Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is Actually Getting Justice Going To Be a New Trend?

$2 million to victim of FBI blunder

Filed under: — Eideard @ 8:30 am

Jailed for conspiracy in Madrid terror bombing

The U.S. government agreed Wednesday to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by an Oregon lawyer who was arrested and jailed for two weeks in 2004 after the FBI bungled a fingerprint match and mistakenly linked him to a terrorist attack in Spain.

Under the terms of the settlement filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland, the government also issued an unusual apology to Brandon Mayfield for the suffering caused by his wrongful arrest and imprisonment. It acknowledged that the ordeal was deeply upsetting to Mayfield and his family.

Mayfield will be able to continue pursuing his legal challenge to the constitutionality of the Patriot Act anti-terrorism law, which was used to obtain his personal records while he was under investigation.

The payment is a clear embarrassment for the FBI, which arrested Mayfield as a material witness in May 2004 after FBI examiners erroneously linked him to a partial fingerprint on a bag of detonators found after terrorists bombed commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people. The bureau compounded its error by stridently resisting the conclusions of the Spanish National Police, which notified the FBI that the fingerprint did not belong to Mayfield three weeks before he was arrested.

The case has become a potent symbol for civil liberties advocates who argue that it shows how easily the government can abuse its powers to detain alleged terrorism suspects under relaxed standards of probable cause.

A report released in March by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine found that while Mayfield’s religion was not a factor in his initial identification, it contributed to the FBI’s reluctance to re-examine its conclusions after challenges from Spanish police.

Every criticism of the foolhardiness of Homeland Insecurity, the Patriot Act and Bush’s War on Terror — came to pass in this case. Government hacks screwed up. They refused to admit they screwed up. They denied they screwed up.

It took a lawsuit and a separate investigation before a citizen was restored his rights and dignity and compensated for his injury.

Click Here for where I found the above on the web


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