‘ Yes could you?’ asked the frightful man to the judge.
‘This spot is quite uncomfortable’
The prosecutor, Draco Phillius * retorted a tone ‘ And why wouldn’t you be uncomfortable?’ With the black coat swinging and his golden golden wig almost falling Draco swiveled around to face the judge.
‘ So Sam Wenneth, on the night of 16th of October, you were found to be trespassing in the orchard of Williams Penagofler. Did you or did you not steal an apple?’
‘ I did not steal an apple! Yeah, I nicked one out. As a matter of fact, it was evening and Williams Penagofler is no longer alive! Many people visit it!’
Draco Phillius showed his golden teeth and started to pursue in a dramatic way, a long yellow page. ‘ Err as a matter of fact, under Draco ‘s law’. He stumbled and corrected himself ‘ Athens law. It was dark enough to be called nighttime! And you are there to represent your charge!’
‘The punishment for robbery’ Draco stopped to enunciate ‘under the well known rule of law is DEATH! The judge stood up suddenly and mumbled an ‘ Order Order’ and went away yawning. The man is pushed and taken away by the guards. He is stupefied because the charge is minor and the punishment is harsh.
Does this ring a bell?In the city of Athens, Draco, a man with an unbelievable twisted mind wrote laws that protected the well established nobility and attacked the poor people with severe punishments like Death. Today we use the term ‘draconian’ to describe many laws that generally infringe upon the human rights of individuals,and they leave the doors open to arbitrary interpretation and prosecution. The vague wording of a law also has an adverse impact on framing of the charge against the accused.
We have many laws such as PTA( Prevention of Terrorism Act) in Sri Lanka, Sedition law, UAPA law, Public Safety Act in India, the recently passed Hong Kong National Security Law in China and their usage has been indeed worrying as statistics show.
The basic rights of people such as the right to have fair representation before a court, the right to be produced before a court, the right to free trial etc are being viciously attacked.
These exceptions are often made for terrorists or ‘disturbing’ elements in the society, but at the same time generously empower the government to designate anyone as disturbing or terrorist.
We all know that security laws are essential in ensuring public law and order. However, an essential feature of a developed society are protests, people, and democracy. Draconian features seeking to empower governments to a very large extent over ‘public order and good’ may turn obsolete and not in line with the society which we all seek to dream about.
QOTD: USA is such am amazing country! After reading this, what according to you really makes it wonderful? freedom or prison?
This is a continuation of our illustration series: