Jose Padilla Found Guilty

Looks like he was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists (as defined in 18 USC § 2339(A)(b).



CNN story on the verdict.

Having someone found guilty of supporting terrorists by a federal court is an excellent reason to imprison them.

Excellent, now let’s get the rest of those “unlawful combatants” tried for their unlawfulness and sorted out.


I don’t think anyone is hugely surprised by the outcome. It was the journey through the trial which was an outrageous violation of justice. Not the issue of his guilt.

Now I have a picture in my mind of a children’s book: “Jose Padilla’s magical journey through the trial!”

Well, “they” always say it’s all about the journey, not the destination. I guess “they” were right in this case! :slight_smile:

Seriously, though, I do agree that the whole “indefinite detention” thing of a US citizen, arrested on US soil was an outrage.

I’m sure this thread will immediate begin a debate on the Gitmo situation, and we’ll rehash all the old arguments again. As much as I disagree with that administration on how they are handling that, I don’t see any meaningful comparison to this case, though. US citizen on US soil ≠ non-US citizen on non-US soil.

His mother says he will appeal. I rather expect he will win, based solely on the issue of his mental fitness to stand trial following his long detention under astonishingly brutal conditions. See this interview with Dr. Angela Hegarty, a forensic psychiatrist who examined him; she was tempted to diagnose him with Stockholm Syndrome – not WRT to his loyalty to Islamists, but WRT his attitude towards the U.S. government.

(Flashing on the final sentence of 1984: “He [Winston Smith] loved Big Brother.”)

We’ll never know if this is justice or not. And that, by definition, is not justice.

As I recall, you are a lawyer.

Would you care to sketch out for the reading audience what standard of review an appellate court would apply to that assignment of error?

I’m not so sure I’d consider her an unbiased source, given that she was working for (or at least was recruited by) Padilla’s attorneys.

Why the Socrates schtick? You see a flaw in BG’s statement, call him out. Socratic method makes for a boring thread as it takes at least three times as long to make any point.

And it’s exactly this overtly apparent viewpoint and its resultant actions, when performed by the country (the one which declared its right to be recognized as a distinct people with the phrase, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…that all men are created equal…that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…”) as they claim the murderous authority to bring Democracy to the world, that gives the rest of the world the impression that this nation is made up of (or at least governed by) despicable imperialistic hypocrites.

I’d have to research it; haven’t done a criminal appeal in more than ten years.

Of course, the standard of review the case law prescribes and the standard of review that will be applied in a highly politicized case are two different things.

Scooter Libby could probably supply a cite backing up this assertion, if you ask him nicely.

Can you cite a country that treats non-citizens captured on out-of-country soil the same way it treats its own citizens in its criminal justice system? I’d be very surprised if you could.

Let me refresh your recollection.

(And since the standard of review proscribed by case law is almost certainly fatal to the claim you mention, there’s no need to consider how much more fatal the harsh light of “highly politicized” would have been).

The appellate court reviews conclusions of law de novo – that is, anew, without particular regard for the trial court’s own conclusions. It reviews findings of fact, whether made by the jury or by the judge, very deferentially. It will only overturn a finding of fact when the finder of fact has abused his discretion; when no reasonable finder of fact could have, on the record before him, reached such a finding.

In other words, if you are charged with assault with a deadly weapon, let us say, because the government contends that you removed your dentures and threatened to bite someone with them as you hold them in your hand, you will be found guilty if the finder of fact concludes you really did take out your dentures and threaten someone, and the judge concludes that dentures used in that manner are a deadly weapon within the meaning of the law.

On appeal, the appellate court will reconsider, anew, the conclusion that dentures are a deadly weapon, and reach their own, independent determination. But they will almost certainly not overturn the finding that it was you, as opposed to some other guy, that it was dentures, not plastic fakes, and so forth. The findings of fact made at trial are binding on the appellate court unless they have no support in the record.

You suggest that the appellate court will find that Padilla was not competent to stand trial, based on the report of Dr. Hegarty. But the judge already heard that testimony, and weighed it against contrary testimony, and resolved the conflicts in favor of the government.

For that finding to be overturned on appeal, the appellate court would have to find that, as a matter of law, no reasonable judge could have believed the government witnesses and disbelieved Dr. Hegerty. It’s not enough for them to think that Dr. Hegerty may have been on to something, or even that she was more credible than her opposite numbers. They would have to conclude that it was an abuse of discretion to disbelieve her, that her testimony was so obviously, unquestionably, and completely right that no reasonable jurist could have found otherwise.

When the subject is psychological status and fitness to stand trial, there is very little chance of that happening.

Because it was unclear to me on what basis he “rather expect[ed] [a] win” of the appeal. I didn’t want to waste time demolishing an argument that no one was making.

I think we are unique in the “enemy combatants” label. In every other instance a person captured in the way you describe would be treated as a POW.