Legal Research Blog

 

No Verdict on the London Tube Bombings

This week, the jury in the trial of three suspects associated with the London tube bombings on July 7, 2005, was dismissed after it failed to reach a verdict. The judge chose to discharge the jury on Friday after it deliberated for two weeks without a conclusion. However, it seems unlikely that this will be the end of the proceedings; according to the BBC, the prosecutors plan to retry the defendants.

Evidence has shown that the three men, Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem, and Mohammed Shakil joined the bombing plot’s leader, Mohammad Sidique Khan, on a trip to London in 2004, during which the group allegedly investigated the security mechanisms in the city. While there is no proof that the three were directly involved in the 2005 underground suicide bombings, which killed 52 people, prosecutors claim that they “shared the same objectives” as the perpetrators and were aware of the attack. The defendents assert their innocence, maintaining that their 2004 trip was for leisure only (although they do not deny their connection to the now deceased Mohammad Sidique Khan). The men also voiced their belief that the bombings were un-Islamic. They are the only suspects who have been tried for involvement in the attacks.

Source: The BBC

Lawdable Quotes: John Quincy Adams

“Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.”

~ John Quincy Adams

Lawdable Quote: Abraham Lincoln

“Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear that charter of his own and his children’s liberty.”

~ President Abraham Lincoln

Fastcase on Fox Business News!

Fastcase was recently featured on the Digital Dollars segment on Fox Business News. Watch our CEO (Ed Walters) and President (Phil Rosenthal) discuss Fastcase and the disruption we’re creating in the legal research market below:

Source: Fox Business News

Learning to Share is Harder Than it Looks

This week the New York Times reported on the prevalence of evidence sharing that has prosecutors all worked up despite legal requirements to do so. Evidence is a precious material to anyone entering the court room; a key material to bringing justice that can take months or years to dig up and only a matter of minutes to destroy. As a rule, courts require the prosecution to share certain pieces of their evidence with the defense attorneys who in turn may share it with the defendants themselves. While evidence sharing may not necessarily pose a dangerous threat in all cases, prosecutors argue it can and does have a negative affect on the outcome of many trials.

Citing cases involving gangs, drug rings and other organized crimes, prosecutors working on a recent case in the Federal District Court of Manhattan raised a number of concerns to the presiding judge. Although they find no problem in releasing information related to the crime-scene, weapons and other more fact-based materials, the prosecutors on the case were appalled at the request by the defendant to bring the testimonies to his cell for reviewal over the weekend. Evidence known as 3500 materials include statements from witnesses scheduled to appear in court, available for the judge and jury’s viewing so there is no confusion over whether or not the truth is being told. According to one prosecutor on the case, 3500 materials are, “confirmation that someone has cooperated” and insists that it poses a risk for anyone who has agreed to provide testimony.

Another possible threat is the recent decision by the Supreme Court to rule any statements invalid when they have been previously issued by a witness that is now unable to appear in court. By eliminating the validity of missing witnesses and allowing suspects to view all testimony prior to their court appearance, the courts have created a dangerous situation for anyone still willing to come forward. Prosecutors argue that suspects awaiting trial have strong connections on the outside who can easily be called on to interfere with anyone holding incriminating evidence.