Jewish Right To Israel

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

The US Can Extradite Freed Palestinian Terrorists Who Murdered Americans

While it is true that the Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israelis have been freed in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit, some of those murdered by the terrorists were American citizens--and the US can prosecute Palestinian terrorists who murdered Americans:
Since the Antiterrorism Act of 1990, it has been a capital crime under American law, punishable by “death or imprisonment for any term of years or for life, or both,” to “kill a national of the United States, while such national is outside the United States.” A conspirator in such a crime can get up to 20 years imprisonment. No statute of limitations precludes prosecution of old offenses.


Another law, passed in 1994, made it a federal crime to use an explosive bomb “against a national of the United States while such national is outside of the United States.” In 2002 Congress authorized prosecution in American federal courts of anyone who, with criminal intent, injured “a national of the United States” outside the United States by detonating “an explosive or other legal device in, into or against a place of public use” or “a public transportation system.”
It gets better--the US has an extradition treaty with Jordan, where some of the Palestinian terrorists have been sent:
The Department of Justice should now indict, extradite, and put to trial in United States courts, under American law, these killers of American citizens. Jordan has an extradition treaty with the United States that covers all offenses “punishable under the laws in both Contracting States by deprivation of liberty for a period of more than one year or by a more severe penalty.” A conspiracy to commit such an offense is also covered by Article 2(2) of the treaty.

...Prosecutions have been brought in American federal courts against individuals responsible for bombings that killed Americans in the Philippines, Colombia, Kenya, and Tanzania. Many of the individuals accused of these crimes were brought here for trial following their extradition, on the request of the United States, from foreign countries.
The only difference in the case of Israel is that US prosecutors in the past have relied on the Israeli legal process to arrest and punish Palestinian terrorists, as in the case of Hamas terrorists behind the bombings in Jerusalem and Haifa in 2001 and 2003, and therefore did not pursue extradition.

Now that Palestinian terrorists have been released, there is no reason the US should not pursue them just as they have any other murderers of Americans.

The author of the article, Nathan Lewin, is a Washington lawyer who was a federal prosecutor and served as deputy assistant attorney general in the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He points out that double jeopardy is not an impediment:
That provision obviously does not prevent extradition of a fugitive who flees a country where he has been convicted in order to avoid imprisonment. It also should not prevent extradition if, by some other unlawful means such as Hamas’ extortionate demand, the criminal process is aborted.
All that remains is for Attorney General Eric Holder of United States Department of Justice to pursue justice.

And that might be the biggest impediment of all.

Hat tip: My Right Word

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