|Padilla verdict is reached
||[Aug. 16th, 2007|10:52 am]
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.