Wizards on Trial

by Sam Cavanaugh

I’ve been thinking about magical trials for a long time. Why doesn’t the Ministry just give Veritaserum to people who are accused of a crime and get the whole thing over with? It would be so much easier, so why isn’t it happening?

Sirius was sent to Azkaban without a trial and we can assume many others were as well. Either the Ministry is too stupid to think of giving them truth potion or something else is going on. Veritaserum may be a difficult potion and may take a long time to produce but wouldn’t prosecuting a criminal be worth it? Maybe the Ministry thinks they can handle it well enough, but they have something so powerful that it would be so easy to rid the magical world of real criminals and Death Eaters. Why can’t the Ministry take the easy and foolproof way?

The Ministry might not want to use truth potion for several reasons. It may be because there is no one they deem trustworthy enough to make Veritaserum. They might not want to bother with it in order to control who does and doesn’t go to prison. If someone powerful or highly popular was accused, he/she might get off easy or the charges would be dropped. Ludovic Bagman was only let off in court because of his “spectacular performance” in Quidditch the Saturday before. It would be much more effective to give out the truth potion. Everyone would probably be and feel safer and more secure with a more efficient way of judging.

So back to the question. Why does the Ministry do everything the hard way? It is a possibility that they are afraid to know too much, to find out about things that could hurt their reputation or even ruin the Ministry of Magic. Imagine how everyone would feel if they found out that a person at the top of the “authority ladder” was a Death Eater or was accused of some horrific crime. We have already found out that the Veritaserum potion is really powerful and if given to a single person it could have a lot of effect on other people. For example, if one criminal knows another criminal who is trying to hide something, then with three drops of Veritaserum it could become open to the public.

With that said, I think it may be safe to say that several of the Ministry members may be hiding some dark secrets….