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Ignorance of the law, no excuse

Ignorance of facts, who knows:

Burwell’s lawyers recently pitched the U.S. Supreme Court on the case, urging the high court to review this issue: whether prosecutors, at trial, should be required to prove that a person knew a particular gun was capable of automatic fire.

Burwell, according to his attorneys, didn’t know the AK-47 he carried during a robbery in Northeast Washington in 2004 was a machine gun. The bulk of Burwell’s prison sentence flows from the machine gun charge.

So, the crime of tax evasion (i.e., not paying the appropriate tax for a machine gun) gets a stiffer sentence than threatening someone with a gun to hand you the money or you will kill them?

8 Responses to “Ignorance of the law, no excuse”

  1. flatdarkmars Says:

    Of course tax evasion gets a stiffer sentence. Robbery is just taking *your* money, tax evasion is taking the *government’s* money.

  2. Mr Evilwrench Says:

    Yeah, taxes are simple. Guns are, like, complicated, you know.

  3. DocMerlin Says:

    Tax evasion and owning military weapons threatens the state. Threatening a mere citizen with a gun does not.

  4. tincan Says:

    yep, that’s DC for you. I live here and crooks are rarely charged with gun violations, because the penalties are too stiff and the jury population has a certain comfort level with gun crimes.

  5. Mike Says:

    More and more, I’ve come to the realization that we’re all living in a virtual dramatization of one of Ayn Rand’s novels.

    I call it the “Randian Matrix”.

  6. Jeff From DC Says:

    @tincan-you’ve summed it up pretty well, but that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. My partner got shot by a juvenile, who in turn was convicted of something like 18 different charges, and was sentenced…to a 10PM curfew. That curfew was later tossed out on appeal because “boys need their summertime nights to be well-rounded.” That was the quote from the Magistrate. So he carjacked someone at gunpoint, shot a cop, and his punishment was ultimately boys will be boys. My old partner ended up quiting and going to a less insane municipality. We are truly living in a cuckoo clock.

    Adult cases are getting better as the city gets more gentrified. I hate to put it that bluntly, but a fact is a fact.

  7. Backwoods Engineer Says:

    “We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them…you create a nation of lawbreakers and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden.” (Atlas Shrugged

  8. TigerStripe Says:

    Ignorance is no excuse for a law, either.