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Witch Trials in Togo

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The other day, the BBC had a story about witch camps in Togo. Apparently when a woman accused of being a witch comes into the camp, a judge must conduct a trial to determine whether she is, in fact, a witch. Rather than use juries such as is done in the United States and the United Kingdom, the judge uses a chicken. He holds the live chicken in one hand and says some language no one can really understand out loud. In the United States, these incantations are called “jury instructions.” He then slits the throat of the chicken and places it on the ground. If the chicken falls on its face, the woman is adjudged “not guilty”, but if the chicken falls on its back a guilty judgment is entered and the woman must undergo cleansing rituals (in the U.S. prison or probation) before she is permitted to re-enter society. 

The cost of the trial is essentially limited to the price of the chicken, and since the chicken is eaten after the trial, one might say that the proceedings really don’t cost anything at all. Contrast this to the high costs of litigation in the U.S. court system. 
You might believe that the U.S. system is more accurate in dispensing justice than a system in which destiny is determined by the thrashings of a chicken. You would be wrong. 

Written by mokane

February 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Very funny. I am going to read it on my show tonight.


    February 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm

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