If you live outside the Miami area the headline on this post might not mean anything to you.
So, just in case, the "Liberty City Seven" was a group of Muslim men in a Miami neighborhood who authorities say told a paid FBI informant that they wanted to commit terrorist acts in the U.S. and that they pledged allegiance to al-Qaida. Among their "goals?" To blow up an FBI building in Miami and the Sears Tower in Chicago.
This was all very controversial, 'cause folks in South Florida were divided over whether these guys were the real deal - terrorists-in-training - or just a bunch of morons, who talked tough. The government's case hinged on the sincerity of the group's desire to carry out terrorist acts on U.S. soil. The defense argued that these guys were not terrorists. Rather they were rubes, who fell for the rantings of a wannabe cult leader (one of the seven) who convinced the others they could get rich quick by pretending to be terrorists-in-training and suckering a terrorist sympathizer to fund their efforts. They would accept the cash and all run away laughing that they'd gotten over on their money source. Naturally it didn't work out that way.
There were two mistrials 'cause of hung juries. The recent third trial finally resulted in convictions. But only five of the men were convicted of various terrorism-related charges. Another man, Naudimar Herrera, was acquitted.
But that only accounts for six. The seventh member of the group, Lyglenson Lemorin, was acquitted in the first trial of all charges. That was about a year-and-a-half ago.
And yet, Lemorin remains behind bars.
Lemorin comes to mind, 'cause an activist group and music group are throwing a party to promote a new CD, which calls for Lemorin's release. This is the poster they sent different folks in media today:
Before someone new to this blog - someone who doesn't know me - gets angry and calls me something that's gonna piss me off like "Terrorist Sympathizer," consider that Lemorin, who is a native of Haiti, is not an illegal alien. He is, according to the State Department, a permanent legal resident of the United States. And he was fully acquitted of all charges relating to this case. Still, immigration agents asked an immigration judge to deport Lemorin...even though he was acquitted. The judge granted the order...even though he was acquitted, and Lemorin remains in federal custody in rural Georgia...even though he was acquitted. He hasn't been deported though. He hasn't been charged with any new crimes. He still has status as a permanent legal resident of the United States. But he has been behind bars now - again with no charges - for more than 500 days, after being acquitted in the Liberty City Seven, Six, Five...case. No end in sight.
It's possible Lemorin and his buddies really were budding terrorists. One out of three juries agreed so for five of the men.
It's also possible that Lemorin and his buddies were the easily fooled suckers their defense attorneys portrayed them to be, suckers who wanted money, not death or destruction.
Either way, five were convicted, one was acquitted and walked. Let's take them out of the equation.
We're left with Lemorin.
Le'ts set aside our shared disgust for terrorists and those who would be terrorists and ask if it's right for a permanent legal resident of the U.S. to be held in prison awaiting deportation for crimes a jury acquitted him of?
I don't know if Lemorin's jury, or the other juries got their decisions right or wrong. It sounds to me like Lemorin and his pals were just numbnuts who fell for an immoral get rich quick scheme. If that's the case, they're all dumbasses. But if the juries were right - and Lemorin's wrong - then these guys all deserve to be locked up under a prison for plotting to repeat the kind of grief that 9/11 brought us.
In the mean time, charge Lemorin with something or let him go.