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Posts Tagged ‘trial’

Not Aiding the Enemy, But Still Found Guilty

By Mike Kanoff | Counterpoint | July 31st, 2013 |

Image Source: (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Unsurprisingly, I’m writing about Bradley Manning this week. In case you missed it, Bradley Manning has finally been given a verdict: guilty of more than a handful of crimes, but not guilty of one very important charge– aiding the enemy. I’ll get more into the specifics of that charge later, but the remaining 20 charges carry a combined maximum of 136 years in prison, so PFC Manning is anything but in the clear. The sentencing has already begun, and could last into the last days of August.

I’ve written on Manning before, so I won’t go into the back-story again, but I think it’s worth mentioning that he has already spent three years in prison before his trial, so it has been agreed upon that his sentence should be reduced by 1,274 days. Anyway, time to move onto the big charge: aiding the enemy and why even though he has been found guilty of other crimes, this one is a win for whistleblowers. Most of the logic behind going after Manning as harshly as the military did was something along the lines of “if it’s available for everyone in the world to see, then that includes our enemies, so therefore public disclosures are equal to giving the information directly to the enemy.” As I’ve argued before, this is not the case here, even though that line of reasoning may seem valid, one must take intent into account: if one’s intention is to truly “aid the enemy,” then it follows that one would not inform one’s own side of such aid, as making information public would. Instead, by releasing information publicly, it allows both sides to see it, giving a “heads-up” to both parties: the “enemy” side gets information X and the “non-enemy” side gains the information that the “enemy” side has information X, which could be useful to the “non-enemy” side.

Further to that point, Manning’s information was not immediately disclosed; it was given to Wikileaks, providing a window of time in which the military could have changed tactics, had any even been compromised in the first place. Given those two points, I believe Manning when he says that he was merely a whistleblower rather than a traitor.

As for the other charges: any wrongdoing Manning may have done is far outweighed by the benefit to the public’s right to know. This should be true of all whistleblowers: exposing something that needs to be exposed should not come with a life imprisonment threat.

More on the PFC Manning case this Friday during the show [1pm EST].

Interview: Dissecting a Jury

By Chloe Herring | June 28th, 2013 |

With the murder trial of George Zimmerman now underway, there has been a lot of attention not only placed on the prosecution and defendant, but also on the jury listening to their arguments.  Although the identities of the jurors in the case will not be released, we do know some information about the individuals, like that all six of them are women.

Opening statements in the Zimmerman trial began on monday. the jurors from then on faced the task of providing impartial deliberation in this controversial case.

George Zimmerman was charged with the second-degree murder of unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin in April 2012.

With that being said, we thought it would be beneficial to bring in an expert on the subject of juries. For some insights, we spoke with UM Law professor Scott Sandby. Sandby graduated from Cornell law school with his juris doctor and serves as the dean’s distinguished scholar at the University of Miami law school. He has contributed research to understanding juries, specifically in trials involving the death penalty. Listen in to the discussion below.

The Weekly Voice, WVUM’s community affairs talk show, airs live Fridays at 10a.m. ET.  

 

Let’s Talk: Dissecting a Jury by Wvumnews on Mixcloud