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Even Bad People Deserve Due Process

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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:58 AM
Original message
Even Bad People Deserve Due Process
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 02:03 AM by Solly Mack
More especially those bad people who have deprived due process to others.

That's what separates the good from the bad. The fair from the unfair. The just from the unjust.

If you deny due process - a fair trial - according to the laws you claim you embrace, then you have become the very thing you claim you are against.

A violation of international law is violation of international law - whether it be Abu Ghraib, GTMO, secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, illegal and indefinite detentions - or war crimes and crimes against humanity tribunals held against detainees and/or tyrants alike.

A violation of the principles of due process is a violation of due process. If we deny one person a fair trial then no one can expect to ever have a fair trial.

The trial against Saddam Hussein was called a trial for crimes against humanity - subject to International Law, and Iraq and the United States are both party members to those laws.

The UN found the trial of Saddam Hussein to be part and parcel to the occupying authority - America.

Number 5 in the below article says:

"The Working Group also found that, considering that Saddam Hussein is in the physical custody of the USA authorities, any possible conclusion as to the arbitrary nature of his deprivation of liberty may involve the international responsibility of the US government as well."

Bush will use the excuse it wasn't America that tried Hussein, that it was Iraq's "new" "sovereign" government. But you don't have to look too close at all to see America's hand all over the trial.

Maybe death is what Saddam Hussein deserves. That's a judgment I'm not ready to pass. I don't have the supreme authority to make that determination. Nor would I choose death even if I did.

But I do believe in protecting my rights. The protection of my rights includes the protection of the rights of others.

It's not about what kind of person Saddam Hussein is - or was...

It's about what kind of people we are...

We either walk the walk of due process and international law or we cherry pick the laws that cover up our actions and frame them in a more acceptable light - so as to avoid accountability for those actions.



Read it. Read the whole thing.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights - The Trial of Saddam Hussein

"The deprivation of liberty of Mr. Saddam Hussein is arbitrary, being in contravention of article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Iraq and the United States are parties, and falls within category III of the categories applicable to the consideration of the cases submitted to the Working Group."

It's not about Saddam Hussein. It's never been about Saddam Hussein.

It's about us.




















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Justitia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
1. I concur - it IS about US. Thanks for the links. And the clarity. -eom
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. The end (Saddam's death) doesn't justify the means (Bush's invasion)
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 02:51 AM by Solly Mack
and everything that has resulted from that invasion/occupation.

The end never justifies the means

America can't talk about believing in the rule of law and believing in liberty and then deny it to others without exposing just how corrupted America's idea of the rule of law obviously is...

Is that the kind of America we want? Is that the kind of people we are?

Thank you for your words!!!






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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. W's hanging sickens us all
It's W law on an Arab country.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 02:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. It puts the "Mock" in America's democracy
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:04 AM
Response to Original message
5. Especially bad people -
good people generally need no process, as they tend not to commit crimes.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:06 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. And due process protects the innocent who are arrested regardless
of their innocence

That's why due process must be respected...why it must be adhered to



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951-Riverside Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:07 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. "good people generally need no process"
Every hear of people being "wrongfully accused"
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #7
18. Yes i have
No need to get your nickers in a knot.

My reply was along the lines of 'if you support freedom of expression, you support it especially for opinions you don't like'.
Due process is there especially for bad people. Which of course does not mean i think good people have no right to due process.
In so far there is such a thing a "bad people" and "good people" (i'm just going along with the OP here), then "good people" don't commit crimes - in which case any legal process, due or otherwise, is pretty much irrelevant. Due process is relevant specifically for people who have committed a crime ("bad people").
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rock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:12 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. And until they've had due process
who's to judge them as good or bad?
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. I think the OP has judged
I'm merely going by that same judgment, using the same metaphor of "bad people" and "good people" as the OP apparently does.
No cause for alarm though, i don't think that judgment is binding.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Uh, no. I chose the wording intentionally though
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 07:13 AM by Solly Mack
The attitude expressed across the web and on the news has been "Saddam is bad", so it doesn't matter what happens to him, or how it happens...

My title is in response to those who think because Saddam is "bad" that he somehow doesn't merit full due process and full respect of his rights....

See, it's not what Saddam did or didn't do..It's what we do that determines the kind of people we are and the kind of country we have

It doesn't matter if you see someone as "bad" or "good" - all people deserve - and have a right to - fairness, with respect to human rights..especially in a court of law. Where the potential for abuse is great unless we do respect due process.

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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #16
25. I think it matters if you see someone as "bad" or "good",
in so far that it matters that the general attitude towards Saddam is that he's "bad". Which apparently does matter to you since it's the reason for your OP and your choice of words. I'm just following that paradigm to point out how it reflects on "good" people wrt due process.

In spite of being on the same page with most folks in this thread, my reply seems to have taken on a life of it's own. In hindsight i think i better had shut up.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. I don't think whether a person is seen as good or bad plays into
whether or not we overlook the denial of due process. We should never just overlook it when anyone is denied their rights as humans - which include due process under our own as well as international law.

Regardless of how the entire world labels a person, even someone as despicable as Bush, that person is still entitled to due process. That person has rights that must be respected. We protect our own rights when we protect the rights of everyone.

I'm sorry for any misunderstandings or miscommunication and I do not want you to "shut up" :)





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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:45 AM
Response to Original message
8. all people have due process in a Free Society, only in a 'Decidership' do people lose rights
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:46 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I love that - "Decidership"
Excellent!!!

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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:02 AM
Response to Original message
10. Yup.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I've been reading across the web and hearing on the news
the attitude that Saddam is "bad" so it doesn't matter what happens to him or how it happens.

And I keep thinking "what the fuck does being bad have to do with due process?"

What does it have to do with protecting human rights? preserving justice?

There isn't a due process for the bad and a due process for the good. People don't get to decide to allow due process for those they like and to deny it to those they don't like.

International laws and treaties, that both Iraq and the US are parties to, don't stipulate you get to deny liberty (due process) to the "bad" people.

It's just amazing.

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:37 AM
Response to Original message
12. Great post n/t
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:01 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Thank you, malaise
Much appreciated
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #13
23. You're welcome
:D
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JustABozoOnThisBus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
17. Does the UN really care about Saddam Hussein?
Or are they upset about a trespass on their jurisdictional turf?

To me, the real "justice" would be to admit the war was illegal, and restore as much as possible to pre-war status (circa 1990). Get Saddam out of jail and re-establish his baathist presidency. Restore his dominion over Kuwait. Then get out.

He was deposed and captured illegally. I don't care how many appeals he gets or on what stage they're performed on.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. They don't have to care about Saddam Hussein to know
a violation of agreed upon and accepted international law is bad for everyone.


I also think "justice" involves admitting the invasion/occupation was/is illegal...in fact, "justice" starts with that admission.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
20. One of my concerns
is that his execution will be another fuse that helps set off the powder keg in the Middle East. I have read where people write that he was not a good Muslim, and that militant Islamists have long hated him. And the logical conclusion is that because of this, his death will not be viewed as a big deal. Yet we all know that logic is often trumped by the emotional tides of war, and that what makes sense from outside of the picture frame has little relationship to what happens within.

I do not believe in the death penalty. I think the power Saddam had -- which in large part was fed by the republicans from the Reagan-Bush era -- has long since left him. He is a bad person, and I do not deny the hatred many Iraqis feel for him is just, and the contempt that many DUers feel for him is justified. But I wonder if in death he will regain some of the power he used to have.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. I'm thinking that ,in Iraq ,people fully expect an escalation
of attacks once Saddam is executed. But I don't know...

I think the dead, especially if those that die are seen as dying at the enemy's hand or dying unjustly, become something other than what they really were in life...

Whether or not I feel contempt for a person doesn't play into my belief they still deserve a fair and just trial.

I would want the Bush administration to receive what they, too, have denied others.



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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. In 1998
during the trial of one of the racist gang members who attacked my nephew, a reporter for an area tv station filmed a "debate" between a defense attorney and myself on a sidewalk outside the court. Both the attorney and myself were aware that we were being watched by a crowd of about 75 people, including numerous reporters. The defense attorney was practiced in theater -- good attorneys are -- and was wagging his finger in my face for effect. I said something to him that only he and I could hear, and he freaked. He raised his voice when he cursed me. Made for great tv.

The tv reporter was pleased, as he had some good film for the evening news. Before he left, he wanted to ask me about the exchange. I remember he said to my brother-in-law (my nephew's father), "That guy is an ass. You must dislike him." And my brother-in-law said, "No. He is doing his job. That is what our system is all about."

I'm reminded of it for a number of reasons. Perhaps the main was is that it was the last time I struggled with hatred. I really did hate the people that harmed my nephew. I understand the desire that people have for retribution. I also know that my brother-in-law was right.

I do not know enough about Saddam's trial to say anything of value on if it was fair or not. I do understand that other people have very different opinions on the death penalty. My value system isn't the same as many other DU members. That's fine. But I do think that Saddam's death will not bring about positive results in Iraq. And I think that when innocent people die needlessly, because of differences in people's value systems, we need to rethink what actions we endorse.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. I don't see anything positive coming from his death either
"And I think that when innocent people die needlessly, because of differences in people's value systems, we need to rethink what actions we endorse."

Yes! Very much so

I understand the desire for revenge. I also understand the how it can perpetuate violence...how it does nothing to serve actual justice and how it lingers for generation after generation...oh, it can feel good to nurse it and imagine all the horrible things you can do back to a person....but where does it all end when someone acts on such thinking?

Justice allows healing to begin...revenge just creates more hate.

I'm sorry for what happened to your nephew.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. I remember a while back
(at my advanced age, things become a blur, but it seems it was shortly after they captured Saddam) a reporter asked Bush if, as a professed Christian, he prayed for Saddam? And it was something that Bush admitted had never entered his mind.

I mention that not because I think a judicial system should be based on one man's religion. But in Christian teachings, Jesus told his followers that it is easy to care for your friends, but that the higher level of consciousness required compassion for one's enemies.

It was that same concept that Martin Luther King, Jr attempted to model for Americans. And he brought that idea into the courts when he was on trial.

In that sense, a justice system can only function at the higher level when it treats every person, no matter how vicious, with the same rights as it does the most innocent of people. It is a difficult concept, because we are human. But it can be done.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I believe it can be done as well.
It must be done. It must be what we strive for...

Thank you, Waterman.
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