Coalition to Govern America
August 7, 2016
I came across the following article which was written by my friend, fellow talk show host Farren Shoaf. I thought it served as a good example of the caution that needs to be exercised if we are ever to hope to maintain a free society.
I will share Farren's article, and add my comments to it below.
Guilty Til Allowed to Prove Innocence
Farren K. Shoaf
October 8, 2015
Billy Ray Duke Jr was arrested on July 14th, 2012 in Alexander County N.C. Do you remember where you were 1181 days ago? At the time of writing this article that is how long Billy Ray Duke Jr has been in jail waiting for his day in court. Now although he is not charged with murder Mr Duke is charged with some very serious felonies and if proven guilty would deserve severe punishment. But the point of this article is the length of time Mr Duke has been in jail and the fact that according to Mr Duke during this 1181 days of detention he has never seen in person or spoken directly on the phone with his Attorney. Isn't it a little scary to accept that today in America you can be arrested and indefinitely detained for years with out speaking directly with your court appointed Attorney while you lose your home, job and business. Attorney Ken Darty has not accepted our interview request so I can only report what Mr Duke and his family has shared with our investigation. Also we know that the crime lab report is finished and in the hands of both the prosecutor and the defense Attorney and has been now for several months. So the question here is either the D.A. has a case and if so let's finally see it or the D.A. doesn't. The County has spent by my estimation in excess of $75000 keeping Mr Duke in jail for 1181 days. We sent a list of questions pertinent to this case to the office of the District Attorney Sarah Kirkland and we are still waiting for a reply. We have all heard that the wheels of justice grind slowly, but in this case have they completely stopped?
As Farren says in his article, the charges against this man are indeed very serious and if guilt is proven, he most certainly deserves serious punishment.
According to the Alexander County Sheriff Department — who strangely chose to feature deputies in military camouflage on the top banner as part of their website design — Billy Ray Duke Jr. is accused of “incest with a child, felony child abuse, and statutory rape/sex”. He was arrested July 14, 2012. It also says that his bond was set at $300,000 and that his “trial date (was) set for July 16, 2012.”
I did a search for any articles, indicating a trial had taken place and what the outcome may have been and was not able to locate any updates. The date on Farren's article was October 8, 2015. Has anything happened since then? Or is this man still locked up, having never been convicted of a crime?
No one is going to feel sorry for a man who would molest a child. Nor should they feel sorry for him — if he's really guilty. There's the problem. His guilt apparently hasn't been determined to be proven in a trial of his peers. At least, not according to Farren's article, and not according to anything that I've been able to find on the Internet. There is only information about his arrest; nothing about a trial or conviction. If anyone has any information, send it to me and I will update this article.
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads,
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
It could well be that this man deserves to be exactly where he is today. It could well be that he deserves to be locked up for the rest of his natural life. But that is for a jury of his peers to decide.
If we grow accustomed to allowing indefinite detention without a fair, “speedy and public trial” in cases where the allegations are especially egregious, we are on a slippery slope. The starting points of all government mischief are the cases about which no one would really care. If left unchecked, the contagion will spread to less serious offenses or entirely false accusations. Soon, all a prosecutor or a political office holder would have to do to silence their enemies is to accuse them of a crime. The founding fathers understood this, and this is the reason why they gave us the system they did.
Hence, this article is not to take any position on this man's guilt or innocence, but to point out the fact that it appears we may be arriving at a dangerous place in American history. Are we sliding toward a criminal “justice” system that arrests, accuses, and holds people without the benefit of a trial — forever?