Rawls for Sheriff

Dear Citizen:

If it were not for an unconstitutional law, I would right now be offering you a chance to vote for some very interesting things (like your gun rights) that none of those from within law enforcement's state chartered electoral monopoly will offer you.

So that you can learn more about my proposals and myself, I have assembled this web page.

Sincerely, Alec Rawls

Write in Rawls for Sheriff in the election June 2nd !

Click a button, or scroll down for a list of synopses:

Who is this guy?

Alec's Excellent Adventure (Suing the State)

Self Defense is Now Illegal in San Jose

Arm East Palo Alto

Reframing our System of Liberty

How to Safely Decimate Crime

Rawls v Jones and Beattie

Disarm Criminals, not Law Abiding Citizens

Home Page

Who is this guy?

I am a carpenter finishing a Ph.D. in economics at Stanford University. I have studied and written about criminal law for many years and understand how to drastically improve crime control while increasing liberty. For instance, if we would protect liberty directly (by articulating the full ideal of protected liberty) instead of indirectly (by placing restrictions on law enforcement) we could untie the hands of the police while greatly improving the protection of liberty. (See Reframing our System of Liberty, below.)

Another way to crack down on crime while increasing liberty is to protect gun-rights. The proper role of law enforcement is to help the law abiding citizens defend themselves, not disarm them so that they cannot defend themselves. When upstanding citizens can get gun permits (a power of the sheriff) the criminals do not know who is armed and are deterred from attacking anyone. Everyone is safer and those who do not want to be armed can be more secure in that decision. (See Disarm Criminals, not Law Abiding Citizens, and other gun rights articles below.)

The current law enforcement establishment is not only wrong about liberty (seeking not to empower the citizenry, but achieve a monopoly of power over them) they have pursued their anti-democratic instincts further by securing an electoral monopoly for those within the law enforcement stablishment. No one is more on the side of law enforcement than I, who have spent years figuring out how to untie the hands of the police. But it is no help to law enforcement when the leadership is out to subvert the proper relation of government to the people.

I have been a writer and editor for two Stanford publications (The Stanford Review and The Thinker) for a combined ten years. Through this career I have published many of my positions on criminal law. This page contains synopses of several of these articles, and links to them. There are also links to my Pleadings and Briefs from my suit for ballot access in the sheriff's race.

The status of my candidacy is in limbo and not looking good. My goal at this point is just to get a notice of appeal filed so that I can keep the case alive and hopefully in the end get this act of usurpation overthrown, though there is virtually no chance that it will be declared unconstitutional in time to allow me on the ballot. If you want to write in vote for me in June, by all means do, though I don't anticipate having the resources to wage a write in campaign.

Some of the stuff available here is fabulously important. If all I accomplish is to have some people discover what I have discovered, that alone could be worth everything.

Rawls v Jones and Beattie

Pleadings and briefs from my suit against the Secretary of State of the State of California and the Registrar of Voters of Santa Clara County.

Update 2011: The courts dismissed my 1998 case without ever getting to the merits, but through the process of researching and writing the required briefs I came to understand that my case had the makings to end the Supreme Court's improper reading-out of the guarantee clause from the Constitution, so I had another go in 2002. Again the courts were useless, but my final appeal to the Supreme Court (not taken up) lays out the guarantee clause case reasonably clearly I think.

Alec's Excellent Adventure (1780 Words)

An account of my suit against the State of California for ballot access in the sheriff's race (1780 words), originally published in The Stanford Review, 4/14/98. See also the Op-Ed article I am anticipating will be published soon in The San Jose Mercury News entitled: Excluded Sheriff's Candidate Speaks Out (720 words). There is some redundancy between these pieces and the introductory remarks on my suit that appear on the Rawls For Sheriff Home Page.  

Self-Defense Illegal in San Jose (1043 Words)

Last fall, San Jose fire-fighter Robert Gremminger was sentenced to nine years in prison for the heroic act of putting himself in harms way to go to the aid of a beseiged security guard and then defending himself instead of running away when the criminal advanced upon him. The District Attorney's office gained a manslaughter conviction on the grounds that Gremminger had an obligation to run away. On the contrary, the right to self defense, which is listed as an "inalienable right" in Article I section 1 of the California State Constitution, means precisely that one does not have an obligation to run away. One has a right to defend oneself!

Race activists in the NAACP agitated for severity against Gremminger on racial grounds. They were led by their racial hatreds to abet the criminalization of self defense, which does more harm to blacks (our most victimized group) than to any other group. This article (click title above) was originally published in The Stanford Review, 2/17/98.

Last year I wrote an earlier article on the Gremminger case (also for The Stanford Review). You can view it by clicking: Collective Guilt Infects Criminal Law (1100 words).

Nobody is saying it, but it is very plausible that slain Millbrae Officer David Chetcuti's fatal decision not to shoot in the back a rifleman who was shooting at another officer was influenced by the Gremminger prosecution. (Chetcuti instead issued a command to disarm, which cost him his life, 2/25/98.) Did Chetcuti give the criminal every chance, far beyond what the criminal was due, because of the recent history in San Jose of prosecuting people who do not place the lives of criminals above their own?

Note that, in spite of my clear understanding of the stupendous mistakes being made by the incumbent District Attorney (criminalizing self-defense) I am barred from running in the District Attorney's race just as I am barred from the Sheriff's race, this time because I am not a member of the bar. It is another bought monoply, courtesy of our corrupt legislature.

Make sure you vote for Mel Anderson for District Attorney instead of the incumbent George Kennedy. Also, vote for anybody but Joyce Allegro (the woman who prosecuted Gremminger) for Superior Court Judge.

Arm East Palo Alto (1650 words)

A Stanford Review article urging gun rights for East Palo Alto. EPA has the highest local crime rate (in '92 it had the highest murder rate in the nation), suggesting that the law abiding citizens of EPA suffer more than others from denial of their gun rights. This article is my attempt to ignite a civil rights crusade over this issue. So far none of those who claim to be civil right advocates have taken any interest. Originally published 10/21/97.

Reframing our system of liberty

A series of five articles originally published in The Stanford Review from 1990-91.

If we switched to protecting liberty directly rather than indirectly (by articulating the full scope of protected liberty instead of by limiting the methods of crime control) we could relax many of the most burdensome restrictions on crime control while at the same time achieving better protection of liberty. (Cross-reference: Liberty volume of Moral Science. The key to switching from indirect to direct protection of liberty is the theory of ends. We have to know what it is what are trying to protect. We have to be able to articulate the full ideal of liberty. Then we can protect it directly, which improves the protection of liberty while allowing restrictions on crime control to be relaxed. Moral theory, in the form of the theory of ends, gives us what we need to reap this terrific efficiency.)

How to Safely Decimate Crime (1638 words)

A Thinker article on how to reform our jury system in criminal cases. If vestigial doubt about guilt is so important that we are willing to compromise our entire system of criminal justice to defend against it, they obviously we ought to be distinguishing between cases where it is and is not present. By adding a certainty option to the verdict of guilt and making some changes that this extra verdict enables, our system of criminal law can be made far more hazardous to the guilty while posing much less risk to the innocent. Originally published, 12/8/95. (Cross-references to the Liberty and Non-ideal Theory volumes from Moral Science, and to the play Draco and Antæus where this solution forms the resolution after the penultimate conflict.)

Disarm Criminals, not Law Abiding Citizens (1391 words)

Reasonably thorough, slightly abrasive, Mr. Knowitall article on why laws against guns (instead of against criminals having guns) necessarily tilt advantage towards the criminals.

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Date Last Modified: 8/27/99
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