In recent weeks we have witnessed an example of an unjust trial model that has impacted civil justice efforts throughout the United States. For years, people who seek to hold their government accountable have been forced into an increasing number of abbreviated McTrials, with arbitrary time limits and unfair limitations on evidence and witnesses. The Senate Impeachment trial of Donald Trump was the most recent and extreme example of that unconstitutional trend. Any trial must be given enough time for a full airing of the facts. It must include full disclosure of the facts — the evidence — from people with knowledge of those facts, in sworn witness testimony. Regardless of what one thinks of Mr. Trump or the House of Representatives’ decision to impeach him, only through a full trial with evidence and witnesses would the Senate, and the American people, really know what happened. Not only Senators, but the American people, have the right to see and hear all of the facts before deciding on the next course of action. In our trials, Defendants often try to hide key facts and witnesses from the jury. The reason they do that is because they are afraid of those facts, and afraid of what the jury might do if it knew all of the relevant facts. Since the Senate Republicans barred us all from seeing the facts in its McTrial of Mr. Trump, it is incumbent on all of us to pay attention to the news and learn the facts for ourselves before we vote in what may be the most important election of our lives.
~ Julia Sherwin