The Padilla jury began deliberations yesterday – and they are already back with a verdict which has just been read. The speed of this decision is stunning – and hopefully a sign that the jury saw through this Kafkaesque case.
Over the three months of the trial, we’ve all been following the case thanks to Lew Koch’s coverage – and you can review the background here as we wait for the verdict to be read. And Lew will be joining us as we discuss the news as it’s announced – Lew’s been covering this case for five years and it all comes down to today.
“Padilla, 36, and co-defendants Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi, both 45, face life in prison if convicted on charges of conspiring to murder, kidnap and maim people overseas and up to 15 years on each of two terrorism material support counts.”
The evidence presented by the prosecution was sparse at best – taped wiretaps of Hassoun and Jayyousi captured discussions of vegetables and family life – discussions the prosecutors claimed were code for terrorist activities rather than humanitarian aid work as claimed by the defense. For Padilla, the hyped charges that initially presented this “jomoke” (to quote Lew) as a “star recruit” for Al Qaeda amounted to a supposed “application” to AQ with seven Padilla fingerprints on it. Blocked from the trial was evidence of the torture of Padilla during the 3 1/2 years he was held as an enemy combatant.
UPDATE: Jonathan Turley on CNN says “many lawyers believed he could secure his freedom” because of his treatment. “The complication is that he has all these issues where he can appeal.”
Turley is suggesting that the conviction leads now to “a very robust” set of appeals to discuss the conditions under which Padilla was held.