CRIMINAL TRIALS WITHOUT ANY ACCUSER
Sine Qua Non of a criminal trial
One of the most corrupt practices in the US Judicial system is when the government accuses a person of a crime via Information or Indictment and yet never offers the accuser at trial which would subject the accuser to cross examination. The sine qua non of a criminal trial is for the defendant to be able to face and confront his accusers.
"sine qua non. Without which not. That without which the thing cannot be. An indispensible requisite or condition" Black's Law Dictionary, 6th edition, page 1385.
The sine qua non of a criminal trial is for a defendant to be able to face and confront his accusers. The right of confronting one's accusers has its origins in English Common Law and in the experiences of the colonies before the American Revolution. Until the sixteenth century, the right of confronting one's accusers was nearly absent from the Anglo-American legal tradition. With the introduction of the right to trial by an impartial jury and the firm establishment of the Presumption of Innocence, the right of confrontation came to be seen as an integral part of a proper defense of the rights of the accused. The Salem Witch Trials created an impetus for establishing the right of the accused to a face-to-face confrontation with the accusers, whom, in those cases, were mostly children anonymously accusing their elders.
The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment has its roots in both English common law, protecting the right of cross-examination and Roman law which guaranteed persons accused of a crime the right to face their accusers. In noting the right's long history, the United States Supreme Court has cited Acts 25:16, which reports the Roman governor Porcius Festus, discussing the proper treatment of his prisoner Paul. The Supreme Court has cited this case as an antecedent:
“It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have license to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.”
Greene v. McElroy, 360 U.S. 474, 496 n.25 (1959)
It can be argued that Roman Civil Law is the basis of Anglo-Saxon law via the Normans and their conquest of England in 1066.
Accuser must take the stand
In many criminal trials an accuser is never put on the stand to testify. An accuser accuses the accused of a specific crime. The defendant is consequently denied the opportunity to confront the accuser via cross examination. In felony trials the foreman of the Grand Jury is the formal accuser and as an absolute minimum should testify in every case. Others could also accuse a defendant of a specific crime. Police, investigators, observers etc. and they would also be subject to cross examination.
No piece of evidence can accuse anyone of anything. All evidence must always be authenticated and some person must verbally accuse the defendant of some crime. The whole purpose of trial is to present witnesses (accusers) and examine their charges. Denial of this very basic opportunity as guaranteed by English Common Law and by the 6th Amendment is grounds for a dismissal of all charges. Denial of this 6th amendment right is also a violation of the 5th amendment right of due process. No due process and consequently any conviction is void.
Second Closing Statement
Typically the government's attorney will accuse a defendant of a specific crime in the government’s second closing statement. This is not testimony and is only supposed to summarize the testimony of the case-in-chief. How can a closing statement refer to an accusation when there was no accuser in the first place? The defendant is not allowed to confront him nor even to respond to him. Tell me about the integrity of the judicial process.
Necessity of an accuser even in Biblical Times
Acts 25:16 states as follows:
To whom I (Paul) answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.
Refer to the many verses concerning Christ's trial and accusers. Mark 3:2; Luke 3:14; Luke 11:54; Luke 23:2; Luke 23:14; John 8:6; and Acts 24:8 show that an accuser was necessary.
English Criminal Law
It can be argued that Roman Civil Law is the basis of Anglo-Saxon law via the Normans and their conquest of England in 1066. The fundamentals of a crime under English Criminal Law are known as the actus reus , corpus delecti and the mens rea. These three Latin terms mean "guilty act" (doing that which is prohibited), "guilty mind" (i.e. the intent to commit the crime) and body of the crime. The traditional view is that moral culpability requires that one should have recognized or intended that one has acted wrongly.
Frequently in so called "white collar" crimes no witness ever appears to accuse the defendant of any specific crime. An accusing witness would be subject to cross examination, such as -- Did you witness the defendant committing the crime? What did he/she do? Where was the crime committed? What was the date and time? Were there any other witnesses? Was there a victim?
The Grand Jury accuses a defendant of a specific crime via an Indictment. The defendant is not allowed to confront any accuser or the Grand Jury as a whole.
No piece of evidence can accuse anyone of anything.
All evidence must always be authenticated and some person must verbally accuse the defendant of some crime. The whole purpose of trial is to present witnesses (accusers) and examine their charges.
Denial of the right to confront accuser.
Typically defendants are denied the right to confront an accuser because the government never puts anyone on the stand who accuses the defendant of anything. This is a denial of a very basic right as guaranteed by English Common Law and by the 6th Amendment.
Denial of Due Process
Denial of this 6th amendment right is a violation of the 5th amendment right of due process. The absence of Due Process vitiates any conviction and it is void ab initio.
Typically in the government's second closing statement, the government Attorney will accuse the defendant of the alleged crime and the defendant is without power to offer any rebuttal. This is the last summation of the evidence that the jury hears.