Judge Halts Sentencing After Feds Admit They Failed To Reveal Use Of NSA Data

from the this-is-why-you-reveal-this-stuff-up-front dept

We've been following the crazy story of the Solicitor General of the US, Donald Verrilli, making blatantly false statements to the Supreme Court concerning how the feds would have to reveal to defendants that some of the evidence used against them came from secretive NSA data collection methods. In Verrilli's defense, it is now apparent that lawyers for the intelligence community flat out lied to him, and he is reasonably angry about that -- leading to the DOJ to officially change its policy to now be consistent with what Verrilli told the Court: that if NSA data is used against someone, that fact will come out during the process, and the defendant can challenge it. Along with this, the feds have started selectively alerting some lawyers that some NSA data was used on their clients.

In one such case, of "would-be bomber" Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who was accused of wanting to bomb a Portland Christmas tree lighting ceremony, this news has put his sentencing on hold. The details of Mohamud's case suggest it was yet another case of the FBI stopping a plot of their own making, as the entire "plot" was created with undercover FBI agents. But there are also some questions about how the FBI first targeted Mohamud. Now, it appears that it may have been due to NSA activities. Mohamud had been found guilty earlier this year, and was scheduled to be sentenced in just a few weeks, but the judge -- realizing that the NSA revelations throw a big wrench into all of this -- has agreed to postpone indefinitely the sentencing. I imagine there will be a flurry of legal documents as his lawyers use this to try to dump the original trial results.

Either way, expect a lot more like this to happen as the DOJ finally starts to come clean.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 4:36am

    in the mean time however, what happens to the person concerned? he has already been convicted on doing something, albeit purposefully construed by the governments representatives and spent time locked up. is he going to remain locked up? will he still be convicted, even if it's only for acting like a dope, just as the feds wanted, and most importantly, if released will he receive compensation and have his record expunged?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    lucidrenegade (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 4:47am


    Since his conviction hasn't been overturned (yet), he'll most likely remain in prison. It will be interesting to see if he is granted a new trial.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    scotts13 (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 5:36am


    Don't be ridiculous. The feds will never exonerate one of their precious "stopped terrorists" no matter what the circumstances are. Doesn't matter what the law says about evidence or entrapment; there's too much at stake. There'll be a lot of back-room ass covering, then sentencing will proceed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 5:54am

    How much do you want to bet that the government will claim that releasing this information harms prosecutors' efforts to try terrorists in the courts. LOLS

    And, back to military court tribunals we go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 7:10am

    allah FBIah

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 7:25am

    You mean he will be indefinitely detained until they decide what to do? Sounds like another law....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Get off my cyber-lawn! (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 7:55am

    A new angle for Team Prenda to pursue?

    They will probably try to use NSA spying on them as a defense soon since they seem to be running out of BS to sling at the courts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Lurker Keith, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 2:19pm


    Assuming things go fairly (ie. the Government doesn't cheat in some way), if the inevitable Constitutional challenge to the NSA data collection is successful in deeming it Unconstitutional (as we all believe is likely, if the challenge is handled fairly), he should be released, & the case be closed, with prejudice, due to the Government violating Due Process.

    The Government isn't supposed to get a redo if they screw up at the Constitutional/ Due Process level. That screw up is serious, & requires some degree of punishment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    allengarvin (profile), Nov 28th, 2013 @ 8:24pm

    "bomb a Portland Christmas tree lighting ceremony" ..."as the entire "plot" was created with undercover FBI agents."

    And O'Reilly hasn't picked up on this as the latest salvo by the Obama administration in the war on Christmas?? Seems like a great opportunity to enlist Fox News against the NSA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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