[Marxism] Court upheld our values (MH opinion article)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 13 14:52:07 MDT 2005

(This remarkable column endorsing the Federal Appellate
Court's decision in the Cuban Five case appears in today's
MIAMI HERALD as an opinion column. The HERALD also posted 
key excerpts today from the court's ruling, and earlier in 
the week editorially endorsed the court's decision. These 
are important signs of the times. They will make it harder 
for Washington to retry the five Cuban anti-terrorists now.
His endorsement of and embrace of the "perfect storm" idea 
is particularly strong and apt, mincing not a single word.

(This column should be circulated as widely as possible.
It should be sent to every member of congress, for example.

(Defenders of Cuba's revolution could certainly engage the 
Author in some fruitful dialogue over the one provocative 
and unsubstantiated comment he makes, but his approach is 
similar to the one the court itself took, and therefore it 
puts him 100% in accord with the position of the defense in 
this situation, just as the panel unanimously did. Note in 
particular his high praise for the public defenders who have 
done an excellent job in a very, very difficult situation.

(Read other comments on the court's important decision:
http://www.walterlippmann.com/cubanfive-11thcircuit.html )


Posted on Sat, Aug. 13, 2005

Court upheld our values
jb at ferrellworldwide.com

Rare is the day when a federal court of appeals reverses a
criminal conviction, particularly when the trial has
consumed seven months in the lower court and the reversal
requires a new trial. In the case of the alleged Cuban
Spies, a conservative appellate court recognized a
''perfect storm'' of prejudice consisting of a surge of
community feelings (hostility toward Fidel Castro's
communist regime), a flood of prejudicial publicity and a
splash of overzealousness by the prosecution. The higher
court then took 93 pages to explain why Due Process of Law
demanded a new jury trial in a different venue.

This never would have happened in Castro's Cuba. There
dissidents, spies and other enemies of the State can 
expect an entirely different process.

We should be proud of the Court of Appeals for upholding
American values and demanding fundamental fairness. And we
should commend the patriotic lawyers who defended the
United States Constitution by representing despised persons
accused of hateful crimes and insisting that Miami was the
wrong place for their trial.

Indeed, when other venues are available, jurors should not
be subjected to any such rough storm. How can a juror do
his duty, weigh the evidence fairly and impartially, and
follow the law when there is only one verdict which is sure
to spare the juror the wrath of the community?

The Court of Appeals' opinion documents the fear still
rustling through our community and adding to the pressure
for convictions. In fact, the opinion of the three-judge
panel names no judge as author but instead is released per
curiam (by the court). Unusual for a long and scholarly
opinion, this mode could just be an expression of
unanimity. Or the lack of attribution could be a
consequence of joint authorship. But it does make you
wonder, especially coming from an appellate court which
lost one of its judges to a bomber.

If the judges acted with courage when they ordered a new
trial, knowing that their decision would be unpopular and
offensive to many, then the defense lawyers were even more
courageous. These attorneys are unnamed, too, but they
acted in the finest tradition of the law, accepting court
appointments to represent persons viewed as tarantulas,
fighting genuinely to protect the rights of the accused,
and putting their own welfare at risk to serve our system
of Justice. Some day we should honor them publicly. When
the storm has passed.

Joseph Beeler is president of the American Board of
Criminal Lawyers.

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