Ramsey Clark and Dysfunctional Judicial Processes
"If every form of participation in the judicial process is not protected, the judicial system will fail and be destroyed." —Ramsey Clark, speaking today to the Iraqi tribunal.Ramsey Clark is the former US Attorney General (under Lyndon Johnson) who has taken up controversial positions in a number of cases where the integrity of the legal process was on the line.
I happen to believe the judicial process is fatally flawed and beyond redemption, Ramsey Clark notwithstanding.
Fundamentally, the judicial process can only render two outcomes: Either the defendant is found guilty of commiting a crime, or not. If the defendant is found guilty, the judicial system is obliged to adminster some prescribed punishment.
Imagine if this method were applied to your automobile. Something goes haywire with your car. You take it to a judge who decides if the car is guilty of violating its performance specifications. If the car is found guilty, some prescribed damage is inflicted upon it.
The absurdity of this practice is manifest. If a machine is broken, we are obliged to diagnose and repair it, or declare it beyond repair. We then downgrade its functionality to something less than a fully functioning transportation vehicle. Perhaps we cannibalize it for parts to repair other ailing vehicles.
The medical/repair model makes sense to me. The judging/punishment model does not.
There is no doubt in my mind that figures like Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler, and Saddam are monsters in the annals of politics and government. And yet there is no shortage of candidates who would jump at the chance to follow in their footsteps.
The question in my mind isn't so much what to do with characters like Saddam, but what to do with a culture that produces so many tyrants. The history of human affairs is the history of tyrants.
And what is a tyrant? Someone who has the power and authority to decree the law.
It's hard to envision a more dysfunctional regulatory structure.
Shall we fix it? Or punish it?