[Marxism] Re: Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

Robin Maisel 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 
the news.

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