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Alexander Howard
1384835.  Fri Jul 09, 2021 4:29 am Reply with quote

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

It sounds quaint in these days of peace, reminiscent of tyrannous rulers like Henry VIII and a forgotten age, but those were unquiet days and the law was abused scandalously, but the rules have changed little since the Middle Ages.

(I once, in an odd turn of events several years ago, found myself standing beside the Lord Chancellor ready to cross a busy road, and observed to him that drivers should be careful because 'slaying the Chancellor' is treason.)

The last convictions for treason in the United Kingdom were in 1946, in the wake of the War. It has been committed frequently since then, but better ways to deal with the crimes have been found.

The conviction of 'Lord Haw Haw' was a strange example, and arguably legally flawed, but the Allies knew he needed to hang so an excuse was found. William Joyce was born an American citizen, but brought up in the United Kingdom. When he went to Nazi Germany he took up German citizenship. At no time was he legally a British subject so he was not subject to the treason law - but the prosecution found he had obtained a British passport, which was a hook to hang him on.

Casement, of course, was hanged by a comma.

1386126.  Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:04 pm Reply with quote


A comma—or its absence—didn’t hang Roger Casement either. The court in R. v. Casement knew that the punctuation in the original version of the 1351 Treason Act—which was written in Norman French, not English—was inconsistent. They weren’t even sure whether some of the punctuation marks were actually ink blots or dirt on the parchment. They knew as well that the different versions of the English translations of the statute punctuated it differently. And they knew that twentieth-century punctuation conventions could not easily apply to fourteenth-century texts. As the Lord Chief Justice put it tersely during the trial, “Commas have no place in the discussion before this Court” (George H. Knott, ed., The Trial of Sir Roger Casement, 1917, p. 122).

1389748.  Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:47 am Reply with quote

Which President holds the record for the most inflated number of voters, accused of corruption and nepotism for appointing people based on their connection and service to him rather than skill, was accused of lack of transparency and was impeached?

Obvious klaxon for Trump, and I'm sure you can include lots of others for klaxons.

The answer is Charles DB King, 17th President of Liberia. In 1927, he was re-elected with 234,000 over his nearest rival who only got 9,000 votes. It might seem like he was a popular president, if not for the fact that for this election there were only 15,000 eligible voters, technically giving this election a turnout of over 1,600%!

King was eventually forced to resign when a League of Nations report found that both he and many of his appointees were guilty of creating a forced labour market in Liberia to fill out contracts cheaply, and even going as far as forcible shipping some people as forced labourers to other countries.


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