2014. november 12., szerda

The Nuremberg Trial- Trial of Hermann Goring

The Nuremberg Trial

Trial of Hermann Goring

first row, from left the first person: Hermann Goring)


WWII was the most cruel armed conflict of history with the highest number of victims. Almost 60 million people died between the invasion of Poland and the surrender of Japan. There were immense number of factors contributed to the outbreak of the war; German anger about the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement policy and most importantly the decade- long aggressive foreign policy of Nazi Germany. Although WWII would offer a great number of debatable issues, I decided to evaluate the trial of Hermann Goring, a high ranked Nazi politician.

The Nuremberg trial was the first trial in which the charges were crimes against humanity. The Allied powers had distinct opinion about the case. Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom did not want a trial, instead he voted for the execution of accused Nazis. Joseph Stalin, the leader of the USSR voted for a quick trial. From 1944 the political leadership of the USA, following the idea of Truman, sent observers to Europe alongside with the army, in order to find evidence for the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis. Later the USA used the Nuremberg trials as a base in the Eastern part of the world in the conduction of the trials of the Japanese war criminals. (Tokyo, Nanjing)

It is intensely debated whether the Allied powers only conducted „puppet trials” Naturally in a war situation neither side can be considered completely humane, but undoubtedly the most evil decisions were discussed in the offices of the Nazis. Although many of the accused Germans were convicted with relatively moderate punishments, while the higher rank Nazis were sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal. Many of them accepted their fate but the reactions for the judgments were rather diverse. Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany, who had actively participated in the invasion of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia, Poland and Austria, and rooting from his high rank enjoyed a good sight on the anti-Semitic „final solution” plan, reacted for the court’s decision with the following words: “ Death! Death! That means I cannot write my nice memoirs. Cccc…. What hatred!” Many of the convicted were glorifying Germany until the moment they got hanged, such as Wilhelm Keitel (German field marshal, chief of Supreme High Command of the German Armed Forces).  Others were blessing the name of Adolf Hitler, such as Julius Streicher, German journalist who was the main organizer of the anti-Semitic propaganda against Jews. Ernst Kaltenbrunner, high rank SS commander and the chief of Reich Main Security) still tried to prove his innocence on his way to the gallow. Some Nazi such as Hans Frank, Governor-General of occupied Poland, prayed for the mercy of a higher power.

In the blog entry I am going to evaluate and process the Nuremberg Trial, focusing on the trial of Hermann Goring.

The following videos were extremely helpful in my work:

You can find my previous blog entry about an Unknown Hungarian Trial at the following link:

Historical bearings

The Soviet leaders wanted to hold the trial in Berlin, the city they believed to be the capital of the fascist ideology. Finally Nuremberg was chosen, because a huge prison complex belonged to the courthouse and it basically remained intact from the bombings of the Allies. Therefore it was the best condition court in the territory of the Third Reich. Choosing Nuremberg also had a symbolic meaning, because the Nazi Party was created in the city and served as a place for plenty of important conferences.

Judges and representatives of the prosecution:

Iona Nikitchenko (Soviet judge)

Sir Geoffrey Lawrence (British judge)

Francis Biddle (US judge)

Henri Donnedieu de Vabres (French judge)

Sir Hartley Shawcross (British representative of the prosecution)

Robert H. Jackson (US representative of the prosecution)

Roman Andreyevich Rudenko (Soviet representative of the prosecution)

Auguste Champetier de Ribes (French representative of the prosecution)

The majority of the defensive lawyers consisted of Germans. (Georg Fröschmann, Otto Kranzbühler)

Robert H Jackson

Chronology of the Trial:
  • 1    November 20th 1945: Opening of trial
  • 2    November 21th 1945: Robert H Jackson, US representative of the prosecution, gives hour-long speech to the audience.
  • 3    November 29th, 1945: Discussion about the concentration camps.
  • 4    December 12th, 1946: The movie called „Nazi Plan” is screened. Evidence for Nazi Germany’s long term plans for war.
  • 5    March 13-22, 1946: Interrogation of Hermann Goring
  • 6    July 4th 1946: The defense retires.
  • 7  July 26 1946: The prosecution retires.
  • 8    September 1, 1946: The court retires.
  • 9    September 30- October 1, 1946: Announcement of the court’s decisions.

The trial:

The trial opened at Nuremberg Palace of Justice on November 19th, 1945. 21 people were charged. The charge was made up of 4 points:

  • 1    Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
  • 2    planning and initiating wars of aggression
  • 3    war crimes
  • 4   crimes against humanity

These were the potential outcomes of the trial from the viewpoint of an accused Nazi: he was either sentenced or excused.

Hermann Goring was found guilty in all of points of charges. Five other people were found guilty in all four points.

Plenty of people present at the trial noted that Goring basically became the leader of the convicted Nazis and behaved so confidently that it seemed that like he believed that he is in an equal position with the representatives of the Allied powers. Despite his belief, the only reason that he was still alive was the decision of the USA. The representatives of the country reasoned alongside of a reputable trial that would grant an opportunity of a fair, legal judgment imposed on the Nazis.

On the 29th of November Robert Jackson gave a speech before the documentation about the concentration camps was shown to the audience. He noted that all the Nazi leaders present knew about the existence and role of the camps but they did not do anything against their operation, but instead they continued intimidating the Jews. Before the film was showed, the Nazi leaders were chattering around in a good mood as they would not even comprehend the severity of the situation. After the final pictures about the Dachau concentration camp faded into darkness, the air froze on the bench of the accused. They gazed in front of themselves and they seemed to finally realize that they were they were part of a lethal death machine for decades and the consequence of their decisions may be extremely serious.

In March 1946, the interrogation of Goring began. We know from the descriptions that he was still confident. Robert H Jackson tried to make him testify with the help of the Nazi’s fanaticism, but the German was prepared and opened a debate with the American. Goring reacted to the questions of Jackson by blaming the internal and foreign politics of the USA. Tensions seriously arose in the courtroom. Goring believed that if the Nazis would have used the same tactic then the prosecution could have been destroyed with the arrogance.
At this state of the trial, the possibility of failure was highly present, because the prosecution could not receive straight-forward answers from the Nazi leaders. Many people began to believe that they should have followed Churchill’s idea: quick execution without a trial.

The British representative of the prosecution, Sir Hartley Shawcross continued the interrogation of Goring on bench of the accused. After Goring told that neither he nor Adolf Hitler knew about what happened in the concentration camps, Shawcross revealed two evidences. One was a part of a conversation between Adolf Hitler and Regent of Hungary, Miklós Horthy about the murdering of the Hungarian Jews in concentration camps. Hartley had evidence regarding Goring’s knowledge about the conversation.

Goring sustained his testimony about the fact that neither he nor Hitler knew about the mass murders. Moreover many people from the audience noted that Goring still fanatically believed in the dead dictator and in the Nazi ideology.

The real turning-point of the trial was the moment when the British Royal Forces announced that they caught Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp. The man gave a detailed testimony about the barbarities committed in the camp and the defense lawyers basically gave up.

Majority of the Nazi leaders testified some of the charges and they did not support the neither the Nazi ideology nor Hitler. Goring’s tactic failed.

Hjalmar Schacht, Economic Minister of the Third Reich, testified against Goring. He told that Goring was worse and more cruel than Hitler.

As the end of the trial approached, Goring’s role, as the „unofficial leader” of the accused Nazis decreased and his confidence was gone.

Out of the 21 Nazis, eleven were sentenced to death, seven were sentenced to prison and three were acquitted.

The verdict:

Hermann Göring was sentenced by the International War Tribunal to death by hanging. The man requested the change of the verdict, asking to be shot as a soldier, but his request was denied.

On October 15th, 1946 Hermann Goring committed suicide in his prison cell with a potassium cyanide capsule.

The supervision of the prisoners was intensely strengthened after one of them hanged himself in his cell. It is still debated how Goring could have received a potassium cyanide capsule. Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, the general of Waffen SS testified that he gave it to Goring, but this is not proven. In 2005, Herbert Lee Strivers, a soldier who served as a prison guard at Nuremberg during trial, announced that he gave Goring a pen that had a capsule hidden inside of it after the request of a woman called Mona. The woman told him that it was only medicine that helps Goring cure his chronic illness.

Hermann Goring’s corpse was cremated and his ashes were dispersed into Isar River.

Personal opinion:

In my opinion the trial processes an exceeding case, and for me it was the most interesting trial to work with in my blog. Undoubtedly, death sentence is a highly debated judgment nowadays and it is used by less and less countries. It is important to mention that in war situations ethics doesn’t have a big role, but its importance is unquestionable. Taking a person’s life is ethically wrong – it is basic human right- but it is justifiable. The Nazis sentenced to death in Nuremberg, including Hermann Goring, shifted their nation (and other countries) to 6 years long war that took millions of lives. Unprecedentedly, the civilian population also suffered huge losses. An eye for an eye principle is definitely not the most proper way of operation of the judicatory system and the modern society, but I think that the Nazis sentenced to death in Nuremberg suffered the consequences of their evil actions and they received a punishment that they deserved in a certifiable legal method. The case can be also comprehended as a message to the future; this is the judgment that those people deserve who violate peace and humanity.

After the trial a “new chapter opened in the history book of humanity” and the death of the Nazi leaders, such as Goring, was a completely justifiable and legitimate decision of court.

Robert H Jackson noted before the trial, that a person may only be prosecuted if he or she can be justifiably sentenced. This principle guided the representatives of the court and this fact gives the base to my opinion regarding the trial.

I hope that I was able to give an interesting and complete picture about the Nuremberg trial that symbolizes the end of the darkest era of history and terminated all those barbarism that the leaders of the Nazi Party consciously prepared and accomplished.

2014. november 9., vasárnap

A Nürnbergi per- Hermann Göring pere

A Nürnbergi per

Hermann Göring pere

(első sor, balról az első: Hermann Göring)

A második világháború a történelem legkegyetlenebb és legtöbb halálos áldozatot követelő fegyveres konfliktusa volt. 1939-ben, Lengyelország német lerohanásával kezdődve, a japán kapitulációig több mint 60 millió ember veszítette életét. Tucatnyi tényező közrejátszása vezetett a háború kitöréséhez, kezdve a németeket felháborító Versailles-i békeszerződéstől, Neville Chamberlain brit miniszterelnök „lekenyerezés” politikáján át, a Náci Németország által tanúsított évtizedeken átívelő agresszív külpolitikáig. A világháború ugyan sok megvitatandó témához szolgáltatna alapot, a következő blog-bejegyzésem témájaként Hermann Göring, magas rangú Náci vezető perét választottam.
A Nürnbergi per volt a történelem első olyan pere, amiben a vád emberiség ellen elkövetett bűn volt. A Szövetséges hatalmak vezetői különféleképpen vélekedtek a perről. Winston Churchill, Nagy Britannia miniszterelnöke pert sem szeretett volna, hanem egyből a bűnösök kivégzése mellett foglalt állást. Josef Sztálin, a Szovjetunió vezetője egy gyors lefolyású pert szeretett volna. 1944-től az Egyesült Államok vezetősége, Truman felvetése után, megfigyelőket küldött a hadsereg mellé Európába, hogy bizonyítékokat gyűjtsenek az emberiség ellen elkövetett bűncselekményekre. Később a Nürnbergi pert alapul használta az Egyesült Államok a világ keleti felén a Japán ellen lefolytatott háborús bűnök tárgyalásain. (lásd Tokió, Nanjing).
Rendkívül vitatott volt, hogy a győztes szövetségesek valójában csak egyfajta „kirakatper” céljából folytatták le a tárgyalásokat. Természetesen háborús helyzetben egyik fél sem tanúsít teljes emberséget, ám a II. világháború legelvetemültebb háborús bűneinek kitervelése kétségkívül a Náci Németország magas rangú vezetőinek tárgyalótermeiben körvonalazódott. Ugyan sok vádlott kapott relatíve enyhébb büntetést, a fővádlottak többségét halálbüntetéssel sújtotta a nemzetközi képviselőkből felálló bíróság. Sokan az elítéltek közül elfogadták sorsukat, ám a reakciók között voltak igen meglepőek is. Példának okáért Joachim von Ribbentrop, a Náci Németország Külügyminisztere, aki aktív kitervelőként vett rész Cseh-Szlovákia, Lengyelország és Ausztria megszállásában, illetve rálátással bírt a németek zsidók ellen irányuló „végső megoldására”, a rá kimondott halálos ítéletre így reagált: „Halál! Halál! Akkor hát nem írhatom meg az én szép emlékirataimat. Cccc… Micsoda gyűlölködés!”   Sokan még a bitófa felé mentelve is Németországot (Wilhelm Keitel, német tábornok, a tábornoki törzskar tagja) vagy Hitlert (Julius Streicher, német újságíró, a zsidóellenes propaganda főszervezője) éltettek, ám akadtak, akik még ekkor is ártatlanságukat bizonygatták (Ernst Kaltenbrunner, magas rangú SS tiszt illetve a Birodalmi Biztonsági Főhivatal vezetője) vagy egy felsőbb hatalomhoz imádkoztak( Hans Frank,Német Jogtudományi Akadémia elnöke, 1939-től Lengyelország kormányzója).
A bejegyzésben átfogóan a teljes Nürnbergi perrel fogok foglalkozni, ám a legtöbb esetben Hermann Göringre fogok fókuszálni.

A blog bejegyzésem elkészítésében nagy segítséget nyújtott a következő összefoglalás:

Az alábbi linken találhatják az előző blog bejegyzésem egy ismeretlen magyar perről:

 Történelmi tényállás
A Szovjet vezetők Berlinben szerették volna megtartani a tárgyalást, amit a fasiszta ideológia központjának tartottak. Ám végül Nürnbergre esett a választás, mert a bírósághoz egy nagy börtönkomplexum is tartozott és ez volt a legjobb állapotban lévő bíróság a Harmadik Birodalom területén, ami szinte sértetlen maradt a Szövetségek légi bombázásaitól. A helyválasztásnak ugyanakkor szimbolikus jelentése is volt, mert gyakorlatilag itt jött létre a Náci Párt és rendkívül sok fontos tanácskozásnak szolgált helyszínül a háborút megelőző években.
A bírók és a vád képviselői:
Iona Nikitchenko (szovjet bíró)
Sir Geoffrey Lawrence(brit bíró)
Francis Biddle(amerikai bíró)
Henri Donnedieu de Vabres (francia bíró)
Sir Hartley Shawcross (a vád brit képviselője)
Robert H. Jackson (a vád amerikai képviselője)
Roman Andreyevich Rudenko (a vád szovjet képviselője)
Auguste Champetier de Ribes (a vád francia képviselője)
A védőügyvédek zöme német ügyvédekből állt (Georg Fröschmann, Otto Kranzbühler)

Robert H Jackson

A per kronológiája:
1.    1945. november. 20.: A tárgyalás kezdete
2.    1945. november 21.: Robert H Jackson, a vád amerikai képviselője több órás bevezető beszédet intéz a publikumnak.
3.    1945. november 29.: A koncentrációs táborok megvitatása.
4.    1946. december 12.: „A Náci Terv” című film kerül bemutatásra, ami a Harmadik Birodalom hosszú távú háborúra való készülését demonstrálja.
5.    1946. március 13-22.: Hermann Göring a vádlottak padján.
6.    1946. július..4. :A védelem záróbeszéde
7.    1946. július. 26.: A vád záróbeszéde
8.    1946. szeptember 1.: A bíróság visszavonul.
9.    1946. szeptember 30.- október 1.: Ítélethirdetés.

A tárgyalás:
A Nürnbergi Igazságpalotában 1945. november 19.-én nyitották meg a tárgyalást. 21 fővádlott jelent meg a bíróság előtt. A vád 4 pontot tartalmazott:
1.    béke elleni tervezésben való részvétel
2.    béke elleni agresszív bűnök
3.    háborús bűntett
4.    emberiség elleni bűntettek

Az eshetőségek a következőek voltak: ha a vádlottat megvádolták a fent említett vádak valamelyikével, vagy bűnösnek találták vagy pedig felmentették.

Hermann Göringet mind a 4 vádpontban bűnösnek találták. Rajta kívül még öt személyt találtak bűnösnek minden vádpontban a 21 elsőrendű vádlott közül.

A tárgyalás alatt több jelenlévő is utólag úgy nyilatkozott, hogy Göring szinte vezetőjévé vált a vádlottaknak és magabiztosan viselkedett,mintha úgy érezte volna, hogy egyenlő helyzetben van a tárgyalást vezető Szövetségesek képviselőivel. Ennek ellenére életét, csupán az Egyesült Államok által szorgalmazott tisztességes jogi bánásmódban való részesítés hosszabbította meg, addig a pillanatig amíg a tárgyalást lezáró kalapácsütés ki nem mondta rá a halálos ítéletet.

November 29.-én a koncentrációs táborokról készült filmet azzal a beszéddel vezette fel Robert Jackson, hogy bizonyítékaik vannak arra, hogy a jelenlévő Náci vezetők, beleértve Göringet, tudtak a táborok létezéséről és azoknak valódi rendeltetéséről, ennek ellenére azonban nem tettek semmit, csak továbbra is a megfélemlítés eszközével sanyargatták tovább a zsidókat. A film levetítését megelőzően a Náci vezetők felszabadultan beszélgettek, szinte mintha fel sem fogták volna, mivel vádolják őket. Ám miután a Dachau-i táborról készült felvételek utolsó képkockái is elsötétültek, a vádlottak padján megfagyott a levegő. Csöndben bámultak maguk elé és több jelenlévő is úgy írta le őket, mint akik ekkor döbbentek rá, hogy milyen pusztító gépezetnek voltak a részei éveken keresztül és, hogy ez milyen következményekhez vezethet számukra.

1946 márciusában Göring került a tanúk padjára. Leírások szerint magabiztossága még mindig nem veszett el. Robert H Jackson próbálta kimondatni vele bűneit Göring fanatizmusán keresztül, ám a vádlott felkészült volt és vitát indított az amerikaival. Göring többször az USA kül- és belpolitikájára hivatkozva vágott vissza az őt ért vádakra és nem egy alkalommal a légkör megtelt feszültséggel a vád és a bíróság között. Göring úgy vélte, hogyha a többi vádlott is hasonlóan lép fel, a vádat egyszerűen lerombolhatják az arroganciájukkal.

A tárgyalás ezen szakaszában fent állt a bukás veszélye, mert Göring arroganciája végett nem lehetett egyenes válaszokat kapni a Náci vezetőtől. Ekkor már egyre többen gondolták úgy, hogy Churchill ötlete lett volna a legcélravezetőbb. Tárgyalás nélküli, gyors kivégzés.

Sir Hartley Shawcross a vád brit képviselője vette át Göring kikérdezését a vádlottak padján. Két bizonyítékot is feltárt miután Göring azt vallotta, hogy sem ő, sem pedig Adolf Hitler nem tudott arról, ami a koncentrációs táborokban folyt. Egy bizonyíték egy beszélgetés részlet volt Adolf Hitler és Horthy Miklós között, ami a magyar zsidókról szólt; lényegében a munkatáborokban való elpusztításukról volt benne szó, illetőleg Hartleynak bizonyítéka volt arról, hogy Göringnek tudomása volt erről a beszélgetésről.

Göring a tárgyalás alatt többször is hangoztatta és fent tartotta a véleményét azzal kapcsolatban, hogy sem ő, sem pedig a Führer nem tudott a tömeggyilkosságokról. Továbbá a tárgyaláson résztvevők sokasága állította később, hogy Göring még mindig fanatikusan hitt a halott diktátorban és annak eszméjében.

A tárgyalás igazi fordulópontja az volt, amikor a brit hadsereg bejelentette, hogy elkapta Rudolf Höss-t, az Auschwitz-i koncentrációs tábor parancsnokát. Miután részletes beismerő vallomást tett a táborban lezajlott kegyetlenségekről, az addig harcoló védelem gyakorlatilag feladta.

A Náci vezetők sorra bevallottak az őket ért vádak közül néhányat és nem védték tovább a Náci ideológiát- sem Hitlert. Göring taktikája csődöt mondott.
Hjalmar Schacht, a Német Birodalom Gazdasági Minisztere kulcsfontosságú vallomást tett Göringgel kapcsolatban, amiben rosszabbnak és kegyetlenebbnek titulálta, mint Hitlert.

Ahogy a tárgyalás vége közeledett, Göring szerepe, mint a vádlottak szószólója, csökkent és magabiztossága elveszett.

A 21 vádlott közül tizenegyet halálra, hetet börtönbüntetésre ítéltek. Három vádlottat felmentettek minden vádpont alól.

Az ítélet:

Hermann Göringet kötél általi halálbüntetésre ítélte a Nemzetközi Háborús Bíróság. A férfi kérelmezte az ítélet megváltoztatását golyó általi halálra, katonához méltóan. Kérését elvetették.

1946. október 15.-én Göring öngyilkosságot követett el a cellájában egy ciánkapszula segítségével.

Amiatt, hogy egy másik vádlott felakasztotta magát a szobájában, a rabok ellenőrzését rendkívül megszigorították. Máig vitatott, hogy hogyan juthatott Göring a kapszulához. Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, a Waffen SS tábornoka azt vallotta, hogy ő juttatta be a kapszulát Göringnek ám ezt nem tudta bizonyítani. 2005-ben Herbert Lee Strivers, egy a nürnbergi börtönben egykoron szolgáló őrkatona bejelentette, hogy egy Mona nevű nő kérésére egy tollban egy kapszulát juttatott be Göringhez, amire a nő azt mondta, hogy csak gyógyszer, ami a férfi krónikus betegségére kell.

Holtestét a hamvasztás után az Isar folyóba szórták.

Személyes vélemény:
Véleményem szerint a per egy rendkívüli esetet dolgoz fel, és számomra ez volt az eddigi legérdekesebb ügy amit blogomban elemeztem. Kétségtelen, hogy a halálbüntetés egy máig is vitatott dolog és egyre kevesebb helyen alkalmazott intézmény. Fontos megjegyezni, hogy háborús helyzetben az etikai kérdéseknek nincs túl nagy szerepe, de jelentősége megkérdőjelezhetetlen. Egy ember életét elvenni etikailag nem helyes- ez egy alap emberi jog, ám igazolható cselekedet. A perben halálra ítélt bűnösök, köztük Hermann Göring, több éven keresztül előre kitervelten több millió ember életét követelő borzalmakba sodorta hazáját és több más nemzetet. A civil lakosság is hatalmas veszteséget szenvedett el, amire korábban nem volt példa. A szemet szemért elv nem feltétlenül a legcélravezetőbb eszköz a modern társadalomban és igazságszolgáltatásban, de úgy vélem, hogy a nürnbergi perben halálra ítélt személyek egy igazolható peres eljárás során nyerték el méltó büntetésüket és egyfajta példastatuálásnak is felfogható az eset. A per után egy új fejezet nyílt az emberi történelemben, és a Náci magas rangú vezetők, mint Göring, halála teljességgel igazolható és jogos bírósági ítélet volt.

Robert H Jackson a perek előtt azt nyilatkozta, hogy csak akkor állítsanak valakit bíróság elé, hogyha igazolhatóan el is ítélhetik. Ez az elv vezette a bíróság képviselőit és ez a tény alapul szolgál a perrel kapcsolatos véleményemnek.

Remélem sikerült egy érdekes és átfogó képet adnom a Nürnbergi perről, ami a világtörténelem egyik, ha nem a legsötétebb korszakának lezárását szimbolizálja és pontot rakott mindannak a borzalomnak a végére amit a Náci Párt vezetői tudatosan elterveztek és véghezvittek. 

2014. október 19., vasárnap

An unknown Hungarian trial...

An unknown Hungarian trial...

Unorthodoxly my newest blog entry will process a small, unknown Hungarian trial. This case is a part of an average Hungarian family’s life. I strongly believe that even this small trial certainly played an important role in the family’s life. Although the case study will be much shorter than my previous entries were, I found the case interesting and instructive.

On the following link you are able to find my previous blog entry dealing with the trial of Conrad Murray:

In 2013 a couple wanted to find a preschool for their child. The boy suffered from diabetes but thanks to the developed healthcare and medical knowledge this disease can be easily cured. The preschool denied the acceptance of the boy and their reason was that the workers in the school cannot be bound with such great responsibility. The parents tried to convince the leadership of the preschool by noting that they will give the daily insulin dose at home for their child and only 3 blood sugar measurements will be required from the workers which wouldn’t take more than couple of minutes. The representatives of the school did not change their minds. They declared that no such responsibility can be imposed on the workers of the preschool...

The parents decided to bring the case into the court. The main trigger for this step was a medical expertise. They lost the trial at the primary level because the court did not accept their accusations. The main points of their charges were the following: dozens of children who were suffering from serious syndromes were accepted to the institution (Down- syndrome for example), and the preschool violated the human rights of their children – his right to egalitarianism was diminished.

The family appealed to the court. The charges were the same. Furthermore the parents questioned the reliability of the medical expertise written by the doctor of the preschool.  The one-sentence long response of the doctor can be hardly considered as a detailed medical expertise – it was the following: “I completely agree with the aforementioned reasons (the reasons were the answers of the preschool regarding the application)”. By this time the preschool (ran by the state) had offered a possibility for the family – they will create a day care opportunity for the small boy- but this offer had been only declared after the trial had already started. The family already signed their child into a private preschool.  Finally, after months of debating the family won the trial. The court declared that the preschool violated the boy’s right to egalitarianism and adjudged an amount of compensation fee for the parents.

In my opinion everybody has the right of egalitarianism, and education (in the present society) is considered as a basic human right for everyone. The court did not consider the human rights of the child even though this law stands above all in every member states of the United Nations. By taking away the right to education from the child, the preschool took away one of the most important human rights of the child. The court, in this case, recreated the balance in this environment and defended the rights of an average person. I strongly believe that the most important duty of the court is to help those who are in need.

Hopefully I was able to call the attention for the importance of those human rights, which were not considered in the first trial. Furthermore I strongly hope that I managed to transmit an interesting and comprehensive picture about the case.

2014. szeptember 18., csütörtök

Egy ismeretlen magyar per...

Egy ismeretlen magyar per...

Az újabb blog bejegyzésem rendhagyó módon nem egy világhírű peresettel fog foglalkozni, hanem egy aktuális, hazai perrel. Egy, a mindennapi emberek pere, egy magyarországi eset kerül majd feldolgozásra. Úgy vélem ennek ellenére egy egyszerű család életében ez a per is világraszólónak számít és biztosan megrendítő lehetett. Az esettanulmány hossza is jóval rövidebb lesz, ám mindenképpen érdekesnek és tanulságosnak találtam éppen ezért úgy döntöttem, hogy megfelelő lesz, mint következő bejegyzés.
A következő linken találják az előző blogbejegyzésem, Conrad Murray peréről:
2013-ban egy kisgyerekes család óvodába szerette volna íratni gyermekét. A kisfiú diabetes-ben szenvedett ám a modern orvostudománynak köszönhetően ez ma már egy teljesen szinten tartható kórnak számít. Az óvoda a felvételit követően elutasította a gyermek óvodai gondozását, az indok az volt, hogy az óvodai dolgozók nem hajlandóak kezelni az intézményben, mert ez nem tartozik a munkakörükbe. A szülők azzal védekeztek,hogy a napi inzulin adagot majd ők beadják reggel illetve este, és az óvodában csupán napi 3 alkalmi vércukormérés lenne szükséges, ami  nem tart tovább pár percnél. Az intézmény ennek ellenére sem tágított a döntése mellől. Véleményük szerint az óvodai dolgozókat nem terhelheti ekkora felelősség. A szülők bíróságra vitték az ügyet, miután az óvoda egy rövid orvosi szakvéleményben megerősítette döntését. Első fokon elveszítették a tárgyalást, hiába hivatkoztak arra, hogy a fiúk emberi jogait sérti a döntés, ugyanis köztudott volt, hogy az intézménybe több olyan gyermeket is felvettek, aki valamilyen súlyosabb betegségben szenvedett (pl. Dawn-kór). Az indokok hiábavalóak voltak… Első fokon elvesztették a pert.
Fellebbezés következett. Másodfokon a szülők ugyanarra az indokra hivatkoztak, és kétségbe vonták az óvoda orvosa által megfogalmazott indokot is. Véleményük szerint a szakvélemény kifogásolható volt és nem felelt meg az elvárásoknak. Az orvos csupán egymondatos véleménye miszerint „A fentiekkel(lásd az óvoda indoklása) teljesen egyetért” aligha nevezhető kimerítő szakvéleménynek. Ugyan ekkorra már az óvoda (állami óvodáról beszélünk) felajánlott egy napközis lehetőséget a szülőknek, gyermekük számára, ám csak jóval az után, hogy a szülők bíróságra vitték az ügyet, továbbá már beíratták gyermeküket egy magánóvodába. Másodfokon hosszas tárgyalás után, a bíróság kimondta, hogy az óvoda megsértette a kisfiú egyenlő bánásmódhoz való jogát és kártérítést ítélt meg a család számára.
Személyes véleményem szerint mindenkinek joga van az egyenlő bánásmódhoz és a mai társadalomban az oktatásban való részvétel magától értetődően jogos elvárás. Az elsőfokú bírósági ítélet nem vette figyelembe a fiú emberi jogait, pedig az Unió összes tagállamában ez a törvény áll mindenekfelett.  Azzal, hogy megvonták a fiú jogát az oktatásban való részvételtől, egy olyan szinte magától értetődő jogtól fosztották meg, amit józanésszel meg sem lehet érteni. A bíróság az egyensúlyt ebben a környezetben helyreállította és megvédte egy hétköznapi ember jogait. Úgy vélem a bíróság intézményének legfontosabb feladata az, hogy segítsen azoknak, akik rászorulnak.

Remélem sikerült felhívni a figyelmet az ebben az esetben eleinte figyelmen kívül hagyott alapvető emberi jogok megsértésére és ennek elkerülésének fontosságára. Továbbá bízom benne, hogy sikerült egy érdekes, átfogó képet közvetíteni az esetről. 

2014. május 16., péntek

Trial of Conrad Murray

Trial of Conrad Murray
Michael Jackson’s physician
People of the State of California vs Conrad Murray

My third blog entry is about the trial of Conrad Murray, who was Michael Jackson’s physician. In June 25, 2009 the pop star died in his own apartment. Thousands of his fanatics bemoaned the death of the musician.  Two years later, in 2011, the entire media echoed from the trial of his doctor; Conrad Murray. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter; he overdosed the pop star with the anesthetic propofol. After a 24-day long trial, the verdict was made by the judge. Conrad was found guilty, and was sentenced to four years in prison. The judge suspended Conrad’s medical license before the trial. Although many people believed in the innocence of the doctor, especially those who knew that Michael was addicted to several prescription drugs, there were people who felt that Jackson died because of the malpractice of Dr.Murray.
It seems probable that AEG Live, the concert-promoter of Michael Jackson’s “This is it” tour, hired Conrad Murray. After the tragic death of the pop star, the owners of the promoting company denied the fact that they offered the job to the doctor. Even though this was a separate trial( because the judge did not allow to use the contract of AEG Live and Conrad Murray as an evidence in the case of Michael Jackson’s death), I believe that it is very much related to the trial of Conrad Murray. Michael Jackson’s family hired prestigious lawyers and they declared the following statement after the trial about the employment of Dr.Conrad Murray; “We found the truth. AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray, the man who is in jail for killing Michael Jackson.”

The following web pages helped me a lot in writing the blog post:

I hope that my third blog post will be easily comprehensible and enjoyable for my readers.

You can find my previous blog entry about the Trial of OJ Simpson at the following link:

Historical bearings

Michael Jackson in 2009
Conrad Murray started working as a doctor in 1999. Michael Jackson’s concert promoter got in touch with him in 2009, and hired the doctor as a personal physician for the star’s annual concert tour. Michael decided to pay a prestigious monthly fee (150,000 USD/month) 1 for the doctor for his service. It seems that they hired him, because of the pop star’s complicated medical issues. Michael consumed dozens of different types of medicines and it is quite obvious that in such a case there is a need for a professional to control such an addiction. When the police investigated the pop star’s house, they found more than 20 prescriptions. According to police reports Michael had been an insomniac for some time and he often begged his employees (such as Dr.Murray or a nurse called Cherilyn Lee) to give him propofol (the medicine he used most of the time). In his final months, the employees often refused his requests, with the exception of Dr.Murray. The doctor dosed an amount of propofol for Michael every night, even though he feared that the pop star might get addicted. This went on for months without any problems but on June 25, 2009 Michael Jackson passed away and people began to believe that Dr.Murray may have maltreated the pop star.

The chronology of the trial
1    2006:  Michael Jackson met Conrad Murray for the first time.
2.    2009: Michael Jackson’s concert promoter (AEG Live) hires Conrad Murray as a personal physician for the pop star’s concert tour.
3.    June 25, 2009: Michael Jackson dies in his apartment.
4.    Mid-August 2009: DEA agents, LA and Houston police officers investigated in Dr.Murray’s medical office.
5.    2010: Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter
6.    September 27, 2011: The trial of Conrad Murray begins
7.    November 7, 2011: Conrad Murray is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and taken into custody without bail.
8.    November 29, 2011: Conrad Murray is sentenced to the maximum penalty of four years in prison
9.    October 28, 2013: Conrad Murray is released from prison due to the California prison overcrowding and because of his good behavior. His medical license remained suspended in the three states where he practiced as a doctor.
       The trial:
 Members of the prosecution: David Walgren, Deborah Brazil
 Members of the defense: Edward Chernoff, Matthew Alford, J.Michael Flanagan, Nareg Gourjian
 Judge: Michael Pastor

 Edward Chernoff with Conrad Murray

The trial of Conrad Murray began on the 27th of September, 2011. Both the prosecution and the defense made opening statements in front of the jury. The jury heard a recording of Michael Jackson’s speech recorded near the end of his life. The defense noted that Jackson was addicted to several medicines and even though Dr.Murray told him on the night of his death not to consume more drugs, the pop star swallowed dozens of medicines which killed him in a short time. The prosecution replied by saying that “the misplaced trust in Conrad Murray cost Michael Jackson his life”. The first witness invited to the trial was Kenny Ortega; a director, who worked on Jackson’s “This is it” concerts. Two days later, two members of the pop star’s staff, Kai Chase who worked as a chef and Alberto Alvarez, a bodyguard, appeared in the courtroom. Alvarez was the first person who entered Jackson’s room after his death and he told that Murray asked him to remove several bottles of pills and medicines, before calling 911(emergency number). On the 30th of September an emergency worker from the UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Richelle Cooper, testified in front of the jury; Dr.Cooper told that Michael Jackson was not pronounced dead until the ambulance reached the hospital, but the ambulance men did not see any signs of life on Michael from the moment they stepped into the pop star’s room. On the 3rd of October Dr.Cooper continued testifying. The doctor told that, several types of medicines were found in Jackson’s body and he also noted that the man in the ambulance car continuously conducted chest compressions on the singer’s body. Cooper told that he talked to Dr.Murray about Michael and the doctor told that he gave the pop star several doses of lorazepam that probably led to a cardiac arrest. Another doctor, Dr Thao Nguyen testified and he told that the staff knew that the patient was considered “VIP”, and they were prepared to fight for his life until the last minute. The doctor also noted that such a large amount of medicine is more likely to be used for sedation than it is used for curing insomnia. The doctor noted two important things; the drug found in Jackson’s body – propofol- could be used strictly in a hospital setting under observation of doctors because of its seriousness. The other thing Dr. Nguyen stated was that Dr.Murray never even mentioned him propofol.
On the 4th of October other people testified; Stacey Ruggles, Michelle Bella, Sade Anding, Nicole Alvarez and Tim Lopez. Anding told in front of the jury, that Dr. Murray called her, when he realized that Jackson wasn’t breathing; the woman also told that she heard coughing in the phone – she noted that she probably heard Michael Jackson’s death.

Sade Anding

Nicole Alvarez (Dr.Murray’s girlfriend) testified that she continuously accepted FedEx packages under Dr.Murray’s name – the packages contained various types of medicines, including propofol.
Tim Lopez, who was working at a pharmacy service, testified that Dr.Conrad Murray ordered propofol along with other types of medicines from him, from April to June 2009.
On the 5th of October Sally Hirschberg, a sales employee of “Seacost Medical” testified. She told that Dr.Murray ordered various types of medicines from the company. These medicines (according to Ms.Hirschberg) were typical drugs used for cardiovascular treatment. She also added that on June 26, 2009 the doctor cancelled the rest of his orders. On the same day Elissa Fleak was called to testify. She was the coroner from the Los Angeles Police Department who arrived at the hospital and examined Jackson’s corpse. She did not find any signs of murder or suicide. Later she went to Jackson’s apartment and investigated the bedroom where she found dozens of medical equipments (such as blood bags, pulse oximeter and various types of drugs). She also found propofol bottles – this was the drug with which Conrad Murray involuntary killed Michael Jackson according to the jury. The defense (lead by Edward Chernoff) attacked the coroner by saying that she committed a series of mistakes during the investigation; she did not take pictures about the propofol bottle properly, even though this was the drug considered the major evidence against Dr.Murray. The defense also suggested that the woman changed her mind of the propofol in order to support the statements of other witnesses. Next called to testify was Dan Anderson, a prestigious toxicologist at the coroner’s office. The gentleman testified that he tested the blood and urine samples of Michael Jackson and the results were the following; propofol was found in all the samples. The defense attacked the toxicologist’s statement by telling that the detected drugs in the samples could have entered the body of the singer days before the death of the pop star, and so they weren’t reliable.
A detective from the Los Angeles Police Department was called to testify on the 7th of October (it was the 9th day of the trial). He was among the first officers who arrived at the hospital. While he was on the stand a voice tape of the interrogation of Conrad Murray was played. The interrogation took place in Ritz Carlton Hotel, and Orlando Martinez, a police officer asked the questions from the doctor. In the interrogation Conrad Murray stated the following:
-       After the rehearsal Michael Jackson went back to his apartment around 1.AM. He took a shower and Dr.Murray put cream on his leg in order to prevent dehydration. Dr.Murray sat next to his bed waiting for the singer to fall asleep. Jackson couldn’t sleep and he asked for medicine. At 2.AM Dr.Murray gave him both lorazepam and midazolam. Since Jackson could not fall asleep until 10. AM, Dr.Murray repeatedly gave pills (the aforementioned types) to the singer. They weren’t working… Around this time Jackson begged for propofol (which he called milk). Dr.Murray wanted to refuse Jackson’s request but the singer continuously complained about his concerts and the stress he experienced. He said that he must sleep in order not to cancel the events. Finally Conrad Murray decided to give Michael propfol. He gave only 25 mg instead of the usual 50 mg because he knew that the singer already consumed dozens of medicines during the night and the dawn. Dr.Murray also gave lidocaine to Michael in order to make the consumption of propofol comfortable. Propofol has an effect that causes feelings of burning, but lidocaine helped Michael to tolerate the pain.
The singer finally fell asleep, and Dr.Murray felt comfortable. He went to the bathroom only for 2 minutes and when he came back he saw that Michael’s blood pressure increased and he was not breathing. Dr.Murray began to give chest compressions. He did not call the 911 because he did not know the ZIP code of the house. He shouted Alvarez’s (Michael’s bodyguard) name. The man rushed into the room. Dr.Murray asked him to call 911. The man rushed out of the room. When the paramedics arrived, they asked Dr.Murray to sign the death note, but he refused because he was not sure about the cause of his death. Dr.Murray also talked about his past years in Michael’s service. He told that he really loved Michael and he believed that propofol couldn’t cause addiction, moreover he really cared about the singer’s career and he also respected him because he was a single- parent.

On October 11 Officer Smith returned to testifying (the man from the Los Angeles Police Department who began testifying before the recording of Dr.Murray interrogation was played). He noted that the bodyguards of Michael did not take back Murray to his house after the death occurred. This was important because no propofol bottles were found in his house. This meant that he did not remove them because he was not at home so he could not commit it. All the “lethal” medicine was in Michael’s apartment. Dr. Christopher Rogers, the head of the pathology at the coroner’s office testified that the cause of the death was propofol intoxication. The doctor told that the order in which and the amount of medicine what Conrad gave to Michael may lead to a heart failure. According to the gentleman what happened was that Dr.Conrad Murray accidentally gave too much propofol for Michael Jackson and this involuntary mistake lead to the unfortunate death of the singer.

 Dr. Christopher Rogers

On the 12th of October, Dr. Alon Steinberg, a cardiologist expert testified. He told that the police report was correct; Conrad Murray used propofol which should be only used in hospitals where strict monitoring is present. He also added that porpofol is a very serious drug which should not be used for curing insomnia.
On the 14th day of the trial the prosecution tried to convince the jury by showing a list of medical violations committed by Conrad Murray while working for Michael Jackson. He added that all these violations together lead to the death of an innocent man.

The verdict
Several mistakes of the defense lead to the verdict what lead to the imprisonment. A mistake was that a doctor they asked to testify noted that he would never give propofol to a patient outside a hospital. Conrad Murray refused to testify when his defense team called him.
On November 7 2011, after a 24-day long trial Dr.Conrad Murray was found guilty with the charge of involuntary manslaughter. He was taken into custody without bail. He was sentenced to a four year imprisonment but was released on October 28, 2013 due to Californian prison overcrowding and because of his good behavior. His medical licenses remained suspended in all three states where he previously practiced.

Personal opinion:
The trial of Dr. Conrad Murray was a very interesting topic to work on. I was able to expand my knowledge about both medical and legal issues. The trial itself was pretty straightforward. The defense was not able to convince the jury about the innocence of Mr.Murray and that lead to imprisonment for him. An innocent man, a real icon passed away in 2009, because of the irresponsibility of a doctor. While working on the trial I felt that Mr.Murray was not lying; I believe he really liked Michael Jackson and the unfortunate death occurred because of irresponsibility and I am more than sure that this mistake will haunt the doctor forever and that is already a huge punishment for him.

I hope I managed to present an enjoyable and complex picture about the trial of Conrad Murray.