Tuesday, October 10, 2006

FPD's Move to Dismiss Padilla's Case due to "Outrageous Conduct"

The Federal Public Defender's Office in the Southern District of Florida, who represents Jose Padilla, has filed a motion to dismiss his criminal case because of "Outrageous Governemntal Conduct." The motion itself is not available online but I read about it at this blog, which has extensive excerpts, including:
  • "In an effort to gain Mr. Padilla’s "dependency and trust," he was tortured for nearly the entire three years and eight months of his unlawful detention. The torture took myriad forms, each designed to cause pain, anguish, depression and, ultimately, the loss of will to live. The base ingredient in Mr. Padilla’s torture was stark isolation for a substantial portion of his captivity.
  • For nearly two years – from June 9, 2002 until March 2, 2004, when the Department of Defense permitted Mr. Padilla to have contact with his lawyers – Mr. Padilla was in complete isolation.
  • Mr. Padilla’s dehumanization at the hands of his captors also took more sinister forms. Mr. Padilla was often put in stress positions for hours at a time. He would be shackled and manacled, with a belly chain, for hours in his cell. Noxious fumes would be introduced to his room causing his eyes and nose to run. The temperature of his cell would be manipulated, making his cell extremely cold for long stretches of time. Mr. Padilla was denied even the smallest, and most personal shreds of human dignity by being deprived of showering for weeks at a time, yet having to endure forced grooming at the whim of his captors.A substantial quantum of torture endured by Mr. Padilla came at the hands of his interrogators.
  • In an effort to disorient Mr. Padilla, his captors would deceive him about his location and who his interrogators actually were. Mr. Padilla was threatened with being forcibly removed from the United States to another country, including U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was threatened his fate would be even worse than in the Naval Brig. He was threatened with being cut with a knife and having alcohol poured on the wounds. He was also threatened with imminent execution. He was hooded and forced to stand in stress positions for long durations of time. He was forced to endure exceedingly long interrogation sessions, without adequate sleep, wherein he would be confronted with false information, scenarios, and documents to further disorient him.
  • Additionally, Mr. Padilla was given drugs against his will, believed to be some form of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or phencyclidine (PCP), to act as a sort of truth serum during his interrogations.
  • For most of one thousand three hundred and seven days, Mr. Padilla was tortured by the United States government without cause or justification. Mr. Padilla’s treatment at the hands of the United States government is shocking to even the most hardened conscience, and such outrageous conduct on the part of the government divests it of jurisdiction, under the Due Process clause of the Fifth Amendment, to prosecute Mr. Padilla in the instant matter."
A news article with further details is here, but why isn't there more press coverage of this?

In other news, the Navy JAG who, along with Neil Kaytal, defended Osama bin Laden's driver, Hamdan, was denied a promotion and will leave the Navy. A news article is here. Big surprise, but what great legal work at great personal sacrifice. Makes me proud to be a lawyer but ashamed of what my government will do in my name. The NPR story which described the $40,000 of his own money that Kaytal spent on the Hamdan case and the way that Lt. Cmdr. Swift was described as a guaranteed loser of a case and turned it into one of the most important Supreme Court cases of our times. From the NPR story...

"Katyal [with Swift] went to Guantanamo to meet his client for the first time. Hamdan, who comes from a culture of gifts, gave the lawyer what Katyal calls "literally theonly possessions he had," a few prized sweets -- a date and some raisins.
He had just one question for the lawyer: "Why are you doing this?" As Katyal recounts the meeting, he told Hamdan: "I am doing this for you because my parents came from India to America" for one simple reason, "America doesn't treat people differently because of where they come from. We fought a civil war in part about the idea that all people are guaranteed certain rights, and chief among those is a right to a fair trial."

America may indeed try to not treat people differently because of "where they came from" but when you make the government look bad, you pay the price.


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