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US: We are the Law!!!!

While looking around, I stumbled across this litle gem.

Could someone please explain the logic of this to me? Because I’m rather stumped. Now, I could understand it if this was about countries without an extradition treaty, but we have one with you!!

I wonder what the US’s reaction would be if another country acted like this to their citizens? Actually, I don’t wonder. “We begin bombing in five minutes.”  seems rather likely.

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14 Responses to “US: We are the Law!!!!”

  1. Oh, I don’t know. How many murder suspects do you extradite to the U. S. where there is no promise that the suspect will face the death penalty? Perhaps we need to talk about that extradition treaty you have with us.

    Then there’s this, from your linked story:

    An American prosecutor, who had tried and failed to extradite him from Britain, persuaded Canadian officials to detain him.

    Emphasis added by me. That might also explain it. If you’re going to have an extradition agreement with the U. S. and you don’t want your citizens to be kidnapped, honor your extradition agreement with the U. S.

    Just a suggestion.

  2. I notice that there’s a negative missing in the second sentence, which should read:

    How many murder suspects do you extradite to the U. S. where there is no promise that the suspect will not face the death penalty?

    Sorry for the confusion.

  3. Craig,
    We do. When the Americans provide evidence. If you can’t provide evidence to support your case, we won’t extradite. Why is that a problem for you?
    By the way, when are you going to honour the outstanding warrants on the IRA terrorists you’re still harbouring? Or maybe you’d like to sign the treaty because right now, we’ve signed it, but you haven’t?
    I also recall we did extradite three alleged fraudsters to you this year. Most of the time, we extradite. When we don’t, it’s because you haven’t provided the evidence to make your case.

  4. Additionally  , we don’t extradite people to face cruel and unusual punishment, or human rights abvuses. Under the internationa lly agreed definiton, the death peanlty is both. When America finally decides to actually honour human rights in this regard, the extradition process will become a lot easier. We don’t extradite to other human rights abusers without assurances either. They don’t claim they have the right to kidnap people.
    And as I said, what would your reaction be if a foreign country kidnapped an American from America because you refused to extradite them? You’d be a trifle irked at the least, wouldn’t you?

  5. Paul,

    On the death penalty, I agree and I disagree. I am against the death penalty but it has nothing to do with thinking the death penalty, per se, being cruel and unusual punishment. It isn’t, in my opinion. My objection has to do with our apparent inability to apply capital punishment in a fair manner. However, to eliminate capital punishment in America would require a constitution al amendment. It could also be done by the populace deciding that they will no longer do it but, so long as the Constitution allows the Government to take life, providing that they provide the defendant with due process and a form of execution that doesn’t cause undue pain and suffering, attitudes could always change again and bring it back. If I knew that capital punishment could be applied fairly and with certainty of the guilt of the person so sentenced, I would have no objection to executing a child rapist-murde rer because I think the punishment should fit the crime and in some instances, execution does.

    You mean the instance of the guy that I made reference to, the prosecutor here simply presented no evidence of guilt? I find that improbable. Presumably there was sufficient evidence to indict by a grand jury. I fail to see why that shouldn’t suffice. If a crime was committed here, it is our laws and rules of evidence that should apply to a British court’s decision to extradite, not your own. However, as I don’t know the particulars of what evidence there is, what evidence the grand jury indicted on, what evidence was presented to your court, I have no basis for telling whether I agree or disagree with the judge (? are they called that in Britain) who denied extradition.

    Any way, My point was, you asked about the logic of rendition. If your courts didn’t make rendition necessary, we wouldn’t do it. It sounds quite logical to me.

    As far as IRA terrorists, I’d personally hand them over to you personally today if it were in my power to do so.

    As for your last point, it would depend. Suppose a 10 year old child pilfered a candy bar from a shop in Turkey while the family was there on a vacation and Turkey demanded that we extradite the child for punishment that could include chopping off his hand. I guess I’d have to think that that was excessive punishment for a 10 year old child who, at the time of the pilferage, was unlikely to understand the extreme consequences to which he’d opened himself when he took the candy. I would have no problem with the parents making restitution and paying a fine for their child. That is, I have no problem with Turkey making it a crime to steal a candy-bar but the punishment seems too extreme for the crime.

    What about my objection to Britain refusing to extradite a child-rapist  /murderer unless we promise to take execution off the board? I happen to think that execution for such a person fits the crime and so I don’t appreciate you Brits holding our justice hostage to your morals. I just don’t happen to think that chopping a 10 year old’s hand off for lifting a candy bar is either moral or just. I don’t see how you can say that executing a child-rapist  /murderer isn’t just. The morality, of course, is up to you. The justice is up to us.

    Or would you care to argue that it isn’t just to execute someone who rapes and then murders a child?

  6. The Death Penalty if the panultiimate abusable governmental power. It should be banned. Our prisons are hellish nightmares where men are raped and beaten for no more than selling some crack, or passing a bad check. We have the highest incarceratio n rate in the world, by far, and we subject millions of our own citizens to regular torture and abuse in our disgusting prisons. On top of that, we compound our crime problems by converting non-violent offenders into raging vengeful violent offenders in prisons that should more aptly be call Criminal Universities . If I was a foreign power, I would NEVER extradite ANYONE to the United States. We are bad actors in bad faith with bad intentions on the internationa l stage.


  7. Craig,
    No, I wouldn’t care to argue that as the death penalty is completely irrelevant to the argument that the US has the right to break UK law in the UK because we refuse to do what you want. The extradition agreement between the US and the UK is that you will not apply the death penalty to anyone we extradite. If you don’t like the agreement, try to get it amended. But that doesn’t give you the right to break the law of the UK in the UK. Why is this point hard to understand? If you’re in our country, you obey our laws. You’d expect the same courtesy in return, wouldn’t you?
    Extradition law required (it no longer does, even though for some reason the treaty applies to us when you haven’t ratified it. so, once again, America wants to exempt itself from rules while applying them to everyone else) that a country present it’s case. Why should we assume America’s case is strong enough without proof of that fact? Would America extradite one of its citizen to the UK because we said we had a case without providing you evidence of that? (The answer is no, btw, because you haven’t in several cases).
    And the death penalty is never justified, in my view. Ever. Even for the crimes you mention to try and add a bit ore emotion into the debate and distract from the actual point.
    And I should point out that you’re conflating ‘accused’ and ‘guilty’. Bad Craig, bad. No cookie for you.

  8. And following the US’s logic, in your Turkey example, Turkey has the right to kidnap the girl and take her to Turkey for punishment because the US is imposing it’s morality over Turkish justice.

  9. Paul,

    Presumably you would agree that there are those who rape and then murder children. The question was, for such a person, is execution never just and if not, why not. You want certainty?

    Honorable Judge Watson, I place before you the following evidence in the case of the U. S. v. John Smith of London in support of Mr. Watson’s extradition.

    1. The affidavits of three independent witnesses who testified at the grand jury that they saw a man fitting the description of Mr. Smith dragging Billy Nesbit into a van.

    2. The van was found and discovered to have been stolen by a man whose description by witnesses to the theft matches Mr. Smith.

    3. Billy’s blood was found in the van along with

    4. John Smith’s hair and fibers from the clothes witnesses noted Mr. Smith was wearing when they saw him dragging Billy into the van.

    5. Mr. Smith’s fingerprints were found in the van.

    6. Billy’s clothes were found in the home rented by Mr. Smith while he was in the United States, which home had not been rented to anyone else before finding the clothes.

    7. The clothes noted by the witnesses to the abduction were also found in that home.

    8. The knife identified as the weapon used to kill Billy was found there as well.

    9. Billy’s testicles and penis were found in the freezer of that home in a plastic container

    10. with Mr. Smith’s finger prints on it.

    11. Mr. Smith’s prints were the only prints on the murder weapon and

    12. some of his prints were found in Billy’s blood on the knife.

    13. Mr. Smith’s semen was found in the rectum and on the body of Billy and

    14. Billy had DNA identified as that of Mr. Smith under his fingernails.

    15. Mr. Smith has confessed openly and without coercion in a letter written in Mr. Smith’s handwriting and left on the kitchen table of the home that he rented while in the U. S., a letter addressed to the police. In it he confessed to having raped and murdered Billy and

    16. seventeen other children in the United States before returning home to England for the express purpose of avoiding the death penalty.

    Your honor, the state intends to seek the death-penalt y in the case.

    So much for conflating ‘accused’ and ‘guilty’. Such evidence should remove any doubt in any mind that Mr. Smith both raped and murdered Billy.

    Perhaps I could hear some of that argument, honorable Judge Watson, that execution is never a just penalty even for Mr. Smith.

    By the way, your honor, before you expound your sense of justice that Mr. Smith does not deserve to be executed, may I ask: have you any young children or grandchildre n?

    Cookie or no, yes, I want you to feel, not just think, for justice isn’t just about logic. It is also about fit punishment. At least in my opinion. The reason society agrees to place justice into the hands of government is that it trusts government to meet out fit penalties for crimes committed.

    Further I would argue that vengeance is a part of that and justly so. One of the reasons that we place justice in the hands of government is because private vengeance is intolerable to society. Yet imagine if governments routinely meted out $10 dollar fines to child rapists/murd erers. Do you suppose vigilantism would (a) sharply increase, (b) decrease or (c) remain roughly the same? I contend that society would stop relying on government for justice altogether in such cases and go back to private vengeance. Therefore, any attempt to remove a sense that justice requires that punishment for crimes fit the crimes themselves is illegitimate . My point being that just as cutting off a 10 year old’s hand for pilfering a candy bar is unjustly harsh, in no way fitting the crime, a $10 fine for child rape/murder would be unjustly lenient. Justice demands that the penalty fit the crime. One who is not against the death penalty, as I am, might contend that any penalty for the crime of serial child rape and murder that leaves the rapist/murde rer alive is unjustly lenient. It does not fit the crime.

    Yes, yes, I know. no one is arguing that a $10 fine is an appropriate punishment for child rape/murder. I use it merely to illustrate the point that penalties can be both unjustly harsh and unjustly lenient and that many Americans would argue that any punishment that leaves a child rapist/murde rer alive is no justice.

    Finally, any prosecutor who shows up for an extradition hearing presenting no evidence at all is incompetent and should be fired immediately, in my opinion. No I don’t condone rendition in the absence of evidence. However, I am saying that grand juries should be given considerable deference in the handing down of an indictment but I would insist that at least the evidence upon which the indictment was handed down be attested to to your courts at an extradition hearing. I would also expect us to do the same.

    By the way, I’m probably libeling Turkey as I doubt they actually cut off the hands of 10 year old children for theft of candy bars.

    Thanks for your responses and, as always, well-reasone d argument.

  10. Craig,
    I’m trying not to turn this into an argument about the death penalty, but, in my opinion only, it is never justified. I’d also like to point out I am a hypocrite as if anyone harmed Sam in that way I’d rip his balls off and choke him to death with them. But that doesn’t mean I think the law should react the same way an understandab ly outraged relative would.
    It’s not usually no evidence, no. And in the vast majority of cases the extraditions where the death penalty is not an issue, which is the majority I think, are granted. They might not have been as swift as people might have liked, but they are usually granted. When it’s not granted, therefore, I assume, absent other evidence, a good reason. In the death penalty cases, the prosecutors usually remove the option as neither side wants a murderer to go free, but the laws here expressly forbid sending people to be executed or tortured regardless of offence or where the crime took place, so we can’t compromise without breaking the law, while the US can.
    However, none of this actually justifies the US government resorting to vigilante action because it got the wrong result, which is what this essentially is.
    And yes, you are libeling Turkey a little bit. I’d suggest referring to the fictional country of Latveria for such rhetorical points in future. I doubt Dr Doom will care that much.

  11. Latveria it is, then. :^)

  12. Very well. As you are trying not to turn this into a debate on the death penalty and as this is your post, I’ll respect that and leave that discussion for another post.

    Thanks for the thoroughly enjoyable discussion.

    Craig R. Harmon

  13. Presumably, then, we would have no problem with some other country kidnapping, oh, say, Henry Kissinger, who has been charged with war crimes in internationa l courts?

    Personally, I’d be delighted to see him stand trial.

  14. LJ,
    I was thinking more along the lines of the CIA agents that Italy has charged with kidnapping but whom the US refuses to extradite. According to Craig, the US shouldn’t complain if they were kidpnapped. I suspect a slightly different reality.

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