Reprieve’s Clive Stafford Smith on US Judicial Unfairness, Assange’s Show Trial

September 12, 2020 in News by RBN Staff

By Stephen Lendman

British/American human rights lawyer Smith founded UK-based Reprieve in 1999 — “an organization of courageous and committed human rights defenders.”

It provides pro bono legal and investigative work services for “some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

They include individuals facing capital punishment and victims of abusive state practices, including “rendition, torture, extrajudicial imprisonment and extrajudicial killing.”

Reprieve lawyers and investigators represent oppressed and abused individuals worldwide — including seven Guantanamo Bay political prisoners.

London-based, its “vision is a world free of execution, torture and detention without due process.”

In the US alone, Smith represented over 300 prisoners on death row, preventing executions 98% of the time.

He rightfully calls Guantanamo prison an “affront to democracy and the rule of law.”

His mission is getting the camp closed. He helped secure the release of 69 of its wrongfully held detainees — held for political reasons alone.

For his legal expertise in championing human rights, he received numerous awards, including the Gandhi Peace Award, International Freedom of the Press Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award from The Lawyer Magazine and The Law Society.

In his book titled “Injustice: Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America,” Smith discussed US Kafkaesque injustice, a judicial system that time and again engineers convictions, including by falsified testimonies and/or suppressed exculpatory evidence.

Smith earlier said that he never stops “think(ing) how it is that an innocent person is so certain that they didn’t do it, that they can’t fathom that 12 people could find them guilty” —  what mind-manipulating prosecutors pull off time and again.

Convictions advance their careers. They don’t “wonder if (they’re) going to put an innocent person in prison…or not,” said Smith, adding:

“You just can’t do that as a human. So naturally, the people who do this job believe that everyone is guilty. And it’s something the system doesn’t take account of. But it’s sort of obvious.”

The US judicial system illegitimately legitimizes malpractice too often, especially against society’s most disadvantaged — from police to prosecutors to DAs to judges.

Time and again in US courtrooms, upholding the standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is a meaningless figure of speech.