Sunday, May 04, 2008

Hard Cases Make Bad Law

In a copyrighted story, the AP is reporting that the arrest warrant that triggered the largest child seizure in American history since the "pacification" of the Native Americans has been dropped:

A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman would not say why the warrant was dropped for Dale E. Barlow, 50, who lives in Colorado City, Ariz. Barlow has denied knowing the 16-year-old girl who called a crisis center.

The girl reported that she was a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that she was beaten and raped at the sect's Eldorado ranch.

An investigation led to the April 3 raid, in which state welfare workers took 463 children living at the Yearning For Zion Ranch. A boy was born to one of the sect's mothers Tuesday; he and the other children remain in state custody.

Authorities have not located the 16-year-old girl and are investigating the source of the call.

Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger would not say when the warrant for Barlow was dropped, only that "it is no longer active."

Link to story HERE. A first year law student could have gotten that warrant kicked given the events that followed. It is entirely possible that the only people that should have been arrested, the adult male perpetrators of statutory rape will walk on those charges because Texas CPS decided to make headlines instead of exercise restraint and do their job.

There is an old saying that "hard cases make bad law." The meaning of it is that precedent setting decisions should never be made on an unusual set of facts. This is a classic example of hard cases making bad law and I fear there is no way that it can resolve without the parental rights of a lot innnocent people suffering in the process.


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