Friday, October 7, 2011
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The above would be the fifth amendment to the constitution. This past week U.S. drones targeted and sucessfully fired upon and killed a U.S. citizen, all without so much as a hearing, inquest or real investigation. The accused had no chance to plead a case or offer any defense. By our own laws this man was murdered. It puts our government in the position of being judge, jury and executioner. It is not a good president. It reduces our legal system to that of a lynch mob. No matter the heinousness of the crime all persons are entitled to due process otherwise we have become a nation of no laws and are at the mercy of the whims of those in power. Even the death penalty itself is not administered in a just manner. Ask yourself if you can define the circumstances under which it is carried out. You can't because there are no set circumstances. But even when it is put "on the table" as a possible outcome no one can determine the rational behind the decision because there are no set parameters in our law.
So you may wonder if I am for or against the death penalty. I'd say I am for it but only in the most extreme cases. It should be the rarest of penalties and only administered after sufficient due process. I believe even Bin Laden was tried in absentia in the courts before we acted against him and he wasn't an American citizen. Still the amendment only says "person" and not U.S. citizen.
Addendum: There are those in this country who are teetering on the thin line of free speech when they advocate violence. Such is the case of one Alabama militiaman a few years ago who advocated throwing bricks through the windows of any and all democratic office windows. But he didn't stop with just such an incitement. He left the door open for further violence when he made this statement:“We can break their windows,” he said. “Break them NOW. And if we do a proper job, if we break the windows of hundreds, thousands, of Democrat party headquarters across this country, we might just wake up enough of them to make defending ourselves at the muzzle of a rifle unnecessary.”
And just what was his major grief? He was unhappy that there was going to be a Health Care bill, an effort to get health care for all. And indeed many office windows were broken and one member of congress was shot. So by some of our readers thinking this man should have no trial but be assassinated. He did incite violence by his speech. And I'd venture he could be linked to groups or individuals who did.