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prejudice concerning the defendant

Reader comment on item: Excluding Jews and Others from Law Courts

Submitted by myth (Germany), Mar 13, 2013 at 05:20

The court tries the defendant, not the jury. I do not consider the jury selection prejudiced, for the jury is not tried. However the judge, if he was to follow the defense argument, will demonstrate prejudice concerning the defendant himself. The argument presumes, the defendant will make certain statements in court.

The purpose of the trial is precisely to assess any such statement at the time when it is actually made in court, ignoring everything outside, before and after. The mere assumption, that the defendant would make statements that he has not made yet in court constitutes a premature verdict. This would be a judge showing prejudice against the defendant prior to the trial.

A defendant antagonizing the court by his testimony is a well known problem. The right to remain silent balances that that problem. A sound defense attorney would advise his client to remain silent. Subsequently the defense attorney makes the appropriate statements. He speaks under the protection of his professional role, drawing antagonizing effects only himself, protecting his client.

What if in this case the defendant insists on making antagonizing statements? It is my opinion, that both, the defendant and the defense attorney see the court as a stage to promote their political agenda. They do not use the court to maximize their legal defense.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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