Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Inadmissable Evidence

Last week, Britain’s House of Lords ruled that evidence obtained through torture is inadmissible in a court of law. (RBR, I didn’t know the House of Lords is considered a court. But apparently it is. Can you explain?) According to last week’s Economist, This follows rulings to the same effect from France, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. According to the Economist, there was a 1974 decision from the First Circuit Court of Appeals that said, “It is unthinkable that a statement obtained b torture . . . should be admitted at the government’s behest in order to bolster its case.” Currently, testimony given under duress can be, and usually is challenged in court, but not excluded under the rules of evidence. This needs to change.

While I am pleased that Congress has agreed to anti-torture language in our military manuals, we need to go further. Congress needs to pass legislation making testimony obtained through torture inadmissible. Waiting for the courts to do the job will take too long.


Anonymous said...

USWest: in England, unlike here, there is substantial conflation of judicial, executive, and legislative authority. The chief executive is the PM, who is also part of the legislature. They have no Supreme Court. Rather, the House of Lords is the highest court. They appoint a subset of lords called the Law Lords who make the decisions. Some are hereditary.  

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better myself LTG. This concentration of power in the UK is a prominent theme in the Federalist Papers. Of course, because of the lock step discipline within the GOP imposed by the Religious Right, we have that here now too. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I knew about the hereditary part and the power issues. I didn't know that there was a subset of Lords that sat as a legal authority. Thus, my day wasn't completely wasted. I learned something. 

// posted by USwest