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Friday, March 02, 2007

Padilla to stand trial

From the WSWS:
US District Court Judge Marcia Cooke ruled February 28 that Jose Padilla is mentally fit for trial, following a competency hearing during which his lawyers argued that the damage to his mental faculties is so severe that he is legally unable to stand trial or assist in his own defense. The trial is scheduled to begin April 16.
Lucky him. Yet another month and a half in jail to add on to the nearly four years he has already suffered. While I have no doubt that his lawyers were correct in saying that his lengthy, torture-plagued confinement has made him a mental wreck, I have to feel that a trial is the only way to finally end his ordeal. Because any remotely competent jury would likely listen to the lies of the government, and then return this verdict: "That's all you got? NOT GUILTY!"

Of course, the trial will be in Florida, so the likelihood of having a remotely competent jury isn't that high. Chances are they'll reject any potential jurors who know the details of the sordid Padilla case, from his arrest in 2002 for allegedly being a dirty bomber to Ashcroft's hasty announcement from Moscow to the changes in allegations and the eventual cop-out of transferring him to a Florida court and charging him with new stuff entirely. In other words, as in death penalty cases, any jurors who haven't had the left sides of their brains lobotomized will likely be removed with cause. To be fair, they should also remove jurors who support the "war on terror" or otherwise disagree with Ben Franklin and Patrick Henry that freedom is more important than security. Unfortunately, this would result in a jury pool of people who have had BOTH sides of the brain lobotomized--or in a picture, this:

Obviously, that wouldn't work out too well for Padilla either.