Thursday, March 01, 2007

"The government’s arguments at the hearing sounded ridiculous and shameful."

That was the New York Times editorial in today's paper regarding the Jose Padilla competency hearing. Here's the conclusion:

Prosecutors said Mr. Padilla always seemed fine to his jailers, but it was his jailers who did things like standing on his bare feet with boots so they could shackle him. The brig psychologist testified that he had spoken to Mr. Padilla only twice, once when he was first detained, and two years later — through a slit in his cell door.

When a psychologist testified for the defense that Mr. Padilla was “an anxiety-ridden, broken individual,” the prosecution said her tests were invalid — because the jailers had kept Mr. Padilla handcuffed throughout.

We will probably never know if Mr. Padilla was a would-be terrorist. So far, this trial has been a reminder of how Mr. Bush’s policy on prisoners has compromised the judicial process. And it has confirmed the world’s suspicions of the United States’ stooping to the very behavior it once stood against.

Obviously there has been a ton of press on Judge Marcia Cooke's ruling yesterday saying Jose Padilla is competent. I'm not going to link to all of that here.

I'd bet that Padilla is actually happy that his lawyers lost the competency motion. I'm sure he did not want to go to a BOP mental hospital so that he could be made competent. To me, that sounds like torture -- just on a smaller scale. And I'm sure there were mixed feelings by the government about the ruling.

The Judge is still going to hear the motion to dismiss for outrageous government conduct. That is where things will get interesting.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you come up with a more honest title for your blog Mr. Markus, say, for example, something like "Southern District of Florida Defense Attorney's Blog"? The degree of bias that shows up here is, at times, simply astounding. Out of all of the news coverage that came out on the Padilla competency ruling you fish around to find the most pro-defense, most incendiary, and least informed version of what transpired at that hearing. Judge Cooke's ruling was clearly both legally and factually correct on the competency issue. The so-called "experts" that the defense called were exposed for the frauds that they were and her ruling reflects that.

Anonymous said...

Gee, I wonder if that was an AUSA?
Why don't you start your own blog. The fact that David allows all parties to post makes the blog neutral - it is afterall a discussion forum.

I thought the NY Times editorial was pretty fair given that the reporter called the Brig personnel "jailers" instead of torturers.

No question Cooke's ruling was legally sound. But that was not what the editorial said - it basically said that the government has adopted a shameful, win at all costs, mentality that creates an unfair arena.

We shall see Mr. AUSA whether you write in with the same opinion when the judge takes up the torture/dismissal issue!

Anonymous said...


abe laeser said...
Re: Padilla.

Today's editorial in the NY Times hit it right on the head. It described the prosecutor's arguments as "ridiculous and shameful". Quite a legacy in their scrapbooks.

Perhaps one day they will understand that while they may be employed by the government, they mustwork for JUSTICE.

I know that only a few may believe this, but there is NO other reason to become a prosecutor. It is not about learning skills, or running for public office, or resume building, or the headlines. If you cannot go home very night and say out loud that you tried your best to do JUSTICE on that day - RESIGN. As Hippocrates said about a different profession: "First, do no harm."

There is a lot more money in private practice. Take your training and put it to use elsewhere.

It is the 'true believer' in JUSTICE who is the one I am proud to call my colleague and peer.

Anonymous said...

Round 1 U.S.A.

Anonymous said...

as everyone battles over whether the new york times editorial was appropriate -- and candidly, for some unknown reason, this otherwise fine paper has through the years had a soft spot for padilla -- we should not lose sight of what this case is really about, an international jihad recruiting network run by a dangerous man named hassoun. lest we sink back into complacency, it was the worldwide jihadis who attacked us on 9/11, and the issues concerning padilla should not be allowed to distract from the true importance of this case as part of the effort to disrupt those who would attack us.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to have a memory, it cannot be selective. Lets not forget what the United States Government was calling these people when they were fighting the Russians in Afghanistan: Freedom Fighters! We were providing them with weapons, money and other support.

Saying Hassoun was the leader of some network is a joke.

Anonymous said...

11:38 you are out of your mind. If you read the indictment, the Hassoun case has nothing to do with attacks against the United States. At worst, the government has alleged that Hassoun recruited people to help Chechan and bosnian Muslims from being exterminated. Think before you write.

Anonymous said...

10:40 - you seem to be more than a little naive - these jihadists are not some honorable self-defense force any more than hezbollah, hamas and palestinian islmaic jihad are simply standing up to protect the palestinians from supposed israeli aggression - or had you forgotten than prior to 9/11, hezbollah had killed more americans than any other terrorist group

9:15 - the fact that we once helped fund some of these groups does not mean that we should simply sit back and watch then reek havoc nor does it change the facts about hassoun, al-arian, and others like them

- 11:38

Anonymous said...

david does not allow all parties to post. i know for a fact that one time he would not post sometthing that was just a little too hard hitting and bruising to his massive ego.

Anonymous said...

so start your "I just want to make anonymous comments about Markus because I am spineless and hateful" blog

David Oscar Markus said...

I'm pretty permissive about what comments I allow. As long as it's not really mean or vulgar, I let it go up. I think I've deleted 3 comments in the history of the blog.