The case against the Holy Land Foundation was an open-and-shut one – the nominal charity was almost certainly guilty of funneling money to Hamas, an organization that most Americans recognize as a sponsor of terrorism in Israel and beyond.
So how did the U.S. government lose the case? The Investigative Project on Terrorism’s new report sheds a bit of light on how some jurors were bullied into voting against their consciences by their peers.
The three jurors interviewed by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) showed the Neal-created perception as skewed. All three jurors say they disagree with his views of the evidence and the prosecution’s case. To them, it seems clear that Neal made up his mind going into the jury room and refused to consider any argument in favor of guilt. He preferred to read the court’s instructions rather than look at exhibits in evidence, they said. And his often snide manner intimidated and bullied those who disagreed with him.
The effect this had on the case is clear. When a juror walked out in frustration after just four days of deliberations, it followed a confrontation with Neal. When another juror briefly refused to cast a vote, it was after a confrontation with Neal. Williams broke down several times during the 19 days jurors spent locked in debate. Each incident followed what she felt was an attack by Neal.
Read the rest. The report reads like 12 Angry Men, minus the “2” and, perhaps, minus the men.
Writing about this case, lawhawk wrote:
CAIR, of course, is gloating over the mistrial, as though it somehow exonerates their cronies at Holy Land Foundation.
It does not. There is simply too many linkages and ties between Hamas and Holy Land Foundation to be coincidence. Hamas uses HLF for fundraising and getting its message out, and CAIR knows damned well that they’re shilling for terrorists.
This was not a stunning defeat, but it definitely is a wakeup call for the Justice Department to do a far better job prosecuting these cases than it has up til now.
This is yet another example as to why you cannot simply trust the law enforcement approach to solely defend the nation against terrorism and terrorist attacks. HLF was busy providing aid and comfort to enemies that seek to do America and its interests harm and because all the members of a jury could not find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a mistrial had to be declared.
Sounds to me like one juror bludgeoned the rest into a no-win scenario and a mistrial was the only possible conclusion.
In a left-handed sort of way it’s actually a victory for our legal system – the guilty will be tried again and, I suspect – and hope – be convicted based solely on the evidence, barring the presence of another runaway juror in the deliberation room.