Thursday, January 03, 2008

Should an acquitted defendant, his wife and his lawyer be gagged

That's the issue raised in this morning's article by Vanessa Blum:

A federal judge who declared a mistrial last month for six South Florida men charged with conspiring to support al-Qaida is taking aggressive steps to limit publicity related to the case, including silencing lawyers for a man the jury found not guilty.With a sweeping gag order imposed Dec. 13, U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard cited the need to damp down media coverage that could complicate efforts starting Jan. 7 to find impartial jurors to rehear the case.

Her order at the close of the first trial prohibits the defendants, their lawyers, prosecutors, and others, such as agents, investigators and witnesses, from talking to reporters, raising issues for defenders of free speech and drawing a challenge from one of the lawyers covered by the order.

Lenard extended the same restrictions to Lyglenson Lemorin, who was acquitted, and his criminal defense lawyer, as well as an attorney representing the Haitian national in immigration proceedings.The gag order is so broad that federal prosecutors preparing to retry the case contend it applies to Lemorin's wife, who was once listed as a potential defense witness.

I give my opinion in the article, which is that an acquitted defendant and his family should be permitted to speak.


barry60x said...

In light of the fact that the garbage infesting the US attorneys office is allowed to spew lies with absolute impunity, this order appears to be overly-broad and violative.

In other words, par for the course.

Anonymous said...

Having cretins like barry60x spew their vile comments does nothing to enhance your reputation or that of the blog.

David Oscar Markus said...

It's a difficult line to draw. I delete mean comments directed at particular people, but that comment is just silly and doesn't actually go after a particular person. I'm still toying with the idea of going back to requiring people to sign their names, but then we'd probably have no comments. What do you guys think?

Commodore said...

3:22. Do you really believe that a comment on an unmoderated blog, that reflects a view shared by a significant portion of the legal community (although I personally disagree) of the SD Fla somehow diminishes David's reputation?

Or, do you think that all of the legal profession in South Florida thinks that all AUSAs are above reproach.

If so, why don't you defend the actions of your office in relation to the INNOCENT person, who was swept away in the middle of the night, with no notice to his attorneys. OH, I guess YOU can't without running afoul of the Judge's Order. See, guess diminishing all of our First Amendment Rights really does suck.

Anonymous said...

Best Lawyer in America?

Who in Miami is the most likely to recieve this fluff piece? Most deserving?

Fake Commodore said...

Best lawyer in America? Commodore hands down.

Commodore said...

HA! I will accept best American lawyer under 70 years old, involved in Afghani fashion industry (read my profile).