The previous post in this series is here.
John Terry, a soccer player, has been found “not guilty” of racist speech in a criminal trial in merry old England.
Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle delivered his verdict after a five-day trial at Westminster Magistrates Court in London.
He said the case was not about “whether Mr Terry is a racist in the broadest sense of the word”, telling the court he had heard “a great deal of evidence to show that he is not”.
“It is understandable why Mr Terry wants to make this point – his reputation is at stake,” he said.
He was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand during a match between QPR and Chelsea at Loftus Road in October. He was investigated and charged after a complaint from an off-duty policeman.
Riddle said Terry was a “credible witness” and “nobody has been able to show that he is lying”. He told the court: “There is no doubt that John Terry uttered the words ‘f****** black c***’ at Anton Ferdinand.
So, it seems that losing control a bit and uttering an epithet or two in the heat of battle is a criminal offense in the land that brought us the Magna Carta and the Glorious Revolution, not to mention John Locke and Edmund Burke.
Details are here, but the reason for the not guilty verdict, given that Terry did say the words, is that he claimed to be repeating back an accusation from the “victim,” Anton Ferdinand, and this produced just enough question about Terry’s intent and motivation to create “reasonable doubt.”
I have reasonable doubts that Britain is any longer anything remotely resembling a free nation. And consider: the USA’s founding fathers thought of themselves as fighting to keep “the rights of Englishmen” which they thought they had been denied.
It would seem that Englishmen lost them some time back, too.
In the meantime, consider that this five day trial has to have cost the state considerable money, which might have been better spent other ways, perhaps not withholding necessary treatment to the elderly and infirm.
Just call it an informal death panel.