Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Judgment at Gitmo
"The Soviet show trials' chief prosecutor was Andrey Vyshinsky. His three main dubious ideas on justice were expressed in his book The Theory of Legal Evidence in Soviet Law. The first idea was that the "confession was the queen of all evidence" (no matter how it was obtained). His next idea was that the rules of justice were flexible depending on the needs of the authorities at the time. The presumption of innocence, he further argued, could only have a demobilizing effect in the fight against crime. The rules of the current military commissions appear to be much the same. Confessions will be used, although it appears that no information about how the confessions were obtained will be entered. Nor will disclosure or discovery be used to determine how the confessions came about. Third-party hearsay evidence may also be allowed, depending on whether it is deemed to be reasonable by the judge."