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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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Jim Vesely
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Jim Vesely
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Lee Moriwaki
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Bruce Ramsey
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Kate Riley
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Lynne Varner
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Ryan Blethen
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November 22, 2005

Finally, Padilla on Trial

So Jose Padilla is finally indicted for a federal crime after spending three years in prison without charge. As our story makes clear, the indictment is timed to ward off the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Padilla's case. There was a strong possibility that the Court would rule that the federal government could not hold Padilla, an American citizen, in this way. Now the case becomes moot, presumably, so that the court won't rule on it.

The imprisonment of Padilla has been a flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution, which says (Fifth Amendment): "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger..." Padilla was not serving in our land or naval forces, nor was he caught serving in enemy forces. He was arrested at O'Hare International Airport, in Chicago, and accused of being in enemy forces.

It is good that they are finally trying him. It would have been better had the Supreme Court ordered it done.

Respond to Bruce.

 
Posted by Bruce Ramsey at November 22, 2005 01:30 PM



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