Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Middle District News

Hat-tip to one of our anonymous readers:

"Al-Arian acquittals across the board (with a sprinkling of hung counts) -- no convictions!
One defendant, Fariz, was represented by Fletcher Peacock's Middle District defenders."
Read Yahoo news

6 comments:

SHELLEY REBACK, Girl Reporter said...

Six months to the day after the trial began in Tampa, FL and following 13 days of jury deliberations,
former NACDL President Bill Moffitt and co-counsel Linda Moreno obtained an acquittal (on most charges)
for Palestinian activist Professor Sami al Arian today in what was billed
as the US's biggest terrorism funding case. Two defendants were acquitted
of all charges. Sami al Arian and another were acquitted of charges related
to terrorist support, perjury and immigration violations. The remaining
charges against al Arian have to do with allegations of perjury in the his
brother in law's immigration trial. The brother in law, Majid al Nazar,
formerly represented by David Cole, was held in immigration custody for
years on "secret evidence" before ultimately being deported to an
"unidisclosed location" without the evidence ever being revealed. The
defense was assisted by a pre-trial ruling requiring the government to show
that the defendants had knowledge of and intended to support the terrorism
activities of the Palestinian Jihad. The theory of defense was that these
defendants supported the non-terrorism political aims of the Jihad and it's
charitable activites and were being prosecuted for their unpopular
protected First Amendement activities.

"David Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University, who represented Mr.
Al-Arian's brother-in-law in an earlier deportation case that also gained
wide exposure, said that the verdict amounted to a rejection of the
government's "sweeping guilt by association theory."

al Arian also gained notoriety when the allegations against him of
terrorist support while he was employed as a Professor of Computer
Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa were
exploited in the 2004 Senate race between Betty Castor, former President of
USF, and Mel Martinez, former Bush Administration offical. The fact that
Castor conducted her own internal investigation of al Arian while he was
still at USF and before he was indicted and found no evidence of any
malfeasance by al Arian was featured prominently in negative campaigning in
support of Martinez, the Republican candidate for Bob Graham's Senate seat.
Martinez won the very close election.

The case relied very heavily on many years worth of wiretaps and other
electronic surveilance of al Arian and the other defendants Much of that
evidence was obtained under the authority of the Patriot Act. This is
another huge defeat for the government and the Patriot Act.

Link to NYT story: http://tinyurl.com/exsay

Jeralyn at TalkLeft has more: http://talkleft.com/new_archives/013327.html

Shelley Reback, Girl Reporter
Filing From Tampa
Hi David.

Anonymous said...

I am done with your blog markus. you have committed the worst sin of all of the sins not mentioned in the bible:that is you bore me with your predictability. I am a defense attorney who was a former prosecutor and I find your cheering the acquittal of Al Arian pathetically predictable. You never surprise me, always bashing the government and cheering every acquittal. Having not sat through the trial how can you possibly offer an intelligent opinion about his guilt let alone cheer it? you are a predictable bore--kind of like when Abe Rosenthal wrote for the Times--no matter what was going on in the world he could be counted on to write about Israel and how the world was against them.

good riddance to you markus but thanks for the link to the justice building blog which is far more entertaining then this boring snoozefest you call a blog.

David Oscar Markus said...

To Anonymous, our first hate-emailer:

1. I did not "cheer" any verdict, nor did I "bash" the government. I simply reported the verdict as sent to me from a reader.
2. True, I did not sit through the trial, but I do trust juries. Do you? If they found people in this sort of case in these times not guilty, I can assure you that the case must have been weak.
3. I'm glad you like the justice building blog; I do too.
4. If you'd ever like to debate an issue and wish to come out of the anonymous closet, let me know.

Anonymous said...

If that is a hate email you are very thin skinned.

1. when you put a ! when you mention the al arian acquittals one would correctly infer that you are at least happy that there wasnt a conviction in the case. If you hadnt done that I would not have felt that you were cheering.
2. I trust Juries as well and this one couldnt reach a verdict on some major charges. I still do not feel I from reading what I have read in the press have enough of a grasp of the evidence to opine intelligently about his guilt or innocence. I know that usually is no bar to you offering an opinion but It is to most people.
3. Come on Surprise me just one time and stray from the Governrment bad defense good idea that permeates every thought on this blog.

David Oscar Markus said...

Anonymous,

Glad you are still reading, even after saying you were "done with [the] blog."

But you should read the post again -- I didn't include the exclamation point; the reader who forwarded me the news did. That's why I put it in quotes. In any event, the punctuation is correct. An exclamation point can be used to show surprise. And certainly you must agree that the verdicts were surprising. Accusations of terror in this environment with no defense presented...

When do we find out who you are? Any relation to Rumpole?

Anonymous said...

No relation to rumpole. Gotta stay anonymous. Please surprise me once and write something good about a prosecutor or the government winning a case, someone actually being guilty who was found guilty.