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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Remember Jose Padilla? (Apparently, the Eleventh Circuit Doesn't...)

Bobby's post about the still-outstanding decisions of the Court of Military Commission Review in the Hamdan and al-Bahlul appeals reminded me of another important post-9/11 case that's still under submission -- the appeal by Jose Padilla and his co-defendants of their conviction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and the government's cross-appeal of Padilla's (relatively lenient) sentence.

The appeal was argued before a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit (Dubina, Barkett, Pryor) on January 13, 2010 -- that is, a year ago next Thursday.  (See here for a contemporaneous media report on the argument.) Given the passage of time, it seems virtually certain that someone is dissenting. But who, and on which issues? This could matter quite a lot, since Padilla's arguments also go to some of the key issues in the civilian prosecution of Ahmed Ghailani -- and any subsequent potential civilian prosecution of a former "enemy combatant." And although a one-year delay is hardly exceptional in the Courts of Appeals, it does seem odd that such an important, high-profile, criminal appeal would take so long...

Posted by Steve Vladeck on January 4, 2011 at 11:02 AM in Criminal Law, Current Affairs, Steve Vladeck | Permalink


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