[RL] the joke that is called our legal system…

Note: Just for reference, those of you who do not know, I am a legal assistant so this type of thing draws my attention.

This morning I woke to this article regarding a judge ruling that a bin Laden tape could be played to the Padilla jury. The problem is that defense for Padilla says that there’s no evidence he even *saw* the tape. Yet the judge ruled that the jury could view it and make a decision about Padilla’s life based on that viewing.

The jury was “warned” that the tape had nothing to do with Septemeber 11th, but that day is emotionally charged and linked to bin Laden. A tape of that man clearly sends out a signal, intentional or not. There is no proof that Padilla viewed it. The prosecutors office admits that freely, they only claim the other two defendants have seen the tape.

The US legal system should not be used as revenge. The US is sinking to the level of that of a bully on the playground. The enemy combatant status and this ruling are step one and two of getting down to that level.

It only hurts our country in the end if we change our rules so much that we come to accept this obvious violation of our justice system. Wanting to put a terrorist behind bars is admirable but it should fail if the best case that the prosecutors have is that this video was viewed by co-defendants.

Do we really want to become so jaded over 9/11 that we change our rules of engagement? That we change what is supposed to be the fundamental values of our country? I’m not saying that Padilla shouldn’t be punished for what he *did* do.

In the coming months we can look forward to reports of the defense asking for a mistrial, they may not receive it from this court. Any tape of bin Laden is going to be emotional for a jury of American people and yes influencing the jury with something like this is *wrong*. Hopefully a higher court will point out the mistake and grant the mistrial and force our legal system back on track. Retrying Padilla and retrying him using the legal system the way that it is meant to be used.

3 responses to “[RL] the joke that is called our legal system…

  1. sometimes i don’t even recognize our country any more…fear and hysteria

    we stand for law and process, or we stand for nothing

  2. This most definitely goes to revenge. Since the 19 twisted souls that executed the horrendous act itself can’t be tried and convicted, and we can’t seem to find the person most often blamed with its orchestration, we’ll go after the one person we can tie to it through three weak degrees of separation, so at the end of the day someone will have “paid” for it.

    Welcome to the new age of fearful paranoia. Once you publicly unabashedly compromise your principles and freedoms to placate a hysterical public that actually believes there is literally a terrorist on every corner, the terrorists don’t have to actually do anything – they will have their targets and their targets’ leaders swing their emotional and mental wrecking balls for them without ever recognizing it.

    Live and let live — a concept so simple yet seemingly so unachievable. We as a species are capable of such beautiful, kind and wondrous things, but that’s often overtaken by the horrific, disgusting, destructive acts we seem to be much more capable of. If we could find a way to stamp out that darkness we could really realize our potential.

  3. Noebie, I’m afraid we’re heading toward nothing.

    Bryce, your last paragraph blows me away. We are capable of many things but in our desire to be vindictive we are destructive of the things that we hold or say that we hold dear.

    In order to move forward, we have to realize that nothing will nullify the tragedy and the pain of 9/11. Just as for me, nothing will nullify the pain of losing my brother. The only thing we can hope to achieve is peace through doing what is right and what is good.

    Revenge that hurts the foundation of our values isn’t helping or healing anyone.

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