Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey on September 26, 2003 · Page 13
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Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey · Page 13

Asbury Park, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Friday, September 26, 2003
Page 13
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FRIDAY, SEPT. 28, 2003 ASBURY PARK PRESS NATION PAGE A13 Him recsiife pose dilemroia for militey THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The suspicions run both ways. Muslims trying to prove their community is truly patriotic see their fellow believers accused of being spies. The U.S. military questions who it can trust with arrests of two Muslim military men who worked at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and a larger investigation brewing. Efforts to build bridges between Muslims in America and a government at war with terrorism cross rivers of doubts and miscommunication. "We always encourage people to be part of America, including the military, including intelligence. We see ourselves as Americans like everyone else," said Imad Hamad, who co-chairs a monthly meeting between Detroit-area Arab-Americans and law enforcement. But people in his hometown of Dearborn, Mich., where accused Senior Airman Ahmad I. al-Halabi went to high school, are skeptical of the espionage allegations, Hamad said yesterday. And other Americans seem quick to accept them, he said. The allegations pose dilemmas for the military, too, as it reaches within its ranks to those with knowledge of Middle Eastern and Muslim cultures for translation, policing overseas and more. "When you face a challenge like that, you turn to that community for help," said Michael Vickers, a former Army Green Beret and CIA officer who spent 13 years overseas. "The problem is you either could have occasionally divided loyalties, or, more usually, the other side targets those individuals." n f sr" Innocence Project's Jennifer Greenberg works In her Talla hassee Office. (ASSOCIATED PRESS) Prisoners in Fla. face deadline on DNA proof Next week ends chance for testing THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TAMPA, Fla. Time is run ning out for perhaps hundreds of Florida convicts to ask for DNA testing that might clear them. A two-year window opened by the state legislature for inmates to seek post-conviction DNA analysis is set to close on Wednesday. The Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal clinic researching hundreds of old rncac nn inmaac hol-ialf hoc 3 ullllulbg uviiuu, iiua I little hope of completing the task by the deadline. No other large state has a deadline this soon. Florida has the fourth-largest prison population in the country, with nearly 78,000 people behind bars. Working since April, the In nocence Project has pored over about 400 cases and identified about 80 in which DNA testing of biological evidence might be able to clear the prisoner, said Jennifer Greenberg, one of the Florida di rectors. But there are about 600 more cases that still need to be examined. In most situations, Greenberg said, the inmates are poor or do not read and write well enough to pursue the matter themselves. "There should be no statute of limitations on innocence," said Greenberg, who supports a push to extend the deadline by a year. The Florida Bar filed an emergency request last week asking the state Supreme Court for a one-year delay, but the court has yet to act. In Florida, DNA has cleared or freed three prisoners so far. Generally, the convicts asking the courts for genetic analysis were imprisoned before 1996, before the use of DNA technology became common in criminal cases. No death row inmates are on the backlog list. Unlike other prisoners, death row inmates have attorneys working on their cases from the time they are sentenced, so those who wanted testing have met the deadline. Thirty states have enacted laws addressing post-conviction DNA testing, and advocates are pushing for a federal law that sets uniform national guidelines for courts to follow when DNA testing is requested. Florida is one of seven states with deadlines set by their legislatures for asking a court for DNA testing in old cases, said Nina Morrison, executive director of the New York-based Innocence Project. Delaware, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon and Washington also have opened windows for seeking DNA testing that will close in the next year or two. Delaware and New Mexico had one-year deadlines that expired, but in both cases the state legislatures extended them, she said. Idaho had a one-year deadline that has expired. o i n f WW T E i - I i . I . fi .' ' ' -v - . ' I ) I- Get the latest camera phone SAVE $50 LGVX6000 $1 99.99 regular price less $50 mail-in rebate $149.99 taxes apply With new 2-year Customer Agreement. While supplies last. Shipping charges may apply. aWI I in I U I nfc deo I IUUAY! - 1.866.937.2899 WORRY FREE We're so confident you'll prefer our service to any other, if L.TlY AITCC" yu're not 100 satisfied during the first 15 days, simply (jUAHAIMTCE return your phone and pay only for the service you've used. Mim,'MMj1?!IMn 11 I . -.i I.. Visit us at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store, online at, or at any of our Authorized Retailers. 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