In Boston the law enforcement officers, at all three levels – several municipal, state and federal – have done a fine job of bringing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing case to justice. Now it’s time for the justice system to do its thing, and here’s where it gets dicey.
“(the suspect’s defense attorney) would become the most despised person in the country”
For the legal system to function properly, we have to assume that the suspect is innocent until proven guilty. That’s not an easy assumption given the hours and hours of news coverage and analysis of him on marathon day and his exploits after being identified. Regardless of what viewers think and believe (and may know for a fact), and what Boston area residents experienced, it still remains that the suspect, not even the accused yet, like all suspects, is entitled to all the aspects of the legal system.
Aside from an assumption of innocence, this includes a defending lawyer who, as Harvard law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz put it, “… would become the most despised person in the country”. However, someone has to do it because that’s how the process works. We’re talking about the legal system of the USA, not a kangaroo court. For justice to be wrought, shortcuts have to be avoided, and processes have to be followed.
A further debate revolves around where to try the suspect: is it a State case and if so Massachusetts has no death penalty, or is it a federal case where he could face execution?
For an example of why the steps of the legal process, any legal process, have to be adhered to for the system to work, one only has to look to recent events in post-Chavez Venezuela. The newly elected (maybe) government is suspending rights willy-nilly in an attempt to get a grip on the country. In an article by Andres Oppenheimer the situation is summed up as follows:
“The dispute over the election results is drawing a lot of domestic and international attention, but the world should know that what we’ve had here since the election amounts to a coup d’etat,” says Maria Corina Machado, an opposition congresswoman.
The election results were so close that a recount seemed the logical way to go. With the results as tight as they were 50.7% to 49% a recount should be automatic (sort of like video replay in the last two minutes of an NFL game). Even Nicolas Maduro, with a small lead originally agreed to a recount. But no recount was held, and a rushed swearing-in took place before anything could be done.
Imagine if you will the majority leader in the US Congress rising and stating, on record, that no member would be recognised to speak unless he or she recognized the outcome of a too-close-to-call election without a recount. That’s exactly what happened this past week when Venezuelan National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said:
“In this National Assembly, as long as I’m president, no congressman who does not recognize comrade Nicolas Maduro will have the right to speak.’’
The questionable government of Chavez 2.0 is quickly turning an alleged democracy into a kangaroo court system by slanting rules in their favor, or by ignoring them altogether. And that’s an example of why the Boston Marathon suspect must be dealt with properly.