Project Exile Needs to Be Deported

by Larry Pratt
Executive Director
Gun Owners of America
A new cancer has begun to spread across this nation's land.

It began in the city of Richmond, Virginia, and will soon be spreading to Philadelphia and other cities as well.

Billed as part of the War against Crime, it is in fact another War Against the Constitution.

As with many bad ideas, Project Exile started with good intentions.

Frustration over "bleeding heart" judges

The project was born out of the frustration with soft-on-crime judges in Richmond.

Rather than watch criminals get out of jail before the police finished their paperwork for the perpetrator's arrest, now the state turns street criminals over to federal courts for prosecution.

The process is quicker, and the sentences are longer than in city and state courts.

So, some may ask, what is wrong with that?

For starters, it is unconstitutional from top to bottom. There is no jurisdiction given to the federal government in Article I, Section 8 to intrude in the criminal justice system.

Indeed, prosecuting street crime -- murder, robbery, mugging, etc.-- is a function of state and local government. And the Tenth Amendment further prohibits federal involvement in activities that are not defined in Article I, Section 8.

Federal "crime control" imposing dumb ideas nationwide

Under Project Exile, a mother who has been accused of misdemeanor domestic violence for spanking her child could go to jail for five years if convicted in a federal court.

No doubt some may think that is an appropriate penalty for swatting a brat in a grocery store. But it is unconstitutional.

By encouraging anonymous tips with no questions asked, Project Exile also violates the 6th Amendment right to confront one's accusers.

The overtones of Nazi and Communist domestic spying for the secret police are inescapable in Project Exile.

By calling a widely disseminated phone number, one can anonymously turn someone in for prosecution.

One of the questions asked by the volunteer secret police is "See an illegal gun?" They are then told to call the anonymous tipster hotline. How does anyone know that a gun is illegal? Why is having a gun presumed to be suspect activity?

Project Exile breaks the law (the Constitution) in the name of the law.

The answer to pro-criminal judges is not to turn to Washington, but to put the heat on state legislators.

Either they select good judges and adequate laws to punish criminal behavior, or "We the People" should select new legislators"