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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Shoe Bomber Sentencing

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? Didn't think so.

Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

The ruling was by Judge William Young, US District Court. Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say.
The defendant's 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," and he 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. On January
30, 2003, in United States vs. Reid. Judge Young said: "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

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 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 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 bare 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.

Blogger festivus said...

As much as I wanted to believe this post by SSC, it sounded far too good to be true, and I was very surprised that I had not read this elsewhere. So, with no intented slight at SSC, I decided to do a brief investigation into the validity of this speech. I am pleased to announce that according to snopes.com, the above item is indeed true.

A 'ray of hope' if I've ever read one.

1:29 PM, July 06, 2005  

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