Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Shoe bomber

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/Radio?

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
Reid also admitted his "allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the
religion of Allah," defiantly stated "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 consecutive with the other.
That's 80 years. On count 8 the Court sentences you to the
mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court
imposes upon you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the
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 the $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.

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 all 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 it is the
officers of government who do it or your attorney who 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 know 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 where 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 and 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. 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, but that's another subject. Pass this
around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say.
Powerful words that strike home.

God bless America.

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