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  1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Conversation with Justices Scalia and Ginsberg

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Steerpike, Jan 6, 2015.

  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Thanks, I'll watch it later. But I've heard so much of Scalia's opinions I'm sure I won't be surprised. The worst opinion, I'll never forget: He said if an innocent man was given the death penalty, Scalia was OK with that as long as the man had due process of law. :eek:
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Scalia takes a pretty legalistic approach. If it is the comment I'm thinking about, it wasn't so much that he was OK with it personally (or not OK with it, for that matter, since I don't think that matters to him), he was just pointing out that "actual innocence" had never been ruled by the Court as a basis to free someone who had otherwise gone through the judicial system and been accorded due process. I think most legal scholars would have to admit that he was right in that regard, thought that is a separate question from whether it should be that way.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    Principle based comment or not, it showed an appalling lack of humanity. At least he might have talked about the legal system that was supposed to let a few guilty people go so that no innocent people were convicted. Or he might have noted there are inherent flaws in the jury system that need an overhaul: relying on eye witness testimony, too many demonstrated false confessions, etc.

    But instead his philosophy seems to be that the perfect system needs no refinement. That's ignorant.
     
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  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    In his comments, he acknowledged the system is imperfect and that no human system can be perfect. I don't think he is opposed to changes per se, though he wouldn't see the Court as the proper vehicle for procedural change. I think you're reading too much into what he was saying, unless we are thinking of two separate things. I agree that it appears callous, but that kind of academic argument about legal procedural matters lends itself to that appearance. I think Roberts has since acknowledged that actual innocence, in an extraordinary case, might raise Constitutional issues, but the Constitution requirea due process. Once you provide that, you've satisfied the Constitution, which is all Scalia was pointing out. However, as a matter of policy we can go beyond the requirements of the Constitutional and put in place procedures for the wrongly accused, and that's something we should do.
     
  6. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Basically, "Human Life is a fictional construct that The System created for it's own benefit"
     
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