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Monday, August 13, 2007


No evidence? No problem!

In fact, no evidence is evidently the best evidence:
Wiretapped phone conversations between Padilla and Hassoun demonstrate that Padilla was patient and secretive, Frazier said.

"This is why he was a star recruit," he said.
In other words, they never caught him actually saying anything incriminating, so he must be guilty!

For more on the actual evidence, here's a review.

This business about Padilla being a "star recruit" seems to me (a non-lawyer) to fall precisely under the description of prosecutorial misconduct which Attorney Leonard Weinglass describes here in the case of the Cuban Five, who have an appeals hearing upcoming on August 20.

Closing argument is constrained by very precise rules of law that prohibit counsel from arguing outside the scope of the evidence. In other words, a prosecutor cannot make claims in the final argument that are without any evidence or proof in the case. In this particular instance the prosecutor went far beyond the bounds of proper argument.

For example he claimed at one point that the Five came to the United States, not to monitor the activities of the terror network that had been assaulting the Cuban people, but instead he argued that their purpose in coming was to destroy the United States. That was mentioned not once but three times in the course of his argument. The Five were unarmed, they carried no explosives, they committed no acts of sabotage or arson, they threatened no one, and yet the prosecutor made that claim.

We contend that that is outrageous prosecutorial misconduct.
In the Padilla case, since there's no testimony that his co-defendants referred to him as a "star recruit," that language is entirely an invention of the prosecutor.

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