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October 23, 2007

More on the Holy Land Foundation Mistrial

Yesterday, the terror funding case ended in a mistrial for most of the charges against individuals and against the Holy Land Foundation itself. It sounds like the jurors had some real problems.

Juror William Neal told The Associated Press that the panel found little evidence against three of the defendants and was evenly split on charges against Shukri Abu Baker and former Holy Land chairman Ghassan Elashi, who were seen as the principal leaders of the charity.

"I thought they were not guilty across the board," said Neal, a 33-year-old art director from Dallas. The case "was strung together with macaroni noodles. There was so little evidence."

Some jurors were dead-set for convictions even before they began deliberating, Neal said.

"They brought up stuff that wasn't even in the case," he said. "They brought up 9-11."

Bank records, thousands of documents, video, and the testimony of an Shin Bet agent are "little evidence"? It sounds like pro-conviction jurors weren't the only ones to make up their minds before deliberations began.

Moreover, consideration of 9/11 in the jury room was inappropriate. One of the fundamentals of our justice system is that jurors reach a decision based on the evidence at trial, rather than their own experiences or other improper material.

Prosecutors will get the chance to try again, but as BSG-watchers know, at a second trial the advantage lies with the defense.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:37 AM

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