Thursday, September 8, 2011

Disparate Treatment

No discretion for whites accused of crimes, but illegal aliens of color get amnesty and employment authorization.

Thursday, September 8, 2011 The Coeur d' Alene Press

COEUR d'ALENE - The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boise announced Wednesday it is dismissing the pending misdemeanor criminal charge against Jeremy M. Hill for the killing of a grizzly bear on his Porthill property on May 8.

Hill, 33, agreed that under provisions of the Endangered Species Act and related regulations, he committed a violation. Hill shot a 2-year-old male grizzly bear that was with its mother and a sibling on Hill's 20-acre property.

Regulations prohibit removing nuisance bears, except when authorized by government authorities. Hill, who pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene last month, has been issued a notice of violation and paid a $1,000 fine.
Hill didn't return a call seeking comment.

However, in a written statement he said, "I am thankful that the government has dismissed all criminal charges against me in this case."

He said he paid the fine to avoid putting his family, which includes six children, through the emotional strain and the cost of a trial.

"I am glad this issue has been resolved out of court and I am looking forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind me," Hill said.

He said he had never seen a grizzly bear before on his property.

Marc Lyons, of Coeur d'Alene, Hill's attorney, said in a statement, "It is important to understand that the Hill family lives in a rural farm community. The Hill family home is 1,000 feet from one of the main Idaho highways, and is not in the mountains, the wilderness, or where someone would normally expect grizzly bear activity."

U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced that dismissal of the criminal charge in favor of the citation was based in part on Hill's prompt notification of his actions to Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials.

"The United States Attorney's Office well understands Mr. Hill is a concerned husband and father who wants to protect his family," said Olson. "Anyone who observes or hears of a grizzly bear near campsites or residences must immediately contact fish and wildlife officials."

Olson said federal, state and tribal officials are mandated to act immediately and effectively to remove grizzly bears from populated areas.

The regulations are designed to ensure citizen safety and protect the grizzly bear, which has been designated a threatened species.

Olson said that during the course of the investigation, state and federal wildlife officials were unable to establish the location of Hill's children when the three grizzly bears were first sighted in the yard, about 40 yards from his home.

Within his statement, Hill described the incident as follows:

"After having family over for dinner on Mother's Day, I was outside at the basketball hoop with four of my children. I went into the house to take a shower. When I finished showering and was getting dressed, my wife, Rachel, looked out the bedroom window and saw three grizzly bears at the edge of our yard, but very close by, standing near a small pen that held the children's 4-H pigs. The last time I saw my children they were outside. I grabbed a rifle and ran out on the deck. I yelled for the children, but did not hear a response. The bears did not move away from the pen as I was yelling.

Fearing for the safety of my children, I shot the bear that was closest to the house. The other two bears ran across part of the lawn and into the brush.

The wounded bear followed into the yard, but stopped and turned toward the house. I shot the bear again. About this time, Rachel told me that the children were safe inside the house. The bear I shot was badly wounded, and I believed at that time that it would be very dangerous to leave the bear wounded, possibly posing a threat to others. I also thought the humane thing to do was to put the wounded bear out of its misery."

And also of interest, what authority gave the Federal government the power to criminalize the shooting of an animal on private property? The bear was not on Federal property, it was not involved in interstate commerce, where is the authority under the Constitution to criminalize the shooting of any animal, much less one shot in self-defense?

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