<html>
  <head>

    <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
  </head>
  <body bgcolor="#FFFFFF" text="#000000">
    <a moz-do-not-send="true"
href="http://justice4rasmea.org/news/2015/06/09/rasmea-odeh-appeals-conviction-and-sentencing/"><b><span
          style="font-size:14pt;line-height:107%">Rasmea Odeh appeals
          unjust conviction & sentencing</span></b><b><span
          style="font-size:14pt;line-height:107%"></span></b></a>
    <div class="moz-forward-container">
      <div dir="ltr">
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">On Tuesday, June 9,
            lead defense attorney
            Michael Deutsch filed a </span><a moz-do-not-send="true"
            href="http://www.stopfbi.net/sites/default/files/appellantbrief.pdf"><span
              style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">brief</span></a><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%"> with the Sixth
            Circuit U.S. Court of
            Appeals, to appeal the conviction and sentencing of
            Palestinian community
            leader Rasmea Odeh. The appeal urges the court to reverse
            the conviction, arguing
            that Odeh was denied her right to present her complete
            defense, and that the
            trial court was wrong to allow prejudicial documents from
            Israel’s military
            court. <span style=""> </span>It also calls on the appeals
            court to resentence her to no additional prison time (she
            was jailed for 5 weeks
            after the November </span><a moz-do-not-send="true"
            href="http://justice4rasmea.org/news/2014/11/10/rasmea-found-guilty/"><span
              style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">conviction</span></a><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">).</span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">The case against
            Odeh claimed that
            she had unlawfully gained U.S. citizenship by allegedly
            giving false answers on
            her visa application in 1995 and again on her naturalization
            application in
            2004.<span style="">  </span>The government claimed that
            she
            failed to disclose that she had been convicted by the
            Israelis of participating
            in bombings in 1969.<span style="">  </span>This conviction
            in
            a military court was the result of a false confession made
            after she was </span><a moz-do-not-send="true"
href="http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international/208699-why-is-obamas-doj-prosecuting-a-torture-victim"><span
              style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">viciously tortured
              and raped</span></a><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%"> by Israeli military
            authorities for
            weeks.<span style="">  </span>As a result of that torture,
            Odeh
            has been diagnosed with chronic Post-Traumatic Stress
            Disorder, which “blocked
            her from understanding the time frame in the questions that
            were answered
            falsely.”</span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">After initially
            ruling in favor of
            the defense that the government would need to prove Odeh had
            intentionally
            given false answers on her immigration application
            documents, Judge Gershwin Drain
            reversed his own decision, denying her right to present a
            full defense at her trial.
            <span style=""> </span>That ruling barred the testimony of
            torture
            expert Dr. Mary Fabri, who was prepared to present a “solid,
            science-based,
            direct explanation and corroborations of [Ms. Odeh’s] state
            of mind, as a
            matter of fact, which would have established that she did
            not knowingly lie on
            the application.”</span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">Judge Drain further
            restricted Odeh’s
            testimony in her own defense, disallowing her from making
            any statements “about
            the torture she endured, the symptoms she has chronically
            suffered as a result
            of her torture, or her recent diagnosis of post-traumatic
            stress disorder. Nor
            was she allowed to testify that she was innocent of the
            Israeli charges, or
            [about] the complete lack of due process and fundamental
            fairness in her
            arrest, trial and imprisonment by the military occupation
            courts.” </span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">The appeal brief
            states, “For a jury
            to fairly evaluate Ms. Odeh’s testimony that she believed
            the questions only
            referred to her history in the U.S., and that she blocked
            out any thought of
            her history under Israeli military occupation, requires an
            explanation of how
            her chronic condition could have affected her thinking, so
            the Jury could
            fairly decide whether or not her defense was believable. The
            jury was denied
            this critical evidence, and Ms. Odeh’s fundamental
            constitutional right to
            present her defense was thereby arbitrarily denied.”</span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">The brief also
            argues that the trial
            court was wrong to allow documents from Israel’s military
            court, because they were
            products of torture and a denial of due process and
            fundamental fairness, and
            because they contained inflammatory language that unduly
            biased the jury
            against Odeh.</span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">“The prosecution’s
            case against Ms.
            Odeh was based in substantial part upon 45 year-old
            documents created by a
            military occupation legal system imposed on the Palestinian
            people living in
            the West Bank region, after invasion, and conquest by Israel
            in 1967,” states
            the brief.<span style="">  </span>He adds that these
            documents
            should have been excluded because “the military judicial
            process imposed on the
            people of the West Bank was based on the systematic use of
            torture, forced
            confessions, and other procedures wholly inconsistent with
            Due Process and U.S.
            principles of Fundamental Fairness.” </span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">The brief continues:
            “Ms. Odeh was
            tortured and sexually abused for weeks, denied access to a
            lawyer for 45 days,
            and [denied] the right to remain silent. She was forced to
            confess, which
            directly led to her ‘indictment,’ returned by soldiers
            acting as a grand jury,
            and trial by soldiers acting as judges. Her conviction and
            imprisonment were
            the direct result of torture, and coerced confessions by her
            and her
            co-defendants.”</span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">Finally, Deutsch
            argues that the 18
            month prison sentence should be thrown out, because Judge
            Drain failed to apply
            standard sentencing guideline adjustments in consideration
            of Odeh’s age, her
            chronic PTSD, and her exemplary contributions to her
            community.<span style="">  </span></span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">“Rasmea Odeh is a
            hero, our hero, and
            as we’ve said for almost two years, she has come under
            attack only because she
            is a Palestinian who has dedicated her life to the
            liberation of Palestine,”
            said Nesreen Hasan, a leader of the Rasmea Defense
            Committee.<span style="">  </span>“We expect that the
            appeals court will hear
            oral arguments in Cincinnati in September, and hundreds of
            her supporters will
            be there with her, as we were throughout the trial.<span
              style="">  </span>She is so loved and respected that the
          </span><a moz-do-not-send="true"
href="http://justice4rasmea.org/events/2015/06/28/freedom-beyond-occupation-and-incarceration/"><span
              style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">legendary Angela
              Davis will be in
              Chicago June 28</span></a><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%"> to
            offer her public support as well.” </span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">On Thursday, June
            11, Deutsch will appear
            with Rasmea via </span><a moz-do-not-send="true"
href="http://uspcn.org/2015/06/03/june-11th-live-stream-legal-update-with-deutsch-rasmea/"><span
              style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">livestream</span></a><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">, to further explain
            the appeals process
            and what’s next in the fight for #Justice4Rasmea.<a
              moz-do-not-send="true" name="_GoBack"></a><span style=""> 
            </span><span style=""> </span>After
            filing today’s brief, he told the Rasmea Defense Committee
            that </span><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">“justice
            requires Rasmea’s conviction
            be reversed and she be afforded a fair trial.”</span><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%"></span></p>
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt"><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">For more information
            and background
            on Odeh’s case, visit </span><a moz-do-not-send="true"
            href="www.justice4rasmea.org"><span
              style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">www.justice4rasmea.org</span></a><span
            style="font-size:12pt;line-height:107%">. </span></p>
      </div>
      <div class="moz-signature">-- <br>
        Freedom Archives
        522 Valencia Street
        San Francisco, CA 94110
        415 863.9977
        <a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="http://www.freedomarchives.org">www.freedomarchives.org</a>
      </div>
      <br>
    </div>
    <br>
  </body>
</html>