Off My Mind: Is Bucky Guilty of Winter Soldier's Crimes?

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Posted by G-Man (34236 posts) - - Show Bio
Bucky Barnes was a true hero fighting along side Captain America during WWII. Tragedy occurred when Bucky seemingly died in an explosion in order to save others. He managed to survive the explosion and was recovered by a Russian submarine. Reviving Bucky and taking advantage of his lack of memories, he was soon placed in the Winter Soldier Program. Bucky was a weapon for the Russian government, used to assassinate individuals during the Cold War and placed in suspended animation in between missions. 
 
Bucky recently managed to overcome the mental implants and gained full control of himself. Working with Nick Fury and Captain America, Bucky was on his way to becoming a hero once again. With the death of Steve Rogers, Bucky reluctantly became the next Captain America. When Steve returned after not really being dead, he insisted that Bucky remain as Captain America.  
 
Now the word is out that "Captain America" used to be a Russian assassin. About to be placed on trial for his past crimes, there is one question that has to be asked. Is Bucky responsible for the crimes he committed under the Russians' control? 
 == TEASER == 
It almost seems like a no-brainer. Bucky was not in control of himself. He was merely a tool used by others. The problem is, how can this be proven? A telepath could probably look into his mind and see it was tampered with but would that sort of testimony hold up in court? There most likely wouldn't be any documentation left showing what was done to Bucky after he was recovered since the Winter Soldier Program would have been a top secret program. Maybe Bucky's defense could try to claim temporary insanity? 
 
It's possible Bucky could be found innocent of the crimes that were committed under the Russians' control. Since his recovery and time as Captain America, he has saved several lives. Only it's not just Bucky that is on trial. "Captain America" is also on trial. Regardless of the verdict, the American people will not be able to quickly forget that their symbol now has a tarnished image. It was Steve Rogers that wanted Bucky to take his place. Will this cause America to question the judgement of the original Captain America? Will they demand that Bucky step down from being Captain America? 
 
If Bucky does step down, what should he do next? His identity will now be public knowledge. Can he still have a normal life? He could always try to take on a new costumed identity but chances are that wouldn't remain a secret for too long unless he's learned from his mistakes of being so careless with his secret identity (it seemed like his enemies quickly discovered who he was). 
 
While I don't feel Bucky should be directly held responsible, it is possible his superhero career can recover from this scandal. Superheroes are, in a sense, similar to celebrities in our world. Scandals and gossip arise all the time. The public might not forget right away but chances are, something else will happen to grab their attention away from Bucky's past. It's also possible that Bucky may do a huge heroic deed that will show everyone just how much of a true hero and patriot he can be. If Bucky isn't Captain America anymore, that could lead to the dark future Steve Rogers saw during the Reborn story. Maybe the only way for Bucky to gain forgiveness is if he has to sacrifice his life once again. Could the "Trial of Captain America" end with the "Death of Captain America" once again?
Staff
#1 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

This plot really starts to feel like a way to bring Steve Rogers as Cap' just in time for the new movie :P

#2 Posted by KRYPTON (1891 posts) - - Show Bio

No way. Bucky was not in control of his own Brain. However, I know (since he's a Captain America) he's going to take all of the blame of Winter Soldier's evil. 

#3 Posted by CaptainUseless (730 posts) - - Show Bio
@KRYPTON said:
" No way. Bucky was not in control of his own Brain."
#4 Posted by G-Man (34236 posts) - - Show Bio
@CaptainUseless said:
" @KRYPTON said:
" No way. Bucky was not in control of his own Brain."
"
But how do you prove that in court?
Staff
#5 Posted by CaptainUseless (730 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man said:
" @CaptainUseless said:
" @KRYPTON said:
" No way. Bucky was not in control of his own Brain."
"
But how do you prove that in court? "
Good point....
#6 Posted by EnSabahNurX (2317 posts) - - Show Bio
@Eyz said:
" This plot really starts to feel like a way to bring Steve Rogers as Cap' just in time for the new movie :P "
That was my first thought too, they will probably have bucky be detained for a while and have steve return just till the movie is released and then bucky will be cleared of all charges and assume his captain america role again
#7 Posted by CaptainGenisVell (299 posts) - - Show Bio

 Maybe he will be prosecuted, found guilty then executed for treason against the country, but really it's a ploy; Bucky is still alive with a new identity and costume.
 
@G-Man 
Grammar Nazi!
3rd paragraph, 2nd sentence; 'About the be placed', 'About to be placed'? :P

#8 Posted by dondasch (926 posts) - - Show Bio

This sounds like an interesting storyline, even though I don't read the book.  It is possible that the writer could introduce Charles Xavier in a "crossover" fashion to be used as a defense witness in the capacity of being the strongest telepath on Earth, and thus able to peer inside Bucky's brain to assist in his defense.
 
Of course, even if he is cleared of all charges, his reputation is sullied and possibly beyond repair.  Remember, as G Man indicated, Steve Rogers supported and insisted that Buck take over the mantle of Captain America.  That is a big obstacle to overcome in repairing your public relations.  My theory is that Bucky will likely die in an event of heroic proportions.  What that event may be is unclear at this time.

#9 Posted by queenfrost_ (2499 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man: Emma Frost projects out his inner thoughts to the jury.
#10 Posted by comicbikerscott (152 posts) - - Show Bio

nah i dont jk=now
#11 Posted by tgaxgriffenx (20 posts) - - Show Bio

I really hope this isn't just a device used to have Steve re-take the mantle as Captain America. I understand some people don't like Bucky as Cap and people want Steve to be Cap but I personally like Steve Rogers as "Steve Rogers Super Spy." Some day Steve will be Cap again and its only a matter of time but I feel like if they use this as the tool to do it ,though an original way I must admit, it is kind a weak.

#12 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3554 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man said:
" @CaptainUseless said:
" @KRYPTON said:
" No way. Bucky was not in control of his own Brain."
"
But how do you prove that in court? "
Not to bring rational thought into an irrational situation. 
 
Ideally, you'd want someone who could testify that this was done to him. An outside party who really doesn't stand to gain anything from testifying. Perhaps if they had someone in custody who was responcible for doing that to him. Programs also have paper trails. Bigger the program. The more paper work there could be. It was pre-digital.
The defense could point out Bucky's past as a soldier for the US during WWII. You could question why he would suddenly go from fighting for the allied nations to attacking them on such a level. Even point out his accomplishments while serving as Captain America. You'd want Steve Rogers to testify.
 
Perhaps you could show some kind of medical evidence that proved Bucky's brain chemistry has been tampered with in the past. You'd think that level of brainwashing would leave some damage to trace results.
#13 Posted by Soldier zero (250 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man said:
" @CaptainUseless said:
" @KRYPTON said:
" No way. Bucky was not in control of his own Brain."
"
But how do you prove that in court? "
I think that a good lawyer might pass it under the definition of crimally insane or unfit to plead
#14 Posted by G-Man (34236 posts) - - Show Bio
@queenfrost_ said:
" @G-Man: Emma Frost projects out his inner thoughts to the jury. "
Still, someone like Emma could be "paid off" to project anything. A telepath could project images of Bucky painting Easter eggs with the Easter Bunny.
Staff
#15 Edited by crowncoke (206 posts) - - Show Bio

I just have 1 question to put out here.... Does the trial even matter?  'Captain America' was given amnesty for past crimes commetted.  Not STEVE ROGERS or JAMES 'BUCKY' BARNES.  Do you plan on have the Presidential Pardon taken away?  If so, then they would have to revoke ALL of them, and that would not work.  This is going to be a hook to bring more disgrace on the Avengers and Cap/Bucky only to allow someone to attack them. 
 
IF you wanted proof of the tampering, then SHIELD would have to help, as they were the last ones to help remove the last traces and such.  You would hope there was some sort of medical records....
#16 Posted by Decept-O (7278 posts) - - Show Bio

Who would've thought that Bucky Barnes, a character I never cared for and whom should have stayed dead. would be in the limelight in an intriguing story line.  Can't say one way or the other regarding the outcome but its darn interesting.
#17 Posted by GundamHeavyarms (701 posts) - - Show Bio

Are any of the people that made Bucky into the winter soldier still around? Perhaps Steve and his Secret Avengers could find one of them and make him/her testify. 

#18 Edited by Illuminarch (244 posts) - - Show Bio

It's been a couple of years since I read the Winter Soldier story arc, but from what I remember the description given in this article is not accurate. The Winter Soldier was not meat-puppeted by the Russians, controlled video-game-like from afar. He had simply lost most of his memories and was indoctrinated into believing he was a loyal soldier for the USSR, drawing upon his extensive infiltration and assassination skills to bolster the impression that he had been a killer all along. Nothing the Russians did to him would have removed his moral culpability. In fact, he had been doing the same sorts of things for the United States during the war - he was the guy who was intended to do the things Cap wouldn't or shouldn't be seen doing (at least, that is the modern re-telling). Recall that when Steve had the cosmic cube, he didn't say, "Overcome your mental domination", but "Remember who you are."
 
He was a trained killer before he landed in the North Sea and he was a trained killer after. The Russians just convinced him he worked for another country. Verdict: guilty.

#19 Posted by CaptainUseless (730 posts) - - Show Bio

Normally I hate it when characters die (Because they nearly always come back to life some how), but I wouldn't mind it if Bucky died and goes out in a blaze of glory and stays dead for at least a few years. 

#20 Posted by Punishment (13 posts) - - Show Bio

bro bucky's cool he ws ntin cotrol besides rogers chose him for a reason to take da mantle
#21 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

Bucky should just stay dead...  
Wow that just sounds way to mean... 
Bucky needs a really good team of lawywers 
Get me Matt Murdock and Jennifer Walters!!!

#22 Posted by fedspaz (62 posts) - - Show Bio

It this is just a tool to bring Steve Rogers back as Cap just in time for the movie release, as suggested by others, that would be a shame.  How tacky on Marvel's part.

#23 Posted by knife (59 posts) - - Show Bio

It will be a trial of "he said she said" in other words they can't prove that Bucky was or wasn't acting on his own mind. If he can remember the past crimes, then he is guilty because he was thinking for himself. If he has no memory then he is innocent. But with the court system it is NEVER cut and dry there is always many gray areas.
#24 Posted by Dark Noldor (547 posts) - - Show Bio

I don´t think that´s the point.
Steve Rogers will not come back as Captain America.
My best guess is that Faustus and Red Skull are behind all of this.
In the end Bucky will be declared not guilty, since he didn´t have free will, 
and to be convicted of a crime you must have that.

#25 Posted by Lvenger (19965 posts) - - Show Bio

On the one hand, Bucky wasn't in complete control of his actions during his time as a Russian Assasin as he was also suffering from amnesia so the deaths he caused may not be his fault. Having said that, it was Bucky that committed the atrocities and his victims may not care whether he was being controlled or not, they may just wish to see justcie served on a man who caused them a great deal of emotional trauma in their lives and the prosecution lawyer might manipulate the situation to their advantage in order to get Bucky sentanced to jail. In terms of whether Steve will return to the Cap mantle, I think he will because with the new Captain America coming out next year, people will pick up a copy of Captain America and go, "Huh? Why is Bucky Cap?" although they could just read all those miniseries detailing Cap's WW2 tales or read Ultimates instead.

#26 Posted by Dr. Detfink (460 posts) - - Show Bio

No, Bucky shouldn't but the trial is NOT about Bucky being guilty but the gov't choosing a murderer as Captain America.

#27 Edited by Mainline (1129 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man said:  

1. Is Bucky responsible for the crimes he committed under the Russians' control?
2. The problem is, how can this be proven? A telepath could probably look into his mind and see it was tampered with but would that sort of testimony hold up in court? 
3. Maybe Bucky's defense could try to claim temporary insanity?
4. Will this cause America to question the judgement of the original Captain America? Will they demand that Bucky step down from being Captain America 
5. If Bucky does step down, what should he do next? His identity will now be public knowledge. Can he still have a normal life? Could the "Trial of Captain America" end with the "Death of Captain America" once again? 

1. Probably not.  Mistake of fact could act as a defense against the specific intent required for murder and treason charges.  Competency / Insanity / Duress could act as affirmative defenses.  If your mind is wiped and they convince you "Red means Go!" you likely won't be liable for the subsequent car accident. 
 
2. Testimony- of the defendant, telepaths, etc.- would hold up in court so long as they go through the authentication process and subject themselves to oaths and perjury.  I imagine, however, that telepaths able to scan minds against people's wills or influence jurors would be an unacceptable compromise of the court system (a sympathetic telepath could uncover opposing counsels entire strategy, etc) so it would probably have to be handled via affidavit or deposition.  Given the national security issues revolving around Winter Soldier's actions, I'm somewhat skeptical that a traditional trial would be held at all... realistically, something like this would probably go to a closed door hearing before a special commission using military jurisdiction over alleged enemy combatants.  Believe it or not, most such trials turn on just "my word against accusation" type testimony and it is surprisingly enough in most cases because the Prosecution holds the burden to prove the crime beyond all reasonable doubt... and post-CSI fact finders want more empirical evidence of guilt.  I haven't kept up with Captain American but from your Preview Theater it sounds like the State's case will be rather weak since the evidence is against a "ghost"... even if you have a "guesstimate" in terms of criminal scale, unless you can pin down all the elements of a single crime, an assumed criminal can walk scott-free.  Take, for example, Al Capone... despite knowing he had a giant criminal enterprise, until the Prosecution could prove in its entirety one crime, Al was free until snagged on tax evasion. 
 
3. Insanity type defenses aren't as effective as they used to be but it would have a chance of working for Bucky.  While he would have to show with clear and convincing evidence that he was suffering from a sever mental defect (memory alteration) it is still up to the Prosecution to prove that Bucky was sane beyond all reasonable doubt.  In other words, in order to use the defense, Bucky has to meet a certain standard of evidence (by the methods discussed above) but then it will be up to the fact-finder (commission, jury, etc) to decide if they think it is disproven beyond a reasonable doubt by the Prosecution.  A tricky part of the defense is that it requires Bucky not appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions which would require some new jurisprudence because, in the real world, we don't have mind-wiped re-programmable soldiers per se (brainwashing generally does work as a defense, but the victims of said brainwashing in the real world- like child soldiers for example- are far more messed up / "severely mentally defective" than Winter Soldier who operated at a higher level).  I tend to think it would break Bucky's way but I can definitely see how it would be interpreted so that it wouldn't. 
 
4. I don't think America needs any excuse to question the judgment of Captain America.  Civil War alone is fodder for years.  It'll be however the writer wants it.  The whole story could come out and people nod, "Well, we know Steve's history with Bucky, we've seen what Bucky's done in the mantle... so forgive and forget!" or they could go crazy tearing down another celebrity / hero (but if they're not ripping into a man who declared war on the US and went far beyond nonviolent civil disobedience, pardoned or not, it doesn't necessarily ring true).  I dunno, I think the only rule of the Marvel Universe's citizenship is that you can't know what they're going to do... they pass the SHRA, they mourn Cap's death, they celebrate Osborn's reign, they cheer for Cap's replacement, they continue to hate Spidey, but love the X-Men because Cap said so?  I can't reliably speculate here. ;-) 
 
5. Fiction means he doesn't get a normal life.  Realistically, he could easily get an analysts' position in any intelligence branch and live a quiet uneventful life thereafter celebrity or otherwise, but Bucky was the action junkie who's been nothing but a soldier / superhero since his teens.  Even if he steps down he'll find a way to fill his life with comic book action tropes.
#28 Posted by Vance Astro (91235 posts) - - Show Bio

If writers wanted to bring up something from the past that they obviously forgot all about until now.How about they remember that ECHO hasn't been seen since the end of Secret invasion.That makes sense? That a team member just stopped showing up and nobody cares?

Moderator
#29 Posted by Vance Astro (91235 posts) - - Show Bio
@Doctor!!!!! said:
" Bucky should just stay dead...  Wow that just sounds way to mean... Bucky needs a really good team of lawywers Get me Matt Murdock and Jennifer Walters!!! "
Matt Murdock isn't a lawyer anymore.
Moderator
#30 Posted by Mainline (1129 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vance Astro said:
" @Doctor!!!!! said:
" Bucky should just stay dead...  Wow that just sounds way to mean... Bucky needs a really good team of lawywers Get me Matt Murdock and Jennifer Walters!!! "
Matt Murdock isn't a lawyer anymore. "
She-Hulk's been disbarred as well, IIRC.  Even if not, she's no longer a practicing attorney at a firm... she's a bounty hunter or something like that?
#31 Posted by Mumbles (846 posts) - - Show Bio

guilty

#32 Posted by SupremoMaximo (209 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't buy the whole "he won't be able to be a hero" thing as in america will reject him as one.  If he is rejected he'll be an outcast just like mutants have been. The X Men still do what they need to do.  So what if he doesn't have the backing.  It's not like Capt America is vying for endorsement deals or movie roles.  So he did bad stuff prior.. Who cares??  Let the man do what he does best, look the other way on past transgressions and focus on stuff like healthcare reform.. It's because it's election time right??  Congress wants this to be the reason they're re-elected...

#33 Posted by Demas (209 posts) - - Show Bio

A Captain America with some blemishes in his past history actually models The United States of America better than a completely pristine recollection.

#34 Posted by leokearon (1803 posts) - - Show Bio

Since the new Red Skull is planning an attack during this trial, Bucky will stop the plan and a grateful people will forget all about this trial
#35 Posted by Illuminarch (244 posts) - - Show Bio
@Mainline said:

 
 3. Insanity type defenses aren't as effective as they used to be but it would have a chance of working for Bucky.  While he would have to show with clear and convincing evidence that he was suffering from a sever mental defect (memory alteration) it is still up to the Prosecution to prove that Bucky was sane beyond all reasonable doubt.  In other words, in order to use the defense, Bucky has to meet a certain standard of evidence (by the methods discussed above) but then it will be up to the fact-finder (commission, jury, etc) to decide if they think it is disproven beyond a reasonable doubt by the Prosecution.  A tricky part of the defense is that it requires Bucky not appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions which would require some new jurisprudence because, in the real world, we don't have mind-wiped re-programmable soldiers per se (brainwashing generally does work as a defense, but the victims of said brainwashing in the real world- like child soldiers for example- are far more messed up / "severely mentally defective" than Winter Soldier who operated at a higher level).  I tend to think it would break Bucky's way but I can definitely see how it would be interpreted so that it wouldn't.   
 
In what regard could memory loss be considered a culpability lessening/removing mental defect in this particular case? I don't see how anyone would buy that he couldn't appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions just because he didn't remember which side he was on. 
 
In any case, you touch upon what I think is one of the most provocative ways this trial: there's a lot of disparate evidence that establishes his guilt to all the trial witness and the country at large, but not enough to convict on a specific point of law. Thus, he's a free man but his reputation and status is significantly damaged, perhaps irreparably.
#36 Posted by Mainline (1129 posts) - - Show Bio
@Illuminarch said:  
 

In what regard could memory loss be considered a culpability lessening/removing mental defect in this particular case? I don't see how anyone would buy that he couldn't appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions just because he didn't remember which side he was on.  "

Justification and authority. 
 
If you punch someone on the street, that's assault and battery.  If you punch someone in the boxing ring (sanctioned, licensed, etc) you aren't culpable for your actions.  If you were subject to a mistake of fact or mental defect that lead you to believe you were authorized and justified in punching someone- that the whole wide world was now a sanctioned boxing ring and those within willing participants- you'd have a defense.
 
As far as I know, we've only been told- in absolute terms- what Winter Soldier actually did (kill people)... but not what he knew or was told about what he was doing.  If he was given a justification and the appearance of authority to do what he did, it would diminish his ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions.  A more direct example would be if Washington orders the bombing of a building and there is collateral damage, the bomber would not be liable- or found "wrongful"- for the collateral... the situation would not suddenly change if his superior officer lied to the bomber and said the bombing was sanctioned and collateral would be OK.  The bomber would be insulated from liability. 
 
But as I mentioned, we don't have such "clean" brainwashing in the real world so it's not a lock but it's certainly arguable.
#37 Posted by KRYPTON (1891 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man said:
" @CaptainUseless said:
" @KRYPTON said:
" No way. Bucky was not in control of his own Brain."
"
But how do you prove that in court? "
That is an excellent question. Brainwash him again! But, I'm sure someone took a photo of Bucky when he was winter soldier. Or they can have Dr. Strange do some sort of magic link in Buck's brain to show that Bucky wasn't in control of his brain.
#38 Posted by ForbushBug (496 posts) - - Show Bio
@Illuminarch said:
"It's been a couple of years since I read the Winter Soldier story arc, but from what I remember the description given in this article is not accurate. The Winter Soldier was not meat-puppeted by the Russians, controlled video-game-like from afar. He had simply lost most of his memories and was indoctrinated into believing he was a loyal soldier for the USSR, drawing upon his extensive infiltration and assassination skills to bolster the impression that he had been a killer all along. Nothing the Russians did to him would have removed his moral culpability. In fact, he had been doing the same sorts of things for the United States during the war - he was the guy who was intended to do the things Cap wouldn't or shouldn't be seen doing (at least, that is the modern re-telling). Recall that when Steve had the cosmic cube, he didn't say, "Overcome your mental domination", but "Remember who you are." He was a trained killer before he landed in the North Sea and he was a trained killer after. The Russians just convinced him he worked for another country. Verdict: guilty. "

Exactamundo. He made moral decisions based on the false information he was given. And even if Bucky was deceived, I'm sure there's plenty of loyal Russian soldiers during the Cold War that would have a problem with killing as many civilians, like Wolverine's pregnant wife, as the Winter Soldier did. He didn't have any problem taking orders from Lukin, who was clearly working for himself and not Russia.  Bucky's WWII history show someone willing to do dirty work for whoever he serves, which is probably how the Russians were able to make him into such an effective weapon.   
#39 Posted by Marshal Victory (677 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man said:
" @queenfrost_ said:
" @G-Man: Emma Frost projects out his inner thoughts to the jury. "
Still, someone like Emma could be "paid off" to project anything. A telepath could project images of Bucky painting Easter eggs with the Easter Bunny. "

But would not seeing bucky paint easter eggs with the easter bunny enrage the jury ?Makeing haste to a guilty verdict!If not that then it would shine light on his easter fetish.
#40 Posted by Mainline (1129 posts) - - Show Bio
@ForbushBug said: 
He made moral decisions based on the false information he was given.   And even if Bucky was deceived, I'm sure there's plenty of loyal Russian soldiers during the Cold War that would have a problem with killing as many civilians, like Wolverine's pregnant wife, as the Winter Soldier did."
Lacking one's memory- a large part of the foundation of morality- how can you say he made a moral decision?  He made decisions with moral consequences but that's separate from knowing whether your action was morally wrong.  Without memories you'd have no frame of reference for what constitutes right or wrong.  When child soldiers are brainwashed, their atrocious actions have a similar defense because they're raised in an environment and context where their atrocities are "right".  You can't compare them or the Winter Soldier to people with peacetime memories of civilian lives because those experiences and memories provide the moral compass on which you can form condemnation against them. 
 
As for the morality of covert operations, again, the frame of reference is totally different (and one of the reasons this trial belongs before a commission instead of a jury) as there is express permission and authority to do otherwise wrong things for the sake of a greater good.  Covert operatives have no frame of reference other than what their handlers from above give them and they must trust in that absolutely in order to do their jobs... they can't start questioning whether a target is a triple agent, has greater political implications, etc.  They're a surgical tool without personal individual discretion.  "Just following orders" doesn't work for crime which exceed the context of the conflict (be it war or covert operations) but it is a legitimate defense for those with in it.  You don't start rounding up drafted ex-soldiers on the other side for the crimes of murder of people on your side anymore than you hold covert operations to a standard that's out of context.  Both, whether foot soldiers or spies, are largely considered tools and not culpable for being weld.
#41 Edited by Mainline (1129 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man said:

" @queenfrost_ said:

" @G-Man: Emma Frost projects out his inner thoughts to the jury. "

Still, someone like Emma could be "paid off" to project anything. A telepath could project images of Bucky painting Easter eggs with the Easter Bunny. "
Any witness could lie.  That's why their testimony has to go through an authentication process, be more relevant than prejudicial, and the witness has to give an oath which subjects them to perjury charges.  But in the end, since we lack absolute truth machines, it's in the hands of the jury to weigh whether they believe or don't believe the testimony- whether it is a psychic projection, oral testimony, a video, or deposition transcript. 
 
The fear with telepaths is their ability to influence the minds of others and, given vivid visions, the threat that the testimony will be given too much weight (often times evidence, like a video or diary, might be excluded because the jury might confuse the issue- thinking that the validity and existence of solid piece of evidence is the same thing as the accuracy of the statements on the video or diary itself... a telepathic vision would be similar; jurors would confuse the legitimacy of experiencing a telepathic vision with the legitimacy of the vision itself).  That's why I think the approach would be to use a deposition or affidavit to convey the information.  It would be like a therapist or psychologist testifying as to repressed memories or the like. 
 
And much like that, BOTH sides would have their own telepaths to give their side of the story ("The War of the Experts").  Assuming the other side's telepath can find a source of condemnation then the trial will continue and the jury will decide which argument or telepath to believe.  If the other side's telepath thinks you're innocent, most Prosecutors will either drop the case or try to get you on another angle.  Now that I think about it, telepaths would probably create all sorts of crazy 4th Amendment (search) and 5th Amendment (self-incrimination) quandaries that would probably get them excluded from the court outright unless Bucky waives all privileges (which, given he's potentially facing death for treason, he doesn't have much to lose).  Hm... superpowers and courts don't mix. :P
 
But again, Bucky doesn't need to prove he was controlled so much as the State needs to prove he was guilty... if they can't even make out their case he doesn't need to go so far as telepaths, time travelers, or other crazy ways of creating evidence... he'd just rest on their inability to make out their case. 
 
Imagine Bucky's possible reasonable doubt defenses in the Marvel Universe... it was a:
  • Clone
  • LMD
  • Magical Illusion
  • Psychic Projection
  • Hard Light Hologram
  • Disguised Imposter
  • Alien Skrull
  • Mutant Shapeshifter
  • Parallel Dimension Version
  • Evil Twin
  • Time Traveling Future Bucky
  • Magical Duplicate
  • Swarm of Nanomachines
  • Faked Record (via Technopathy, secret evil organization, or otherwise)
  • Mind control, hypnotic trance, etc.
  • Staged Record (teleporter, speedster, etc. popped you in for the photo then out)
  • And so on...
 
 It's a wonder ANYONE can get convicted in comics!
#42 Posted by mickoreo_LZ (250 posts) - - Show Bio

We'll just have to see how it plays out. It'll be a good few issues to pick up for sure
#43 Posted by Kid_Zombie (824 posts) - - Show Bio

cannot wait for this! Love Bucky Cap. He's a great character, hope he stays captain America for good.

#44 Posted by marvelunivers_deleteme (315 posts) - - Show Bio

bucky not giulty

#45 Posted by G'bandit (13689 posts) - - Show Bio

Guilty and Im glad he3 is because Winter Soldier was kick ass! :D

#46 Posted by dvorak (187 posts) - - Show Bio

In comics, virtually anything can be explained away with a good writer. That's one of the best unique qualities of the medium.

#47 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio

 the defendant wasn't in control of his actions and was not in his right mind. 
Not Guilty 

#48 Posted by Tyler Starke (4410 posts) - - Show Bio

didn't wolverine get brainwashed and go apesh*t, did he get put on a trial?

#49 Posted by staceydillon (54 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't believe it was Bucky's fault. If I was scared and memory-less I'd do the same.

#50 Posted by Brickabrack (112 posts) - - Show Bio

Of course he was responsible. Yes he was brainwashed and tricked into doing it, but he's still the one that pulled the trigger. The people responsible for his conditioning are even more responsible for it than him, but it's worse for him since he was an American soldier that turned traitor, whether he knew it or not.  
 
Should he be punished for it? No, I don't think so. He can better atone by continuing to be a pro-active force for American interests and justice than he can by rotting in some cell or even worse, excecuted. That said, I never thought he should be Captain America and I still don't. He should do his own thing.

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