Thursday, September 01, 2011

Overheard in the Hallway:

Voice From The TV: "Libyan rebels say that if Gadahfi is caught, he will be tried, and executed by a firing squad."

Me: "I'm not sure the Libyan rebels have the whole concept of a 'trial' down pat yet."

19 comments:

Bubblehead Les. said...

"...Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss..." (h/t to Pete Townsend).

Bob said...

Hmm. Did the Nuremberg trials actually find any Nazis not guilty and let them go on their merry way?

Randy said...

Given more than 40 years of evidence, I think the trial will consist of "Yep, that's him". Then they will proceed to the punishment phase of the process.

The Jack said...

Not to mention those that by their own hand never made it to trial, and spared a bigger spectacle.

The British did not even want trials if I recall. However the US and the USSR insisted.

Tam said...

Bob,

I'm not down at all with the Nuremberg Trials. They set bad precedent.

It's one thing to say, "If we catch Adolf Hitler, we're going to stand him up against a wall and shoot him because, hey, he's Adolf Hitler, right?"

It's another to say that "If we catch Adolf Hitler, we're going to make a mockery of the very basis of our system of law and go through a sham of a kangaroo drumhead show trial in the manner of the worst of Stalinist excesses and then we're going to shoot him anyway, after setting bad international legal precedent."

Wayne said...

Every time a Predator fires a Hellfire missile and blasts another al Qaeda member into bits, what trial were they given? Oh that's right, we're in a war, so that's OK. I forget when Congress made that declaration of war.

Tam said...

Wayne,

The same time they declared war against the Barbary Pirates.

Anonymous said...

Oh good, we've caught you. First Bob here and his pals are going to work you over. Then you are going to confess. *WAIT* confession has to come second, there's a process here. Then we have a scrupulously fair trial where your manifest & obvious guiltyness, confession and general scuminess will not be offset by the fact that calling witnesses in your defense when anyone you call will be put on trial too is not relevant. Then you will sent back to bob and Co. for a little while. Followed by some not too painful way to putting you to death. You are lucky, before cameras and internal opinion meant something, we had some very inventive & slow ways to putting you to death, but we're much more modern now, and with all the horror films available it's not longer as much fun.

Anonymous said...

>I'm not down at all with the Nuremberg Trials. They set bad precedent.

As well as just about every day at traffic court. Unless of course you have enough blog-fu to get out of a laughably wrong robot revenue ticket, you'll probably have to waste an entire day in front of some guy or gal who's major source of income is from the exact same source as the expert witness who robo-signed your court summons.

Even if you manage to disprove your presumed-guilt, you still lose your time and sometimes even "court fees".

As long as jaywalkers aren't put in front of the firing squad we all seem to pretty much go along with the domestic kangaroo courts.

-SM

TBeck said...

AG Holder displayed the same philosophy towards KSM, declaring that the trial would be followed by his execution.

Josh K. said...

The Lybians must of got their view of court systems from our Lame Stream Media which is to try everyone in the court of public opinion then have a trial.
They just haven't realized that you don't always get the verdict you expect.

;-)
Josh

docjim505 said...

In many people's minds (and not just in Libya, I'm sorry to say), a trial is regarded as an expensive, wasteful formality for people that we "know" are guilty.

QUESTION: Do we have due process, written laws, trials, etc. because we have respect for the rule of law, or do we have respect for the rule of law because we see the utility of due process, laws, trials, etc?

Sigivald said...

Don't see why not.

It's not like there's any possible doubt about his guilt.

Have a proper trial to show the evidence and let him offer any ineffectual defense he wants.

Then kill him.

(See also Hussein, Hitler, etc. - and if Pol Pot or Stalin had ever been brought to trial, same thing.

"Have a trial" does not mean "maybe they're not actually guilty", in and of itself.

We get confused into thinking that it inherently means that because in almost all the cases we see trials, there is doubt about guilt.

But even when there's no doubt at all, the process is valuable.

Nevertheless, that's why it's perfectly proper in this case to say there'll be a proper, fair trial and he'll be executed afterwards - because a proper, fair trial can't exonerate him, in this particular case.)

Wayne: On September 18, 2001, with the AUMF:

That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Al Quaeda is one of, indeed the primary if not only, organization that did so.

Congress telling the President he can use whatever force he wants against those people is, legally speaking, a "declaration of war" as far as the Constitution is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Sigivald wrote:""Have a trial" does not mean "maybe they're not actually guilty", in and of itself"

Maybe, but guilty or not guilty of what?

What woud the charges be? on whose laws, are they based on? the Libyan laws of Gadahfi's time or new ones that they haven't come up with yet?

What we're looking at is an attempt to gain legitimacy by claiming some sort of legality and that's why show trials were invented.

I never liked the Nuremberg trials either.

Terry

Kristopher said...

SM: I've contested and won every traffic ticket I got in the PDX area for the past decade.

Cops in the area stopped pulling me over.

The .gov wins 95% of all ticket cases because 97% of them throw in the towel and mail in the bail.

That means the set of people that fight win 3/5ths or the time, on average.

Garrett Lee said...

Kristopher:

Every ticket I've ever gotten, I deserved. I may have disagreed with the exact speed, but I was sure as hell guilty of speeding. I once even called the cops on myself (lost control making a turn, took out a no-parking sign). Were I ticketed incorrectly, yes, I would fight it - but if I was guilty, I won't tie up the courts. That's my opinion.

wv: terite - I have terite to keep and bear arms.

docjim505 said...

Terry - What woud the charges be? on whose laws, are they based on? the Libyan laws of Gadahfi's time or new ones that they haven't come up with yet?

What we're looking at is an attempt to gain legitimacy by claiming some sort of legality and that's why show trials were invented.

Exactly.

I am personally a little conflicted on the Nuremburg trials. Yes, they had to make the "laws" up after the crimes were committed, but, on the other hand, murder is a crime in pretty much ANY jurisdiction.

Anonymous said...

>SM: I've contested and won every traffic ticket I got in the PDX area for the past decade.

Great! let's run through the math, OK?

Pay $70 for a wrongly given red-light robot revenuer (paying online, so you know it got there and you save a stamp)

vs.

* Taking at least 4 hours off work
* Driving downtown
* Paying $3.50 to park
* Having to go through the metal detectors, and leaving your phone in your car
* Paying $12.50 in court administration costs, even if you win
* Knowing that even if the cop who robosigned off on your ticket admits he did so in error, you'll never be fairly compensated for lost wages.
* Knowing that even if you catch the pig in a bald lie, you know he'll never stand trial for perjury.
* knowing full well that while you pray for relief, while you act respectful to the judge, reallizing there's a crazy legal reality where a speeding ticket is enough of a crime to let the police handcuff you and impound your car, it's not enough of a crime to have the court honor your 6th amendment right to a jury trial.

Kristopher, if you think you "won" any of your court cases, you either have a really bad "pro se" hobby or you have a robe sniffing fetish.

-SM

Heath J said...

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.