Skip to comments.Convicted terrorist sues U.S. attorney general
Posted on 05/11/2002 11:46:03 AM PDT by tallhappyEdited on 04/29/2004 2:00:31 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- One of four men convicted last year in the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings is suing United States Attorney General John Ashcroft over the new regulation that allows the government to eavesdrop on certain attorney-client conversations in prison.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
I'd bet there are a few GOP-types cheering him on too.... :-/
Mohamed al-'Owhali, 25, from Saudi Arabia...is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole...A federal jury in Manhattan found him guilty of murdering the 213 people, including 12 Americans, who were killed in the August 7, 1998, truck bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya...Al-'Owhali was also convicted on numerous conspiracy, bombing and weapons charges.
The jury was deadlocked on the government's request to impose a death sentence on al-'Owhali, failing to reach a required unanimous decision, with some jurors citing the view that life in prison is a harsher punishment than a lethal injection -- and saying that they didn't want to turn al-'Owhali into a martyr.
He's not a U.S. citizen, and he has been convicted of attacking our country. Personally, I don't think he should have any rights, including the right to life, but I guess the jury disagreed on that last one.
I wonder who's paying the lawyer as well.
Are you stating that convicted felons, serving time in prison have a right to firearms while incarcerated? Or that they have the right to vote while they are in prison? Or that holding them in prison somehow violates their right against involuntary servitude(even though the involuntary servitude clause specifically exempts criminals)?
A convicted felon forfeits rights accruing to an American citizen. Period. This includes privacy rights. As it is, conversations between a prisoner and his attorney, monitored under this close, cannot be used against the prisoner in a court of law. He is not giving up his right against self-incrimination.
HOWEVER, if they learn that the prisoner is participating in a crime by monitoring conversations with his lawyer, they can use that as evidence against anyone else that is participating. (I believe that includes the lawyer, because if the lawyer participates in a crime he forfeits his privilege.)
The Fifth Amendment covers self-incrimination. If your words cannot cause you to go to jail, you cannot refuse to speak.
We seem to lack the will to defend ourselves.
Then, you haven't been paying attention in class, teacher. It has been established that terrorists are rather fond of using their lawyers to funnel information out of prison to other terrorists to use in terrorist activities. These recordings cannot be used by, cannot even be shared with, prosecutors unless these recordings contain information of a conspiracy to committ future terrorist acts.
You see, without this law, a terrorist could name any outside plotter as his attorney and use that person to convey any information he desired.
And, prior to the enactment of this statute, all communications were monitored except those involving an attorney for all prisoners. I suspose you have a problem with drug lords running drug rings from inside prison too?
I'm for the law as long as the information can't be used against the guy in court. That would be a blatant violation of the 5th Amendment, and though I don't give a rat's --s about this terrorist scumbag, I care deeply about the Constitution.
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
"I don't discuss anything important"
Errr....sure. Don't worry, al-'Owhali, WE believe you! Don't we, FReepers!?
So we can kill every convicted felon, since he has no right to life? We can use some really cruel and unusual punishments on them, since you just declared their rights forfeit? They lose their rights to see their families, visitors, or lawyers? They lose their right to appeal their conviction? They lose the right to eat?
No, they don't. In other words, the above statement is incorrect. Period.
You also expanded my statement in a classic straw-man argument. Those in prison do not have the right to bear arms. They do lose their right to Liberty, for a specific period of time. However, when they are released from prison, their right to defend themselves, including with a gun, should be restored with all of their other rights.
(I assume my corrections are proper.) Yes, of course I have a problem with prisoners committing illegal acts, just as I have a problem with free citizens committing illegal acts. However, just because someone MIGHT be committing an illegal act does not mean that we should rescind our Rights in the hopes of making the job of the police easier. (We should do that in hundreds of others ways, but not this one.) If we do, then it is a short hop to say that since the freed drug dealers use the phone to do their deals, the police should monitor those calls as well. Then, of course, those who are suspected of other crimes will be similarly monitored... simply put, it's a bad idea. It assumes that all of those conversations contain illegal activity, without any proof beforehand. Let's find other ways to police them... ways that won't restrict the rights of those who are not committing crimes, and that won't erode the concept of 'innocent until proven guilty'. (How about punishing those lawyers who make relay communications, for example?)
(Yes, I am aware that those in prison have been convicted of something already... that does not mean that their every action forevermore will be an illegal one. The guards do not have the right to monitor their conversations, no matter how vile and heinous the dirt-bag might be.)
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