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An Intolerable Act

January 5, 2015

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30680319

First question: one, what ever happened to a speedy trial?  This was almost two years ago.  Surely the federal government should be moving faster for such a trial, and it’s expected to take three months?  Why?  Could the government not yet think of enough parallels to the Oklahoma City Bombing to make it seem like the threat of domestic terrorism warranted US-NORTHCOM?  It sure doesn’t seem like the defense is going to be very good if it hasn’t been enough time to prepare.

Second question: the jury selection could be slowed by the fact some potential jurors may be against the death penalty.  Why would that matter if this is not a mock trial?  There’s no state or federal statute for this case I know of demanding all the jurors be open to the death penalty.  It cannot be a prerequisite, morally, and legally making it one is questionable at best.  Pushing the point means either the government is so assured of its case it all but expects to win (which seems to be a fair assessment), and wants only the death penalty as a punishment–which is not the prosecution’s choice, and should have no bearing whatsoever–or the selection process is acting as an arm of the prosecutor regardless of the prosecution’s confidence on the matter.

I’ll rephrase that so everyone understands the inherent threat to a legitimate trial here, or as set by precedent, anywhere after this point.  If the death penalty is required as a possibility for the jury, should the judge rule against the defendant, the punishment (as implied by the government) is already determined, regardless of the fact the judge is supposed to make any such determination without bias and based entirely on the situation in this case, not per any overarching governmental policy, state or federal.  That means the government is influencing the judge before the trial even begins by tacitly telling him or her which ruling is expected given the likeliest outcome.

This is one of the very particular offenses because of which we divorced from Great Britain in 1776.  Read it–it’s in the Declaration of Independence.  Does anyone think this is going to be a fair trial?

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From → commentary, politics

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