“One bullet killed our beloved president. One bullet, but not one man”

Posted on September 5, 2011

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Lovely readers, you may feel like you’ve been put on the back burner.

Turns out “Back Burner” is a barley wine. Interesting tidbit there. My guess is that it’s called “Back Burner” because if you drink it, you get too intoxicated to do anything productive. Hence, you put whatever you should be doing on the back burner.

During the summer months, I blogged almost every day. But I haven’t been blogging as much as these days. Not because I’ve been drinking Back Burner barley wine, though. HA I wish. No, currently on my front burners are classes and meetings and homework and trying to find curtains that are the freaking right size for the bedroom window of my new apartment.

Anyway. It’s been a crazy busy week, but once I get into a routine I’ll get back to my regular blogging. Maybe not every day. But I’ll do my best!

SO, I watched a movie called “The Conspirator” tonight and I loved it. I recommend it to everyone. Here is a quick synopsis from IMDB:

“In the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of State. The lone woman charged, Mary Surratt, 42, owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks. Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer, Frederick Aiken, a 28-year-old Union war-hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. As the trial unfolds, Aiken realizes his client may be innocent and that she is being used as bait and hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her own son”

Here is the trailer:

Watching this movie made me realize how excruciatingly important it is to give EVERYONE, no matter what, a fair and proper trial by a jury of their peers. Anything else could lead to an outcome that is too scary to accept.

Mary Surratt

In the movie, which is based on a little-known true story, Mary Surratt was tried before a military tribunal that essentially decided her fate before the trial had even begun. The country (more specifically, the North) wanted someone to pay for the assassination of President Lincoln. They were willing to sacrifice the right of a person to a fair trial in order to restore peace to the nation.

That is not right.

It reminded me of the Casey Anthony trial. Many were angered by the fact that she was found not guilty. Including me, to be perfectly honest. She must be guilty, I thought. She should be punished. I imagine those same thoughts crossed the minds of thousands of others. But after watching The Conspirator, I realized that I must respect the results of that trial. Maybe Casey Anthony is guilty. Maybe she is innocent. But the fact  remains that the prosecution was unable to prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So that’s that.

Furthermore, earlier in the year, it was decided that 9/11 conspirators would be tried before a military tribunal, not in a civilian court. 9/11 is an emotionally charged event. Could the same thing happen to the 9/11 conspirators that happened to Mary Surratt? Even if they are guilty, don’t they deserve a fair trial before an impartial jury anyway?

The sixth amendment of our Constitution exists for a reason, and a good one at that. So we must respect it no matter what the circumstance.

Everyone is eager for justice. When something awful happens, like the assassination of a beloved president, the death of an innocent girl, and a brutal terrorist attack, justice brings a little peace of mind. But are we willing to forgo a person’s rights in order to achieve that peace of mind?

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Posted in: Politics