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Encyclopedia > Show trial
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The term show trial describes a type of public trial in which the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt of the defendant: the actual trial has as its only goal to present the accusation and the verdict to the public as an impressive example and as a warning. It tends to be retributive rather than correctional justice. Most of the time it involves a 'sin' and a 'planting of evidence'. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... In legal parlance, a trial is an event in which parties to a dispute present information (in the form of evidence) in a formal setting, usually a court, before a judge, jury, or other designated finder of fact, in order to achieve a resolution to their dispute. ... The judiciary, also referred to as the judicature, consists of justices, judges and magistrates among other types of adjudicators. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute. ... It has been suggested that Proportional justice be merged into this article or section. ... Corrections refers to one of the components of the criminal justice system. ... J.L. Urban, statue of Lady Justice at court building in Olomouc, Czech Republic Justice is the ideal, morally correct state of things and persons. ...


Show trials, which often take place under authoritarian régimes, albeit sometimes in a democratic country, far more often than not have the purpose of eliminating or suppressing the political opponents of an organization, such as a current government or a church. Bold text:This article applies to political ideologies. ... St. ...


Such trials can exhibit scant regard for the niceties of jurisprudence and even for the letter of the law. Defendants have little real opportunity to justify themselves: they have often signed statements under duress and/or suffered torture prior to appearing in the court-room. Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. ... The word torture is commonly used to mean the infliction of pain to break the will of the victim(s). ...

Contents

Moscow Trials

Show trials were a significant part of Joseph Stalin's regime. The Moscow Trials of the Great Purge period in the Soviet Union are characteristic. The authorities not only pre-determined the guilt of the defendants, but also orchestrated the whole trial processes. Massive campaigns in newspapers and at numerous meetings shaped the opinion of the public towards the cases. The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... The Moscow Trials were a series of trials of political opponents of Joseph Stalin during the Great Purge. ... The Great Purge (Russian: , transliterated Bolshaya chistka) is the name given to campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin during the late 1930s. ... A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute. ...


The authorities staged the actual trials meticulously. If defendants refused to "cooperate", i.e., to admit guilt for their alleged and mostly fabricated crimes, they did not go on public trial, but suffered execution nonetheless. This happened, for example during the prosecution of the so-called "Labour Peasant Party" (Трудовая Крестьянская Партия), a party invented by NKVD, which, in particular, assigned the notable economist Alexander Chayanov to it. The NKVD (Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del )(Russian: НКВД, Народный комиссариат внутренних дел) or Peoples Commisariat for Internal Affairs was a government department which handled a number of the Soviet Unions affairs of state. ... Alexander Chayanov, Александр Васильевич Чаянов (1888-October 3, 1937) was a notable Soviet agrarian economist and rural sociologist. ...


The first solid public evidence of what really happened during the Moscow Trials came to the West through the Dewey Commission. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, more information became available. This discredited Walter Duranty, who claimed that these trials were actually fair. The Dewey Commission was initiated in March 1937 by the American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky. It was named after its Chairman, John Dewey. ... The rise of Gorbachev Although reform stalled between 1964–1982, the generational shift gave new momentum for reform. ... Walter Duranty Walter Duranty (1884–1957), born in Liverpool, England, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for a set of stories he wrote in 1931 as The New York Times Moscow correspondent, covering Joseph Stalins Five-Year Plan to industrialize the Soviet Union. ...


Nuremberg Trials

British jurist F.J.P. Veale implied, in his book "Advance to Barbarism" that the 1946 Nuremberg Trials of Nazi leaders amounted to a form of show trial, as the judgments were not rendered by a disinterested party, which is a key element of independent judicial integrity. The Süddeutsche Zeitung announces The Verdict in Nuremberg. ...


The Trial of Saddam Hussein

The trial of Saddam Hussein has been widely regarded as a show trial by many of its critics. For example, an article in ZMag by Satya Sagar dated December 4, 2006 has criticized the trial for: Saddam Hussein during his first appearance before the Iraqi Special Tribunal Saddam as he is being sentenced Saddam Hussein, the former President of Iraq, was tried by the interim Iraqi government for crimes against humanity. ...

  • Regular failure to disclose key 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.

The article also concludes: "...Saddam’s trial was also part of the political theatre that the US and its ‘Coalition of the Killing’ wanted to enact to explain the death and injury of their own soldiers to their people back home. The message the trial was supposed to give to domestic audiences was that ‘it is fine for you to send off your sons and daughters to die’ so that at the end of the horror show this infamous villain would have been finally brought to justice."


See also


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Show trial - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (570 words)
The term show trial describes a type of public trial in which the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt of the defendant: the actual trial has as its only goal to present the accusation and the verdict to the public as an impressive example and as a warning.
Show trials, which often take place under authoritarian régimes, albeit some-times in a democratic country, far more often than not have the purpose of eliminating or suppressing the political opponents of an organization, such as a current government or a church.
Show trials were a cornerstone of Joseph Stalin's regime.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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