Re: law and order -- a query to St. Christian

douglass st.christian (stchri@MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA)
Mon, 18 Apr 1994 08:25:08 -0400

On Sun, 17 Apr 1994 U28550@UICVM.BITNET wrote:

> I've read the postings on the Fay case with a great deal of interest. I was
> impressed by Misrach's post, but even more intrigued with Doug St. Christian's
> post. I have a question for Doug to consider, hopefully carefully before
> replying, as I'd like to open up this thread a bit. Doug, to what extent is
> your position conditioned by or even shaped by your having done research on
> Samoa?
> Mike Lieber

Nice one, Mike...

that is an interesting question and I am pondering it carefully before i the meantime, i have a question back...

i looked over my original note and wonder if you could describe breifly
what you see as my position on this... this is not a dodge or a
trick...but i have found that asking someone 'what do you think i said'
helps me at times to clarify what i was saying in my own mind...

in the meantime, i would like to riase two points:

first, in response to Glen Stone's comments on the NY Times piece and the
possibility that Fay and the other teens were coerced into confessing and
might actually be innocent. I have followed this on the news [ admittedly
not as carefully as I followed the Michael Jackson fiasco, but then I
would like to write about book about that one so mea culpa]. I had not
heard anyone from Fays phalanx of supporters claiming that he was
innocent of the act, only that he was innocent of an understanding of the
consequences. If there is indeed some substance to the suggestion that he
and the others are not guilty at all then the substance of the accusation
of human rights violation seems to me to be unassailable. If, as I deeply
suspect, this issue of coerced confessions is actually a smoke screen -
we have no evidence that it happened in this case, but, you see, it CAN
happen in Singapore so maybe ...- then I don't think it absolves Fay of
the consequences of his actions.

And the heart of this appears to be a concern for human
rights as i universal code of conduct....i would be curious to know what
anyone out there sees as the fundamental content of a list of universal
human sounds like an interesting animal, but like the blind
scientists describing the elephant by touch, i wonder just what such a
list would look like....

thanks again mike...i be thinking even as this missive flies off into the
great electronic unknown....