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Should Noor Salman Have Been Held Behind Bars For A Year?


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Credit: Charles Treadwell

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Should Noor Salman have been held behind bars for a year? Salman is the widow of the Pulse gunman. One of her attorneys said the prosecution withheld evidence that could have affected her bail.

Listen to an interview with Salman’s attorney in the audio player above. 

During the trial we learned the FBI knew days after the Pulse shooting that phone records and GPS did not show Salman in the vicinity of Pulse with her husband Omar Mateen. The federal government also did not tell the defense that Mateen’s father was an FBI informant.

The defense said those were so-called “Brady violations.” Under the Brady rule, the prosecution must share this kind of evidence. The judge expressed concern when the evidence was revealed during trial because it could have affected his decision to revoke her bond.

Fritz Scheller is an attorney for Salman and said to get any remedy for pretrial detention, she would have to establish that the evidence prosecutors withheld should have been disclosed to the defense. And two– that it caused prejudice against her. But Scheller said the Supreme Court has significantly hindered a defendant’s right to seek civil remedies.

“There was a 2009 Supreme Court decision Van de Kamp that basically says that prosecutors have absolute immunity for Brady violations, so the very short answer is there really isn’t an avenue for redress for Ms. Salman,” said Scheller.

The Center For Prosecutor Integrity reports studies in the last 50 years show courts punished prosecutorial misconduct in less than two percent of cases. Salman was acquitted of all charges.


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