Professor Froward's Slough of Despond

Proud purveyor of flawed generalizations and vacuous tautologies.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

That "Miranda Merde"

Never mind "Paul Cruce's" bizarre notions about the rights of the accused; I think Simon fell for a hoax.

On the whole, I'm not quite sure what to make of this post at Roger L. Simon. I'd like to see poll numbers to confirm his (admittedly anecdotal) impression of pro-Americanism. But here's the part I really don't much like:

The judges act as something of a grand jury with sentencing powers and can decide whether or not you get a jury trial. Thus the muslims who were arrested last Thursday night in Clichy-sous-Bois went to prison on Monday! None of that Miranda merde here!

Maybe the guilty are all Muslims, but I'm pretty sure that not all Muslims are guilty. Not all young Muslim men who get arrested are guilty. Not all people who wander into a riot and get arrested are guilty. Not all of a witness's next-day recollections of a riot are perfectly reliable. Even assuming the best will in the world on the part of the cops fingering the accused, it's hard to believe that all of those sentences were deserved. Oh, and I do like the right to a jury. I love the right to a jury.

If what this guy means by "prison" is what we'd mean in the US (tried, convicted, sentenced), then what he's describing is not justice as we know it. Under the circumstances it might make sense to declare martial law and throw a lot of people in drunk tanks (les réservoirs ivres?) for a few days until there's time to let them go or give them a fair trial, but you just can't go around putting people in prison on some judge's whim. It's madness.

UPDATE: I went back and read the comments. Quite a few objections on factual points; I wondered myself about what French soldiers were doing with AK-47s instead of those FAMAS things. I didn't know enough to have an opinion about the presumption of innocence issue.

I suspect it's fake, and Simon got taken in by a troll.

UPDATE #2: I forgot to mention "Paul Cruce's" bizarre misspelling of "Napoleonic": "Napoléanic"? The guy supposedly speaks French. Perhaps he can't spell? Yeah, maybe not, but when he gets everything else wrong too, you really have to wonder.

And read the comments. I don't believe it's real.

"Too good to check"? Sure looks like it. Let's see, Dan Rather still hasn't quite admitted that he screwed up after more than a year... So I'll be expecting a correction from Roger L. Simon no later than, let's say... Dinnertime today? California time? That sounds about right.

UPDATE #3: Okay, maybe we'll be waiting a bit longer than I thought for that correction. I hope this doesn't turn into one of those bad-penny stories, like the "anti-racist math in Newton, MA" thing.

UPDATE #4: Paul Cruce, or some American in Paris with that name and in the same line of work, has a blog. Go figure.