Skip to main content

View Diary: MARIELITOS: When the federal prison system exploded (19 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  There are actually big differences (0+ / 0-)

    in terms of law - because Gitmo is legally liminal, our laws such as habeus corpus don't apply. In Mariel, technically they applied. But I agree with the rest of your sentiments.

    Helping a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Reservation,Okiciyap.

    by betson08 on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 07:17:03 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Habeas corpus isn't 'our law'. It's common law, more or less throughout the first world. It came from Anglo-Saxon common law.

      There shouldn't be anywhere that it doesn't apply. The idea that we can arbitrarily decide that there's a spot that we control wherein not only the US constitution and all of US laws but international law and the common law that underlies everything simply doesn't apply, just because it is convenient for us to do so, is not just incredibly offensive but is frankly extremely unnerving.

      •  Habeas corpus did NOT apply in the Atlanta Pen. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That's what the riots were about.

        I graduated from law school in 1985; clerked for a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Atlanta 1985-87. My judge was not directly involved in the Marielito cases, but all of us in the federal courthouse kept up with them.

        I took at job at Atlanta Legal Aid August 1987, shortly after Atlanta Legal Aid lawyers had negotiated a settlement to end the riots.

        There's a legal doctrine that, when someone enters the country without legal authorization, they are not considered officially in the USA, thus the US Constitution--including habeas corpus, no cruel and unusual punishment, due process, etc.--does not apply to them. The Marielitos in the Atlanta Pen sued; their case was assigned to US District Judge Marvin Shoob (a great and decent human being).

        Judge Shoob kept trying to find a way around the doctrine that the Constitution did not apply to the Marielitos. The government kept appealing Judge Shoob's rulings to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The 11th Circuit kept reversing Judge Shoob, finding that the Constitution did not apply. Over and over until the riot happened.

        Gary Leshaw and Bill Thompson, Atlanta Legal Aid lawyers, had been representing the Marielitos and negotiated their right to have hearings every year or two to review their suitability for release. They were to be represented by volunteer lawyers, one of whom was a friend of mine. They got these hearing rights not because the Constitution required it, but solely to settle the riot.

        In other words, the riot succeeded.

        Bill Thompson took a job in private practice shortly before I started at Atlanta Legal Aid. As a brand-new Legal Aid lawyer, I was given his vacant office. I never lived up to that legacy, but I did have some impact in the 9 years I was privileged to work there.

        Judge Shoob, who turns 90 this year, is still on the bench, though he took senior status (meaning he hears only a limited number of cases) in 1991.

        I suspect some of the Marielitos are still imprisoned.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 04:22:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site