Takeaways from the Raymond Davis Episode
Now that it appears to have been resolved with the payment of “blood money” to the families of those killed by Davis, there may be some lessons here.
First, the compensation element poses an interesting precedent. Though presumably ex gratia and at least nominally made by Davis in his personal capacity, payment makes victims whole while avoiding the risk of politically charged prosecutions. Why not do it in all cases where there’s at least some sort of colorable claim, perhaps even by way of perfecting the assertion of immunity?
Second, the U.S. should explore legislative possibilities for asserting U.S. criminal jurisdiction over diplomats gone bad. Assume that the killings in the Davis case weren’t justifiable homicide. Although there are now reports that DOJ was looking into the incident, I don’t know that there would have been a basis for prosecution. That could be corrected legislatively, and might go a long way to mollifying unhappy foreign publics (or at least give their governments some important cover).