Blue State Blues: Bring Back Trial by Drowning! (Satire)

by Joel B. Pollak * 5 Dec 2014

Once upon a time, the civil rights movement was deeply concerned about the rights of criminal defendants. Not anymore. Today, those who say they care most about civil rights are calling for grand jury reforms that would make it easier to indict those accused of certain, racial crimes.

Yet after the Trayvon Martin case, there is no guarantee those trials would lead to convictions. So I say: let us revive a time-honored practice: trial by ordeal.

It would work as follows. The accused racist–Darren Wilson, for example–would be arrested and led by Rev. Al Sharpton (or his designee) to the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. The defendant would then be bound (gently) and thrown (humanely) into the dark, redemptive waters. If he sank to the bottom, he would be acquitted. If he floated, he would be convicted.

Of course, those exonerated by the ordeal would still drown. Yet they would die with dignity. Their sacrifice for the sake of racial justice would earn them a place in the pantheon of “the struggle.” They would also set an example for others, whose commitment to equality may be weak or superficial at best. Continue reading at


About Alan Berkelhammer

Opinions are my own and are not necessarily those of any organization or group.
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