Is New York the right place for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial?
December 3, 2009 Leave a comment
This is the question raised by the chaps on the floor below me. Is New York the right place for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial? It is not a simple question, some of those who have answerd no have given understandable answers, such as “NY will not give these men humanitarian justice: It’s too wounded and hungry for revenge,” which I translate to mean the proximity with which the jury have to New York will influence their decision. It might initially look like an informed answer, but actually it is not. How on earth do they think the judicial system works? In answer to those conspiracy theorists; not like that!
There are measures of review in the system, and although much of it is to do with subjectivity, and emotion will be tough to separate from objectivity, the punishment for those crimes should be immeasurable. If they have it all wrong, would it not be better for those with emotional proximity to New York to give him a fair trail and produce an analysis that stands in a free court of law? I would have thought so, and the court system is means tested to do such a thing – I’m sure.
My contribution to the debate was to say that for Adolf Eichmann’s part in the Final Solution – during which he travelled to visit the Palestinian site where the British had mandated Israel to be in 1937 – Eichmann was tried for his crimes in Israel. His crimes were in many places around Europe, but it was symbolically correct for Eichmann to stand trial in the “Jewish homeland”. New Yorkers, on this occasion have a homeland; New York. Thus, it makes sense to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed there, where it is charged with symbolism, and is historically consistent.
No one can assure that the decision makers won’t make brash decisions on account of their subjective attachment to the crime, but I would suggest that in order to properly fulfill this attachment, that a thorough anaylsis be carried out (my appeal to the jury). However no assurances can ever make this the case. So since this particular instance presses no unusual threat to a perversion of the judicial system, I see no reason as to why this trial shouldn’t take place in New York.