Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Is it against the law to swear an oath to al-Qaida, agreeing to abide by the directives of al-Qaida?"

That was the fascinating question that the Liberty City 6 jury asked Judge Lenard today.

Curt Anderson from the AP has more here.

Unsurprisingly, the government said that the Court should answer the question Yes, while the defense said No.

According to Anderson: "U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard answered with her own note telling jurors to carefully read her instructions in the case, particularly those describing material support to a foreign terrorist organization." *** "This is a determination for them to make," Lenard said outside the jury's presence. "They may see it as providing material support or they may not."

This is not an easy one -- In a pure vacuum, it's obviously not a crime to swear an oath to al-Qaida. The question is whether it's a crime in this case -- did the defendants have the requisite intent to offer material support for a terrorist organization? In that sense, the oath can be viewed as evidence.... So I think Judge Lenard's answer was the appropriate one, although probably not altogether satisfying to either party or to the jurors.


Anonymous said...

That is absolutely incorrect. That is the classic example of a straight question from the jury that does not get answered directly.

It is not a crime to swear such an oath. It is a crime to render material support.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with 8:55 A.M. She should have told the jurors that swearing an oath to al Quaida is not a crime in and of itself. However, providing material support to a terrorist organization is a crime, so if they find, in this particular case, that swearing an oath is evidence of providing material support, then, and only then, they should find that the defendants who swore the oath are guilty.

Anonymous said...

Let me revise my previous comment left at 10:13 A.M. before I head out to the Sony Ericsson Open. She actually should have worded it this way: As you know, the defendants in this case are charged with the crime of providing material support to a terrorist organization. It is your decision to determine whether swearing an oath to al Qaida, taken with any other evidence presented, rises to the level of providing material support to a terrorist organization. Please come back with a verdict this time so we won't have to continue this nightmare for another six weeks.

Anonymous said...

I have no objection to the instruction as worded by 10:26.

Anonymous said...

Which prosecution is more ridiculous - Liberty City 7 or Ben Kuehne?

Rumpole said...

Let me first apologize for what happened yesterday here by the individual posting under my name.

No verdict yet? What gives?
Will they re-try this a third time? Will the court appointed lawyers fully fund their retirement accounts with this case? How come I never get any grvy trains like this?