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goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big

Judge Suspends Sentencing Of Would-Be Bomber After NSA Revelations

NPR

quote:
The sentencing of a Somali-American man convicted of trying to bomb a holiday tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore., in 2010 has been put on hold indefinitely. That move comes just days after the Justice Department notified his lawyers that part of the case against him had been "derived from" secret NSA electronic surveillance. ...

The move could foreshadow months or even years of legal wrangling, if the case becomes a vehicle to challenge the constitutionality of once-secret NSA monitoring of overseas email and social media accounts.

The Supreme Court this year turned back a challenge to surveillance law by a group of human rights workers, lawyers and reporters because they could not demonstrate they had been monitored or subjected to any harm. But the fresh disclosure to Mohamud and a series of other defendants in cases where U.S. prosecutors used secret surveillance could help overcome that hurdle.
Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Frodo

join:2006-05-05
kudos:1
It sounds like another case of parallel construction, a process where the prosecution conceals the true origins of evidence.

This prevents defense attorneys from challenging the admissibility of the evidence on the grounds that the evidence was unconstitutionally obtained in violation of the 4th amendment.


Blackbird
Built for Speed
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join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
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2 recommendations

reply to goalieskates
This is what happens when any authority steps outside Constitutional law to compile a case against someone, and it is one of several solid reasons why such behavior by authorities is simply never acceptable. In this case, authorities used constitutionally questionable/illegal/judicially-inadmissible methods to compile compelling evidence against an accused - but the accused's lawyers therefore were never given a chance to study or contest that evidence, violating the accused's rights. Even if the accused were truly guilty-as-charged, his rights to due-process and to confront his accusers and the evidence against him were violated, which is patently un-Constitutional. Depending on whether there are other charges against him that are untainted by these violations of evidence collection, he may end up walking free... which, if he's truly guilty of the original attempted crime, remains a major miscarriage of genuine justice, resulting directly from the authorities themselves stepping beyond the law.

Further, an element of common sense argues that nobody, even if accused via illegally-obtained evidence, should be able to simply walk free from the charges/consequences resulting from illegally-obtained (but accurate) evidence. But our judicial system appears not to be adequately structured to provide a fair/impartial intermediate level of proceeding against such an accused, so it generally must release him. Sadly, situations such as this case are more likely to result in eventual public demands for simple judicial exceptions being fashioned against the rights of the accused "when a case justifies it", which will have disastrous results for the rights of an innocent, but 'unpopular' accused when the charges happen to be trumped up.
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville


Snowy
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join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
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said by Blackbird:

Sadly, situations such as this case are more likely to result in eventual public demands for simple judicial exceptions being fashioned against the rights of the accused "when a case justifies it", which will have disastrous results for the rights of an innocent, but 'unpopular' accused when the charges happen to be trumped up.

jeez, that's scary on any level.
We've all seen situations where ignoring the Constitution would have been a fast, easy & probably very satisfying event.
A public vigilante committee deciding who's been bad & whose been good today.
Suspending a person's rights when their in a legal, especially criminal situation.
Isn't that when rights are the most important?