Essay On The King's Trial

1473 words - 6 pages

The book, "The Kings Trial" is based around the trial of Louis the XVI. He is a moral and just person, much the opposite of his accusers. This trial is one of political and symbolic importance rather then one of merit. The Convention's actions and accusations merit nothing but disgust and repulsion. The sheer ignorance of the criminal code that they had supported does nothing but further push the limits of an unjust trial. Louis XVI's lawyers brilliantly refute the Conventions accusations and arguments while being in the lose-lose situation that David P. Jordan displays in "The Kings Trial". It is the Convention that accuses Louis of many things, but primarily Treason. As fair is fair, they arrest and try him for the numerous reasons mentioned in the acte enonciatif, written by Jean-Baptiste-Robert Lindet. Although he was going to be tried in the court of law, there was nothing fair about the trial. The basic procedure of this trial violates the criminal code from the very start, seeing as the Jury of Accusations was appointed by the Convention and consisted of many of their own. This means that both parties, sending him to trial and trying him, are an incestuous group at best. This in itself is illegal, but is not the only illegality that takes place. There are many violations of the criminal code of 1791 taking place within the trial ranging from Louis being denied a lawyer initially, to being given inadequate time to prepare a defense, to restricted access to the evidence being used against him, and to the ability to call witnesses. These violations undoubtedly put a spin on the trial at hand and left Louis to a great disadvantage, starting with to having to refute all the accusations posed against him in the acte enonciatif alone. The acte enonciatif was written in the form of history from the dates of May 1787 to August 10th 1792. Within this document the accusations are posed, incorporating the papers from "armoire de fer" in such a way to make the king appear to be deceitful and dishonest. Many of the accusations use these papers, which were never verified, as the backing of their arguments. This unfounded information is later denounced by the King and yet still incorporated into the trial as factual evidence, violating the criminal code. Yet it is this that is used to form the accusations against the king, none of the charges would have been able to stand up in court or in the minds of the people if these papers had been considered invalid. Unfortunately, when Louis acquired legal services the papers were instated as factual. Even his lawyers were unable to change this and so the accusations, of which there were many, were left unchanged also. The acquisitions begin with tyranny destroying liberty. These charges are founded in the acte enonciatif and posed by Barer in his interrogation. The allegations begin with Barere telling the court that "You (Louis XVI) suspended the meetings of the Estates General, dictated...

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