Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Shredding the US Constitution

Two weeks ago, the other half of the blogosphere made a lot of noise in celebration of American freedoms on Independence Day. I wonder how much noise they'll make about this?

Basically, the US government is ignoring the rulings of its own courts. Worse, they're doing it specifically to deny a criminal defendant facing a possible death penalty access to a government-held witness with exculpatory evidence. So much for fair trials, so much for the rule of law, and so much for the Sixth Amendment

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

I've always admired the strong protections afforded criminal defendants in the US courts. I guess they're just another victim of the "War on Terror".