These cases point up an anomaly of our criminal process:
controlled by rules of law protecting adversary rights and
procedures at some stages, the process at other stages is thoroughly
unstructured. Beside the carefully safeguarded fairness of the
courtroom is a dark no-man's-land of unreviewed bureaucratic and
discretionary decision making. Too often, what the process purports
to secure in its formal stages can be subverted or diluted in its more
informal stages. That, we are told, is what happened here.
United States of America v. Bryant and v. Turner.
Nos. 23957, 24105. (1971). 439 F.2d 642 (1971) United States Court of
Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.
Satan, n. One of the creator's lamentable mistakes,
repented in sackcloth and ashes. Being instated as an archangel,
Satan made himself multifariously objectionable and was finally expelled
from Heaven. Halfway in his descent he paused, bent his head in
thought a moment and at last went back. "There is one favor I should
like to ask," said he.
"Man, I understand, is about to be created. He will need laws."
"What, wretch! You his appointed adversary, charged from the dawn of
eternity with hatred of his soul — you ask for the right to make his
"Pardon; what I have to ask is that he be permitted to make them
It was so ordered.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (),
quoted in Silverstein, J. The Devil and Ambrose Bierce,
Harper's Magazine, 2002,
February, p. 50.