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Hurricane Watcher @GodlessNZ
, 31 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
(1) The #TaosCompound initial detention case is a test of our commitment to the #RuleOfLaw & the great US Constitution.

Have you read the full court order?

My controversial opinion: Scalia, Gorsuch & Kavanaugh would have ruled the same as Backus did.…
(2) I object to child abuse, manslaughter, terrorist training, and Democrats as elected officials.

I support state & federal prosecutors presenting the best possible cases to protect the public and prevent further crime.
(3) I admire, respect, & indeed love the late Justice Scalia, Justice Gorsuch and Judge Kavanaugh. For their skill, consistency, courage, and humanity.

Their greatest strength was & is faithful adherence to the rule of law, without fear or favor.
(4) Judge Sarah Backus is an elected Democrat judge in the relatively small Taos County of Northern New Mexico. My initial reaction to media stories about her decision to release certain members of the #TaosCompound five was anger, dismay, and fear for the public of the area.
(5) I continued to follow the story for a few more days before seeing a link to a copy of her order (above). One defendant was being held by order of the state of Georgia. Subsequently a further defendant was held under USCIS authority, for immigration proceedings. Three remain.
(6) As I write, those three defendants could be released at any time, likely within the next 24-48 hours. The prosecutor intends to file an appeal on the detention decision, but the law does not allow that action to keep the three detained.

Reading the order is vital here.
(7) It was not legally possible for the Court to keep the three defendants in custody.

The only way for the state prosecutors to achieve that was to make a better case than they did. A federal prosecutor *might* have been able to make a better case. I don't know.
(8) Reading the order as a whole (instead of cherrypicking) I did not find evidence of the political bias I had expected to find. Some Democrat judges certainly do infect their decisions with bias, particularly in cases involving the Trump admin. We have seen this time & again.
(9) Judge Sarah Backus may have made biased decisions in other cases, I haven't read them. I am only addressing one case here. Indeed, one decision as part of a lengthy and complex case.
(10) I'm going to have to go through the order step by step to explain why I believe the judges I most admire would have made the same decision.

Below are the details of who, what, where etc:
(11) A well argued judicial decision/opinion/order begins with the legal basis for the decision(s).
(12) "It is an extremely high standard of proof and the State has failed to meet this standard."

The Judge goes on to explain why.
(13) This is how cases are meant to be decided in every court in the USA. By the evidence presented in court.

The prosecution or the defense has the duty to present the required evidence.

Do you really want the rules to be changed?
(14) The Judge is doing her best to give the prosecution the chance to gather & present the evidence needed at each step of the proceedings.

It looks like the prosecution believed they could sail through this step without doing their homework.

Do you really want that ignored?
(15) It would not have been that hard for the prosecution to present some of the required evidence. They didn't have much time, but that's the same for prosecutors elsewhere, who manage to do their duty.

I'm sure evidence of child abuse & more WILL come. It just didn't on 8/13.
(16) Don't get hung up the "compound" being in quotes. That's just legal shorthand to identify the site. The Judge knows what it was: She agreed to three search warrants.

Key point: The children are now safe, thank God. That is a crucial legal factor.
(17) And if you're tempted to tell me how terrible CPS are everywhere and in every case, save it.

That is a completely separate issue. Most employees of such agencies are law abiding, skilled, decent people. Take it up with them, not me.
(18) I think the death of the boy will become a manslaughter case & I hope it succeeds. I'm convinced that he was abused & neglected. That does not make up for the prosecutors' utter lack of evidence presented at this hearing.

How could they not know this? What was going on?
(19) The prosecution is starting to look shambolic. My anger at the Judge has moved to anger at the prosecution. Fortunately, the state and the US DOJ have several options for cleaning up this mess and getting better outcomes in the rest of the proceedings.
(20) The Judge addresses the firearms issue.

I'm sure that every aspect of this order was considered in light of making it resistant to appeal, thus preserving the ability of the prosecution to succeed in the main trial(s). We should thank the Judge!
(21) More destruction of the flimsy case made by the prosecution.

Yes the allegations are troubling. But they don't enable the Judge to detain the defendants.

The prosecutors are meant to be experienced and skilled lawyers who know this!
(22) If you really believe in religious freedom then how can you disagree with what the Judge says in this paragraph?

I criticize Senators who try to apply a religious test to judicial nominees. I bend over backwards to avoid hypocrisy and sectarianism. Do you?
(23) The Judge even reinforced the opportunity for the prosecution to come back with some evidence, any evidence, to support it's allegation here.

She is not saying she thinks the defendants are innocent, she is saying she's unable to act on mere hearsay. This is her duty.
(24) I too am aware I will receive criticism about my support for this decision. That's why I've outlined my opinion in a thread, not a single tweet. Some people will still respond to individual tweets, though.

Read primary sources, not the cherrypicking of activists & media.
(25) I will now comment on some of the 13 release conditions.

Yes, ankle monitors can be cut off. But there is NOTHING stopping law enforcement from monitoring these houses 24/7 so they can instantly respond to an alarm.

Blame the prosecutors for their sloppy work.
(26) This condition does not require the CFYD to allow supervised contact, it enables it at their discretion.

It is likely to be beneficial for some of the kids to have short, SUPERVISED contact with some of the defendants. One wrong move, they're back in jail.
(27) These are standard conditions in cases like this, and they enable detention if they are breached, which is a good thing.

The defendants are likely to be potential targets of vigilante attacks. LEOs will be able to inspect the houses they're in. Another good thing.
(28) Proving breaches to some of this would be hard, but then again, LEOs are justified in surveillance of communications in order to enforce this order. I don't see the point in requiring weekly attorney contact, but whatever.

One breach, back inside.
(29) The compound is being worked on for evidence gathering and then bulldozed. This case will take 18 to 32 months, in my opinion. Destroying the site will prevent others exploiting it for political gain, taking souvenirs etc.
(30) You can follow this case at a local TV station here:

Use the #TaosCompound hashtag to find reporters on duty outside the Court, and other info sources.

I will link further threads below.

(31) ADDENDUM: My next thread about this ongoing case starts here:

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