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MHNT – Coda

So another member of the merry band of unemployed Haitians has been exonerated, but five were convicted of something. Unfortunately the judge’s decision in the resolution of the problem I discussed in MHNT – Episode Four – The Hedgemony Strikes Out Part Duh A, was to remove the stubborn juror, which is, as I said, the basis of the appeal. The Miami Herald covers the problem in Terror trial’s outcome may be tainted.

The problem is that jurors in the two previous trials couldn’t agree on what the evidence showed, so it should have come as no surprise that jurors in the third trial wouldn’t agree. The fact that one defendant was totally exonerated and the majority weren’t convicted on all counts, demonstrates a weakness in the case.

They should never have bothered with a third trial, and I can’t see this verdict being upheld, but who knows anymore.


1 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 05.17.09 at 11:02 pm }

…so after two failed efforts to convict these chatty, confused, and most likely hapless young brown men, we finally get to the point where we can have a reprise of “Twelve Angry Men”, except that Juror #8 isn’t Henry Fonda and – because of that singular failing – is kicked off the jury.

This sort of nonsense explains the lack of faith that many Americans, especially people of color, have in our supposedly even-handed system of jurisprudence. Half a century ago, “Twelve Angry Men” explored this very “faithless jury member” issue and delivered an answer that made all sorts of sense back in a better day when we believed in the system but that apparently doesn’t have any resonance anymore…

The next Gallup poll should explore the political leanings of people who have decided to start flocking to sporting goods stores to buy lifetime supplies of ammunition. The results might be interesting…

2 Bryan { 05.17.09 at 11:24 pm }

To convict you have to prove the case beyond “reasonable doubt”, and the key to that is “credible” evidence and testimony. If someone doesn’t believe a witness, it makes no difference why.

The prosecution couldn’t convince one juror of their credibility, and frankly, I think the problem was with the FBI informant who was playing the role of an al Qaeda agent. A juror could reasonably believe that this entire plot was the idea of the FBI, and not the Haitians.

They went in too soon to really prove their case. They really needed to see some action, some affirmative sign that the Haitians were ready to act in furtherance of a plan.

This is going to be a gigantic waste of money and resources unless the prosecutors can really come up with a super defense of what happened. The judge is also going to be required to explain the decision.