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    Re: Assange case: Clive Stafford Smith Explains How US Conspiracy Trials Work Archived Message

    Posted by Raskolnikov on September 9, 2020, 8:03 am, in reply to "Assange case: Clive Stafford Smith Explains How US Conspiracy Trials Work"

    Clive Stafford Smith is an absolute hero with saintlike levels of patience, compassion and perseverance. Reading about his experiences as a capital appeals lawyer in the death belt of the U.S.A. drove me to expletive laden tirades that would have landed me some geological time inside for contempt of court but he managed to cope with it while staying polite and professional.

    I recommend "Injustice" and "Bad Men" (published under a couple of different titles depending on whether in the U.K. or the U.S.); the former describes some of the insanity of the U.S. justice system, particularly with respect to the death penalty, and the latter catalogues CSS's time defending a lot of the inmates in the American gulag at Guantanamo Bay.

    Also one of the most incredible, and horrific, documentaries ever made, "Fourteen Days in May" chronicling the last two weeks of Edward Earl Johnson's life as Mississippi prepares to, and finally does, execute him for a crime he almost certainly did not commit. The scene where Clive Stafford Smith gets the news that the Supreme Court has turned down the final appeal and has to walk the length of the death row in silence, with the camera trailing behind him, preparing how to break the news to Edward that in an hour or so he will be dead is one of the most horrendous scenes I've ever witnessed. How he does not fold under that kind of unimaginable pressure is a testament to his character.

    When Clive Stafford Smith talks about the U.S. justice system, it is wise to listen.

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