Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Show trials

Redfish looks at the trial Of Saddam.

I think this is another good time to point out that as much as such trials sound like a good idea, sound fair to the war criminal and seem like they would tell the world exactly what they did - I think they are actually a VERY bad idea.

The problem is that a decent defense should be able to do something between defeating a charge of "crimes against humanity" or drag the case until the accused are all dead of old age and thus beyond caring.

The first point is that these sorts of court cases disappear into little technicalities very easily. And these big crimes (war crimes etc) which we plan on convicting them of are quite vague and difficult to prove. Because it involves proving that the actions of some unrelated person that they may never have met were the intentional result of them. Furthermore there may well be hundreds of them - confusing any potential jury or even judge. Just think - how long will Milosevic’s trial go on and how can we be 100% sure he actually did anything? How sure were we that OJ Simpson was guilty and that he could back up his promise to find the guilty party? And yet after a long case he was found not guilty. What if a jury or judge says - we are 9% sure saddam is guilty but biased on the 1% we find him not guilty?

Furthermore it gives those people a platform in which to continue to make their points - a platform that is supposed to be biased in their favor to prevent them being incorrectly convicted.

If in any large scale trial the most evil people in the world will almost every time win it is an interesting lesson to teach the general public.

I suggest this leaves the following options -
1) As above
2) Do a show trial
3) Let them go
4) Charge them for something else (like theft maybe) [the al Capone strategy]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The further problem, of course, lies in deciding what is a war crime and what is not. The Nuremburg trials were a bit of a joke in that regard. "Exterminating Jews" - well, the Jerries did more of that than (we) did, so let's make it a war crime. "Bombing civilian cities", on the other hand - uh, Britain did more, so let's *not* make *that* a war crime.

Good one. War history (and morality) re-written by the victor, as they say.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Genius said...


12:30 AM  

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