CNN reports that "the European Court of Human Rights ruled against five terror suspects Tuesday, saying that they can be extradited to the United States despite their claims that they will be poorly treated."
It would have been incredible if the European Court of Human Rights had decided this case in favor of the suspected terrorists. Such a decision would have concluded that the rules of the U.S. criminal justice system — the same ones that apply to every criminal tried in this nation — somehow violated European notions of justice. This from a set of countries that not only has engaged in wild swings in their ideas of representative government and fairness over the last two hundred years, but regularly operates a system that most Americans would reject. In Europe, there is generally no right to a trial by jury from criminal cases. In Europe, there is no separation of power between judges and prosecutors. In Europe, often hearsay testimony is allowed and illegally obtained evidence is not excluded from trial. In Europe, the burden of proof is in the prosecution's favor — in other words, the government need not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
If you were going to be tried, would you pick America or Europe? I think any sane defendant would want to be tried in the United States. In fact, criminal trials in Europe bear more resemblance to U.S. military trials — which I have long thought are fair, but do not rise to the same levels of protection as U.S. civilian trials.