« on: December 06, 2007, 11:23:02 AM »
We got this e-mail today:
Students Oscar Flores, 3L, and Jalal Shehadeh, 2L, of the Carlos A. Costa Immigration and Human Rights Clinic recently argued before a three-judge panel of the federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the case of Pierre v. U.S. Attorney General. The photograph below pictures the clinical students with the family of their client outside the courthouse.The argument was the first time that College of Law students have been granted permission to argue before a federal court of appeals. The senior judge on the panel complimented the student oralists for their performance. The students shared argument time with Rebecca Sharpless, the clinic's supervising attorney. The court is expected to render a ruling in the coming weeks or months.
The case involved the deportation case of a Haitian man detained at Krome Service Processing Center who cannot take food or liquid through his mouth due to a damaged esophagus. He must be fed cans of Ensure through a feeding tube in his abdomen, which requires special care and must be replaced every month. The government is seeking to deport him to Haiti on account of a criminal conviction. If he is deported, he will be immediately imprisoned under the Haitian policy of imprisoning indefinitely all criminal deportees from the United States. The conditions of Haitian prison have been described as like a slave ship by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. There is no food or medical care and people are kept in foul, unhygienic cells with little or no sunlight. Due to overcrowding, people must sometimes sleep standing up. Diseases run rampant. If deported, the clinic's client would most certainly die of starvation or due to a complication with his feeding tube within a short period of time.
The clinic argued that the immigration judge and Board of Immigration Appeals had failed to consider his argument that placing him with his obvious medical condition in a Haitian jail knowing that he will die painfully would constitute torture within the meaning of the Convention Against Torture. If the case is granted, the case will be the second victory of the clinic in a case involving the Haitian prisons. Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a published decision in Jean Pierre v. U.S. Attorney General granting a remand to the agency.
Hope this is interesting to you and others.