1997-06-03 - Re: McVeigh

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From: Hallam-Baker <hallam@ai.mit.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 2b54f8e5d2d1d96d3579ff91f43efd3616efe0380866a95e2606b097ed62c1d0
Message ID: <339381FA.2781@ai.mit.edu>
Reply To: <199706030020.TAA04784@manifold.algebra.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-06-03 03:12:17 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 11:12:17 +0800

Raw message

From: Hallam-Baker <hallam@ai.mit.edu>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 11:12:17 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: McVeigh
In-Reply-To: <199706030020.TAA04784@manifold.algebra.com>
Message-ID: <339381FA.2781@ai.mit.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Mike Duvos wrote:
> Igor writes:
> > Is that the end of the story? I understand it that he can appeal, and
> > will.
> One of the major flaws of the Criminal Justice System in this country is
> that one can only appeal based on procedural issues.  No one, after a
> trial has concluded, may ever challenge the trial verdict. They may only
> argue that the proper ritual was not followed, and higher courts are very
> reluctant to disagree with the actions of lower courts, preferring instead
> to state that the errors committed would likely not have affected the
> outcome.

This is yet another example of the result of taking the consitution
too literally. The English common law idea of trial by ones peers
somehow gets transmogravated into the peculiar idea that ones
peers will produce an infallible verdict. Generaly the idea of trial 
by ones peers has been read as a protection for the defendant
and that it is open to the government to grant a new trial if
they chose.

Appeals based on new evidence are not a matter of course in the
UK but they are not unusual either. One of the ironies of the
Maguire 7 and Birmingham 6 cases was that despite being widely
reported in the US as miscarriges of justice no mention was made
of the fact that in the US there would be no legal recourse
whatsoever. Even if it was proven beyond doubt that the 
evidence on which the conviction was based was fraudulent
there could be no appeal on that basis.

> It gets even worse than that.  Many states, Texas amongst them, have a
> time limit for the introduction of new evidence after a trial, even if it
> completely exonerates the defendent, and are prefectly willing to execute
> someone as long as they have been given "due process," even if it has been
> clearly demonstrated that they are not guilty.
The trial was federal so the federal proceedures would apply. 

> The only difference between Tim McVeigh and Richard Jewell is that the
> government stopped the hatchet job on Jewell in midstream.

One other difference, Jewell saved lives by warning people of a
bomb and McVeigh murdered 167 by planting one. A small detail
perhaps in the eyes of militia appologists anxious to find any 
possible reason to maintain their fantasy world.

Again why the sudden concern for the mechanisms of justice 
when one white guy is found guilty of murdering 167 people?