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Re: active practice in America

At 11:32 PM -0700 9/29/96, Dale Thorn wrote:

>Speaking of peers, what would the founding fathers have said about the
>trial of the officers in the Rodney King case?  Would they, as police
>officers, have a right to a jury of their peers?  Would their peers be
>the people in Simi Valley, where many or most of them live?  Or would it
>be more appropriate to have a jury of the victims' peers?  Or both?

More importantly, what's happened to "double jeapardy"? The four cops were
found "Not Guilty" in their criminal trial (or at least three of them
were...I forget the details--one may have been a mistrial).

So, as some people then proceeded to burn down their neighborhoods, loot,
and run amok in the streets for several days, a _second_ trial was held.
This time the verdicts were more in line with what the street wanted, plus,
all the good electronics stores had already been looted or had moved out of
South Central, so no riots.

(Legal purists will point out that the second trial was for "Federal civil
rights violations." Harummphh. What would the Founders think of this logic:
"First we try them on ordinary criminal charges. If they are found Not
Guilty, we charge them in the next higher court with more abstract charges.
If they are still found found Not Guilty, we hit them with "civil rights"
and "being disrespectful to women" charges. And if that doesn't work, we
charge them in the World Court. We've only had one guilty party get past
them, and for that guy we appealed to the Pope and he put a Papal Hex on
the guy and ordered him burned in oil.")

Double jeapardy means the system gets one shot at proving charges, not two
or three.

(And, yes, even though I am sure O.J. Simpson killed those two people, I am
not happy with what appears to be a _second_ trial. For sure, it's a
_civil_ trial, for damages, but to this layman it looks like a second trial
on the main charges. I suppose I always thought that being found "Not
Guilty" on the act itself made it essentially impossible for a civil trial
to redecide the same issue. Boy, was I wrong.)

--Tim May

We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
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Higher Power: 2^1,257,787-1 | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."