"Ours is an accusatorial and not an inquisitorial system -- a system in which the state must establish guilt by evidence independently and freely secured and may not by coercion prove its charge against an accused out of his own mouth."
by:
Felix Frankfurter
(1882-1965) U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Source:
1961
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Reader comments about this quote:
Yes, I confess I didn't do it!
 -- Robert, Sarasato     
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    Yet under the Patriot Act, the state simply says you 'could' be guilty of 'something', and they steal your Constitutional rights. "Land of the free?" What a joke!
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    Yes, the US government under the reign of King George W has for all intents & purposes reintroduced the inquisition...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Then we need to take it back without selling out the troops like the Demos seem to want to do.
     -- Eric, Wichita, KS     
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    The quote's sentiment was accurate once upon a time in a land far far away. It's been my personal experience that inquisition is now in place and doing well (I have given many examples previously in this blog).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    What an excellent distinction to make! Another fine point that defines a republican government.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Ron Paul
     -- Vexari, Indian Shores     
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    "Ours is an accusatorial and not an inquisitorial system" --

    Unfortunately poor Felix died in '65. I'd be fascinated to hear if he'd still be as sanguine today. I personally doubt it. I'm guessing that he might replace 'is' with 'was intended to be'.
     -- anonymous     
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