Define political views
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A trial that addresses political questions, involves political officials, or serves political agendas. In certain circumstances the term is used in a pejorative sense to criticize a particular trial or proceeding as unfair or unjust.
Although it is sometimes difficult to distinguish political trials from ordinary legal proceedings, political trials generally fall into one of four categories. The most familiar type of political trial is a partisan trial, which consists of criminal legal proceedings instituted by the government to solidify its power, extinguish its opposition, or flex its muscle. Such political trials, while taking place in a courtroom, have little to do with justice. Instead, partisan trials serve to promote the ideology of those holding the reins of power.
In many countries partisan trials are easy to identify because the prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys are chosen by the government based on their allegiance to the regime's political philosophy. In other countries the government may exert subtle pressure upon judges and attorneys to influence the outcome of a case. In either situation such proceedings rarely produce a result that is fair or impartial. Some of the most notorious partisan trials took place in Adolf Hitler's Germany and Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union where many of the judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys served as instruments of terror and propaganda for their totalitarian leaders.
A second familiar type of political trial involves the prosecution of religious and political dissenters. Since time immemorial, governments have been confronted by persons who disobey the law for reasons of conscience. Such disobedience, which can take the form of active or passive resistance, presents a dilemma for most governments.
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