Via The Orlando Sentinel
“Noor Salman is not guilty of helping her husband, Omar Mateen, carry out the mass shooting that claimed 49 lives at Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, a jury decided Friday. The 12-member jury delivered its verdict after deliberating for about 12 hours over three days.
Salman was also acquitted of obstruction of justice. Prosecutors accused her of lying to the FBI agents who investigated her husband’s mass murder, which he carried out in support of a foreign terror group, the Islamic State.
Had she been convicted, Salman, 31, would have faced up to life in prison. Prosecutors sought to prove Salman helped Mateen prepare for the attack, joining him as he scouted possible targets and bought guns and ammunition. They also said Salman concocted a cover story to tell Mateen’s mother after he left their Fort Pierce apartment to commit the attacks.”
Sources who followed the trail state that some of the prosecutorial evidence didn’t hold up under scrutiny. and that he police didn’t provide a convincing admission of guilt. It will also be interesting to hear from jurors how they weighed the information that Mateen’s father was an FBI informant.
Speculation is that the prosecution damaged itself badly by withholding that information.
Rest In Peace – Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado
The man charged in the brutal murder of gay Puerto Rican teen Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, pleaded guilty today and received an immediate sentence. 99 Years in prision. Mercado’s body was found decapitated, dismembered, and partially burned by the side of the road near the Puerto Rican town of Cayey last November.
“Juan José Martínez Matos, who had been scheduled to go on trial for Jorge Steven López Mercado’s death on Monday, May 17, confessed to the crime during a hearing in Caguas on Wednesday, May 12. Martínez told the court he understood the consequences of his actions, and Judge Miriam Camila Jusino immediately sentenced him to 99 years in prison. Primera Hora reported López’s parents, Myriam Mercado and Jorge López, hugged prosecutor Yaritza Carrasquillo after the hearing. Mercado told the newspaper, however, Martínez’s confession was bittersweet for her and her family. ‘We are able to find a bit of peace in this aspect, but it still not going to return Steven,’ she said. ‘But at least there is justice in Puerto Rico.’ Jorge López evoked his faith. ‘I want to send a message to Juan (Casper) and tell him there is hope in Christ,’ said López with tears in his eyes. ‘The lord has forgiveness for him, Irregardless of what has happened. God has a plan for him if he opens his heart to Christ. God will forgive him also”
Justice is served
In an explosive moment at todays Prop 8 Trial a document from the Church of Latter Day Saints to the Proposition 8 campaign was introduced that revealed that contained these instructions:
With respect to Prop. 8 campaign, key talking points will come from campaign, but cautious, strategic, not to take the lead so as to provide plausible deniability or respectable distance so as not to show that church is directly involved.
So in opther words the LDS Church intentionally worked to hide behind the scenes to disguise their involvement in the public realm. The LDS Church is well aware that the general public does not have the most favorable opinion of them. Attention on their involvement could have hurt their cause, namely passing Prop 8.”
Julia Rosen, blogging for the Courage Campaign reports that the attorneys battled over what documents could be revealed as evidence of the coordinated efforts between Prop 8 campaign and Catholic, LDS, and Evangelical churches. Which caused Judge Walker to make the following statement:
“Not to make light of this, but the reason people want to produce documents is that they are revealing.”
Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, has agreed to allow the trial to be recorded, pending the 9th Circuit’s final approval of taping the specific case but rejected a bid by media organizations to televise the proceedings themselves for live broadcast.
Walker rejected the arguments of Proposition 8’s defenders, who opposed any broadcast of the proceedings outside the San Francisco federal building. It was not clear from Walker’s remarks how long the delay would be for the video to be posted on the Internet. Walker also turned down an offer by In Session, formerly known as Court TV, to do professional recording and broadcasting. The judge said, “I think it’s important for the process to be completely under the court’s control.”
The Courage Campaign released a statement following this news:
“The Courage Campaign Institute today called the federal trial ruling allowing a publicly-accessible webcast of the Proposition 8 case ‘halfway to a fair hearing.’ … ‘This precedent-setting ruling is an important first step and it is halfway to a fair hearing,’ said Courage Campaign Institute Chair Rick Jacobs. ‘We now ask the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to take the next step toward transparent jurisprudence by allowing a press camera in the courtroom so all Americans can see and hear as a fundamental issue of civil rights is litigated,’ Jacobs said. ‘Overruling this halfway measure would be a travesty for openess and accountability.’ More than 82,000 Americans have already signed a Courage Campaign Institute/CREDO Action letter calling for a publicly accessible trial. Courage and CREDO will present these and newly gathered petitions to the court by the end of the judge’s comment period on Friday.”
You can sign the Courage Campaign’s petition here.