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.!!!
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:
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.
So, how much of this Judge's comments did we hear on our TV sets? We need more judges like Judge Young. Pass this around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home.
Sorry to say - but it just looks like a pompous blow hard with a penchant for self satisfying emotive speeches. The shoe bomber is clearly as mad as squirrel and should have been sent to a nut-house, not made the subject of a hugely expensive trial. Or maybe you did not read his statements and quotes in the firt few days when he was able to express and opinion, or at least air his clear insanity.
Those words "struck home" for me, alright; but not in the way that the OP probably has in mind. I'd agree that they ought to be passed around, but I think where they most need to be passed around is within the court system, itself and anywhere where laws/policies/practices related to justice and freedom are written/established. I think most Americans actually believe the words in that speech, at least until they discover, to their shock, that those words can be shockingly meaningless to the person who actually thinks the court system is about justice, and that freedom "blows in the air" (or whatever the judge said).
Since I haven't paid a lot of attention to that trial once the guy was caught, and since I don't have access to the kind of information that would really make it clear whether the guy is as "off the wall" as some apparently think he is (it's easy for someone to spew crazy talk in the hopes of an eventual insanity defense), I'd hold off on a personal opinion about the guy's mental capacity; BUT, I tend to agree with recommend1 about the judge's apparent penchant for speeches. It's either that or else he's just a clueless individual who doesn't know how hollow, even laughable, his words about freedom in America really are.
I particularly "love" (sarcasm) this part of the speech: "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."
Oh, and here's another part that comes across as laughable to me, "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."
I don't want to appear to be "trying to make this particular discussion all about me", because - honestly - that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to point out how hollow that judge's words and even how laughable and misguided they were (and why he, maybe, should have toned them down a little bit; in view of the fact that a) those words would be read/heard by the American public, and b) those words could make him come across as silly to a whole lot of Americans who haven't run into that "come and go as we choose/live as we choose" thing he mentioned. He's not entirely correct about "reaching out for justice" either. Sometimes, there's more inclination than at other times to reach out for justice; and that can depend on whether someone hasn't seen the justice he deserves or whether he was a part of a process that so often disregards it.
I'll justify using my own situation as an example of the "freedom/laughable thing" because I know I'm far from the only American who has run into the kind of thing that I have in the court system. It's the best way I can point out how laughable that pompous (and - benefit of the doubt here - most likely clueless judge's words are).
I won't go into my whole story here, but before I make my main point (which will take only a relatively few paragraphs), I know that when I write that "relatively few" paragraphs someone is going to think, "Oh, this is only one side to the story," or "Oh, she's not presenting all the facts here," or even "Oh, there must be something wrong - and it's probably something wrong with her, not the court system." (Or, along those lines) I can tell anyone (and only hope I can convince him/her) that if I had the chance to be in front of a jury, present all the facts, evidence, etc., and had the chance to have someone ask whatever questions they wanted/need to ask in order to make it very obvious that there are no holes whatsoever in any of the facts that I present; nobody would question my credibility or accuracy. So, having said that, here's that relative few lines (compared to my story) that make my point about that particular bunch of words that particular judge used for whatever his reasons were:
For over 20 years now, I've lived without the freedoms to which that judge referred in his speech, as well as some to which he didn't refer in that particular speech. Was I a "shoe bomber" or a "foreigner"? No. Did I ever do anything in my life to warrant losing the freedoms that I'd always heard "everyone" talk about "all Americans" having? No. It's "wonderful" that someone like "The Shoe Bomber" apparently got some version of his day in court -because I sure as hell never saw anything that at all resembled my own "day in court". I'm going to put my own story in a Hub over the next couple of days (and I'd like to think that it won't be viewed as "substandard" because a) it isn't going to be researched, and b) it isn't going to be either fiction or poetry (but if it is, I'll post it somewhere else). In any case, those lovely words that the judge presented might be very inspiring to some people who don't spend a lot of time thinking about things like freedom in this country (or even those who take their own freedom for granted). Those words, to me, are just yet more hollow words (like the words in The Constitution) that don't always apply to even the most guilt-free of Americans. Talk is, as they say, cheap.
I know my tone here is angry, and that IS NOT AT ALL aimed in the direction of the OP. It's aimed in the direction of people like judges, who makes nifty speeches for whatever purposes are served by making them in public. I know, too, that someone out there who reads this will think, "I don't know what her problem/story is, but whatever is it probably isn't something I have to worry about. Of course, all the talk about freedom in America is true. This lady's just got 'some issue'". That thinking would be as misguided as that judge's thinking apparently is. The judge is right about one thing, though, in his remark about how people "reach for justice". They do reach for justice, and if they don't get it they'll "scream about wanting it" for as long as it takes to get the justice they know they deserve. The longer it takes, the "crazier" they'll be seen by others who are content to settle for injustice and "just move on"; or by people who'd prefer to settle for, or avoid to face, a comfortable lie and lack of justice, as opposed to a very uncomfortable truth.
I don't care what happens to people like "The Shoe Bomber", one way or another, or whether they get their day in "beautiful court rooms". I'd like to see a little that "freedom" guarantee to innocent Americans who have committed no crime and have no "situations" whatsoever that would justify disregarding their freedoms for decades.
Lisa, thank you for putting the time in to write about your opinion, and let me state that I posted the topic to see WHAT opinions folk may hold about that speech, not to present it as an accomplishment, or in support or opposition.
The words spoken are fine words, and like you I have no concern about the guy convicted, for the case was cut and dried evidentially, so he was definitely guilty as charged.
IMO anyone who seeks to kill unknown and presumed innocent people is mentally unbalanced to start with, and by default needs medical assistance before recovery could possibly be achieved, however they would never be capable of being considered safe in any sane society, and for that reason need incarceration.
Having said that, the speech has strong overtones of a political show trial, and the words have a Churchilian flavour about them that presupposes that they were either premeditated or presented to the judge in question to read out.
They are a statement, not to the defendant, but to the people who sent the offender, and to salve the concerns of those who feel threatened by the offenders actions.
I too question the actual freedom available to Americans in a world where tyranny can so easily act without their consent.
It will be interesting to see what other opinions may come forward, and I will look out for your presentation of your situation.
by Tom Cornett 8 years ago
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