• From: John Wager <john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 19:01:20 -0500

Eric Yost wrote:

Judy: That's an argument against hasty execution, not one in favour of denial of due process (let alone torture).

Eric: No, it's an argument in favor of removing terrorists from the criminal justice system. Nobody has responded to it yet.

OK, here's a response:
1. Separating "terrorists" from the justice system can't be done UNTIL one has determined who is and who is not a terrorist, and teh criminal justice system is designed to find out questions of fact exactly like that. Without some "due process" a terrorist is someone a neighbor claims is a terrorist.
2 The consequence of the above is that EVERYBODY suffers, not just terrorists. Neighbors suffer because, knowing there is no due process, they fear being "turned in" the same way.
3. The very people who are to be protected against terrorists suffer because once we have used the techniques and methods on terrorists that would not be allowed in a court of law, we can no longer subject those prisoners to legal proceedings--any "right" to due process has already been so violated that we cannot punish the guilty in a court of law. Let me re-state this: Even if we had the 20th hijacker in Cuba, after subjecting them to the kind of treatment we have subjected those detainees to, we could no longer hope to begin to try that person. The government can "claim" that it has found the person, and "claim" that we know who it is, and "claim" that the person is being appropriately punished, but NONE of this can take place in a court of law, due to all the previous violations. It's not only the accused that wants "justice" in a court of law; more typically it's those victimized. They want to know that the guilty have been punished. They will never get this satisfaction.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence and ignorance." -------------------------------------------------
John Wager john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx
Lisle, IL, USA

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