Monday, February 19, 2018

"File Under Mistrial" Revisited

In a recent post, I noted that the prosecution of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman doubly violates the US Constitution's Sixth Amendment -- the jury is neither identified (so the trial is not, as required, public) nor are the jurors from Mexico (so they aren't, as required, from "the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed").

Now it violates the First Amendment as well:

At the hearing, U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan denied Guzman's request to speak in open court about the case after prosecutors expressed concerns he could be trying to send messages to his cohorts. The judge said that in the future he would need to be notified in advance on what Guzman wanted to talk about before he could speak.

Even if you happen to think that El Chapo is, as Donald Trump would put it, a "bad hombre" and that these are "exceptional circumstances," this is strikes me as one (actually, three) of those "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" kind of things.

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