(these are my professor’s exact words below)
Please adhere to the following requirements for the paper: a minimum of 3 pages in length, double spaced
1. Watch the film entitled Within the Whirlwind. The movie is on youtube (https://youtu.be/m1aB8ieNGjQ) or available on Amazon Prime.
2. Write a 3 page paper to the following:
Based upon Within the Whirlwind and any other material you encountered in our study of the Russian Revolution (basic Russian revolution knowledge), identify and discuss 3 or 4 essential differences between the legal/political realities faced by a criminal defendant charged with a political crime in the communist Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin and the legal/political realities that would be faced by a criminal defendant in a Western democracy, like the US or England.
3. This paper fundamentally asks the question: How would the concept of the Rule of Law helped Professor Ginzburg? I am looking for you to identify what was so wrong with the Soviet form of law and government from the perspective of an ordinary citizen – – i.e., what were the basic legal/political freedoms, protections, and/or opportunities they lacked? What principles (or lack of principles) of the Soviet system of law/government in Stalinist Russia allowed this type of injustice to happen to Professor Ginzburg? Why would things have gone differently for Professor Ginsburg in the USA?
4. Do not summarize the film. Get straight to answering the question. In grading this paper, I will be looking for concision and your ability to stay on point.
My professor went into greater detail and gave some guidance on what we should talk about in the paper and what he wants us to really key in on. Ill attach notes below. Let me know if you have any questions.
-talk heavily about rule of law (it’s an attitude or approach to the criminal law process. The written law and the system of written law is what is in charge, they don’t look to the people who run the system, rule of law-not rule of man, a conviction based on law and no other influence, we take prejudice and bias and any other outside influence out of sentence because of the set rules of law when ur in front of a judge, they only judge on rule of law with no other influences)
What does the system look like with or without it?
Diff between Russia and USA is that we have rule of law. When a crime happens we turn to rule of law, it gets passed by the legislature, and they let us know exactly what law was broken. But in Russia, since there’s no rule of law, they can convict you of anything, even your political thought, and not be clear of what law you even broke (exactly what happened to Ginzburg and her friends). They can convict you for anything they don’t like, even if it doesn’t exactly go against the law.
Having rule of law makes things fair and clear, gives protections, and how you won’t be tried differently than anyone else for the same law they broke. not having rule of law turns into the rule of man, where man decides conviction instead of law, which allows prejudice and other factors that influence conviction
The problem in the movie was that Ginzburg and everyone did not know what they were even convicted of. The government didn’t like her and her colleague’s political thoughts bc they went against them, so they sent them to the gulag for not even breaking an actual written law, bc there were no written laws, you can convict anyone of something they simply don’t like
So discuss 3-4 differences (as mentioned in my original posted question) between someone being charged with a crime in Russia vs USA. We already know USA has rule of law and Russia doesn’t so discuss the difference in how trial goes when having/not having rule of law (Russia vs USA)