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The Champion

March 2003 , Page 14 

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Material Witness

By Kent V. Anderson, Jonathon E. Hawley, Richard H. Parsons


Part 1: Challenging the detention of a client who has been declared a material witness or the incommunicado detention of any client

Martin Niemöller wrote the words below in response to the infamous events of the Third Reich. It refers to the arrest of people whom the Nazis deemed enemies of the state. Many of those people were then shipped to concentration camps where they either became slave laborers or were immediately murdered. Others who were arrested by the uniformed storm troopers, and the secret Gestapo were taken to jail where they awaited various fates, most often ending in a show trial and summary execution. Before that, the people were often held incommunicado and secretly interrogated. One could point to similar conduct, although usually on a smaller scale, in almost any dictatorship. However, what is important for lawyers and judges to remember is that everything the Nazis did was legal under German law. This clearly shows that the law can be used to justify

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