MAY 01, 2012
The federal judge who presided over the trial of a Homeland Security director convicted of helping an illegal immigrant avoid deportation disagrees with the verdict and has ordered a new trial, saying it was “overkill” for the government to prosecute the official in the first place.
This sort of blatant judicial activism may seem unbelievable but this is a true story, straight out of the United States District Court in Massachusetts. A Reagan-appointed judge, Douglas P. Woodlock, didn’t like the outcome of a trial and has issued an order for a new one. His official reason is that he erred in his jury instructions and therefore a new trial is warranted, one in which appropriate jury instructions will be delivered.
But in his 50-page order Judge Woodlock injects some very revealing information that clearly outlines his opinion of the case. For instance he writes: “I view the pursuit of this case to have been overkill through the improvident invocation of federal criminal felony process when alternative administrative sanctions more closely tailored to the significance of the misconduct are available and adequate. And I am puzzled by the dogged consistency which causes this prosecution to continue.”
The case involves a high-ranking Homeland Security director (Lorraine Henderson) in the New England area convicted in 2010 of helping her illegal alien housekeeper flout the federal immigration laws Uncle Sam paid her to enforce. A Boston jury deliberated for 4 ½ hours before finding Henderson guilty after a six-day trial in which she took the stand. Federal prosecutors say that for years Henderson paid illegal immigrants cash to clean her house and she coached them on how to avoid deportation.
Henderson ignored repeated warnings over the years from a fellow federal officer that her domestic employees were in the country illegally, according to a federal affidavit. She was also recorded warning an illegal alien employee about deportation and telling the worker “if you leave they won’t let you back.” This is serious stuff, considering that Henderson wielded tremendous power and was authorized to grant or deny waivers to illegal immigrants seeking U.S. entry. She was also responsible for identifying and intercepting terrorists or terrorist threats at area seaports and airports.
Incredibly, Judge Woodlock seems to defend the disgraced Homeland Security director in his retrial order: “The cleaning lady’s employment was not itself illegal under regulations promulgated by the attorney general of the United States,” he wrote. “ And the empathetic advice that the defendant gave her cleaning lady about immigration law practices – induced from the defendant as part of the script contrived for an elaborate undercover investigation involving surreptitious electronic recordings into her relationship with the cleaning lady – did not advise the cleaning lady to engage in fraud or commit some other crime.”
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