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John

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Padilla verdict is reached [Aug. 16th, 2007|10:52 am]
John
You know, I don't know what Padilla has done or wanted to do. But from what I've heard of the trial, I hope he's acquitted.

From what I've heard, they have him having filled out a form, and talking on the phone about non-terrorist related stuff. They didn't present *any* solid evidence that he actually did *any* plotting to kill people.

Again, that's what I heard, and that's what I'm basing this on. I don't know what was on the form; maybe it was an indication that he was willing to kill people. But my understanding of the law is that it takes more than speech or writing to win a conspiracy conviction... you need actions that show an intention to commit the crime. My understanding of the evidence presented is that they have fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and that's it.

And that's what the government used to justify locking him up and torturing him for years.

The government does not deserve a conviction, and if they are given a conviction, it will reward the most abominable behavior on their part.

Yes, this sucks if Padilla was actually guilty of doing something wrong. But it sucks even more if the government can claim after-the-fact justification for torture and arbitrary imprisonment. There are ways of dealing with people like Padilla that don't involve throwing away every notion we have of civil liberties.

ETA: Apparently, he's been found guilty of all charges. The government gets to claim that they did right by violating the law... as do the rabid folks who think that America is weak enough to require this kind of behavior

ETA: A translation of his form can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com/images/TheLaw/padilladoc.pdf

There is a mention of traveling to Yemen "to go through for Jihad"... the closest thing to talk about anything that could possibly be incriminating.

They have tapes of him talking *with* other people, but not using the code words the FBI said were being used by others. And there's this, and please keep in mind that "Jihad" has multiple meanings. He doesn't mention any war making capacity. He leaves most of the questions unanswered.

To me, this screams reasonable doubt, and makes me worry that the jury was unduly influenced by previous media coverage ("He's the dirty bomber, but they can't prove that without revealing top secret information..."). But I don't know that, and unless juror interviews reveal something of that sort, well, they were there, and I wasn't.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jhetley
2007-08-16 06:53 pm (UTC)
Fuck.

You can delete the profanity if you want to keep your journal clean.

But, Fuck.

Sing a dirge for the Constitution.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-08-16 09:28 pm (UTC)
I am shocked to the bone by this verdict.
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[User Picture]From: eleccham
2007-08-17 07:03 pm (UTC)
Once again, I get to be the cynical one here?

Dismayed, sure. Pissed, absolutely. But surprised? Not a chance. I would have been astonished if he'd gotten off of any of the charges. The gub'mint has too much at stake on this particular trial; an innocent verdict would have the possibility of people wondering about what else they were wrong about. This case has gotten too much press for that.

And yeah, I'm sounding like a conspiracy theorist again; but there've been too many sources of a rotten odour for there to be any way for everything to be above board anymore.
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[User Picture]From: louisadkins
2007-08-16 09:46 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, it seems that history is getting ready to repeat itself. *sigh*
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