May 11, 2006, - 5:52 pm

Gift Horse: Terrorist Al-Arian Challenges Light Sentence; Hires Rwanda Genocide Defender

By Debbie Schlussel
So, terrorist Sami Al-Arian, fresh from hearing his light sentence (he will only have to do 1.5 years more in prison), has decided to challenge his sentence.
And guess whom he’s chosen for his attorney? None other than Peter Erlinder, a law professor who was a defense attorney for those responsible for the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. And he co-founded, with Al-Arian, the Erlinder, who co-founded the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom in 1997. That group also defended “former” terrorist and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Special Agent-in-Charge Brian Moskowitz buddy, Imad Hamad.

petererlinder.jpgsamialarian2.jpg

Peter Erlinder:

Defense Lawyer for Terrorist Al-Arian & Rwanda Genocide Perpetrators

Well, at least Erlinder is consistent in picking mass murderers for clients and allies. Despicable.
Thanks to our friend, Bill Warner, Private Investigator extraordinaire, for the tip.
BTW, that Al-Arian can even challenge the sentence is yet another example of the Justice Department’s failed–and incompetent–war on terror. They made a plea agreement, which should have included no challenge to the sentence, not just the count to which Al-Arian pleaded guilty. Where do we go to sue our Justice Dept. attorneys for malpractice?

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5 Responses

There is a word for Jihad apologists like Mr. Erlinder: TRAITOR!

Canadian Infidel on May 12, 2006 at 7:55 am

Yeah,well hopefully Professor Erlinder’s therapist will tell him to get over William ‘Let’s Kill All The Lawyers’Shakespeare and catch up on
The Eichmann Trial,OJ & his dream team and ‘Hotel Rwanda’.

jaywilton on May 12, 2006 at 10:02 am

…and from the serious world of boxing,controversy continues to swirl around the tuchus of this furcocta “law school” professor as to why he declined to represent the last Islamic athlete anyone ever heard of(Mike Tyson just doen’t count)England’s ‘Prince’Naseem Hamed-just sentenced to 15 months for reckless driving in England…

jaywilton on May 12, 2006 at 10:40 am

This is going to get me in some trouble here with Ms. Schlussel and some readers of this site, but something needs to be said.
Ms. Schlussel makes this type of comment from time to time…an attack on lawyers representing particularly heinous accuseds. I am all the more mystified by this when I remember that she is a lawyer herself. Maybe law schools are different in the US than they are in Canada, but my concept of the lawyer is that the lawyer is not identified with the client. The lawyer is not the client.
Furthermore, any legitimate system of law requires that both sides be represented by competent legal counsel. The criminal system, for example, would collapse if accused persons did not have counsel.
There are lawyers who make careers out of criminal law just as there are those who do civil litigation or real estate law, or patent registrations. They do it for many different reasons…affinity for the area, the intellectual challenge, aptitude…whatever. For a lot of criminal lawyers, they do it because of a strong belief in the system.
I often say that by defending the guilty, the defence lawyer defends the innocent. Why is this? Because the State (i.e. the government) has everything on its side. It hires, pays and trains prosecuting lawyers; it covers all the costs of their practice (books, computers, secretaries, conferences, photocopiers,upgrading courses, toner for the printer…you name it); it covers all the costs of the investigation…the police, the forensic experts, the electronic surveillance…everything and with an endless budget;and, when the state does not like the way that cases come out, or the law is being interpreted, they have the power to simply re-write the law to make things even easier for their prosecutors to succeed.
The judiciary is not supposed to be on one side ot the other, but what percentage of criminal judges come from the defence side and what percent come from the prosecution side?.
And on the side of the accused is…what? A defence lawyer. The accused has to find a lawyer, and pay him/her. The fee will reflect that, unlike the prosecutor, the expenses all have to be supported privately. This means if the defence needs an investigator,for example, the accused has to find a way to pay it out of their own resources.
Yet, in this system, in which an accused is presumed to be innocent, this mismatch is supposed to somehow provide a fair trial.
And yet it usually does. Why? Because of vigorous defence counsel who believe in the system and believe that they have an obligation to put the State to the strictest proof of all elements of any offence. In doing so they set precedents that will later protect those innocent persons who are, from time to time, charged.
It is not a denunciation of a man or a woman that he or she chooses to defend the worst criminals; indeed it is to their credit. The system benefits from lawyers with expertise in particular areas so that they can stand up to the full weight of the state. In reality this benefits us all. I know nothing about the individual you have chosen to slime in this piece; I do regard it as a good thing that in a highly complex, and developing, area of the law there are some lawyers who have developed expertise in defending those people who are accused under this new regime of law.
It is the shallowest and laziest of thinking to characterize as a traitor a person who takes on such cases. Who knows when the knock will come on your door or mine because of some mistake by the police. We will thank our lucky stars that there may be a lawyer out there with the competence to defend us effectively against the might of the state.
I would agree that, from time to time lawyers make arguments that can be described as either “creative” or preposterous, depending on what side of the case you are on. I feel, however, that when one of these ridiculous arguments prevails, it is not the fault of the lawyer who was only fulfilling a duty. It is the fault of a shallow thinking, lazy or perhaps biased judge who was seduced by faulty reasoning.
Think for a moment about the International Criminal Court (of which the US is not a party). Over the next number of years many of the world’s most reprehensible murderers will be brought before that body.What if one of them is innocent? Or what if a US serviceman on vacation in Spain finds himself arrested for “war crimes” based on his service in Afghanistan or Iraq or wherever. Do you think maybe he/she will need a lawyer? If so, will they want a good one or a bad one? If they want a good one, where do you think he/she will have gotten experience? By defending the most horrible examples that humanity has to offer is how.
How often do we see people convicted, wrongly, for serious crimes? How often does DNA clear convicted rapists, murderers, abusers…? How often, I wonder, were people wrongly convicted in the past before the discovery of DNA, or in the absence of DNA (which can happen at any time…even today)? Were those who defended these accused at first instance monsters too? Were/are they to be identified with their clients? Does the fact that a lawyer defends a dispicable child abuser put him/her on the same moral plane?
I say no. And the same applies to the individual you attack in this piece.
By defending these people, the lawyer does not BECOME them. Rather, he/she plays a role…an essential role…in the system.
It is a bit disturbing that a lawyer such as yourself, Ms. Schlussel, would ignore this.
Really, you should know better.

Blaise on May 12, 2006 at 3:11 pm

Blaise,man,I think if you listen hard enough,you’ll hear a collective yawn coming from south of your border-which I know is hard to
understand,since I’m guessing that Canada is in last place in crime.In The US,we hear that speech
non-stop-and never from garbagemen or doctors.I’m
just hoping law students aren’t required to take Professor Erlinder’s bs..whoops class.

jaywilton on May 14, 2006 at 2:28 pm

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