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National Security Watch
By Michael Price
Getting Two Bites At the Apple
Misusing Immigration Law to Indefinitely Detain Acquitted Defendants
On April 3, 2009, Youssef Megahed stood on the steps of the federal courthouse in Tampa and smiled. He was a free man. After nine and a half months of detention, two weeks of trial, 36 government witnesses, 250 exhibits, and 21 hours of deliberations, 12 jurors found him not guilty on all counts.
But, just three days later, Megahed found himself back behind bars in the Glades County Jail, detained indefinitely and without bail pursuant to removal proceedings alleging the same conduct for which he had just been acquitted. Seven unmarked cars surrounded Megahed in the parking lot of a local Wal-Mart where he had been shopping with his father. Ignoring repeated pleas to speak with his lawyer, federal agents seized the 23-year-old permanent resident who, until the government decided to take a mulligan, had hopes of returning to his life as a student at the University of South Florida (USF) wh
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