U.S. Erred in Terror Convictions

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #1
    Almost completely buried under convention stories....

    The Justice Department admits possible criminal misconduct. Key charges may be dropped.

    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department conceded Wednesday that in its zeal to win convictions in a terrorism case in Detroit last year, prosecutors engaged in "a pattern of mistakes and oversights" that may constitute criminal misconduct.

    The case was the first major terrorism prosecution after the Sept. 11 attacks and had been hailed by U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft as an example of the government's successful campaign to disrupt terrorist "sleeper cells" in the country.

    In its 60-page court-ordered filing, the Justice Department supports the Detroit defendants' request for a new trial and states that it will no longer pursue terrorism charges against them.

    A ruling by the judge in the case could come as early as today.

    The filing details a wide range of misdeeds, while offering a rare glimpse inside the government's war on terrorism. It includes allegations that the main prosecutor in the case — Richard G. Convertino — disregarded dissenting views from experts and suppressed or withheld evidence that might have been helpful to the defense.

    ...

    The findings come as vindication for defense lawyers who, throughout the case, had complained that the government withheld evidence and was not playing fairly.

    The Justice Department's admissions present a counterpoint to claims by the Bush administration that it is winning the war on terrorism, which have been reverberating in speeches this week at the Republican National Convention in New York.

    It also underscored the government's mixed success in prosecuting terrorism cases since Sept. 11. Although the Justice Department has won numerous highly publicized guilty pleas — often by dropping the most serious charges — it has been handed partial or outright defeats in major terrorism cases it has taken to trial. Most recently, a computer student in Boise, Idaho, was acquitted of federal charges that he used the Internet to raise money and recruit people for terrorist causes.

    U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen is expected to rule as early as today on whether to order a new trial on document fraud charges alone. Defense lawyers are expected to seek a dismissal of all charges and the defendants' release.

    ...​

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-terror2sep02,1,4472892.story
     
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #2
    Things like this make it even more untenable to keep as many people as we have without charges or trial; and all the while the government is asking us to trust them, that they know what they are doing and that they can be trusted not to make mistakes in identifying who is a terrorist.

    Oops.
     
  3. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #3
    Gotta do my Monthy Rant now.....:

    RANT/
    Remember folks: If you practice Hacking or even basic Piracy you can be charged as a "Data Terrorist". Interesting that this law came first, fits right in and is now being mostly ignored. Due to the very high incidence of basic Piracy (" Yeah, I have a copy you can use.") and the broad scope of the various bills passed containing the word "terrorism(/ist)" It's now conceavable that most people who own computers could be charged with some form of Terrorism.

    Because there's been incidences of Narcotics trafficking, Illegal Tobacco resales, and many other schemes by known contributors of funding to the Al Qaida network it may soon be possible to pass laws making it quite feasable to charge nearly anyone, in any part of the world with being a Principal or Accessory Criminal Contributor to Terrorism. They could then be charged, sentenced and prosecuted in Secret by Citing National Security and Intelligence Security. All of this could occur entirely under the Executive with no oversight or intervention by Congress due to the open language of the bills.

    If you like this potential world of tomorrow I suggest you re-elect GWB. There are some seats coming open on the Supreme Court currently filled by Moderates and Liberal-Thinkers that, if filled by Bush-appointees would also nicely eliminate Judicial Oversight of the above.

    So if you think that the War on Terrror is worth continuing the evisceration of the core principals of the US Constitution, by all means vote for the GOP.

    At least you'll be able to sleep at night knowing that the Gunships overhead are keeping you SAFE, your E-mail is screened to keep your neighbors SAFE, little Susy's soul is protected by an amendment to the Constitution, little Jimmy is getting his morning prayers in during First Period and that funny looking kid down the street with the unpronouceable name has finally been picked up after your anonimus tip.... His house had a better lawn and it's selling cheap at auction on Friday.

    /RANT
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #4
    sheer incompetence. i don't suppose ashcroft will be held accountable. the buck must stop somewhere far below where he is.
     
  5. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #5
    Does anyone else suspect as I do that this report was issued yesterday for a reason?
     
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #6
    AFAIK it was issued late at night as well. I wonder why?
     

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