United States v Reid (The shoe-bomber)

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Iolis, Jan 31, 2010.

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  1. United States of America v Richard Reid On December 22, 2001, Richard Reid tried unsuccessfully to destroy American Airlines Flight 63 over the Atlantic Ocean by detonating explosives hidden in his shoes.

    The plane was diverted to Boston, where Reid was arrested. On October 4, 2002, Reid pleaded guilty to eight terrorism-related offenses, and on January 30, 2003, he was sentenced to serve the remainder of his life in prison. At the sentencing hearing, Reid declared his continuing allegiance to the terrorist Osama bin Laden, adding: “I think I ought not apologize for my actions. I am at war with your country….” A few days later, Reid was transferred from Massachusetts to a maximum security federal prison in Florence, Colorado (ADX Florence), where he remains today.

    Per Young J: '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, 4and 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.”

    The remarks by the judge when sentencing Reid are overtly political and stand in stark contrast to a self-imposed prohibition on the part of the judiciary of England and Wales who would view such remarks as being likely to be regarded as compromising their judicial independence.
  2. If political remarks are the price for robust sentencing; life means life and consecutive sentences; then I can cope with that. IIRC federal judges are elected anyway, which will make them pretty political from the word go.
  3. Nope - federal judges are appointed (for life I believe).

  4. Much better we give him 15 million dollars, Jessica Alba and a Ferrari because the bad judge let the convicted Tango know where he stood?
  5. The judge needs a history lesson as to the crimes the United States commited and still commits in it's own self interest the world over and not just to dictators, but also upon democracies the United States disappoves of too!

    As to 'freedom', well, within my life time I have seen a black man in the White House in the top job, but at the start of my life they were called 'n!gger', worked below stairs and didn't have the right to vote in certain States.

    Lecturing the world on how good we are today without an eye to the very recent past just makes the country more of a joke than it was when it left SE Asia with its tail between its legs!
  6. Yep, you're right; appointed by POTUS. It's some other form of judge which appears to be elected link.
  7. This thread replicates another which was posted several days ago. Texts of the sentencing of the British terrorist Richard Reid have been going around the internet a lot lately, although Reid has been a guest at Supermax for some time now.

    As to a judge and politics, all Federal judges are appointed for life by POTUS with the advice and consent of the US Senate. As to state judges it varies state by state, In my state they are appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Governors Council and serve for life until mandatory retirement at age 70. The Governors Council by the way is an elected body that was originally a check on the powers of the Royal Governors appointed by the King,

    Judge Young is an excellent judge, Back when I was trying cases I appeared before him and found him bright and very sensible. He got his BA from Harvard and his JD from Harvard Law but in between, before he went to law school, he served a few years in Army green and reached Captain. Given the number of lives at risk from Reid the sentence seems appropriate. I doubt very much if the sentence was any more severe because the terrorist was British.

    As to US judges caring about politics, the Supreme Court recently declared unconstitutional a law passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President and the decision very much angered equally oth John McCain and President Obama. If any of you watched the recent State of the Union on TV you may have noted that neither the members of the Supreme Court nor the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff applaud any part of the Presidents speech. During the speach Obama took a slap at the Court for the decision and in a bit of a breach of protocol you could see on of the Justices shaking his head and scowling as commenting to the judge next to him and if I lip read correctly he was saying "Not True, Not True". The judges really don't give a damn about politics, they decide the cases as they see them.
  8. State Judges in NY are Elected in General Elections, along with Congresscritters, Presidents, State Legislators, etc.