Fruits of a Poisonous Tree
[col. writ. 4/10/16] © ’16 Mumia Abu-Jamal
In legal theory there is something known as ‘the -fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree’ doctrine, which holds that an illegal search, arrest or interrogation ‘poisons’ -or taints - all that follows, and as such, it may not be used in a prosecution.
If that is so, what of America’s failed and corrupt so-called ‘Drug War’, as poisoned a fruit as possible, born, as it was, from political lies meant to cover state attacks on radicals-especially Black radicals.
The recent revelations of former Nixon White House aide, John Erlichman, that drugs were used as a proxy to target Blacks (and hippies) should poison all that sprouted from that foul and loathsome plant.
The dirtiest of Dick Nixon’s dirty tricks, it has led to the explosion of prisons in American life, and the subsequent crippling of millions of families for half a century.
The so-called Drug War is thus a lie built on a lie, and used by the State to repress, harass, disrupt and destroy.
Yesterday, the prison ran a dog line -- where a pooch (beautiful, by the way) ran down a line of prisoners waiting to go to the yard. It was as ridiculous as it was revealing, for if there are drugs in prison, it’s more likely than not that a staff member brought it in, rather than a prisoner.
No dog lines for staff though, huh?
The false drug war has, like all wars, been far more destructive than it has been creative; and it has corrupted and poisoned all that have been touched by it.
It has corrupted cops, who have profited from it, as well as become drug merchants. It has reduced the 4th Amendment to shreds, even as it has intellectually corrupted courts which ignore the constitution to further a false war on drugs.
It has placed Black and Latino youth under life-long suspicion, subjecting them to arbitrary and oppressive searches, seizures and arrests.
It has fueled the boom in the prison industry - a false war, yes, but which has had real life and death effects.
Tags: Anti-Blackness, Classism, Corruption, John Ehrlichman, Latinos, Mass Incarceration, Police, Police Brutality, Police Terror, Poverty, Prison Industrial Complex, Racism, Richard Nixon, War on Drugs, 4th Amendment