Showing posts from April, 2011

DC Metro Bomber Pleads Guilty

According to CNN , Farooque Ahmed, the individual accused of plotting to bomb the Washington D.C. Metro, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. After apologizing for his actions and telling the court "[i]t was the wrong action," Ahmed was sentenced to 23 years in prison and 50 years of supervised release. Ahmed had pleaded not guilty last year. In changing his plea, he admitted that he attempted to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization. He also pleaded guilty to collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit facility. In court documents, Ahmed admitted performing surveillance at Metro stations near the Pentagon, taking videos and making diagrams of possible places to locate bombs. He suggested between 4 and 5 p.m. "would be the best time to stage an attack to cause the highest number of casualties" in several simultaneous explosions, according to a statement of facts signed by Ahmed.

The Role of Plea Bargaining in the Recent Thompson Supreme Court Decision Regarding Prosecutorial Misconduct

Last week, in a sharply divided 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a $14 million jury award to John Thompson, a former death row inmate who spent 18 years in prison and was eventually freed after serious prosecutorial misconduct came to light. According to the New York Times : The former inmate, John Thompson, had sued Harry F. Connick, a former district attorney in New Orleans, saying his office had not trained prosecutors to turn over exculpatory evidence. Prosecutors in the office had failed to give Mr. Thompson’s lawyers a report showing that blood at a crime scene was not his. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, said that only a pattern of misconduct would warrant holding Mr. Connick accountable for what happened on his watch. Mr. Thompson spent 18 years in prison, 14 of them on death row. “I was delivered an execution warrant in my cell seven times,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “I was only weeks from being executed when my lawyers got the killing