Errant Reporting of Guilty Verdict In Holy Land Foundation Trial

Over at Patterico’s Pontifications, guest posters DRJ and Justine Levine gave us posts – here and here – that included links on how the Holy Land Foundation trial was exposing Hamas’ terrorist financing network in America, with connections to HLF, CAIR, etc., and how the LA Times was insufficiently covering this the “largest terrorist financing trial in history.” It must’ve stung yesterday when a jury reached a number of not guilty verdicts and a mistrial was called by the Judge (a Reagan appointee) as to many of the other counts.

The verdicts were clouded in controversy for a short time when 2 or 3 of the jurors (media reports vary) claimed, when polled, that the verdicts did not accurately reflect their votes. The Judge sent them back in and, apparently, the objecting jurors got some verdicts changed from “Not Guilty” to hung.

Yet, DRJ’s “Final Update” on the verdicts includes this doozy: “There was a guilty verdict after all and, for the second time in two months, I’m writing about a case in which some jurors disavowed the verdict when they were polled. Amazing …” His post then contains a long excerpt from an AP article that includes, in part, the statement: “When Fish polled the jurors a second time after more deliberations, they did find El-Mezain guilty of one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. However, he was acquitted of 31 other charges.”

The link DRJ provides did not include this quote when I clicked on it last night. Instead, it  noted then and now that El-Mezain was found not guilty on 31 of 32 counts with the jury deadlocked on the remaining count. This seems to indicate that the AP (David Koenig) erred in reporting the single guilty verdict and corrected it rather quickly. DRJ has, however, not corrected his/her post though this was supposedly an “important” trial they seemed intent on following closely.

In the comments, ras suggested that the verdicts might be due to jurors “under duress.” Commenter “theManTheMyth” goes further saying: “Then we need a new system of justice–one that does not include juries comprised solely of people who are so stupid they need government help to tie their shoelaces….”

You see, these guys are outraged by the jurors who, even though having listened to months of evidence and deliberated for 19 days, can then reach not guilty verdicts against any Muslim the Bush administration charges with support of terrorism.

Don’t expect them to tell you this:

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.”

Or this about the two jurors who flipped from “not guilty” to hung on a number of counts:

Both women had been noted dozing off during court proceedings, and juror Neal said one of them also fell asleep during deliberations. The latter, he said, voted guilty from the beginning, was confused by the evidence and much of the time declined to participate in deliberations.

Most importantly, do not expect any moment of reflection by the bloggers at Patterico’s Pontifications that maybe the DOJ’s evidentiary case against HLF really sucked and may have been brought so that President Bush could engage in some political grandstanding against Muslims. It seems to be a pattern from Brandon Mayfield to the terrorism support trial in Florida to the bogus Idaho prosecution to the prosecutorial misdeeds trial in Michigan to the conviction-less Chicago trial. The Bush administration has wasted tons of taxpayer money on prosecuting (persecuting?) Muslims.

2 Responses to “Errant Reporting of Guilty Verdict In Holy Land Foundation Trial”

  1. Mac,

    Looks like a correction is coming from DJR as a result of your post.

  2. DRJ says:


    Thanks for alerting me to the erroneous Fort Worth Star-Telegram article so I could correct my post.

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