The Mayfield Mishap

Remember when the FBI wrongly arrested Brandon Mayfield after claiming that his prints had been found on a bag of detonators related to the Madrid train bombing? (you can read the piece I wrote about it for Slate here)


Well DOJ has finally released it's report about the case. You can find the PDF here. As it turns out, even according to DOJ, the Patriot act is partly to blame for the fiasco. Both because it dismantled the walls between intelligence and criminal investigators and partly because of it's scarily low standards for the use of National Security Letters.

The result: in the chilling language of the report: "After Mayfield was arrested on the material witness warrant and the Court denied his request to be released to home detention, the USMS assigned Mayfield to be confined at the MCDC. From May 6 until May 12, he was housed in the administrative segregation unit where he was kept in his cell for up to 22 hours per day. "

The report goes on to note though "We found that Mayfield's conditions of confinement did not violate the material witness statute. We also did not find evidence that Mayfield was mistreated during his confinement. We found that he was housed under conditions that were consistent with the normal practices of the USMS and the MCDC for criminal defendants and material witnesses. "

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