Aurora, Colorado

My thoughts are with living victims and the families of the deceased victims of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.

Today, I was speaking with a friend with regard to that tragedy. His comments with about the suspect were not unique amongst the plethora of comments that I have heard over the last many hours. Most of these comments can be categorized as follows: that the State of Colorado should not waste the money or time on the process that the suspect faces; rather, the State of Colorado should simply dispatch the suspect immediately.

Our society is stable against all disturbances and unexpected shocks because we, as a nation, are committed to the absolute rule of law. It is the absolute rule of law that prevents our elected leaders from becoming despotic dictators, it prevents our justice system from becoming irreparably corrupted so as to severely punish the innocent the actions of whom amounted only to standing up against corruption, and it prevents the powerful and those of wealth from enslaving those less fortunate. Each one of us can go about our daily lives engaging in the activities necessary to exercise our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because we know that your system is held in check not by men of power but by the power of the law. Even the lowest, weakest person in our nation is guaranteed the right to petition the government for redress of wrongs committed by others, including the very people charged with preservation of our rights.

Even if there were one thousand people who saw a suspect commit a criminal offense, the rule of law demands that that suspect be given every opportunity to be heard in defense against the charges made by the one thousand. The suspect is guaranteed his right to be heard and treated humanely by a dispassionate court according to the laws that have been created by more than 225 years of american jurisprudence. The suspect has the right to have every flaw in his prosecution carefully considered by competent judges and if the flaw has improperly prejudiced his peers against him or if the flaw prohibited him from properly presenting his defense then his conviction must be overturned and a new trial ordered.

The process necessary to determine the guilt of a suspect is not cheap, nor is the right of every person in this nation to be free of undue government interference in the absence of evidence of wrongdoing. To allow our system to quickly punish a suspect simply because one thousand people saw him commit an offense is to allow our system to punish one thousand innocent people only because one person said he saw each of them commit an offense.

The absolute rule of law is neither inexpensive nor expeditious: however, it is far better than any alternative.

May the living victims and the families of the deceased victims eventually find peace and resolution.

Nathan A. Busch

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