In the Name of the Father


After watching “In the Name of the Father” and participating in our class discussion, do you see any parallels in Gerry Conlon’s case and that of Omar Khadr? Read the articles from the Globe and Mail to help guide your response. You can also watch the 60 Minutes episode from 2007.

Do our human rights come into question during times of crisis (FLQ crisis)? Is this necessary?

Was Khadr in the wrong place at the wrong time like Gerry Conlon? Does it matter, given he was 15 and at war (He is the first child to be tried for war crimes since WWII)? Was Khadr coerced into pleading guilty?

Would “justice” have been better served if Khadr was tried in Canada, as oppose to in a Military court? Why?

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7 thoughts on “In the Name of the Father

  1. It is hard to say whether Gerry Conlon’s case is similar to that of Omar Khadr’s because we are not certain if Omar Khadr is guilty of his crimes. I find it interesting that for the longest time he claimed he was innocent, but just days ago he pleaded guilty after being offered a softened sentence, most of which being able to be served in Canada. I wonder if Khadr’s time in Guantanamo Bay prison impacted his plead, similar to Gerry Conlon being tortured by British forces. I don’t think Khadr was in the wrong place at the wrong time because there is evidence of him making explosives, and he allegedly made the action of throwing a grenade. I think if Khadr was tried in a Canadian court the trial would have less emotion, be less subjective, and be more fair because it wasn’t five Canadians that Khadr allegedly killed. I believe that in times of crisis, using a suspect as a scapegoat takes precedence over their human rights, and a fair trial.

  2. I think that there are parallels between the stories of Omar Khadr and Jerry Conlon. Although I do not know if Khadr is innocent or guity, it is a possibility that he was picked out of a crowd to be used as a scapecoat. Authorities may have been looking for someone to put the blame on due to the killing of five American soldiers. Khadr may have pled quilty to the murder of those five American soldiers even though he might be innocent. If he is already serving a long sentence in Guantanamo Bay, it might be in his best interest in pleading guilty to serve the remainder of his sentence in a Canadian prison.

  3. Posting for S-LerThere are definitely parallels between the cases of Khadr and Conlon. However, we saw Conlon's story and knew that he was an innocent man. In Khadr's case all we have seen is evidence of him building explosives and the fact that his father was against the United States and raised his children to be that way as well. I could be said that Khadr was in the wrong place at the wrong time but the actual evidence of him making explosives makes it seem like he may have killed these soldiers. Him pleading guilty after years of denial doesn't really change my opinion because he clearly did this because felt that serving the rest of his sentence in a Canadian prison outweighed the benefits of standing up for his morals. If he had a trial in Canada then he most likely would have been in a Canadian prison. However, since he was tried in a military courty and it was people from the military who were killed they looked at this much more severely. In Conlon's case we saw that he was an innocent man, but in Khadr's case all we have seen is evidence of him building explosives.

  4. There are definitely similarities between the case of the Guildford Four and Omar Khadr's. Both people were in the wrong place at the wrong time, were picked out as ideal suspects, and sent to jail for many years.However, the similarities run short with the knowledge that Khadr may NOT be innocent. While some may see his admitting to being guilty as evidence, we should remember he is being held in Guantanamo Bay. Because this prison is very high security, we don't know if he is being honest word-for-word, or suffered similar ordeals to Gerry.I believe Khadr would have had a better trail in a Canadian Court because he is after all from Canada. Being a Canadian citizen, he would have been granted rights and freedoms unheard of in the Middle EastBy Matthew

  5. From our class discussions, the movie we saw and general knowledge of the FLQ crisis I would say that there are extreme parallels between all of the above. They all deal with an insurgency situation in which the military must take action. All the situations involve terrorist bombings and deaths. It real comes down to the facts. In the FLQ crisis the men found guilty kidnapped and killed someone. They deserved justice and after they were caught the government reversed the war measures act. In the Name of the Father it is a little more complicated, as the men were wrongly punished for a bombing, where someone was killed, which they didn't commit. These men were wrongly convicted. With Omar Khadr it is extremely complicated. Military men see his punishment as some what just as he did kill an american soldier. Now this is pretty bogus for a couple of reasons. Soldiers can't be charged with murder while serving their country. The U.S. says it is a war. Wars are fought by two armies. The fact that it is a guerrilla war makes no difference. In this case it would make Omar innocent. He is not Osama he is an ordinary soldier. Now if the U.S. government wants to charge Omar as a civilian a point can be made that Omar was fearing for his life and it is only natural that he tried to kill the soldiers. This evidence is based off if he actually killed the soldier. The evidence that he actually threw the grenade is weak. The whole trial is a travesty and should be stopped immediately. -Jack Wiebe

  6. Both events are similar, and portray some parallel aspects, as they both take place at war where an action must be taken. I feel that Omar Khadr is innocent because of the facts presented. He only admitted to the crimes when he was offered a softer charge which shows that he probably didn’t commit any crime and that he is just starting to become fed up with Guantanamo bay, and just wants to get out anyway possible. The evidence of Khadr being caught with explosives shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It was only in the nature of which he was brought up. His father was strongly against the American Army. I strongly believe that Omar Khadr would have a better trail in Canada, because he is a Canadian citizen and he is currently being deprived of some of the rights which he should have access to. Although the cases are very similar, they are also different in a way because in the Conlon Case we are 100% sure that he is an innocent man, where as in the Omar Khadr we can only go on the information which has been presented.

  7. Although we cannot be certain as the details of the Omar Khadr case remain unknown, I suspect there are several parallels between the two lawsuits. In "In the Name of the Father", we observed Jerry Conlon become subject to physical abuse in the means of extracting a false confession from him. This could have been the case with Omar as well; with the event of an innocent American’s death, the police force was likely under extreme pressure to find someone to blame. Even if police officers did not resort to violence, I believe it was wrong to punish Omar for such an extended time period. Not only should the justice system have had mercy on a fifteen year old child soldier, the fact remains that no one knows for sure if Omar committed the crime. Perhaps if he had been tried in Canada the outcome would have been more just – his imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay introduces yet another flaw to his case. The entire case is essentially an example of the government finding a scapegoat in order to avoid trouble, a problem that occurs too often in the justice system. Regardless of whether or not Omar threw the grenades, he should be released from jail before his character is irreparable; he has served his time. -Ellen

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