Thursday, December 14, 2006

Padilla case takes a new twist

The prosecution joined Padilla's defense team in asking for a competency hearing. It appears Padilla is so damaged from his prolonged incarceration and isolation that he is unable to comprehend the charges against him or assist in his defense.
“Jose’s experience as a detainee was so traumatic that it’s physically and mentally painful for him to answer the questions that we put to him,” said Orlando do Campo, a federal public defender in Miami. “He just shuts down. We’re covering a lot of the same area as his interrogators, and he doesn’t want to relive it.”

The government itself cited the affidavit of a psychiatrist for the defense, Dr. Angela Hegarty, who said that Mr. Padilla did not understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him and that he suffered “impairment in reasoning” as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder “complicated by the effects of prolonged isolation.”
Of course, both sides have different reasons for pushing for the hearing.
...For instance, his lawyers have asked Judge Marcia G. Cooke of Federal District Court to dismiss the charges because of “pre-indictment delay” — Mr. Padilla was apprehended in May 2002 and indicted in November 2005 — because of failure to provide a speedy trial and because of “outrageous government conduct.”

Judge Cooke set a hearing date for Monday to address these motions. But the government said yesterday that it would be pointless to discuss accusations of government misconduct based on Mr. Padilla’s word if his competence was in question. The government vehemently denies that Mr. Padilla was mistreated in military custody.
Right. Didn't the government also vehemently deny that any abuse occurred in Abu Ghraib until the photos surfaced? History I think, will look back on this matter as marking the low point in our system of justice.

Update: This just in from the WaPo.
A previously undisclosed Pentagon report concluded that the three terrorism suspects held at a brig in South Carolina were subjected to months of isolation, and it warned that their "unique" solitary confinement could be viewed as violating U.S. detention standards.
So much for the government's denials.
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Anonymous lester said...

dude was in solitary for like 3 years. he must be NUTS

5:35:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Anybody would lose it under the conditions he lived with Lester.

6:13:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

30 days is supposed to be the absolute limit

7:22:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Unless you're an "enemy combatant" which they can't prove of course. Padilla may not be a very nice person, but he's not a terrorist and they knew it. He's just a political prisoner and worse, he was taken to win an election, not to protect our country.

8:16:00 AM  
Blogger whig said...

One of the war crimes trials should be brought in the matter of Padilla v. Bush.

2:22:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

You're right about that whig.

9:40:00 AM  

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