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Why is the American sheriff such a polarising figure?

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guest-seealmn

With respect to accountability: has a Sheriff some sort of immunity while in office like some other elected officials or could he get charged and tried on state or federal level?

Glenn Fleishman in reply to guest-seealmn

Sheriffs aren't above the law, but they typically have no direct line of command, like a governor, to whom they report. Instead, like executive and legislative officials, they are directly elected, and thus hard to remove and control, unlike police chiefs, who are typically hired by a mayor, city manager, or board.

Houshu

Accountable to the first makes you a democracy, accountable to the second makes you a republic, accountable to the third makes you a theocracy.
Welcome to the Christian Democratic Republic of JoeArpaio County.

wd3vvfKU6L

A nice article, but no mention of executive versus judicial branches?

Almost always, police are the enforcement department of the executive branch of government.

Sheriffs, by contrast, are the enforcement arms of the judicial branch of government. Contrary to the inference in some parts of the article, there most certainly is oversight of sheriffs, and that is provided by the relevant court.

Glenn Fleishman in reply to wd3vvfKU6L

Sheriffs have varying duties and powers depending on the U.S. state, and in some they are explicitly defined as being part of the executive branch, which makes sense, given that they are engaged in enforcing laws. In others, however, their jobs are limited to court functions, but as long as they are directly elected, they still have executive authority even with limited scope. The courts may order sheriffs to carry out a task, but the sheriff has no boss.

ashbird

Apologies. On a second read, I realized the byline is somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek. Good job.
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Brings to mind the Sheriff of Nottingham, a truly fun tale *. [That was when King Richard was gone fighting the Saracen in the Holy Land, and Prince John had a ball at home putting everyone he didn't like in the dungeon. And out came Robin Hood who could shoot an arrow on a long bow with his teeth. :) Sorry, I am drunk on Pellegrino, straight up.
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PS: My reply button doesn't work. Sorry I post in this fashion.
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* "Once upon a time, there were some real good folks and real bad folks. They both killed each other and prayed for victory to the same God. One day, God said: "I have a headache." Henceforth, the killing flourishes, so do the prayers. Indeed, so many House of Prayers it takes a 2-inch Yellow Pages to print all their whereabouts.

ashbird

Law enforcement is important. No one is slighting law-enforcement.
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In fact, law enforcement is one of the cornerstones of a well constituted civilized society.
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The above statemensts assume there is an agreement on what the "law" is, and what "enforcement" means.
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Pink panties on dickies has got nothing to do with either "law" or "enforcement". It has to do with one man's perverse idea of what law is and what "enforcement" is. One man, and he does not have all the marbles in his head.

ashbird

Seriously, don't you think the following byline has two categories too many? -
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"He or she is accountable only to local voters, the constitution and God".
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He certainly was not accountable to the Constitution or "God" as the "God" was framed by the precepts of Christianity. Local voters? YES! Hence the inspiration for gerrymandering.
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Com'on. You can fool some of the people some of the time, not all of the people all of the time.
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AND, doesn't he bring up the image of another guy the entire world knows very well by now, for hourly tweets are now as numerous and un-scrape-ble than the barnacles on a sunk ship, whose thoughts, manner of thinking, memory storage, impulsivity in manifest behaviors, are all bewildering subjects worthy of scientific investigation at this point?