Thursday, June 18, 2009

A foreign country

For the first time in centuries, a common criminal in England is being tried without the right to a jury. The judge (whose name, confusingly, is Judge) explained that
trial by jury is a hallowed principle of the administration of criminal justice. It is properly identified as a right, available to be exercised by a defendant unless and until the right is amended or circumscribed by express legislation.

If a "right" that is available until amended or circumscribed strikes you as oxymoronic, well, that's what you get if you have a living constitution instead of a written one that's taken seriously.

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