Yes, there are all sorts of arcane legal arguments being made here (most of which I will openly admit to not understanding), but the gist of this story is that a judge tinkered with a jury in order to get the verdict the state wanted.
That was the outcome. Period.
Then you have this:
The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years.
The proposed changes would revise the federal government’s rules for police intelligence-gathering for the first time since 1993 and would apply to any of the nation’s 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive roughly $1.6 billion each year in federal grants.
Quietly unveiled late last month, the proposal is part of a flurry of domestic intelligence changes issued and planned by the Bush administration in its waning months. They include a recent executive order that guides the reorganization of federal spy agencies and a pending Justice Department overhaul of FBI procedures for gathering intelligence and investigating terrorism cases within U.S. borders.
Taken together, critics in Congress and elsewhere say, the moves are intended to lock in policies for Bush’s successor and to enshrine controversial post-Sept. 11 approaches that some say have fed the greatest expansion of executive authority since the Watergate era.
Welcome to the police state, bitches. And in case they do decide to go to trial, the judges will be happy to help the jury convict you.
All together now- “If you haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.” Our collective wars are killing this country.
*** Update ***