Patterico's Pontifications

11/18/2010

The Inconsistent Verdicts in the Ghailani Case

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:45 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

Continuing our commentary on the African Embassy bombing case, what struck me when I learned about the verdict was how inconsistent it all seems.  He was convicted of conspiring to blow up these buildings, an act that resulted in hundreds of deaths, but he was not convicted of murdering any of those people.  From the New York Law Journal:

Clearing the Tanzanian native of four conspiracies and the murder of 224 people in the near-simultaneous bombings of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on Aug. 7, 1998, the jury in Judge Lewis A. Kaplan’s courtroom shocked prosecutors and defense lawyers alike with its verdict.

But the prosecution nonetheless succeeded in tying Mr. Ghailani to the bombings. The lone guilty verdict was declared on Count 5, a conspiracy to destroy buildings and property of the United States by means of an explosive. The jury answered a follow-up question in the affirmative, finding that Mr. Ghailani’s conduct in Count 5 “directly or proximately caused death to a person other than a co-conspirator.”

Mr. Ghailani, 36, faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life when he is sentenced on Jan. 25.

You have to be a lawyer to appreciate just how hard it is to justify that verdict.  You see, it is black letter law on the federal level that once you are convicted of conspiracy you can be held liable for any act that is the reasonably foreseeable result of forming the conspiracy, and in furtherance of that conspiracy.  As the Supreme Court said in Pinkerton v. U.S. (1946):

so long as the partnership in crime continues, the partners act for each other in carrying it forward. It is settled that “an overt act of one partner may be the act of all without any new agreement specifically directed to that act.”…  The governing principle is the same when the substantive offense is committed by one of the conspirators in furtherance of the unlawful project….  The criminal intent to do the act is established by the formation of the conspiracy. Each conspirator instigated the commission of the crime. The unlawful agreement contemplated precisely what was done. It was formed for the purpose. The act done was in execution of the enterprise. The rule which holds responsible one who counsels, procures, or commands another to commit a crime is founded on the same principle. That principle is recognized in the law of conspiracy when the overt act of one partner in crime is attributable to all. An overt act is an essential ingredient of the crime of conspiracy under § 37 of the Criminal Code…. If that can be supplied by the act of one conspirator, we fail to see why the same or other acts in furtherance of the conspiracy are likewise not attributable to the others for the purpose of holding them responsible for the substantive offense.

In short if you enter into a conspiracy, you are in a world of hurt from a liability stand point.  Anything any of your partners do becomes your own crime if it is 1) reasonably foreseeable, and 2) committed in furtherance of the conspiracy.  So if you plan a bank robbery and your partner runs a red light on the way there, sells some drugs to raise money so he can buy guns, and murders fourteen people in the commission of the robbery, all without your knowledge, or even potentially over your protests, you can still be held liable for all of it unless you make some sort of withdrawal from the conspiracy.

So holding Mr. Ghailani responsible for the murders committed seems like the most basic application of the conspiracy statute.  The jury found that he conspired to blow up these buildings.  And the jury found that the explosion directly or proximately caused their deaths.  So in what way did he not murder them?  Did he think that setting off a bomb in the middle of the day would not kill a few people?  These deaths were obviously reasonably foreseeable and done in furtherance of the conspiracy.  Indeed, the goal was the death, as much as the property destruction.  So how could it possibly be that the jury found that he conspired to set the bombs, that the bombs killed people, but it wasn’t murder?

I am honestly asking.  Can anyone think of any way to logically say he didn’t commit the substantive crime, too?

Because I can’t.  And if I am right to say that there is no way to logically justify this verdict, then that has several important implications.

First, one might ask why a jury might rule this way.  Of course ignorance is one possible explanation.  Maybe they felt that if he didn’t personally plant the bombs he wasn’t guilty of murder, which is not how federal conspiracy laws work.

Another is that it was in reality a split decision. They didn’t feel comfortable convicting him of all of it, because they were just not that certain of guilt, or perhaps some were and others were not.  So this was “splitting the difference”—which is wrong, but it does allegedly happen.  And certainly this passage from the New York Law Journal article supports that contention:

[O]n Monday, it appeared to spectators and the defense, that as many as 11 jurors were ready to vote to convict, as one juror sent a note to the judge saying she had made up her mind and was being attacked for her convictions by her fellow jurors.

So it might be the case that this one juror was willing to acquit on everything and eventually all they could get out of her was conviction on one count.  Or maybe the more innocent answer is she was the source of the inconsistency by sheer ignorance, and failed to understand how deeply illogical it was to convict on the conspiracy and acquit on the murders.

A third explanation is more disturbing: jury nullification.  Jury nullification has a number of definitions and has a frankly checkered history.  On one hand, during the Zenger trial in our colonial period, jury nullification was used to acquit a man for seditious libel when truth was not allowed as a defense.  That is a self-evidently just application of the jury nullification principle.  Likewise it is fairly easy to defend the use of jury nullification in the trials following the Christiana riots,* where free blacks and runaway slaves resisted the flagrantly unconstitutional Fugitive Slave Act of 1850,** as well as white bystanders who refused on grounds of conscience to help in the capture of alleged slaves.  But on the other hand, how many times did members of the KKK get away with murder based on a racist application of jury nullification?

One very common justification for jury nullification is to say, “sure the guy is guilty, but the government did something wrong in this case” justifying either a full acquittal or conviction on a lesser charge.  And it’s not hard to imagine this happening here.  It is not clear from the articles I have read whether the defense ever called Mr. Ghailani’s interrogation torture in the presence of the jury, but even if they never said it once, there can be little doubt that the jury knew in general that the interrogation of terrorists have been tougher than in the past.  So it might be the case that this verdict is a protest of those interrogation techniques.

And of course that has other implications for our analysis.  If the verdict was the result of juror ignorance, or jury nullification, then you can’t blame the outcome on the quality of evidence, but rather the quality of the fact finder.  But if it was a split verdict, then the quality of evidence comes back into question.  So that is my roundabout way of saying that while Patterico is right to say that more evidence would probably have been admitted before a military tribunal than before this civilian court, it is not clear to me that this made the difference in the outcome.

Would a military tribunal be less likely to engage in jury nullification?  Or for that matter less likely to misunderstand the law as I have hypothesized?  I think no matter what happened in that jury room, there can be little doubt that a military court would have been more likely to reach a correct outcome.

——————-

* The term “riot” is somewhat of a misnomer.  It was more like armed resistance.  A Federal Marshal, a slaveholder and a few of his sons came to Christiana, Pennsylvania, to try to capture an alleged slave in a community of fugitive slaves and free blacks.  Someone raised the alarm a few hundred African Americans showed up, mainly with farm implements as weapons.  The Marshal tried to conscript three white Quakers into helping them out but the Quakers more or less told them to f— off (but in the way a Quaker would say it).  The Marshal decided this was a bad idea, but the slaveholder and his sons decided to try to get his “property” anyway.  It ended brutally for them.

** And yes, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was flagrantly unconstitutional.  First, ask yourself this.  Where did the original constitution (prior to the 13th Amendment) grant to Congress the power to collect slaves?  The answer is, it didn’t.  But Congress (and eventually the Supreme Court) implied that power into existence based on the fugitive slave clause, a reading that is dubious at best.  Further, the law stated that a man could be declared a fugitive slave based on nothing more than an affidavit, in a proceeding in which the accused slave had no right to appear on his or her own behalf.  As if that wasn’t bad enough the law paid the judge (called a commissioner) by the decision: $10 if the accused was declared a slave, $5 if declared free.  That’s right, the law actually had a bribe built into it.  As one wag at the time put it (paraphrase), the law set the price of a black man’s freedom at $10, and a white man’s conscience at $5.  “Due process” can be a debatable term in many respects, but I think we can all agree that if your freedom is on the line you at least have a right to an unbribed judge.  Just remember this little gem of a law the next time some neo-Confederate claims that the South fought the Civil War for states rights, in opposition to an overbearing Federal Government, and/or to protect Federal Constitutional rights.  And of course that doesn’t even get into the extreme hypocrisy the South engaged in, in abducting states out of the union.  It is often asserted that the South was for state’s rights, and not slavery.  Both sides were hypocrites, of course.  But the South supported every state’s right, or federal power that benefited the institution of slavery.  And when a person is a complete hypocrite on one principle (state’s rights) but utterly consistent on another (slavery), it becomes very obvious very fast what is really motivating that person.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

56 Responses to “The Inconsistent Verdicts in the Ghailani Case”

  1. AW, perhaps you failed to note that Ghailani is also a prospective member of the New Black Panther Party and enjoys not only a favored status at Eric Holder’s Department of Injustice, but also the protection of a dedicated insider support group.

    It’s the closest thing known to having a “Get out of jail free” card, or as it has been called, Affirmative Action for overprivileged terrorists.

    ropelight (eea036)

  2. Just another agenda item for the House Cmte on the Judiciary to deal with after 3 Jan –
    They are going to be very busy, and the TV coverage on CSPAN should be very, very interesting.
    It might be a good idea for Holder, and his deputies at Voting, Civil Rights, and Terrorism (among otheres),
    to stash clothes and sleeping bags on The Hill for they most assuredly will be spending an inordinate amount of time there.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a60876)

  3. I’m a lawyer, and the very same thing bothered me. I mean, if you bomb a building (especially a public building), then there is a high chance people are going to die as a result. And people here did. So how is that not murder?

    Bored Lawyer (c8f13b)

  4. . “Due process” can be a debatable term in many respects, but I think we can all agree that if your freedom is on the line you at least have a right to an unbribed judge.

    Hippy.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  5. Because one or more jurors are absolutely petrified that there ID’s will get out to the IslamoFascist community at-large, and they and their families will be at risk.
    That is how it is not murder.

    Just how long does anyone think it will be before all of this jury’s personal info will be on a desk at CAIR, if it is not already?

    As to outrage:
    What happens if the judge hands down a sentence of “time served”?
    Will DoJ send him back to GITMO?
    Will I have to read the National Enquirer at the check-out line to find the answer?

    AD-RtR/OS! (a60876)

  6. So in what way did he not murder them? Did he think that setting off a bomb in the middle of the day would not kill a few people?

    Was that a fact in evidence — that he knew the bomb would be in the middle of the day?

    Perhaps he thought the bomb was going to go off on a Sunday or in the middle of the night. Or perhaps he believed it would be a relatively small bomb — one that would set of the sprinkler system and ruin the property that way.

    I think A.W. asks a relevant question, and it would be important to know the evidence, and if I were a gambling man, I’d probably say it was a split decision by a not-quite-unanimous jury. But it certainly is POSSIBLE that the verdicts are not inconsistent.

    Kman (d25c82)

  7. Kman

    > Was that a fact in evidence — that he knew the bomb would be in the middle of the day? [and other questions]

    Doesn’t matter if he knew or not. It was a foreseeable act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  8. my understanding of the federal sentencing guidelines is that sentencing range is based on the quilty counts plus the other counts even if found not guilty on those counts.

    So the gov’n still has the ability to ask for life and should likely get life and likely to be upheld on appeal based on SC precedent.

    joe (6120a4)

  9. joe

    actually they can’t count him as guilty of the murders under S.C. precedent. a couple of years ago they literally undid the entire guidelines system in a rare case of the S.C. saying its own actions were unconstitutional. but since a jury found that the bombing caused deaths, they can count the loss of life in its consideration.

    It also means that the judge can go above what the guidelines say, so that is good news.

    So actually i think there is a fair chance that the guy will get life. but i would prefer he got death.

    But hey, maybe he will go mix with the general population and be dahmered. we can hope.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  10. Doesn’t matter if he knew or not. It was a foreseeable act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

    That doesn’t make sense.

    The death of people must be a foreseeable result of the conspiracy that he agreed to.

    If he was under the impression that the bomb was going to go off at 1 am on a Sunday morning, and it was only supposed to be big enough to set off the sprinkler system, then (arguably) the death of people was not foreseeable.

    Kman (d25c82)

  11. My idea of justice doesn’t mean that if we can’t beat our enemies in court, we’ll kill them in prison. I want to stop our enemies on the battlefield or, at the very least, convict them in military court.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  12. Kman

    the death of people is ALWAYS foreseeable when you plant a bomb.

    DRJ

    i agree completely. offense not defense. see the last few paragraphs here: http://patterico.com/2010/11/16/john-tyner-the-nail-that-sticks-up-will-be-hammered-down/

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  13. the death of people is ALWAYS foreseeable when you plant a bomb.

    That depends on the size/kind of bomb, doesn’t it? As well as where I plant it?

    I’m just saying there exist possible, albeit remote, fact patterns wherein the jury’s verdicts would be internally consistent.

    Kman (d25c82)

  14. > Was that a fact in evidence — that he knew the bomb would be in the middle of the day? [and other questions]

    Doesn’t matter if he knew or not. It was a foreseeable act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

    Is that necessarily the case? What if you and I conspire to bomb a building in the middle of the night? We want to protest [name your issue], but we just want to “kill” the building. In our plans, we go out of our way to explode the bomb when nobody is there, say 2:00 am.

    But, you were just lying to me to get my cooperation in constructing the bomb. You really want to cause as much death as possible. You unilaterally change the timer to go off at 2:00 pm., without my knowledge. Was it foreseeable on my part? Even if the prosecutor says yes, might not a jury say no?

    Anon Y. Mous (5ac901)

  15. Kman – I heard he was under the impression that the explosives were going to used in a rocket to be fired at the image of the Great Satan that appears on the moon when it is full, so you might be right. This poor shepherd and innocent religious scholar should obviously have received the benefit of the doubt.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  16. On a slightly related note I’m reading “Team of Rivals” by Goodwin. Fascinating read.

    VOR2 (c9795e)

  17. kman

    > That depends on the size/kind of bomb, doesn’t it? As well as where I plant it?

    No, because its foreseeable that your partner might not follow your instructions to the T. As usual, Kman, you don’t know what you are talking about.

    anon

    > We want to protest [name your issue], but we just want to “kill” the building. In our plans, we go out of our way to explode the bomb when nobody is there, say 2:00 am.

    why is it safe to blow up a building?

    what if a homeless man is outside of it sleeping and is killed in the blast. is that foreseeable?

    the question in foreseeability is whether what happened is the kind of thing a reasonable person can expect to happen. including that one of your partners turns out to be a psycho.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  18. Didn’t a similar issue arise with Oklahoma City? McVeigh got the death penalty, but Nichols did not. They both participated in the conspiracy, so they were both equally responsible. But, the jury didn’t give Nichols the death penalty.

    Anon Y. Mous (5ac901)

  19. Kman – What if the guy was like totally faked out and was told the explosives were going to be used to blow up Uncle Omar’s sandal factory and then SHAZZAM, the embassies go boom? What would you do if you were on the jury? Vote to convict?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  20. Anon

    i could be wrong, but i believe nichols flipped on mcveigh… and that explains the leniency.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  21. What if the guy was like totally faked out and was told the explosives were going to be used to blow up Uncle Omar’s sandal factory and then SHAZZAM, the embassies go boom? What would you do if you were on the jury? Vote to convict

    But that’s NOT what the jury found. They found he conspired to blow up a government building, i.e. the embassy.

    And embassies have people around at night as well as during the day.

    And besides, if you assume (as the jury found) that he was in on the conspiracy to bomb the building what was the purpose? Some free-lance demolition? Urban renewal?

    Clearly the purpose was to kill as many people as possible and terrorize many more.

    Bored Lawyer (c8f13b)

  22. <

    b>But hey, maybe he will go mix with the general population and be dahmered. we can hope.

    Wouldnt that be cruel and unusual since it would be foreseeable at sentencing – and wouldnt that also reduce his chances of meeting his 72 virginians since with would be taking part in some sodomy – at least on the receiving end.

    joe (6120a4)

  23. I’d probably say it was a split decision by a not-quite-unanimous jury

    There is a post over at Hot-Air that posits that there was one-holdout for acquital on all counts, and that the jury struck a deal with itself:
    If the holdout would vote guilty on the least consequential charge, the others would go along with not-guilty on all the rest, just so this guy would not walk.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a60876)

  24. Comment by joe — 11/18/2010 @ 1:30 pm

    As if anyone cares.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a60876)

  25. As to outrage:
    What happens if the judge hands down a sentence of “time served”?
    Will DoJ send him back to GITMO?
    Will I have to read the National Enquirer at the check-out line to find the answer?

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS!Not to worry. Obama wouldn’t let him go even if he was acquitted.

    This was a show trial. Now we can show the world how we try people and ignore the verdict.

    Hope and Change.

    Mike K (568408)

  26. Yes, Mike, but a “Show Trial” is supposed to have a predetermined outcome.
    Does anyone believe that this is the outcome that the DoJ/WH desired?

    The incompetence is rampant with this one.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a60876)

  27. Yes, they wanted to show that ‘torture’ taints any
    criminal proceeding, yet still rely on this slender
    read

    narciso (82637e)

  28. “Now we can show the world how we try people and ignore the verdict.”

    Why would they ignore this verdict?

    imdw (c982ed)

  29. Because, regardless of the verdict and sentence, this guy is going (or should be going) back to GITMO for detention as an unlawful combatant, for the duration.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a60876)

  30. Its a compromise verdict — not uncommon at all. My guess is that 11 jurors wanted to convict on most or all counts, while the one holdout wanted to acquit on all counts. Very rare for it to be the reverse.

    To reach a verdict they settle on a compromise – convict on one count and acquit on everything else.

    In this case, in particular, I would be shocked if 11 jurors were ready to acquit on everything, and there was only one hold-out for conviction.

    But this is a very common outcome where there is a compromise behind closed doors — the jurors couldn’t care less that the verdicts are internally inconsistent.

    shipwreckedcrew (dd1bdb)

  31. I’m afraid to ask, and since the jury has been anonymous it won’t help, but is there a Muslim on the jury and was that the holdout ? Or someone with Muslim relatives ?

    Mike K (568408)

  32. “Because, regardless of the verdict and sentence, this guy is going (or should be going) back to GITMO for detention as an unlawful combatant, for the duration.”

    You mean they’re not sending him to a federal prison?

    imdw (e870b9)

  33. Time will tell.
    The only place that they can keep him secure in the CONUS would be the CO-SuperMax; but, that’s only if he actually gets a hard-sentence.
    The sentence is up to the judge, and if he’s sentenced to hard-time, that’s up to the BuPrisons.
    You just have to wonder how long this guy would last in gen-pop?

    AD-RtR/OS! (a60876)

  34. “You just have to wonder how long this guy would last in gen-pop?”

    AD – If he goes in are you going to start a pool?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  35. Not me, internet gambling has been outlawed by Act of Congress!

    AD-RtR/OS! (a60876)

  36. “You just have to wonder how long this guy would last in gen-pop?”

    How have the other embassy bombing convicts fared?

    imdw (3ac9fb)

  37. I am honestly asking. Can anyone think of any way to logically say he didn’t commit the substantive crime, too?

    Sure. The jury just has to decide not to accept legal doctrine as regards to conspiracies. Jury nullification might really annoy judges, but there’s nothing illogical about it.

    The thing I really love about conspiracy law is that acting to “further the conspiracy” can get you convicted of a crime somebody else committed, where the act in furtherance isn’t itself illegal. Say the government informant states that you were part of a conspiracy to manufacture pen bombs, and you buy some Bics. Bingo, you’re up for attempted murder!

    Brett Bellmore (48aeab)

  38. Brett Bellmore – Unfortunately the question related to this specific case, not Bic pens and the jury members before agreeing to serve typically agree to adhere to the law and facts of the case, so jury nullification in my mind is illogical given the prior statements of the members of the jury.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  39. Brett

    Yeah, it really sucks to be subjected to co-conspirator liability. Its almost like as if you shouldn’t commit crimes at all, especially organized crime. What a crazy idea.

    And i will add that conspiracy liability has been with us for a long time. Why should this terrorist get consideration that the average drug dealer or bank robber does not?

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  40. Kman- is your real name Leo Burt?

    Having been on one jury for a criminal trial, my experience tells me that logic is not to be expected, consistency is not to be expected, and acting in accordance with the oath one took as a juror is not to be expected. (Or, Just because you said you would treat the testimony of a police officer as any other testimony doesn’t mean you won’t say in the jury room that you don’t trust police officers…)

    Judges and legal officials in a military tribunal should be expected to give logically consistent verdicts, the typical citizen, not so. What the legal system and ya’ll lawyers do about that I don’t know. (Though I imagine at times it might give reason for an appeal or request for a mistrial).

    One can speculate almost endlessly I guess. Maybe someone went in with intentions to undermine from the first and lied in taking the oath. Maybe someone went in with good intentions and then started second guessing what the personal consequences could be- though I’m thinking the jihadist mind doesn’t think about targeting jury members when they want to be martyred anyway- but who knows?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  41. The four previous plotters, Owhali, Odeh, Mohammed, al Hage all got life when they were sentenced 4 monthes before 9/11. Suspicion is that Ali Mohammed
    the triple agent for AQ/FBI/CIA/ Hezbollah, who cut a deal provided the data for that August PDB

    narciso (82637e)

  42. Yeah, it really sucks to be subjected to co-conspirator liability. Its almost like as if you shouldn’t commit crimes at all, especially organized crime. What a crazy idea.

    Yeah, the real problem with co-conspirator liability is that you DON’T have to commit a crime. In my example, buying pens is not a crime. It just becomes a crime because the government’s informant testifies that there was some conspiracy that it furthered. That you were just out of pens won’t help you one bit…

    The real lesson is that, if you’re part of some club or other organization that the government might be unhappy about, and one of your members starts talking about doing something illegal, don’t assume they’re a trash talking blowhard. Kick them out IMMEDIATELY, and publicly. They may very well be a government informant trying to construct a conspiracy case against you.

    and the jury members before agreeing to serve typically agree to adhere to the law and facts of the case, so jury nullification in my mind is illogical given the prior statements of the members of the jury

    Violating a judge’s instructions isn’t “illogical”, as such. Particularly instructions the judge is legally precluded from enforcing. It’s just annoying to lawyers who really wish we had the Napoleonic system instead of the jury system.

    In point of fact, I think it probably was a compromise verdict. I just don’t think the verdict was *logically* precluded.

    Brett Bellmore (48aeab)

  43. It just becomes a crime because the government’s informant testifies that there was some conspiracy that it furthered.

    You do realize that the defendant in this circus delivered explosives to the men who then killed hundreds of people, right? Because that would make your straw man attempt at moral relativity even more perplexing.

    skh.pcola (f4773e)

  44. “Violating a judge’s instructions isn’t “illogical”, as such.”

    Brett – What is the right term for it?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  45. I had the same problem, but my conclusion was the opposite: the lack of conviction on any of the other counts makes the conspiracy conviction ripe for appeal.

    Either 1) the jury “verdict-bargained” and picked this one charge to sustain, not based on evidence, or 2) they thought they had evidence for many charges and took a quick out with this one, or 3) the conspiracy statute is too broad, since you can be convicted of conspiracy to do something that was indeed done, yet you are not culpable for those actions.

    At least two of those are basis for an appeal by the plaintiff, while the third (#2) is just a shame, as Aaron points out.

    Kevin M (298030)

  46. Brett

    > Yeah, the real problem with co-conspirator liability is that you DON’T have to commit a crime.

    Yeah, its like as if you shouldn’t even help a person commit a crime.

    And if you want to say it allows the government to “set people up” sorry, but that is true of any criminal law.

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  47. “Yeah, the real problem with co-conspirator liability is that you DON’T have to commit a crime.”

    A.W. – That’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity! You can sit back and let your co-conspirators commit the crime, whine about the injustice in court and wait for some numb nuts on the jury to decide not to follow the judge’s instructions for sh*ts and giggles and nullify the whole panel.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  48. Daley

    i am quoting another commenter. Brett said that. fyi…

    I don’t have any problem with the theory of conspiracy liability.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  49. “i am quoting another commenter. Brett said that. fyi…”

    A.W. – I was mocking said commenter. I don’t have any problem with the theory either.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  50. I heard today that the Justice Department has said in the past that if defendants were acquitted in these kinds of trials, we wouldn’t release them anyway. If that’s the case, why bother to try them in civilian courts? Just hand them off to military tribunals and be done with it.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  51. roch

    Well, prior to the SC’s recent d-cking around this was the rule.

    All enemies captured on the field of battle could be held for the duration of the hostilities. But they had to be released when the war was over.

    If they fought more or less with honor (leaving out alot of technicalities) they were given Geneva Convention POW status. Otherwise they were natural law POWs or what we call “detainees.” they have some rights in this circumstance, but not nearly the ridiculous rights granted under geneva. One major requirement to get these greater protections is to fight while wearing uniforms. So that eliminates most of AQ and the taliban.

    Now, when hostilities end, you do have to let them go, unless you can also charge them with war crimes. most acts called terrorism qualify, so we could wait 30 years for the war to end, and THEN run trials like this, and keep the guy even longer or just kill him.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  52. let me clarify that last line. you can only kill him in that context following a proper trial and all that.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  53. This was the rule, not that long ago;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_v._Eisentrager

    narciso (82637e)

  54. “But they had to be released when the war was over.”

    A.W. – Or you could try to bribe other countries to take the “innocent” ones like Obama has been trying to do, which has met with mixed success since the U.S. has not welcomed “innocent” terrorists with open arms itself.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  55. Or you could try to bribe other countries to take the “innocent”

    Which begs the question:
    How are the Uighurs doing on their Bahamian vacation?

    AD-RtR/OS! (408097)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.4119 secs.