Monday, August 27, 2001

Don't Try Henry Kissinger

Chris Hitchens' The Trial of Henry Kissinger is getting a certain amount of play. Based on a two-parter in Harpers (which has no web site to speak of) it suggests that Kissenger be tried for war crimes. See a Salon piece at The Trial of Henry the K.

The arguments in favor of such war crimes trials are the same as verdict the judge delivers at the end of Mel Brooks' film The Producers, "I find the defendants incredibly guilty." No doubt most "war criminals" are incredibly guilty. But guilt is not reason enough to employ a particular legal regime. If it were, then medievil Trial by Torture (of the guiltly) would be as good as any other system.

The problem wiith such trials is that

Zero Tolerance for Duck Sauce


New Jersey throws the book at an innocent schoolboy.

Monday, August 27, 2001 12:01 a.m. EDT

Nine-year-old boy pleads guilty to constructing a "bomb" of soy and duck sauce.

Jason's parents didn't want to put their son through a trial, and they couldn't afford to spend thousands of dollars on a lawyer. Jason's father, Gene Anagnos, says a prosecutor told him the penalty would be more severe if Jason were convicted in a trial than if he pleaded guilty. So in late April he did, and was sentenced to a year's probation and 10 hours of community service.

Never plead in a case like this. If you can't afford a lawyer, do it yourself. Don't give your child a criminal record. And while you're at it, yank him out of governement schools. Very dangerous.

You can use ridicule as easily as a lawyer (even easier). "Making a pun is not a crime." "This is an unconsionable waste of tax dollars." "I gather the District Attorney attended public schools and thus is incapable of reading the languange of the statute."