approached Shaniz West, saying that they believed her ex-boyfriend - who had an outstanding arrest warrant - was inside her home. After West gave an officer the key to her door and permission for the cops to enter her home, a SWAT team smashed several of her windows, punched holes in her walls and ceilings, and fired so much tear gas into the home that West could not live in it for two months.
a federal appeals court determined that the cops were entitled to qualified immunity. There was no previous case specifically holding that when a homeowner gives police consent to enter their house, that consent does not entitle police to use violent tactics like the ones they used on West's home. So the SWAT team's actions did not "violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known."

Corbitt v. Vickers
An officer, while attempting to kill a harmless pet dog, missed with one of his shots and hit a boy lying on the ground next to the dog. The officer was granted immunity.

Cooper v. Flaig
Norman Cooper was at his family's home in San Antonio having an "acute mental health episode." His brother was worried Norman would harm himself and called the police.
Two officers, Oliver Flaig and Arnoldo Sanchez, arrived on the scene and rather than attempting to calm the man through extended de-escalation measures, the officers pulled their tasers. They used it nine times on Cooper, resulting in Cooper's death.

Quamaine Dwayne Mason. Responding to a 911 call, Lafayatte, La., police officer Martin Faul first released his service dog on 21-year-old Quamaine and almost instantaneously shot at Quamaine Mason eight times, hitting him seven times, the Masons recounted in their petition. A jury found Faul's conduct unreasonable but he was still deemed immune from suit for his actions

Hopefully Congress removes qualified immunity for what would otherwise be called criminal beh ...


This.

Not to mention that the entire doctrine doesn't make any logical sense unless you have a parallel justice procedure, like the UCMJ for members of the armed services, to go along with it.  Otherwise, as you say, it's just a get out of jail free card.
 
2020-08-06 3:57:08 PM  

eurotrader: Hopefully Congress removes qualified immunity for what would otherwise be called criminal behavior of police.


I don't think they can.  It isn't a legislative action.  SCOTUS created it out of whole cloth.  Only SCOTUS could revoke it.  Unless you seriously shifted the balance of the court to the left that ain't happening.
 
2020-08-06 3:58:00 PM  
Okay SCOTUS quoters. But legal change looks like THIS. It's time for you to add it to your list of case law, because it is going to be cited in future challenges.
 
2020-08-06 3:58:53 PM  
Good
 
2020-08-06 4:00:36 PM  
This is a good first step, or at least somebody saying we should go that way instead of this way, but I wish some District Court judge would say "fark it. I'm not going to be a part of this. Let them overturn me."
 
2020-08-06 4:02:00 PM  
Well, hopefully Thomas gets pulled over in his bus and the cops tear it apart searching for the 2 Kg of coke. That will fix QI.
 
2020-08-06 4:02:11 PM  
Expect about three cop shows next year copsplaining how qualified immunity is the only reason cops get to safely go back to their families every night.
 
2020-08-06 4:02:49 PM  

RanHakubi: GardenWeasel: NewportBarGuy: common sense is an oxymoron: An excellent start but ultimately meaningless without a SCOTUS decision.  As if we needed another reason to vote.

I'm just not feeling that inspired to vote this year. No one is really speaking to my wants and needs. And, I want a pony.

Only if it's sky blue one. If it's not sky blue, I'm not voting. I don't want a purple pony.

Do you also want it to have wings and rainbow hair?


I'll accept nothing less that the total dismantling of capitalism and promises that can't be kept. Both sides are pretty bad, you see
 
2020-08-06 4:02:58 PM  

phalamir: eurotrader: Hopefully Congress removes qualified immunity for what would otherwise be called criminal behavior of police.

I don't think they can.  It isn't a legislative action.  SCOTUS created it out of whole cloth.  Only SCOTUS could revoke it.  Unless you seriously shifted the balance of the court to the left that ain't happening.


Even if that were the case, SCOTUS can't create policy that can't be revoked through Congress.
 
2020-08-06 4:04:31 PM  

phalamir: eurotrader: Hopefully Congress removes qualified immunity for what would otherwise be called criminal behavior of police.

I don't think they can.  It isn't a legislative action.  SCOTUS created it out of whole cloth.  Only SCOTUS could revoke it.  Unless you seriously shifted the balance of the court to the left that ain't happening.


Actually, Congress can. QI is based on statutory interpretation not constitutional doctrine. So Congress can change/clarify the statute if they wish
 
2020-08-06 4:04:56 PM  
Officer Nick McClendon is a racist piece of shiat hiding behind a badge, a gun and some stupid doctrine the SC cooked up.
 
2020-08-06 4:06:11 PM  

PaulRB: The proverbial get out of jail free card for cops.

Possibly if you didn't give them a get of jail free card, they might actually have to protect and serve.


Civil lawsuits involve jail time?
 
2020-08-06 4:07:14 PM  

eurotrader: A list of what SCOTUS has said it  is fine with them.

Police approached Shaniz West, saying that they believed her ex-boyfriend - who had an outstanding arrest warrant - was inside her home. After West gave an officer the key to her door and permission for the cops to enter her home, a SWAT team smashed several of her windows, punched holes in her walls and ceilings, and fired so much tear gas into the home that West could not live in it for two months.
a federal appeals court determined that the cops were entitled to qualified immunity. There was no previous case specifically holding that when a homeowner gives police consent to enter their house, that consent does not entitle police to use violent tactics like the ones they used on West's home. So the SWAT team's actions did not "violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known."

Corbitt v. Vickers
An officer, while attempting to kill a harmless pet dog, missed with one of his shots and hit a boy lying on the ground next to the dog. The officer was granted immunity.

Cooper v. Flaig
Norman Cooper was at his family's home in San Antonio having an "acute mental health episode." His brother was worried Norman would harm himself and called the police.
Two officers, Oliver Flaig and Arnoldo Sanchez, arrived on the scene and rather than attempting to calm the man through extended de-escalation measures, the officers pulled their tasers. They used it nine times on Cooper, resulting in Cooper's death.

Quamaine Dwayne Mason. Responding to a 911 call, Lafayatte, La., police officer Martin Faul first released his service dog on 21-year-old Quamaine and almost instantaneously shot at Quamaine Mason eight times, hitting him seven times, the Masons recounted in their petition. A jury found Faul's conduct unreasonable but he was still deemed immune from suit for his actions

Hopefully Congress removes qualified immunity for what would otherwise be called criminal beh ...


We need a true crimes type show but for cop shiat. Instead of doing dramatic retelling of a crime do a dramatic retelling of one of the many many times cops have been horrible. Do a retelling were they break into a house, detain the family, including children, on the floor pointing guns at them, shoot the dog rip stuff up looking for drugs and then leave after they realize they had the wrong address.
 
2020-08-06 4:07:54 PM  

misanthropicsob: phalamir: eurotrader: Hopefully Congress removes qualified immunity for what would otherwise be called criminal behavior of police.

I don't think they can.  It isn't a legislative action.  SCOTUS created it out of whole cloth.  Only SCOTUS could revoke it.  Unless you seriously shifted the balance of the court to the left that ain't happening.

Even if that were the case, SCOTUS can't create policy that can't be revoked through Congress.


Roe v Wade begs to differ.
 
2020-08-06 4:08:21 PM  

Mr. Eugenides: Well, hopefully Thomas gets pulled over in his bus and the cops tear it apart searching for the 2 Kg of coke. That will fix QI.


Justice Thomas has already signalled that he would love an opportunity to toss out qualified immunity. Justice Sotomayor has been less ardent but has also signalled that she'd like to take a crack at it. Qualified immunity is one of those issues that doesn't break along the traditional liberal/conservative lines.
 
2020-08-06 4:10:41 PM  

MLWS: I really get a kick out of the people that try to say. "If they get rid of this, no one will want to be a cop!"

You know what? There where cops before QI, and there will be cops after it, and any cop that wont accept repealing QI got into policing for the wrong reasons.


I saw the early George Floyd video and one of the cops was pointing his gun at him gansta style as in sideways. All responsible gun owners cringe when they see that used. It is only to show who is the gansta in movies AFAIK.

He should not be on the force.
 
2020-08-06 4:12:03 PM  

FrancoFile: This.

Not to mention that the entire doctrine doesn't make any logical sense unless you have a parallel justice procedure, like the UCMJ for members of the armed services, to go along with it.  Otherwise, as you say, it's just a get out of jail free card.


I've long advocated for a watchdog empowered to investigate and licensed to kill at 'reasonable doubt' for any crime under color of authority.  The trick is, they don't get any sort of immunity either.  Any LEO or politician they have a reasonable suspicion of willful malfeasance they can shoot, but they take a break from work to go on trial.  If they can prove they were acting within their lawful charter, they go free and back to work.
 
2020-08-06 4:12:58 PM  
Honestly.
Can one of you fellow Farkers come up with an example of ANY other occupation that has such BS protections?
Judges can be recalled. Even soldiers can face a court martial.
Nothing less than legalized theft, murder, and incompetence.
 
2020-08-06 4:13:14 PM  

LowbrowDeluxe: FrancoFile: This.

Not to mention that the entire doctrine doesn't make any logical sense unless you have a parallel justice procedure, like the UCMJ for members of the armed services, to go along with it.  Otherwise, as you say, it's just a get out of jail free card.

I've long advocated for a watchdog empowered to investigate and licensed to kill at 'reasonable doubt' for any crime under color of authority.  The trick is, they don't get any sort of immunity either.  Any LEO or politician they have a reasonable suspicion of willful malfeasance they can shoot, but they take a break from work to go on trial.  If they can prove they were acting within their lawful charter, they go free and back to work.


You read H. Beam Piper's "Lone Star Planet", didn't you?
 
2020-08-06 4:13:38 PM  

Saiga410: PaulRB: The proverbial get out of jail free card for cops.

Possibly if you didn't give them a get of jail free card, they might actually have to protect and serve.

Civil lawsuits involve jail time?


Well, when you thin blue line it so you never get charged, maybe civil lawsuit convictions should involve jail time.
 
2020-08-06 4:15:57 PM  
But I was told that all animals are equal, but pigs are more equal.

You dont want them to be like the rest of animals do you?

Then they wont get to congratulate mass murders with Wendy's cause they killed the right people or kneel on necks until you die, or burst in your house and flashbang a baby and you dont want them to be held accountable for that do you?

I mean what kind of monster would want law enforcement to be held to the same standards they would everyone else to.
 
2020-08-06 4:20:06 PM  
That officer was clearly overzealous and motivated by some farked up mindset or prejudice. A traffic stop is supposed to be reasonably no more than 15 minutes unless a legitimate investigative reason makes it longer. If the dog doesn't hit and the consent search doesn't show anything, you thank the person for cooperating and send them on their way. You don't take apart a car unless you have a real good reason. And if you are going to above and beyond on a hunch, you'd better have a signed consent form and you document what you did in a report.

We do police reports for when firefighters, not even police, have to break a door for a fire or rescue call. The damage is documented so that the person can make a claim for the damages with the municipality and get recompense.

Qualified immunity has its uses, but it really isn't, and shouldn't be used as, a total shield.
 
2020-08-06 4:22:18 PM  
Hell I just want the cops held to the same professional standards they hold fast food employees to every time there's a mostly fake incident where someone wrote a mean thing on a cup (that usually turns out to be in the cop's own handwriting).

You'd think the 'Party of personal responsibility' would want to cops who break the law to be held personally responsible for it
 
2020-08-06 4:22:45 PM  

SpocksEars: Honestly.
Can one of you fellow Farkers come up with an example of ANY other occupation that has such BS protections?
Judges can be recalled. Even soldiers can face a court martial.
Nothing less than legalized theft, murder, and incompetence.


Well, in a constitutional democracy, the legal definition of the police includes that they are the only persons allowed to use force, up to and including deadly force; and only to restore order when something is happening that needs to be stopped. That part of their legal definition is quite wide, because it has to be. However, the USA is the only jurisdiction to give their police the their version of qualified immunity. So much for The Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, the basic foundations of common law, etc etc etc.
 
2020-08-06 4:31:26 PM  

Lumbar Puncture: Hell I just want the cops held to the same professional standards they hold fast food employees to every time there's a mostly fake incident where someone wrote a mean thing on a cup (that usually turns out to be in the cop's own handwriting).

You'd think the 'Party of personal responsibility' would want to cops who break the law to be held personally responsible for it


Isn't it interesting that whenever there's an issue of basic morality and common decency, you know it's already been politicized and you know, without even asking, which side the Republicans are going to be on.
 
2020-08-06 4:36:21 PM  
qualified immunity is not bullet proof
 
2020-08-06 4:42:39 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: An excellent start but ultimately meaningless without a SCOTUS decision.


That's how cases get to SCOTUS in the first place.
 
2020-08-06 4:45:05 PM  

FrancoFile: LowbrowDeluxe: FrancoFile: This.

Not to mention that the entire doctrine doesn't make any logical sense unless you have a parallel justice procedure, like the UCMJ for members of the armed services, to go along with it.  Otherwise, as you say, it's just a get out of jail free card.

I've long advocated for a watchdog empowered to investigate and licensed to kill at 'reasonable doubt' for any crime under color of authority.  The trick is, they don't get any sort of immunity either.  Any LEO or politician they have a reasonable suspicion of willful malfeasance they can shoot, but they take a break from work to go on trial.  If they can prove they were acting within their lawful charter, they go free and back to work.

You read H. Beam Piper's "Lone Star Planet", didn't you?


I'm pretty sure I read everything Piper ever wrote as a reclusive teen several decades ago, but off the top of my head it's not ringing a bell.
 
2020-08-06 4:45:58 PM  

phalamir: eurotrader: Hopefully Congress removes qualified immunity for what would otherwise be called criminal behavior of police.

I don't think they can.  It isn't a legislative action.  SCOTUS created it out of whole cloth.  Only SCOTUS could revoke it.  Unless you seriously shifted the balance of the court to the left that ain't happening.


Congress absolutely can revoke qualified immunity. Qualified immunity is rooted in an interpretation of a law that the courts have decided must have intended to preserve an understood tradition of immunity, or else they would have explicitly written into the law that there is no immunity. So goes the interpretation. So all Congress has to do pass a bill that clarifies that part of civil rights law to deny immunity or at least put some explicit limits to it.

Fark user imageView Full Size


That's from page 32 of the ruling here. Congress could specify that an officer's conduct has to violate some other standard. It isn't easy to come up with language for these things though. Feel free to give it a try.
 
2020-08-06 4:49:53 PM  

LowbrowDeluxe: FrancoFile: LowbrowDeluxe: FrancoFile: This.

Not to mention that the entire doctrine doesn't make any logical sense unless you have a parallel justice procedure, like the UCMJ for members of the armed services, to go along with it.  Otherwise, as you say, it's just a get out of jail free card.

I've long advocated for a watchdog empowered to investigate and licensed to kill at 'reasonable doubt' for any crime under color of authority.  The trick is, they don't get any sort of immunity either.  Any LEO or politician they have a reasonable suspicion of willful malfeasance they can shoot, but they take a break from work to go on trial.  If they can prove they were acting within their lawful charter, they go free and back to work.

You read H. Beam Piper's "Lone Star Planet", didn't you?

I'm pretty sure I read everything Piper ever wrote as a reclusive teen several decades ago, but off the top of my head it's not ringing a bell.


tl;dr version:

If you assassinate a politician, you don't go on trial.  The politician's record goes on trial.  If you can prove that the politician had done, or was about to do, something unconstitutional or repugnant to the history and spirit of the body politic, you're declared innocent.
 
2020-08-06 4:52:16 PM  
I doubt the supreme court takes up qualified immunity unless federal judges start denying qualified immunity applies.  Then the supreme court will take it up specifically to reaffirm that yes, cops are immune.  I might be overly pessimistic though.
 
2020-08-06 5:15:34 PM  
"if we got rid of that we wouldn't have any cops"

An actual defense of qualified immunity that I've heard while arguing for ending it.

If the cops can get sued for doing illegal things, no one will want to be a cop.  Presented as a legitimate reason why we should keep it with a straight face.
 
2020-08-06 5:23:18 PM  

saturn badger: MLWS: I really get a kick out of the people that try to say. "If they get rid of this, no one will want to be a cop!"

You know what? There where cops before QI, and there will be cops after it, and any cop that wont accept repealing QI got into policing for the wrong reasons.

I saw the early George Floyd video and one of the cops was pointing his gun at him gansta style as in sideways. All responsible gun owners cringe when they see that used. It is only to show who is the gansta in movies AFAIK.

He should not be on the force.


I'm not even a gun owner, and I know that's just stupid and bad form.
 
2020-08-06 6:07:05 PM  

BMFPitt: common sense is an oxymoron: An excellent start but ultimately meaningless without a SCOTUS decision.

That's how cases get to SCOTUS in the first place.


And here I thought they used Facebook polling.
 
2020-08-06 6:23:54 PM  

Saiga410: PaulRB: The proverbial get out of jail free card for cops.

Possibly if you didn't give them a get of jail free card, they might actually have to protect and serve.

Civil lawsuits involve jail time?


This. QI is a defense to the civil liability of individual officers, not a defense to criminal charges. Nor does it protect police departments.
 
2020-08-06 7:36:52 PM  

PaulRB: The proverbial get out of jail free card for cops.

Possibly if you didn't give them a get of jail free card, they might actually have to protect and serve.


They need to start being sent to prison for their crimes. Murder? Prison. Rape? Prison. Theft? Prison. Money laundering? Prison. Stealing stuff from evidence room? Prison.

Cops are in a position to commit dozens of crimes without getting ratted on. I bet at least half the cops committed at least one felony in their career while on the job.
 
2020-08-06 7:50:07 PM  
When someone is properly trained - they should have lest immunity not more.  I'm not a doctor, but if I see someone who is choking or having an heart attack and I intervene and try and help and my actions kill them, most places have a good Samaritan law that would protect me from civil or criminal action.

If, I'm a trained doctor and I intervene and do something really stupid that kills someone - I, at minimum, would be open to a civil malpractice lawsuit.

Same should apply to cops.  The cops should have a higher standard for abuse/crime compared to a civilian.  Not a lower standard.
 
2020-08-06 9:28:16 PM  

mrshowrules: When someone is properly trained - they should have lest immunity not more.  I'm not a doctor, but if I see someone who is choking or having an heart attack and I intervene and try and help and my actions kill them, most places have a good Samaritan law that would protect me from civil or criminal action.

If, I'm a trained doctor and I intervene and do something really stupid that kills someone - I, at minimum, would be open to a civil malpractice lawsuit.

Same should apply to cops.  The cops should have a higher standard for abuse/crime compared to a civilian.  Not a lower standard.


Yes, but if cops think they might face even civil consequences for harassing, abusing, stealing from, framing, brutalizing or murdering random people, they'll quit the force!
 
2020-08-06 9:31:10 PM  

mrshowrules: When someone is properly trained - they should have lest immunity not more.  I'm not a doctor, but if I see someone who is choking or having an heart attack and I intervene and try and help and my actions kill them, most places have a good Samaritan law that would protect me from civil or criminal action.

If, I'm a trained doctor and I intervene and do something really stupid that kills someone - I, at minimum, would be open to a civil malpractice lawsuit.

Same should apply to cops.  The cops should have a higher standard for abuse/crime compared to a civilian.  Not a lower standard.


The lowering of the standard to a group given enormous power over people's lives just seems wrong.

I really like the German requirement of at least two and half years in a police academy before any police powers are granted. Police are needed and the US could do  far better screening and training police.
 
2020-08-07 12:17:29 AM  

NewportBarGuy: common sense is an oxymoron: An excellent start but ultimately meaningless without a SCOTUS decision.  As if we needed another reason to vote.

I'm just not feeling that inspired to vote this year. No one is really speaking to my wants and needs. And, I want a pony.


derpicdn.netView Full Size


Good news! Whoever - by hook or by crook - survives past the inaugural ceremonies on January 20th probably gets to pick three of 'em. Hope they choose wisely.
 
2020-08-07 1:00:57 AM  

FrancoFile: LowbrowDeluxe: FrancoFile: LowbrowDeluxe: FrancoFile: This.

Not to mention that the entire doctrine doesn't make any logical sense unless you have a parallel justice procedure, like the UCMJ for members of the armed services, to go along with it.  Otherwise, as you say, it's just a get out of jail free card.

I've long advocated for a watchdog empowered to investigate and licensed to kill at 'reasonable doubt' for any crime under color of authority.  The trick is, they don't get any sort of immunity either.  Any LEO or politician they have a reasonable suspicion of willful malfeasance they can shoot, but they take a break from work to go on trial.  If they can prove they were acting within their lawful charter, they go free and back to work.

You read H. Beam Piper's "Lone Star Planet", didn't you?

I'm pretty sure I read everything Piper ever wrote as a reclusive teen several decades ago, but off the top of my head it's not ringing a bell.

tl;dr version:

If you assassinate a politician, you don't go on trial.  The politician's record goes on trial.  If you can prove that the politician had done, or was about to do, something unconstitutional or repugnant to the history and spirit of the body politic, you're declared innocent.


Neat.  My proposal goes a step beyond.  I feel it should be a specific legal entity, akin to the federal marshals with a wide mandate, and that they should have no protection from repercussions.   Legal authority to go anywhere, look at anything, demand anything related to their mandate, and legal authority to declare actions of law enforcement, judges or politicians criminal and pass judgement barring not even death; but no other legal protections.  It closes the loop of 'who watches the watchers' if they can/are put to trial in turn AND answers the question in the first regard.  Police, or sheriffs could arrest or hassle them or otherwise prevent them from doing their job, or take action against them afterwards...could....but if they do they better be fairly sure they're in the right.  To within a reasonable doubt sure.  Otherwise there might just be another ranger rolling into town the next day and a lot more bodies.
 
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