Your Weekly Constitutional: The Right Wrong Man
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Your Weekly Constitutional: The Right Wrong Man

September 14, 2019


JOSH SMITH: WELL IN OUR DISTANT REAR VIEW MIRROR IS OF COURSE THE HORRORS OF THE NAZI GERMANY, AND THE HOLOCAUST BUT ITS NOT THAT DISTANT THOUGH IN TERMS OF WORLD HISTORY. AND WE ARE GOING TO GET A LITTLE SMARTER ABOUT A PART OF IT, AN IMPORTANT PART THAT TIES INTO THE CONSTITUTION. LATER ON WHEN WE LISTEN TO YOUR WEEKLY CONSTITUTIONAL ON WETS-FM, WE’VE GOT A LITTLE PREVIEW HERE, THIS IS THE HOST STEWART HARRIS. HE IS ALSO A PROFESSOR OF LAW AT LINCOLN MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY IN THE DUNCAN SCHOOL OF LAW, WELCOME. STEWART HARRIS: THANKS VERY MUCH JOSH. JOSH SMITH: AS I WAS A KID, AND YOU WERE A KID, WE WERE GOING THROUGH THAT PERIOD WERE THOSE WHO HAD TAKEN PART IN THE ATROCITIES OF THE HOLOCAUST, AND THEN SOMEHOW WENT INTO HIDING, WENT INTO OTHER COUNTRIES, THEY LOVED SOUTH AMERICA, AND THEN THEY GET FOUND. AND THEN THEY GET BROUGHT BACK INTO THE COURT SYSTEMS. ONE OF THEM THAT I REMEMBER WAS JOHN DEMJANJUK AND YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM. STEWART HARRIS: YES, INDEED. I’M SPEAKING WITH A FELLOW BY THE NAME OF LAWRENCE DOUGLAS WHO IS A PROFESSOR AT YAMHURST, HE IS A LAW PROFESSOR EVEN THOUGH THEY DON’T HAVE A LAW SCHOOL. THEY STUDY LAW AS A SOCIAL PHENOMENON. LAWRENCE IS A GREAT GUY AND ONE OF HIS AREAS OF EXPERTISE IS WAR CRIMES WHICH IS A VERY CONSTITUTIONAL SUBJECT. AND LAWRENCE WROTE A BOOK THAT IS CALLED “THE RIGHT WRONG MAN” ISN’T THAT A GREAT TITLE. AND ITS ABOUT A PARTICULAR NAZI WAR CRIMINAL BY THE NAME OF JOHN DEMJANJUK. HE CAME TO THE UNITED STATES UNDER FALSE PRETENSES. HE WAS CHARGED WITH BEING A TERRIBLE NAZI GUARD, NAMED IVAN THE TERRIBLE, WHICH WAS HIS ACTUAL NICKNAME. HE WAS CONVICTED, HE WAS DEPORTED, HE WAS SENTENCED TO PRISON AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY REALIZED HE WAS THE WRONG GUY. JOSH SMITH: I HAD FORGOTTEN THAT PART OF THE STORY. STEWART HARRIS: EVERYTHING WENT BACKWARD. HE WAS REINSTATED, HE WAS SENT BACK TO OHIO WHERE HE HAD BEEN AN AUTOMOBILE WORKER. THEN THEY REALIZED THAT HE WASN’T “IVAN THE TERRIBLE” HE WAS ANOTHER NAZI WAR CAMP GUARD. SO THEY TRIED HIM A SECOND TIME, AND DEPORTED HIM A SECOND TIME. JOSH SMITH: MAYBE THAT’S WHY HIS NAME IS SO FAMILIAR. IT WAS ALL OVER THE NEWS. STEWART HARRIS: YEAH, HE WAS ALL OVER THE NEWSPAPER. YES HE WAS. JOSH SMITH: AND SO THIS IS A LOOK, I IMAGINE, THROUGH THE LENS OF THE CONSTITUTION. BECAUSE HE, WAS HE AN AMERICAN CITIZEN? STEWART HARRIS: YES HE HAD BEEN, AND THE RULE FROM THE UNITED STATES PERSPECTIVE WAS THAT IF YOU LIE TO GET IN YOU CAN BE DE-NATURALIZED. YOUR CITIZENSHIP CAN BE REVOKED. THAT IS ONE OF THE FEW CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH IT CAN. JOSH SMITH: HE CERTAINLY DIDN’T SAY HEY I JUST HAD THIS LITTLE EXPERIENCE WITH THE NAZIS. STEWART HARRIS: NO HE DID NOT. A LOT OF, IT’S KIND OF FUNNY, THEY SAY THE OCCUPYING FORCES SAID YOU WENT OVER TO GERMANY AFTER WORLD WAR TWO AND THERE WEREN’T ANY NAZIS ANYWHERE. COULDN’T FIND THEM. MY DAD WAS WAS WITH THE OCCUPYING FORCES IN AUSTRIA IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND HE SAID YOU COULDN’T FIND A NAZI ANYWHERE. WELL THEY WERE THERE, OR THEY WERE HERE. BECAUSE MANY OF THEM IMMIGRATED TO OUR COUNTRY UNDER FALSE PRETENSES. AND SO THIS IS A REALLY INTERESTING STORY, AND PROBABLY ONE OF THE LAST GREAT NAZI WAR TRIALS, BECAUSE THERE JUST AREN’T THAT MANY OF THEM LEFT. JOSH SMITH: AND SO MANY OF THEM WERE UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF PEOPLE WHO WERE TELLING THEM TO DO THINGS. SO HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE. HE WAS THOUGH AT THE HIGHER RANKS. STEWART HARRIS: IT WAS A BIG BIG ISSUE, AND WE TALK ABOUT THE LAW AND WE TALK ABOUT HOW IT DEVELOPS SO ITS A REALLY STEWART HARRIS: IT WAS A BIG BIG ISSUE, AND WE TALK ABOUT THE LAW AND WE TALK ABOUT HOW IT DEVELOPS SO ITS A REALLY INTERESTING DISCUSSION. JOSH SMITH: WE LOOK FORWARD TO IT, SUNDAY AT 3PM AND REBROADCAST TUESDAY AT 8PM. WETS-FM IS A GREAT PLACE TO LISTEN TO IT LOCALLY OR YOU CAN GO ONLINE AND HEAR IT NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE. STEWART THANKS.

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