Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

There is a sealed indictment against him in EDVA which was accidentally released. He has been most certainly accused of breaking United States laws.

Edit: To indict someone, the government has to show the grand jury that there is sufficient evidence. It is very easy to indict someone (hence the phrase “A ham sandwich can be indicted by the grand jury”) but one has to acknowledge the fact that the federal government has very high win rate for the cases that do go to trial (93% in 2012)

Edit2: The above statistic is for the cases that go to trial and plea deals. Only 3% of the cases go to trial.

Grand Juries have a very high indict rate, especially federal ones, but there’s arguments about why that is.

One argument is obviously that grand juries are pushovers and indeed would literally indict a ham sandwich.

The other argument, hinted above, is that prosecutors only move to indict if they think they have a chance to win at trial. Since the evidentiary standards are much higher for conviction, that means they easily clear the requirements for the grand jury indictment the vast majority of the time.

It's not just that they're pushovers, it's a completely one-sided affair. They only hear from the prosecution (the defendant is not present, let alone granted legal representation) and the prosecution is allowed extensive leeway in attempting to gain the indictment including offering evidence that would not be allowed in trial, such as hearsay [1]. And whether a case can be won or not at trial is a secondary consideration for prosecutors. The vast majority of cases end up finishing in plea deals out of court. Above somebody mentioned 3%. The exact number will vary by state, but is invariably well below 10%.

So more important than whether a case can be won at trial is whether or not a defendant can be pressured into conceding. And in many things it's generally not hard. Imagine you think you have an 80% chance of acquittal at court, which would see you set free immediately. Yet losing at court would see you serve up to 10 years. And the prosecutor offers you 2 years + time served, which with early release means you'll be spending about a month in jail. Even though you are innocent and think there's an overwhelmingly good chance of being able to prove as such, you'd be a fool to do anything except accept the plea.

In some ways I wish plea bargains were not a thing. It'd massively reduce our arrest and imprisonment rate simply because we could not fulfill the constitutional requirement of a speedy trial with millions of people in the system for mostly irrelevant crimes, and it would also avoid this sort of 'loophole' of allowing prosecutors to score convictions even when the defendant felt he would have a good chance of defending himself at trial but is unable to do so due to risk:reward considerations.

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearsay_in_United_States_law#A...

If you want to reduce the rate of arrests in the United States, we need to change the culture around the fetishization of punishment. The belief that those in jail "deserve" everything they get, including inhumane treatment, drives all that is ill with our criminal justice system. Adjusting how plea bargains work might help and might not, but we need to start changing culture first.

Having been through the federal criminal system, I can vouch the sentence one can receive after loosing a trial can be ten times longer than one plea bargained for.

I also read in the DOJ report that they dismiss not so significant number of cases for the lack of overwhelming evidence or for the lack of criminal intent.

Yes, that is also true. One must always keep in mind the opportunity cost of prosecution, where losing a case means that you might have one a different one with the same resources.

> There is a sealed indictment against him in EDVA which was accidentally released.

No, there was an inadvertent mention in a filing made in another case which strongly suggests that there is an indictment in EDVA, which would have to be sealed because no unsealed indictment exists. The indictment itself was not released.

US has formally requested his extradition so its probably no longer sealed.

Even if it were unsealed (and when it is, that's going to be a separate news storm [0], so I'm relatively certain it wasn't at the moment of the request or arrest), that wouldn't change the historical fact that it was not released, only indirectly referenced.

[0] EDIT: And now it has been and it is.

So they pushed manning to get her arrested again and breach her immunity so that they could get to assange. Clever.

They asked her to talk to them in a way that would in no way incriminate her. She refused, so they locked her up for contempt of court.

If anyone else did the same, they'd get the same result for contempt of court. While I respect her peaceful protest, what did she expect?

I'm certain that she fully expected what happened, given that she could at any time change her mind and talk to them. I have a great deal of respect for her standing up for her principles, even though I'm not so sure about Assange at this point.

I'm entirely with you on both. She thinks the concept of Grand Juries if wrong and should be eliminated. In reality, it would toss the existing US legal system on its head. I don't fault her one bit for sticking to her guns, but actions have consequences. She's super smart and obviously knew she'd get jailed for contempt of court. However, that does sort of play into her "they treat me awful" narrative.

IMO, Julian deserves a lot harsher sentence than Manning, but what he's been indicted on thusfar, is pretty week with a max federal sentence of only 5 years. I fully expect the prosecution to use this to bargain with him for a plea (and info on Russian election tampering). Their dangle to him would be a whole slew of superceding indictments they'll almost certainly have him dead to rights on. Guccifer 2 has been proven by Mueller's indictments to be a GRU (Russian Military) intelligence operation. Stone, Julian, and Guccifer 2 were all pals. That's not a good place to be when you're in US custody.

> There is a sealed indictment against him in EDVA which was accidentally released.

Details here:


I'm not an expert, is this (93%) by conviction or plea deal? One would assume he doesn't plea guilty.

I just went thought the DOJ website. It included both trial and plea deals. So maybe not that impressive.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact