The Ethics Course that they don't teach in law school: Victims of Juridical Assassination.
Law is, in essence, an instrument used by a ruling class to impose its will upon all classes in a given society. The source of power of law is found in the threat of force for failure to obey. The agents of State power are all too eager to solve difficult social problems with the sharp answer of the tyrant: "Off with his head!" Since the advent of advanced DNA testing, thanks to the dedicated work of such entities as the Innocence Project, we now have absolute proof that the criminal prosecution system all too frequently yields false convictions. Even with the best of faith, errors can never be completely eliminated, but what is never taught in any ethics course, whether in law school or in the mandatory lawyers' Continuing Legal Education, are the instances of deliberate malfeasance or culpable abdication of responsibility that result in murder by judicial process. Yet the historical examples are easily called to mind, and the study of law in the absence of historical knowledge is akin to the study of celestial mechanics in the absence of the knowledge of the law of gravity: astrology, not astronomy.
Socrates of Athens:
We know that Socrates, a loyal citizen and courageous veteran of Athens, was tried, in his 70th year,
for teachings that allegedly corrupted the young.
He said in his defense: While I have the life and strength, I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy. For I do nothing but go about persuading you all, young and old alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but first and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private.
Joan of Arc:
If there is a Heaven, surely Joan is there. She was ultimately executed for resuming men's attire to protect herself from
rape in prison. She may be considered the patron saint of every person persecuted or murdered for gender non-conformity.
Sacco & Vanzetti:
A perfect storm of misconduct; Judge Webster Thayer asked to be assigned to try their case, and boasted afterwards: "Did you
see what I did to those anarchist bastards?". Sacco was in Boston applying for a passport at the time of the robbery.
Vanzetti was engaged in his ordinary occupation as a fish peddler. The prosecutor pre-arranged testimony from the forensic witness to misrepresent his
opinion that the bullet could have been fired from any .32 caliber gun as being "consistent with" the bullet having come from Sacco's gun.
Years later, in 1988, the Boston Globe published an account that the police had switched the recovered gun with Sacco's gun to further
implicate him. The overwhelming historical evidence is that the robbery was committed by the Morelli gang.
Jesus of Nazareth: Pontius Pilate "washed his hands" of Jesus's case, indifferent to whether he was innocent or not of the
charges against him.
The teachings of Jesus disturbed the existing order of society, viz.:
Thanks to St. Matthew, who had been
At mass meetings in Palestine,
We know whose side was spoken for
When Comrade Jesus had the floor.
"Where sore they toil and hard they lie,
Among the great unwashed dwell I.
The tramp, the convict, I am he;
Cold-shoulder him, cold-shoulder me.
By Dives' door, with thoughtful eye,
He did tomorrow prophesy.
"The kingdom's gate is low and small;
The rich can scarce wedge through at all."
"A dangerous man," said Caiaphas,
"An ignorant demagogue, alas,
Friend of low women, it is he
Slanders the upright Pharisee."
For law and order, it was plain
For holy church, he must be slain.
The troops were there to awe the crowd
And "violence" was not allowed.
Sarah N. Cleghorn, "Comrade Jesus."