A small number of protesters stood outside a federal courthouse in New York City yesterday. Their demand: People suspected of involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 must not be put on trial as the Constitution of the United States requires.
The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution reads, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”
The standards of justice set by this part of the Constitution are very clear. A trial is to take place where the alleged crime took place, according to a previously-established, not a kangaroo court military tribunal arrangement set up after the fact. The small group of protesters in New York City was essentially demanding that the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution be overturned, to satisfy their thirst for vengeance.
Once the Constitution is dismissed in one instance, it’s more likely that it will be dismissed again, in another case. Would these protesters be willing to accept it if the government accused them of crimes, and then refused to acknowledge their constitutional right to a fair trial?
Won’t obey? Won’t obey what? What is this protester being asked to obey?
Oh, yes – the Constitution. The words “We the people” constitute the very first phrase of the Constitution of the United States of America. Do you think that protester has read the Constitution recently?
I submit this protester as Exhibit A as I make the case that an incoherent protest is worse than no protest at all.