Getting a fair trial...

BBC reports:


U.K. attorney general has said that even people responsible for terrorist outrages are entitled to a fair trial under the law.
Lord Goldsmith said: "There should be in modern society no outlaws; no people to whom the law does not apply..and to whom therefore anything can be done."
What is troubling is the BBC's phrasing: "even people responsible..." I imagine the author was addressing the Bush administration mentality that those deemed terrorists compose an "other" group completely outside of the grasp of the law (interesting how the administration puts itself in a similar category). But it reads like the BBC finds Goldsmith's proclamation a novel concept.

The right to a trial.

It's startling that a basic statement like this could be considered news -- that echoing hundreds of years of judicial status quo has become a brave statement in these times.

Perhaps more disturbing is what is implict in Goldsmith's statement -- the assumption that we know who is reponsible for, and guilty of a crime even before they've been afforded a fair trial.
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