Exploratory Essay

Published: 2021-08-31 21:20:12
essay essay

Category: Oratory

Type of paper: Essay

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The goal of this paper is to examine the effects of the USA Patriot Act (the Act) on the Civil Liberties of the citizens of the United States. By conducting a thorough research and effectively presenting those results to the reading audience, it will be demonstrated that the Act does not infringe on citizen’s rights, nor violates the Fourth Amendment. The quotation “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” (Franklin, 1790) used by opposing groups is not a fair statement to use nor does have relevance concerning the Act and the safety of the Homeland.
The Patriot Act was signed into law on October 26, 2001 by President George W. Bush. There were four major goals to the Act (107TH CONGRESS, 1st Session, 2001): 1. to give investigators tools combat terrorism that were already available for other crimes, such as the roaming wire tap and other forms of electronic surveillance 2. to facilitate better communications between agencies investigation terrorism 3. to update statutes against terrorists to reveled threats from newer technologies 4. to increase enalties against those convicted of terrorist-related crimes The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States came into existence as a response to the abuses of the writ of assistance, which was a general search warrant, widely utilized by British customs officers prior to the American Revolution. The writs allowed government officials to search any place, any time at the desire of the writ holder. To make matters worse, searchers were not responsible for any damage they caused. These actions placed anyone who had such a writ above the law (The University of Chicago, 2000).
My current position as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer has afforded firsthand knowledge of and applicability of the Act and Fourth Amendment. The citizens of the United States know that the Fourth Amendment provides for “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (Find Law, 2010) It is common knowledge that the Fourth Amendment specifies that warrants (for search or arrest) must be sanctioned by the courts to be considered reasonable. Warrants are to be limited in scope, supported by probable cause and according to specific information sworn by a law enforcement officer accountable to the court issuing the warrant. However, the citizens are under an erroneous perception that the Act removed restrictions on law enforcement agencies ability to search telephone and e-mail communications as well as medical, financial, and other records.
To understand the point made by the paper, the reading audience will need to know how the Fourth Amendment applies to the Act and how the Act applies to the individual citizen. Understanding of what is defined as a Law Enforcement Officer (government) and what limitations are placed upon them will help clarify concepts such as what protections and recourses are afforded to the citizens.
Some of the concepts (such as the Fourth Amendment applies to criminal law, but not civil law; the Fourth Amendment applies to governmental searches and seizures however, not to those done by private citizens or organizations who are not acting on behalf of a government; stop and frisk; exceptions; probable cause and the exclusionary rule) are complex and usually require in deep understanding of the subject rather than the myths, beliefs and misconceptions usually held by the proverbial “armchair lawyers”.
The best strategy to develop the paper, and to persuade a possible uneducated or biased audience, will be the pursuit and presentation of tangible and verifiable facts. Facts such as: 1. how the lawmakers and government officials whom drafted the law included a number of sunsets provisions, (which were to expire on December 31, 2005), so the Act could be applied in real life situations and its Constitutionality verified prior to making those provisions permanent 2. ow the Act expanded the definition of terrorism, to include domestic terrorism, expanding the number of activities to which law enforcement powers could be applied to mitigate Oklahoma City style attacks 3. opposing views will be explored and either validated or discredited 4. the influence of politicians and political parties will be analyzed to understand how these groups utilize unpopular or controversial items to further their political ambitions 5. what provisions were modified, deleted or made permanent in

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