A Sound Judgement

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by eodmatt, Jan 27, 2010.

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  1. I just received this in my morning mail, so if it has been reproduced elsewhere on Arrse, my apologies. If not, its a good read from a sensible judge with a good perspective:

    Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?

    Did you know his trial is over?
    Did you know he was sentenced?
    Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV or Radio?

    Didn't think so. Very few people do know!!!

    Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

    Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

    Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say. His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his 'allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,' defiantly stating, 'I think I will not apologize for my actions,' and told the court 'I am at war with your country.'

    Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

    January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid.

    Judge Young: 'Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

    On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That's 80 years.)

    On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

    The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

    This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

    Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

    You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not ----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

    So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: 'You're no big deal.'

    You are no big deal.

    What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led
    you here to this courtroom today?

    I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

    It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

    We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to Preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

    Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to
    mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

    See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America . That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag Stands for freedom. And it always will.

    Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.
  2. I love it.

    Star - Spangled Banner playing as I type.

    That would make one helluva piece in a film.
  3. Cheers for posting this eodmatt - out of interest, where did you pick it up from? (am overseas with even less access to real information then normal!)

    Too much to hope for Chilcott to take a similar approach this Friday!

    Hat doffed to Judge William Young, US District Court.
  4. This is the judge very sensibly put a ban on Lousde Woodward, the British au pair case, on spending any moneys earned from a book on the crime.

    He was also the judge in the original "Big Dan" rape case, which was used as the basis for the film "The Accused".
  5. maguire

    maguire LE Book Reviewer

    you do them a disservice for a huge part I fear - they are ridiculously hobbled (and no less frustrated than us) by sentencing guidelines and being forced to slavishy respect scumbags 'ooman rights, innit'.

    this is excellent and illuminating reading - http://thelawwestofealingbroadway.blogspot.com/
  6. From Judge Young's neck of the woods:

    When I was a young lawyer I appeared before him a few times and he was a good and fair judge. For those who are convinced that Harvard is a hotbed of lefty lunatics Judge Young graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law, taking 2 or 3 years off in between schools to serve as an active officer in the US Army. I would presume he served in the reserves afterwards for the required period.

    Judge Young was not the trial judge in case of a young (19) English nanny , Louise Woodward, for killing a baby in her care. He only handled a suit against her brought by the baby's parents. If anyone wonders about the Big Dan's case refered to by another poster above, it was a horrendous rape case about 25 years ago involving a young (21) woman who stopped at a bar to buy cigarettes and ended up gangraped on the pool table.

    A nice sentencing statement by the judge. Sorry the sentence could not have been a bit stiffer but makes me glad that "life, no parole" means just that.

    By the way, the District Attorney in charge of overseeing the Woodward case was Martha Coakley who was in the news this week as she lost the senate by=election to Scott Brown, a Republican
  7. I agree with your comment, Judges and Magistrates arelargely restricted in their ability to sentence as they would choose.

    Thanks though for putting the link up, I shall go back to his comments, and his links also are excellent!
  8. Very useful reminder of the resolve of the American people and its justice system.
    The fearmongering about holding KSM's trial in N.Y. is pure political postering,
    that does a disservice to judges like this man and the nation he serves.
    Thank you for a most timely reminder.
  9. That's a bit unfair. Many UK judges give sound judgements every day. The UK court issue is CPS led and far too PC!

  10. Spot on.

    My only criticism is that when calling Reid a terrorist, he failed to add "and a sh1t one at that".
  11. I am also overseas and my internet access is also a la cocoa tin and string :) The piece was sent to me another expat somewhere in the world (probably also with crappy internet access). I will try and locate it - anyone with a good internet connection care to try and track it down?
  12. An excellent statement, but to give it unassailable credibility, is it available from an official source? You know how these things end up being modified, amended and passed as original as they plod through the interweb.
  13. Yes or perhaps a splendid piece of collateral when Judge Young stands for re-election?

  14. Mmmmm. OK, but I spent 3 years being sued in the high court by a piece of low life shit on legal aid and quite honestly the whole thing was a farce. A money making farce where all the lawyers dutifully played their parts and collected their exhorbitant fees, whilst the Judge looked on like professional wrestling referee and politely listened to the most abject rubbish from the bloke whose lawyers brought the case - e.g. "My client cannot now produce the document which adds proof to his claim alledging fraud on the part of (me), since, unfortunately, his dog ate it after he inadvertantly splashed Irish stew on it.... we therefore request an order to search the defendents offices, because he must have had a copy of the said document which he has clearly failed to disclose to this court in accordance with ... blah... "