Lawyers Trying Lawyers: How the Doolittle Raids Shaped Military Commissions


In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Aaron O’Connell, associate professor of history at the Clements Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and Michel Paradis, a law professor at Columbia Law School and Georgetown Law School, discuss Paradis’ book, Last Mission to Tokyo, which examines the aftermath of the Doolittle Raid. In April 1942, Col. Jimmy Doolittle led a group of Army aviators launching B-25 bombers from Navy aircraft carriers to bomb Tokyo on a one-way mission. All but eight of the raiders escaped captivity. However, those eight were tried for war crimes by Japan and sentenced to death. Three were executed and five had their sentences commuted. Paradis’ book takes a look at the trial of the Japanese lawyers after the war who arranged the military commission and trial of the Doolittle Raiders.