Ted Rall for June 22, 2002
Your Criminal Justice System at work. You can't be charged with a crime unless there's substantial evidence of your guilt or the government says you're a terrorist. (Man 1: We should let 'im go. We got nothin' on 'im.) (Man 2: Who cares?! Bush sez to nab 'im!) Once arrested, you'll be indicted and given the opportunity to make bail unless the media has drawn attention to your case. (Judge: Denied.) You'll meet with an attorney to prepare your defense except if you've been labeled an "enemy combatant," in which case you won't have one. A trial will quickly convene so you can be judged by a jury of your peers unless you get hosed by secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld. (Man 3: We'll try Mr. Al-Aksa El-whatever when the war on war is over.) If you're found guilty, you'll be sentenced in proportion to your crime unless you're branded as an enemy of America. After you've served your time you'll be free to resume your life, such as it is, after the police tell your neighbors all about you.