TRIAL IN ERROR. Today, Human Rights Watch released a report on the legal and procedural failings of Saddam Hussein's trial. It's not a shocker -- the trial didn't follow standard rules:

  • regular failure to disclose key evidence, including exculpatory evidence, to the defense in advance; �
  • violations of the defendants� basic fair trial right to confront witnesses against them; �
  • lapses of judicial demeanor that undermined the apparent impartiality of the presiding judge; and
  • important gaps in evidence that undermine the persuasiveness of the prosecution case, and put in doubt whether all the elements of the crimes charged were established.
  • For most interested parties, of course, the outcome was more important than the trial itself.

    --Kay Steiger

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