[Marxism] Re: Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson
robinmaisel at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 30 19:09:35 MST 2003
1. The presumption of "innocent until proven guilty, beyond a
reasonable doubt, by a jury of one's peers" is not mere rhetoric, unless
you allow the ruling class, through their newspapers, TV, movies, to
make it a hollow concept. It is one of the fundamental victories of the
bourgeois democratic revolutions and will be retained and improved upon
by the victory of the socialist/communist revolution.
2. Michael Jackson is entitled to the best defense money can buy.
Every toiler should receive a defense which is at least as good as the
one Jackson will pay for, but at no cost. Under capitalism justice is
treated as a commodity, that is to say, something produced for the
market. That is shameful
3. Violating the civil and legal rights of people you dislike, or
even despise, lays the groundwork for violations of your own rights,
particularly under the rule of capital. It sets precedents which will
be used against you, against the workers and their organizations with
relentless, unmerciful and costly or deadly consequences.
4. It is the duty of every conscious worker to demystify the legal
system for his/her co-workers and to explain the class basis of
"justice" under capitalism, including the use of race, gender, sexual
orientation, nationality or national origin and organizational
affiliation by the ruling class to frame up and imprison and kill
opponents of the injustice which pervades capitalism, whether in an
imperialist country or in the most impoverished colonial territory.
5. Every safeguard, from the exclusion of unreliable and
prejudicial "evidence" such as supposed "prior bad acts" and hearsay,
and pseudo science such as the misuse of DNA by careless and/or willful
police crime laboratories and "experts," to requiring that the jurors
not discuss the evidence in a case with others or among themselves until
all the evidence has been produced, must be protected.
6. The pornogrification of "news" is aimed at dehumanizing
criminal defendants in order to prejudice the jury pool in advance of a
single piece of evidence, testimonial or physical, has been introduced.
7. The findings of the jury must be unanimous when life or liberty
is at stake.
8. Every attempt to weaken or bypass these basic rights weakens
rather than strengthens the working class and its allies in the struggle
for justice. Actually applying these simple safeguards, rather than
rhetorically mouthing them as some kind of catechism means a lot of bad
people will go free but it also means that Mumia would not be in prison
on death row, the Rosenbergs would have had a chance to dote on their
grandchildren, Sacco and Vanzetti would not have been electrocuted, the
Smith Act's victims would not have been put in prison to rot, no one
who visits Cuba would face arbitrary fines for exercising their right to
travel and, I dare say, Michael Jackson wouldn't be even a footnote in
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