Better Than … the ‘Bill of Rights’ – ‘Third & Fourth Amendments’: Justice First

Go Lean Commentary

Providing the stewardship for a federal government is hard work, with a lot of heavy-lifting tasks and responsibilities.  No short cuts!

So many times, governmental institutions – think security forces – abuse their position/strength and exploit the rights and property of ordinary citizens. Good governance mandates that we be On Guard for such abuses. When strong individuals abuse weaker ones in society, we call it bullying. When governmental institutions do it, we call it:


The subject of tyranny was front-and-center in the debates during the Constitutional Conventions in the 1780’s, at the dawn of the United States of America. Today’s Caribbean stakeholders can benefit greatly from studying this American History and gleaning the wisdom afforded.  Most importantly, we can stand on the shoulders of those American Founding Fathers and reach even greater heights. We get to do this exercise now without the flawed orthodoxy of those days: no racial and gender discrimination – notice the reference to Founding Fathers and not Founding Mothers.

This introduction allows us to define the Third and Fourth Amendments of the US Constitution – subsets of the Bill of Rights.

Third Amendment to the United States Constitution
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.[93]

Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
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.[93]

Constitutional scholars refer to these two amendments as Anti-Tyranny provisions. Imagine the tyranny of armed soldiers commandeering houses and work places, demanding access to and hospitality on a private citizen’s property. Also imagine the tyranny of security personnel (armed checkpoints or police forces) invading private spaces without probable cause. (See Appendix C VIDEO below for a fuller definition). This is why this commentary considers these two amendments in tandem.

Planners for a new Caribbean governance must consider these Constitutional provisions from the onset (accession) of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This is the charter of the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean, to present a roadmap for the introduction of the CU and to spell out the details for the confederation treaty – and subsequent Constitution. The CU/Go Lean roadmap presents these 3 goals:

  1. Optimize of the economic engines;
  2. Establish a security apparatus and justice institutions to serve and protect the people and resultant economic engines;
  3. Improve Caribbean governance with the deployment of this federal authority and streamlining the member-state administrations.

There are so many opportunities for abuse.

The Third Amendment is straightforward and rarely comes under dispute – requiring Supreme Court interpretations. There is an opportunity for the new Caribbean to be better. In contrast, the Caribbean reality can sustain a No Quatering provision.

The Fourth Amendment however has been a constant source of challenges and interpretation expansions. See a legal reference here:

The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. Search and seizure (including arrest) must be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer who has sworn by it. The amendment is the basis for the exclusionary rule, which mandates that evidence obtained illegally cannot be introduced into a criminal trial.[107] The amendment’s interpretation has varied over time; its protections expanded under left-leaning courts such as that headed by Earl Warren and contracted under right-leaning courts such as that of William Rehnquist.[108]

As for this Fourth Amendment comparison, there is the opportunity to prioritize justice over law-and-order in regards to the “Exclusionary Rules”. Consider the reality of unlawful “search and seizures”, where the evidence is then disqualified. This may lead to miscarriages of justice, where guilty parties continue unabated and innocent victims never get their just relief. Such a system, as is the case in the US, is truly broken, and encourages extra-judicial retaliations, which exacerbates criminal activity in society; think street justice.

We can do better! (See more on the impact of the Fourth Amendment on the modern challenges of Internet & Communications Technologies (ICT) activities in Appendix D).

We can allow for sanctions and retributions against security forces/justice institutions for procedural violations while still pursuing justice. This approach works in civil proceeding, international peace-keeping and political cases (think impeachment); so there could be some “Solomonic” approach in criminal proceedings – especially when no death penalty is attached. (Ancient Israel King Solomon threatened death to a child in order to ascertain the true identity of the real mother – this proved to be indisputable wisdom).

Other countries have such a system. In fact only the US, and a few other countries, have absolute “Exclusionary Rules”. As is evidenced in Appendices A & B, many other countries try to adapt a case-by-case approach where the probative value of evidence can still be factored in when considering judgment, in the interest of justice. It is obvious that there are no perfect lines between Criminal Proceedings, Exclusionary Rules and Justice. (Life is not black-and-white; there are many shades of grey).

This is the continuation – 3 of 6 – of the November 2019 series from the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean. Since we publish a series of teaching commentaries every month – as a supplement to the 2013 book – this series examines the thesis that we, in the Caribbean, can be Better Than America, in words (law) and in action. As we analyze the American Bill of Rights and the Third & Fourth Amendments, we realize that tyranny must always be monitored and mitigated in any society concerned with justice. The full catalog of this series is detailed as follows:

  1. Better than the Bill of Rights: First Amendment – We can do better
  2. Better than the Bill of Rights: Second Amendment – No slavery legacy
  3. Better than the Bill of Rights: Third  & Fourth Amendments – Remember, Justice First
  4. Better than the Bill of Rights: Fifth & Sixth Amendments
  5. Better than the Bill of Rights: Seventh & Eighth Amendments
  6. Better than the Bill of Rights: Ninth & Tenth Amendments

As this series refers to the need for a comprehensive roadmap for elevating the societal engines – economics, security and governance – of the 30 Caribbean member-states. This effort must include the justice institutions. People are more inclined to abandon their homeland if there are no justice assurances; privacy is rarely a determination. This is why we must consider the actuality of American jurisprudence in our competitive assessment. Especially considering modern challenges of Internet & Communications Technologies (ICT).

The Go Lean book provides 370 pages of roadmap details on the security and justice mandates to elevate our society; this includes the community ethos (attitudes and values) that we need to adopt, plus the executions of strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to better secure the Caribbean homeland. The roadmap stresses that in addition to economic reforms, we must equally reform/transform our security-justice eco-systems. Consider this excerpt on security principles from Page 23:

Book Excerpt: c. Security Principles

… This roadmap for Caribbean integration declares that peace, security and public safety is tantamount to economic prosperity. This is why an advocacy for the Greater Good must be championed as a community ethos. A prime precept is that it is “better to know than to not know” – this implies that privacy is secondary to security. A secondary precept is that bad things will happen to good people and so the community needs to be prepared to contend with the risks that can imperil the homeland.

c-1. Privacy versus Public Protection
The institutions and agencies of the CU must respect the privacy of Caribbean residents in their homes, vehicles and offices. But when a person goes out into the public, there cannot be any expectation of privacy, it is then the community ethos that public protection is paramount to individual privacy rights. Therefore the community will work with law enforcement agencies to identify, warn and report any terroristic threats or suspicious activities.

Imagine a suicide bomber attending Carnival and detonating a bomb and killing hundreds. Far-fetched? Yet incidences like this are not uncommon, not just in failed-states like Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine, but also recently in the UK, Spain and in Boston USA during their annual marathon in April 2013. Would such an event happen in some CU member-state? We hope not. But hope alone cannot be our only defense; we must prepare, plan, monitor and mitigate – we must police our communities. We have a number of population groups that have been cited as high risk: Muslim fundamentalists, Black Nationalists, White Supremacists, and especially narco-terrorists/gang participants. This roadmap therefore posits that intelligence gathering must commence at the outset of this federation, and public protection must “trump” personal privacy.

c-2. Whistleblower Protection
The CU must allow for anonymous reporting of potential threats. If a report (whistleblower) is harassed as a result, the community must come to his/her aid and protection. For starters, the CU will offer toll free numbers and mobile-apps and web-interfaces to allow anonymous reporting of suspicious activities.

“If you see something, say something”.

c-3. Witness Security & Protection
Beyond initial reporting, the CU will allow for Witness Security (WitSec) and Protection so that there will be no bad consequences for doing the right thing. Since most of the “homeland” are islands, there are not a lot of places whistleblowers and eye-witnesses can go to seek refuge. Therefore, all communities in the region must come together to provide a joint solution. This responsibility, WitSec, therefore becomes an exclusive federal (a la “Federation”) deliverable.

c-4. Anti-Bullying and Mitigation
The CU security pact must defend against regional threats, including domestic terrorism. This includes gangs and their junior counterparts, bullies. The community must accept that young ones will go astray, so Juvenile Justice programs should be centered on the goal to rehabilitate them into good citizens, before it’s too late. So community messaging (life-coaching and school-mentoring programs) must be part of the campaign for anti-bullying and mitigations.
Source: Book Go Lean…Caribbean Page 23

To do better than our American counterpart would mean doing “whatever it takes” to ensure justice in our society. This is among the mandates of the Social Contract, “where citizens surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the State in exchange for protection of remaining natural and legal rights”.

Remember Edward Snowden? See summary here:

Title: NSA records all phone calls in the Bahamas, according to Snowden
According to the below [a] news article, the US National Security Agency is gathering and analyzing mobile phone calls on Bahamians talking to Bahamians. This article raises so many questions for a Caribbean consideration:

  • Is this OK with the political/social leaders of the Bahamas?
  • Is this OK with the people of the Bahamas?
  • Why is this effort exerted by the US and not the Bahamas?
  • Could the local obstacle be the costs of the ICT investment?
  • Is there any value to this intelligence gathering? Have crimes and terroristic attacks been mitigated?

The book Go Lean…Caribbean identifies that intelligence gathering & analysis can be advantageous for the security of the member-states in the Caribbean region. Whatever your politics, you want a measure of peace-and-security in the region. Based on the foregoing article, there is some value to a cross-border, regional intelligence/security apparatus.

There have been a number of blog-commentaries by the Go Lean movement that highlighted the need and provisions for optimizing justice institutions in the region; see a sample list here: Unequal Justice: Student Loans Could Dictate Justice Unequal Justice: Envy and the Seven Deadly Sins Unequal Justice: Bullying Magnified to Disrupt Commerce Unequal Justice: Sheriffs and the need for ‘soft’ Tyrannicide Way Forward – For Justice: Special Prosecutors Justice and Economics – Need to Optimize Bankruptcies #ManifestJustice Activism – Optimizing Prisoners for Profit Role Model for Justice – The Pinkertons

In the opening submission of this series, it was articulated how the American Bill of Rights was designed to be embedded in the country’s legal foundation in 1791 so that subsequent majorities could not readily violate the rights of minorities. This is a good premise … on paper. But the reality is that the legal foundation is equally hard to reform even if it is discovered to be harmful for the overall society in subsequent years, decades and centuries. Think:

  • First Amendment protections for Fake News or …
  • Second Amendment protections for Assault Weapons.

Fixing America is not so easy; many people echo the feeling of “God-damned Bill of Rights“; think of the passions of the young people at the “March For Our Lives” in March 2018.

We can do better here at home in the Caribbean – where the American Bill of Rights do not apply – We have no excuse!

Yes, we can be Better Than America; we can do better than the Bill of Rights. This is a tall order and Big Deal for the stewards of a new Caribbean. But this Big Deal is still conceivable, believable and achievable with a coordinated regional effort – “many hands make a big job, small”. This is how we can make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. 


Appendix A – Comparative analysis of exclusionary rules in the United States, England, France, Germany, and Italy

By: Yue Ma
Policing: An International Journal – ISSN: 1363-951X
Publication Date: 1 September 1999
The exclusionary rule remains one of the most controversial doctrines in America’s constitutionalized criminal procedure. Jurists and commentators criticize the American exclusionary rule as a rule unique to American jurisprudence. Though   American jurists and commentators’ criticism focuses on the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule, the criticism of the American exclusionary rule with reference to practices in foreign countries serves to create and maintain the misconception that the United States is the only country that has the exclusionary rule. The belief that the exclusionary rule exists only in the United States is far from accurate. This article examines the historical development and the current status of exclusionary rules in the United States, England, France, Germany, and Italy. Attentions are especially devoted to analyzing the characteristics of the American exclusionary rule with reference to exclusionary rules in other countries.

Source: Ma, Y. (1999), “Comparative analysis of exclusionary rules in the United States, England, France, Germany, and Italy”, Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 280-303.


Appendix B – The Exclusionary Rule: A Comparative Analysis

Source: Shellie Labell (2014). Leonard Birdsong Legal Blog Site; Published January 28, 2014 retrieved from:


APPENDIX C VIDEO – Search and Seizure: Crash Course Government and Politics #27 –

Published Aug 15, 2015 –
This week Craig talks about police searches and seizures. Now, the fourth amendment says that you have the right to be protected against “unreasonable searches and seizures” but what exactly does this mean? Well, it’s complicated. The police often need warrants issued with proof of probable cause, but this isn’t always the case – such as when you’re pulled over for a moving violation. We’ll finish up with the limitations of these protections and discuss one group of people in particular that aren’t protected equally – students.

Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

Support is provided by Voqal:

All attributed images are licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 2.0


APPENDIX D VIDEO – Beyond Search & Seizure | Jeffrey Rosen | TEDxPhiladelphia –

TEDx Talks 

Published Feb 9, 2016 – Ubiquitous surveillance is threatening American values of privacy and equal justice in ways the founders of the Constitution never could’ve imagined when they penned the Fourth Amendment that protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. In this spellbinding talk, Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, describes how the use of public surveillance systems, brain scans, DNA collection and consumer profiling calls for new translations of the amendment so that it protects privacies in the 21st century that the Constitution’s framers took for granted in the 18th. Recognizing that ubiquitous surveillance is akin to the general warrants that sparked the American Revolution, we must all demand zones of immunity that protect privacy and equality in the digital age.

Jeffrey Rosen is president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, a museum and civic-education headquarters dedicated to non-partisan Constitutional discussion and debate. Well-versed in American freedoms and rights, he is a law professor at George Washington University and a contributing editor to The Atlantic, and has been referred to as “the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator.” Among many other works, he is the author of The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined America, and co-editor of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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