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USA vs Al-Arian
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Al-Arian jury puts trial in doubt (8/30)

Aug. 30, 2005
St. Petersburg Times

One juror sent a note to the judge saying some jurors had been discussing their opinions on the trial.
By Meg Laughlin
Link: Click here
TAMPA-- Was there jury misconduct?

That is the question the federal judge in the trial of Sami Al-Arian and three other defendants must answer in the next few days. Then he must decide whether to dismiss up to three jurors and, then, whether to declare a mistrial in the 13th week of the trial.

At the end of last week, a juror sent an anonymous note to the judge asking: "Could you just remind the jury to keep their opinion to their self?"

On Monday, U.S. District Judge James S. Moody questioned each juror one by one, in the absence of the other jurors, about the note and the reason for it. Were any jurors discussing the case and giving opinions, he wanted to know.

Of the 12 jurors and six alternates, 15 said they had not heard any discussion or opinions pertaining to the trial and knew nothing about the note. But two said they had heard discussion and opinions. One of those two said she had written the note to the judge. A third juror said she had advised the concerned juror to write the note.

One juror, identified as juror No. 214, told the court he did not write the note, but "heard people making different comments about some things, comments about the school (Islamic Academy of Florida)."

"This particular juror believed this was a front for the PIJ," juror No. 214 said.

Al-Arian and three other defendants are charged with trying to use Islamic organizations in the Tampa area - including the Islamic Academy of Florida and the World and Islam Studies Enterprise, an Islamic think tank - as fronts to raise money for the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has claimed responsibility for more than 100 deaths in Israel and its occupied territories.

The juror who sits next to No. 214, juror No. 243, said she had written the note because she had heard comments from "one guy" in the jury box: "Little comments that WISE and IAF were all a front and something about somebody killed a member of Islamic Jihad," juror 243 said.

She said the juror who made the comments sat behind her and wore Hawaiian shirts.

She said he talked to two male jurors in the row in front of her, even though they denied hearing anything.

"He's just talking in general when he's out, to the same two guys, making negative comments. He has already made his conclusion; he's so pro-government," juror 243 said.

In the courtroom Monday, during a sidebar discussion with Judge Moody, defense attorney Stephen Bernstein asked the judge to "exclude one juror" - the one who is alleged to have talked about the case. Bernstein told the St. Petersburg Times he would also ask the judge to remove the two jurors who are alleged to have heard that juror. Then, Bernstein said, he'll "ask for a mistrial."

The judge asked attorneys to research other cases where similar things have happened, and let him know the results.

Then, he said, he'd decide what to do.

"This is potentially serious because jurors are not supposed to discuss the case or reach conclusions before all of the evidence is in," said criminal defense attorney Neal Sonnett, a legal expert who is not involved in the case.

Sonnett, a former federal prosecutor in Miami and past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said the judge would have to "weigh the damage" but had "wide discretion in choosing the appropriate remedy."

"But that juror who gave his opinion has to be gone," he said.

Juror No. 247, who sits next to the juror who wrote the note, told the judge that the concerned juror asked her if she should write the note.

Her advice: "That's what the court system is all about - your right to express yourself."

And so, the note. And probably, fewer jurors. And possibly, a mistrial.

Documents & Releases

Statement of Chairs of American Muslim Task-Force on Civil Rights and Elections  (AMT) and  Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Howard Zinn Statement on Professor Al-Arian



March 2000

December 2005alarian.jpg

January 2009

To be patriotic is to be able to question government policy in times of crisis.
To be patriotic is to stand up for the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in times of uncertainty and insecurity.
To be patriotic is to  speak up against the powerful in defense of the weak and the voiceless.
To be patriotic is to be willing to pay the price to preserve our freedoms, dignity, and rights.
To be patriotic is to
challenge the abuses of the PATRIOT Act.
From a speech by Dr. Al-Arian


UFF Summary: Al-Arian and USF


Announcement of Book: The Al-Arian Reader

A new compilation of all relevant articles to be released soon by the National Liberty Fund

Selected Poems
by Sami Al-Arian

We Shall Rise

To Maya Angelou
Like the dream of the slave
You rise
And with the scream of the brave
I shall rise
In honoring the memory of your ancestors
You rise
With my stateless brothers and sisters
I shall rise
Like dust in the sunlight
You rise
And as ashes in a fiery night
I shall rise
You offend
Because of your existence
And I
For my resistance
You upset them
Recalling their past
And I
By holding steadfast
They may trod you in dirt
May cause me all the hurt
Inflict upon you excruciating pain
While they shut me up and detain
By they won't see you broken
Neither would my faith be forsaken
As you've never bowed your head
And never lowered your eyes
I'll continue to raise my fist
And hide my mother's cries
They may shoot you with their words
Cut me up with their swords
They may insult you with their eyes
Denigrate me with their lies
Trying to kill you with their hate
Bury me alive to seal my fate
But they'd certainly
Be shamed and fail
As the free chant and sing
On their march to prevail
So keep your head held high
As I follow you and try
And keep your beautiful smile
As I walk my first mile
They'll pressure and blame
Throw us in prison to control and tame
They'll exile and defame
Lynch us all or shoot and maim
Burn crosses with no shame
Target our children in a dirty game
By why is that a surprise?
Despite their evil and terror
Their falsehood and lies
You shall rise
And I shall rise
You're the black ocean
Leaping and wide
I'm the Mediterranean
With a stormy tide
Staying together
Side by side
It's no surprise
We shall rise
Surely shall rise
We together shall rise
No Longer Afraid
For us to feel "secure"
What price is being paid?
If living in freedom
Why are we afraid?
Fear is everywhere
All around
Perhaps irrational
But without any bound
You can see it on our faces
Sense it in our eyes
You can hear it in our whispers
Feel it in our cries
More>>No Longer Afraid
The Bird and The Vulture
The bird was chirping
In a house on a tree
But the vulture was angry
Because it was free
When the bird is singing
The vulture ain't safe
More>>The Bird and The Vulture
The Smile of Freedom
He looked like
A body-builder
Tall, tough, and full
All muscles and no fat
His mind was simple
Suited to follow orders
No questions asked
Acting mean and mechanical
Like any bureaucrat
More>>The Smile ...
In the Name of Freedom
In the name of freedom
We shall rule the world
To spread democracy
And set you free
In the name of freedom
We’ll descend on you
To make you civilized
Modern and orderly
More>>In the Name ...
The Accused: Franz Kafka Meets George Orwell in 21st Century America
Act I: The Mother of all Evidence
Act II- Weapons of Mass Deception
Act III: Silencing of the Lambs
Act IV: Attacks of the Wolves
Act V: Occupied Territory
Act VI: Police State
Act VII: Official Obituary
Act VIII: A Close Encounter of the Scariest Kind
Act IX: The Inquisition
Act X- Conspiracy Theory
Act XI- Secret Trials
Act XII- Silent Pain and Teary Eyes
Act XIII- True Patriot Acts
Do Not Sign
Rights are not for sale
History is not kind
On those who sell their people out,
Betray their cause,
Surrender their land
To tow the line
Do not sign
More>>Do Not Sign
Rachel Corrie: Daughter of Palestine
The most gentle
Amongst all honorable
Had a spirit
As dazzling as
The garden of
More>>Daughter of Palestine
Ole Jerusalem
O Ole Jerusalem
I feel your pain
I hear your cries
The light thunder
In the darkness
And the heavy rain
I see the steady bleeding
Of your wound
With its mark and stain
More>>Ole Jerusalem
Patrick Henry
A revolutionary
At heart
A patriot
From the start
Loved by his country
To the core
Defended freedom
Even more
Hated arrogance
In shape and tone
Fought tyranny
With every bone
He was the conscience
Of his people
Striking fear in the enemy
And made it feeble
More>> Patrick Henry
An overwhelming feeling
Of bitterness
Of hatred and rage
Trapped in a cage
Disappointment and anger
Continuing to linger
Wounding of dignity
Violating your virginity
More>> Injustice
Political Riddles
He sees the world as black and white
His solution to every quandary is fight with might
The economy will not stimulate
Because he can’t articulate
While jobs are gone
He says, “bring ‘em on.”
Who is he?
He likes to be called the General
The head of an agency that’s federal
If you spit on the sidewalk
He’ll send the Incredible Hulk
He hates to cite truth or fact
Because he’s busy promoting his unpatriotic act
He frequents TV cameras with a smash
The first part of his last name sounds like trash
Who is he?
He is the ideal dutiful poodle they say
From an empire where the sun did not set one day
He adores his cowboy friend and considers him a fan
And insists: I’m nobody’s yes-man
When the cowboy says no, I say no
Who is he?
More>>Political Riddles