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A kangaroo court is a court that ignores recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides. The term may also apply to a court held by a legitimate judicial authority who intentionally disregards the court's legal or ethical obligations.
Where have we seen kangaroo courts used?
The Moscow Trials were a series of trials held in the Soviet Union at the instigation of Joseph Stalin between 1936 and 1938 against Trotskyists and members of Right Opposition of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, including head of the NKVD, Nikolai Yezhov, the perpetrator of the Great Purge, for his large number of purges. There were three Moscow Trials: the Case of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center (Zinoviev-Kamenev Trial, aka "Trial of the Sixteen," 1936), the Case of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center (Pyatakov-Radek Trial, 1937), and the Case of the Anti-Soviet "Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites" (Bukharin-Rykov Trial, aka "Trial of the Twenty-One," 1938).
The defendants of these were Old Bolshevik party leaders and top officials of the Soviet secret police. Most defendants were charged under Article 58 of the RSFSR Penal Code with conspiring with the western powers to assassinate Stalin and other Soviet leaders, dismember the Soviet Union, and restore capitalism.
The Moscow Trials led to the execution of many of the defendants. They are generally seen as part of Stalin's Great Purge, an attempt to rid the party of current or prior oppositionists, especially but not exclusively Trotskyists, and any leading Bolshevik cadre from the time of the Russian Revolution or earlier, who might even potentially become a figurehead for the growing discontent in the Soviet populace resulting from Stalin's mismanagement of the economy.
The Chinese government's prosecutions of Bo Xilai, deposed Politburo leader, and Gu Kailai, his allegedly murderous wife, have again brought China's criminal justice system to world attention. As a citizen’s most important protection against a government’s arbitrary exercise of power over his person, criminal justice is perhaps the most telling indication of a government’s adherence to human rights standards.
Cuba: Kangaroo Courts
The United States condemns the Cuban regime's initiation of trials against at least 78 members of independent Cuban civil society.
Dozens of Cubans whose only "crimes" were to demand their fundamental rights of assembly now face summary justice in regime kangaroo courts. The Cuban government has denied the international media and members of the diplomatic corps permission even to observe these sham proceedings.
We understand that at least a dozen individuals -- including democracy stalwart Marta Beatriz Roque, poet and independent journalist Raul Rivero, independent labor activist Pedro Pablo Alvarez and civil disobedience advocate Oscar Elias Biscet and "Todos Unidos" leader Oswaldo Alfonso all face life sentences. A number of Project Varela organizers, including Oswaldo Payá's number two, Antonio Diaz, face 15 to 30 years in prison.
The Castro regime's actions are the most despicable act of political repression in the Americas in a decade. While the rest of the hemisphere has moved toward greater freedom, the anachronistic Cuban government appears to be retreating into Stalinism.
Oct. 9, 2019 at 1:54 p.m. PDT
On my Wednesday radio show, I spoke with Beltway reporters and pundits from across the spectrum of outlets and points-of-view: Jonathan Allen of NBC News, Karen Tumulty of The Post, Chris Cillizza of CNN, Eliana Johnson of the Washington Free Beacon and Jim Geraghty of the National Review. To each, I posed the key question: Do the House Democrats run the risk of turning their impeachment “inquiry” into a kangaroo court by so obviously and repeatedly bending or breaking with the precedents of impeachments past? All agreed it is a risk, though each evaluated the risk differently.
By October 17, 2019, any rational thinker can only conclude that we are seeing the same standards and procedures employed by Stalin, Moa, and Castro employed by their comrades, the Marxist/Progressives (Democrats).
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