Sunday, May 20, 2007

Round (week) one goes to...

... the prosecution or the defense?

You would expect that the first week of the Jose Padilla trial would be an overwhelming victory for the prosecution, but there has been a lot of debate about who has taken week one. The Chicago Tribune called the prosecutors "frustrated" with some of the inroads defense lawyers have made with their witnesses, most notably the training camp witness.

The Miami Herald today has two separate articles -- one by Jay Weaver saying: "Like savvy Hollywood directors, federal prosecutors opened the Jose Padilla terrorism trial in Miami with a grabber -- his alleged application to join al Qaeda."

The other by Ana Menedez, concluding: "Now the government must persuade jurors that the man who filled out his al Qaeda application as its No. 1 Slacker was really a dangerous terrorist. What emerged in week one was a slightly different picture: that of a former gang member adrift in the world. 'The Immigrant' admitted he hadn't worked in the military field and couldn't list any combat experience. From the application, he seems not so much a terrorist as the ultimate underachiever, the kind of guy who'd admit to carpentry skills, but would modestly leave blank the question asking him to list his 'intellectual abilities.' Maybe he just didn't want the job."

To get back to my theme for this trial -- This is why we need cameras in federal court. It's impossible to form your own opinion about what's really going on because we can't see it. We have to rely on newspapers which have all sorts of different opinions. Why no cameras?

And just for your enjoyment -- Slate now has this Padilla quiz. Take it.


Anonymous said...

Why no cameras? Because it is not your opinion that matters. The jury is in the courtroom. Their opinion, together with the judge, is the only opinion that is relevant, or at least should be relevant. Your opinion, with all due respect, is inconsequential.

Anonymous said...

It's always so easy to tell when some angry AUSA comments -it just comes through so clear.

Anonymous said...

Just put Ana Menendez in the courtroom. As far as I am concerned, her unbiased opinions are gold.