May 12, 2009

Don't deport this man

A man accused of being a death camp guard in the Holocaust is being deported to Germany to stand trial for 29,000 counts of accessory to murder. The evidence against him is pretty strong: identification that matches him exactly shows him as a guard at Sobibor, one of the Nazi death camps. The man, John Demjanjuk, was originally a soldier in the Soviet Army before being captured and eventually going to a camp where foreigners were trained to take part in the Holocaust.

Yes, it is almost certain that he is guilty, but Mr. Demjanjuk is too frail to stand trial in Germany. There are two better options, one being a trial in the United States, and another being testimony by the man before he dies. Both of those are likely to achieve something close to the same outcome as taking him to trial in Germany, but they are also more likely to finish while he's still alive. It's just a bad idea to send him halfway across the world to be a part of a trial that he will probably not live to see the end of. Trying him here will mean that he might actually live to receive his due.

No comments:

Post a Comment