The Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights
In part, the brief addresses whether anyone "can be convicted for violating a prohibition on 'knowingly' providing 'material support' to designated 'foreign terrorist organizations' without proof that he or she knowingly" did it.
Defendants, in fact, were convicted on multiple counts "on the ground that the district judge's jury instructions (on them) relied upon an erroneous and dangerously expansive interpretation of the material-support statute."
If upheld, legitimate charitable work henceforth will be jeopardized based on unsubstantiated charges.
In fact, five recipient West Bank charities receiving HLF funds "were not designated" foreign terrorist organizations, "yet the district court instructed the jury that it could render a verdict of guilty without any proof that defendants knew that those recipients were in any way connected to a designated foreign terrorist organization."
Even prosecutors didn't advance that argument. As a result, failing to reverse these wrongful convictions will have a "chilling effect on wholly legitimate charitable work," because none of them henceforth could be sure they'd be free from criminal investigation, prosecution, or conviction.
"Amici maintain that the judge's jury charge violates fundamental due process principles requiring fair notice of what conduct is prohibited, as well as proof of individual culpability. Moreover, the jury charge conflicts with (requiring) proof that defendants knew that they were supporting a designated organization."
Clearly, they were not!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Email address removed.
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