Victims denied justice in Florida

April 3, 2018

The acquittal of Noor Salman in Orlando, Florida, sparked such widespread public outrage that one anonymous juror felt compelled to try to explain it to the Orlando Sentinel. Salman is the widow of the ISIS sympathizer/gunman who murdered 49 people and wounded 58 more at the gay nightclub Pulse in 2016 before he was killed by police. She faced a potential life sentence for obstruction and aiding and abetting for trying to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Survivors are protesting that the “not guilty” verdict is a devastating denial of justice. Oddly enough, the jury foreman seems somewhat to agree.

The juror said that, in fact, the jury was convinced that Salman did know what her husband was planning to do - maybe not in detail, “but she knew.” He expressed sympathy to the victims and their families, but said the jury wasn’t tasked with determining whether she knew of an impending attack but whether she was guilty of obstruction and aiding and abetting. He said there were significant inconsistencies in the written summaries of her statements, and the FBI didn’t record its interviews with her, so there was no way to determine guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. He claimed that based on the letter of the law and detailed instructions given to the jury on how to apply the law, they had no option other than to vote not guilty.


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This is an extremely frustrating verdict, and my heart goes out to the victims and their families who feel they were denied justice on a technicality. Ben Franklin defended due process rights by arguing that “it’s better 100 guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer.” But that’s hard to swallow when the defendant seems obviously guilty and over 100 innocents suffered. Citizens will only accept such seemingly unjust acquittals if they are legitimate results of due process and lack of solid evidence, not legal authorities failing to do their jobs properly.

If anything good is to come out of this, let’s pray that the FBI has learned its lesson and starts recording important interrogations. In an age when every cell phone contains a voice recorder, it is beyond me why so many recent high-profile FBI investigations have hinged on suspects being allowed to walk away scot-free because nobody took out a recorder – or in some cases, even a pencil.

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Comments 1-30 of 30

  • LORI ANN REGO

    04/07/2018 10:00 AM

    GOV. HUCKABEE I'M GLAD THAT THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE AGREES WITH PRESIDENT TRUMPAND WILL HAVE THE NATIONAL GUARD AT THE BORDER. THIS WILL HELP A GREAT DEAL UNTIL THE WALL IS BUILT. I FEEL TERRIBLE THAT AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN IN THIS COUNTRY DON'T HAVE BETTER HEALTH CARE AND ARE NOT EDUCATED ON BIRTH CONTROL. THIS IS SO AWFUL THAT THOUSANDS OF THESE WOMEN ARE MURDERING THEIR CHILDREN WHEN SO MANY COUPLES WANT TO ADOPT A CHILD. YOU WOULD THINK AFTER ALL THESE YEARS THERE WOULD BE BETTER WAYS TO HANDLE THE SITUATION AND THE WOMEN WOULDN'T DIE. I FEEL FOR ALL THE VICTIMS & FAMILIES WHO WERE IN THE COURT ROOM WHEN THE NOT GUILTY VERDICT WAS ANNOUNCED. I'M SURE GOD HAS REASONS FOR THIS DECISION

  • Jane Canfield

    04/05/2018 10:40 AM

    It definitely is a shame that a jury is limited to the instructions the judge gives them...I was on a jury once where I felt the way this juror did and it was all because of the instructions we were given.

  • Charles M

    04/04/2018 11:49 AM

    The FBI is so obviously corrupt, it really needs to be disbanded. What do they really accomplish? Are we rubes supposed to believe TV shows like "Criminal Minds" where dedicated public servants work tirelessly 24/7/365 on behalf of their masters, the tax-paying citizens? Don't you love the part where they jet around in a government-owned Gulfstream at their beck and call ("wheels up in 20"), bags always packed for the next adventure of crime-solving? The sad reality seems to be the total opposite where the Awesome Agents sit in front of laptops playing video games, watching porn videos (seeking evidence of underage actors), and other justifications of their overpaid existence, while ignoring potential crimes. We are being cheated, people, so why pay for continuing the practice?

  • LORI ANN REGO

    04/04/2018 11:42 AM

    GOV. HUCKABEE I WOULD BE SO HAPPY IF LAST MAN STANDING IS BACK ON TV AGAIN. I HOPE FOX WILL DECIDE TO BROADCAST IT. I LOVE THE SHOW. I WATCH THE RERUNS. I HOPE THE ORIGINAL CAST WILL COME BACK ALSO

  • yolanda Cappas-Kidwell

    04/04/2018 11:01 AM

    I believe under the Obama administration there was alot of cover up by the FBI, CIA and other agencies. It is so sad how injustice once again is done because the evidence has been swept under the rug by the FBI. Can these agencies be trusted now?

  • Bruce Probert

    04/04/2018 04:02 AM

    We are being bombarded by stories where the FBI has failed to do their duty in a proper manner. We rarely hear of firings of those whose responsibilities were not met. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where there has been one miscarriage of justice after another and no punitive action taken. We hear "how can it be a conspiracy?" when so many republicans are involved, I for one don't think that Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe and Mueller are much of an example of republicans with friends like that you don't need enemies. We need a couple hundred arrest warrants that would make a start in the cleanup of the DOJ and FBI.

  • marvin w kruger

    04/04/2018 03:54 AM

    THIS IS SOOOOOOO SAD.

  • kay kunter

    04/03/2018 11:59 PM

    Regarding the Mueller investigation into Mr. Maniford I was listening to Hannity tonight and it came up that Mr. Rosenstein added the permission to investigate Mr. Maniford one week after the initial Fisa request. And apparently this is not legal from what I was hearing . And in addition it gave the investigators persmission to check out business dealings before he was involved with the Trump campaign. What can we the American people do to get this witch hunt to stop that we are paying for? It just seems to me that the justice system has gone off the rails. And Mr. Mueller is also investigating President Trump's business dealings before he was even interested in running for President from what I was hearing. This whole investigation needs to stop but then the liberal left will say it is underhanded and suspicious and cast more doubt on President Trump. Catch 22 ? What can be done?

  • COLLEEN RYAN

    04/03/2018 08:06 PM

    The fact that the FBI has dropped the ball on some very big cases, school shootings, nightclub shooting, mass murder in Vegas, makes me wonder what is going on. I believe the heads of the FBI need to be put under oath and asked who, what, when, where and why, the ball has been dropped on so many very important cases. Something is not adding up. Is the FBI in cahoots with the Left to create enough anger among the public to ban guns?? To not record interviews is also fishy. Why wasn't the wife put on the stand? None of this makes sense.
    Can you get any answers Gov. Huckabee?

  • Susan Lunsford

    04/03/2018 07:19 PM

    Is the FBI corrupt, inept, or just slouchy? I'm just appalled @ all their ineptness, lost count of their messes!!

  • Lynn Middlebrook

    04/03/2018 06:34 PM

    Will the FBI be held responsible for “not recording their interview” with her?
    What’s going on with all the incompetentcies of the FBI?

  • Jim Hetherington

    04/03/2018 05:21 PM

    Florida - FBI - Protocol - The Same One They Didn't Follow To Prevent The School Shooting. Oh Dear, Sorry, They Were Too Busy Following Collusion Protocols.

  • Deborah Lemons

    04/03/2018 05:15 PM

    I agree 100% with Suzanne Utts statement of earlier today.

  • Deborah Lemons

    04/03/2018 05:03 PM

    One of the complications of Jury trials and responsibility of Jurors. Probably not a jury of snowflakes, but a case of the Defense doing a better job than the Prosecution. If the Prosecution does not give you sufficient or solid facts, you have nothing to work with and Yes, I believe you have to follow Judge's instruction or you could be charged with something; You do take an oath to be impartial and follow the Law, based on evidence presented. Also one of the complications of terms like "Beyond a shadow of a doubt" and "Premeditated". Hard to get 12 people with same understanding and interpretation. Also, in this case, what they charges or crime can be considered and judged. Best to ask Judge for an interpretation if you are having a problem. Sounds like FBI flubbed the evidence needed to be presented and considered, so Jury's hands were tied. If you have never been on a Criminal (esp. Federal) trial, do not prejudge or condemn the Jurors, esp. for what they did not know or have to work with. Had this experience once many years ago and it is a difficult job, depending on how well the FBI and the Prosecutor do their jobs.

  • Joe Wilkerson

    04/03/2018 04:36 PM

    I took criminology classes literally many, many decades ago. Even then from many types of professors the common theme from all of them was that for any legal system to be effective, that system must be both swift and certain. Ours is neither. Our system has been so corrupted for so long that I now believe that Shakespeare was correct when he wrote (to paraphrase) "the first thing we do is kill all the lawyers."

  • Phil Shea

    04/03/2018 04:08 PM

    The reputation of the FBI is beyond tarnished!

  • Barry A Mulder

    04/03/2018 04:03 PM

    FBI screed up again, these FBI agents need to be all fired and people need to be in place who not only care about justice but the American people period. the charges on them should be accessory to murder

  • Joe Wilkerson

    04/03/2018 03:44 PM

    Wow Gov. Mike. This is a full packed edition. It is hard to believe that the FBI flubbed up again. I still have faith in the rank and file, but the rest is up for grabs.

    I don't know what to think about Mueller. Some of those he has chosen for his team I do not like, like the guy who handled the Enron thing. If there ever was a scandal, this was one at the top 10 level. You would have thought Mueller would have made enough money off this thing by now.

    Don't get me started on social media and their leftist ways. No one is pushing their agenda harder than satan and according to Gods word, they will get their way soon enough.

  • Laurie Giesler

    04/03/2018 03:41 PM

    Everyone needs a Citizens Rule Book, especially before serving on a jury! Just because a judge gives instructions to a jury, doesnt mean they have to OBEY! “The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.” (SCOTUS Judge, Samuel Chase, 1796. “The pages of history shine on instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge ....” U.S. vs. Dougherty. The jury should have done the right thing if they believed the defendant knew what was going to happen and didn’t report it.

  • Joe Wilkerson

    04/03/2018 03:32 PM

    and the fbi supposedly didn't tape their conversations with her??? since when don't they do that automatically?? or is this the new fbi-- ive lost faith in the fbi

  • George Blood.

    04/03/2018 02:43 PM

    The FBI agents who failed to do their job should be immediately fired. You can guarantee that afterwards every FBI agent will have their smart phones recording every meeting even if it is at the coffee shop

  • Dan Peverill

    04/03/2018 02:40 PM

    Isn't proving she knew what he was about to do make her guilty of obstruction and aiding and abetting...?? And the FBI not doing their job doesn't surprise me in the least bit.... Drain the swamp!!!

  • Carol Washington

    04/03/2018 02:19 PM

    It’s so frustrating how corrupt the govt agencies are. Not recording the interrogation is a disgrace. Just like the FBI not recording HRC and having her under oath. When will changes come? Accountability?

  • Suzanne Utts

    04/03/2018 02:01 PM

    I have been called for Jury Duty three times and twice was chosen to be a juror. This jury member is telling it like it is. A jury cannot go beyond what a judge charges them to do. I feel for the victims. This must make them feel victimized again and it reopens very painful wounds.

    The FBI needs a complete overhaul and the new director needs to get rid of agents who have not done their jobs properly. This is sloppiness at best and treason at worst. Until the new FBI director cleans house, the American people won't trust the FBI. The good agents in the FBI need to step up and point out where things have gone wrong too.

  • Peggy Watts

    04/03/2018 01:40 PM

    Imagine that. The FBI did not record their interviews with this woman. I'm suspicious, to say the least. I am not into all the conspiracy theories, every time there is a shooting, yet there are a lot of strange things with this shooting. I also understand these jurors trying to go by the letter of the law and follow their instructions, but, to me, it looks like this is the verdict the FBI was wanting. Similar to the computer Tech working in Congress for Democrats. He and his family should also be in prison, but they aren't.

  • Nancy JonesPelosi

    04/03/2018 01:35 PM

    This is further proof that the "justice" system is broken
    This is why Trump was elected

  • GENE PANASENKO

    04/03/2018 01:28 PM

    Excellent commentary, Governor Huckabee!
    Always enjoy watching and reading your thoughts!
    God bless!
    Gene Panasenko

  • Marc Olson

    04/03/2018 01:19 PM

    It seems to me that one of Americas greatest failings (other than Congress) is the administration of the FBI! They just can't seem to get anything right. Trump needs to bring in David Clarke the former Wisconsin Sheriff to straighten out the FBI!

  • Kathy Dix

    04/03/2018 01:03 PM

    OK...so if it was determined " she knew" , even though she wasn't a participate.....shouldn't she be deported ? Or something ?
    We are setting a standard for ISIS sympathizers that it's ok to "know" what their peers are doing but not say anything.

  • Evie Goff

    04/03/2018 12:55 PM

    Shame on the FBI!! They should have done a better job. Do you think anyone was reprimanded over not doing their job correctly? I hope it's not one of their loved ones that is killed by the next crazy person.