Monday, August 3, 2009

To hell with the bill of rights

This may come as a shock, but victims of crime in this country do not have any special rights.

They have the same civil rights as anyone else. No more, no less.

That includes the right to a trial, to face accusers in court and to be considered innocent unless proven guilty. Defendants have these kinds of rights because they need protection from the state or federal governments, which in certain cases are trying to kill them, or lock them up for life.

The states and federal government enjoy a tremendous advantage over the average individual. As George W. Bush showed, the government can pluck people from literally anywhere and stick them in a prison indefinitely, without requiring that they be charged, or informed why they are imprisoned, and without any recourse.

That's why our Constitution guarantees criminal suspects certain rights. Like the presumption of innocence, even if "everyone knows" that the suspects are guilty. In a case like this, "victims rights" comes across as "No need to wait for a trial, let's string 'em up right now."

That's why upholding the Constitution is so important, even when dealing with people who allegedly murdered a doctor's wife and killed the couple's two daughters by tying them to beds and setting them on fire.

It is unsightly and even a bit frightening when the surviving doctor complains that the suspects have not been executed quickly enough.

Let's just string 'em up right now.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Abe. I'm always amazed at how eager many of us seem to discard cherished American values like due process and protection from cruel and unusual punishment. I guess some people's "patriotism" runs pretty shallow.

    I understand that emotions run high, and if I were in the doctor's place, I know I would want to personally be given the opportunity to skin the culprits alive. But as a supposedly enlightened society, aren't we supposed to hold ourselves to higher standards than vengeance and mob rule?