CAIR Calls for New Trial After Lodi Juror Disavows Verdict
Terror trial juror says ‘I never believed that Hamid Hayat was guilty’
(SACRAMENTO, CA, 4/28/06) – The Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) today said a Lodi Muslim recently convicted on terrorism-related charges should get a new trial after a member of his jury filed a sworn affidavit disavowing the guilty verdict. SEE: http://www.cair.com/pdf/Affidavit_Arcelia_Lopez.pdf
Hamid Hayat was convicted Tuesday of providing “material support” to terrorists and lying to the FBI. Yesterday, one of the jurors in the case filed an affidavit alleging that she was bullied into a guilty verdict by fellow jurors who exhibited a pattern of misconduct and racism.
In that affidavit, the juror states: “I never once throughout the deliberation process and the reading of the verdict believed Hamid Hayat to be guilty. . .I never believed that Hamid Hayat was guilty. My fellow jurors knew it and as a result of changing my vote a unanimous verdict was reached. I deeply regret my decision.”
The juror also alleges that other panelists had improper access to news sources containing information about the trial and that the jury foreman made racist statements such as: “If you put them in the same costume then they all look alike.”
Hayat’s attorney has filed a motion for a new trial based on jury misconduct. SEE: http://www.cair.com/pdf/Affidavit_Wazhma_Mojaddidi.pdf and http://www.cair.com/pdf/Defendants_Notice.pdf
“Basic principles of justice dictate that a conviction must be based on a unanimous verdict reached in an atmosphere free of coercion and bias,” said CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra. He called for a new trial in the case.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: Basim Elkarra, 916-441-6269, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787, 202-415-0799, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: email@example.com