We recently discussed the "Joker" case in Chicago where Timothy O & # 39; Donnell was arrested for arson after his tattoos were identified by police after he burned a police vehicle. Now a Tacoma woman, Margaret Aislinn Channon, 25, has been arrested for burning five vehicles in part because of her equally recognizable ink. There is another similarity. In addition to being charged with arson, they are both being tried in federal court. I remain concerned about the general federal judiciary claims underlying charges that have traditionally been of concern to prosecutors and local prosecutors.
US attorney Brian T. Moran announced that on May 30th, Channon was detained with an accelerator lit like a blowtorch on multiple cameras to burn five police vehicles. Here are two of those pictures:
However, it was her tattoos that sealed the ID. It turns out that she went missing in Texas in 2019 and her tattoos were extensively described.
The police took this flyer and adapted it to the picture of the protests:
It's another example of the dangers of ink for anarchists and anti-fascists.
Channon is now up to 10 years ago and that only counts the arson. There is still a possibility that the administration will attempt to convert some of these cases into domestic terrorism cases.
Here is my problem. As I mentioned in the Joker case, the federal government has a jurisdiction that would effectively negate the federal principles of criminal law. In Chicago, federal prosecutors appear to be arguing that the police car belongs to the city government, which buys vehicles through interstate commerce. This is quite a breathtaking construction, which the verdict in Wickard v. Filburn (1942) seems modest by comparison. In this case, Roscoe Filburn grew wheat to feed his chickens, but the Supreme Court still defined the activity as interstate trade as his harvest reduced the amount of wheat in the open (and national) market.
Defendants like Channon face the likelihood of longer federal convictions than the state government, although flaring five police concerns results in a hefty sentence in both systems.
From a civil liberties perspective, there is concern that the federal government may circumvent state and local laws and impose its own punishment for domestic crimes. So if a state did not support a president's harsh view of a particular activity, the federal prosecutor would effectively federalize the crime. The dual jurisdiction issue has been raised repeatedly by defense lawyers, particularly in civil rights prosecutions, which are virtually identical to state charges. The double hazard claims raised in such challenges have generally failed. However, this is a direct federalization of a fire crime that took place within a state and only damaged state property. That seems like a workable topic that Channon and others like her who are indicted in federal court are raising.