Friday, August 17, 2007

Amendments Five and Six

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

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.

So, these are Amendments five and six of the Constitution of the United States of America (bold emphasis has been added by the editors here at Renderings). As I hear more about this Padilla case, I wonder if the Bush administration has read these two amendments. I mean, three years of sitting in solitary confinement while the government searched for enough evidence to try him? This guy is a citizen of the United States! Is that what the military is overseas protecting? The right of our own government to deny a U.S. citizen due process and the right to a speedy and public trial? Regardless of whether this guy is guilty, I think it's a shame that he was treated as guilty before being proven innocent. Strike, oh, a million against Bush and Darth Cheney.