Category: Attorneys in the Media
Mr. Durkin’s article entitled “Permanent States of Exception: A Two-Tiered System of Criminal Justice Courtesy of the Double Government Wars on Crime, Drugs & Terror” has been published by in the Valparaiso University Law Review Journal’s Winter 2016 edition.
Mr. Durkin was a guest on the This Is Hell! Podcast.
“Attorney Thomas Durkin examines the effects of post-9/11 shift in the criminal justice system, in which fear of existential threats abroad grant intelligence agencies and the executive branch exceptional and growing powers above judicial oversight, and beyond democratic control.”
Mr. Durkin spoke at a 9/11 conference at Notre Dame University.
WNDU News covered the conference. They quote Mr. Durkin saying, “They should not be being held without being charged, pure and simple. I’ve represented three people there, two have gone home, one has recently been cleared for release,” Durkin said. “I’ve been there nine times. It’s, if people would go there it would end. It’s forlorn, it’s forbidding, it’s like a gulag, it’s like a Devil’s Island.”
Mr. Durkin is one of the winners of this year’s Stevens Award. The award is named after retired U.S. Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens and was created in 2000 by Stevens’ former law clerks, the CBA and CBF.
At the awards ceremony, Mr. Durkin and Joan Hall, a retired Jenner & Block partner — read aloud Stevens’ dissents from two cases — Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426 (2004), and Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000).
“In Rumsfeld v. Padilla, the high court was asked whether Jose Padilla, who was deemed an unlawful combatant by the Bush administration, had rights under habeas corpus.
Durkin, who has represented alleged terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay and around the country, read Stevens’ words on the importance of due process in a democratic society.”
Mr. Durkin is featured in the Chicago Reader’s People Issue.
In the interview, Mr. Durkin is quoted saying, “The war on drugs was a disaster for civil liberties in this country, and I think the war on terror has followed that template. War on anything in the criminal justice system is very dangerous, and it sends people into political postures that they shouldn’t otherwise be in. I’ve watched good judges emasculate the Fourth Amendment out of fear of looking soft. There’s virtually nothing left of the Fourth Amendment that I learned in law school.
We’re creating a two-tiered system of justice in the federal court. We have one whole level of jurisprudence for regular cases and a separate level for terrorism cases. The fear I have is that sooner or later everything’s going to become national security. I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination for the president someday to issue an executive order saying that the commodities futures market is integral to national security because it goes to the heart of our banking system, and next thing you know a commodities fraud case is going to be a national security case.
It became clear to me that, starting with the Guantanamo military commissions, the prosecutors don’t control the cases anymore. They’re controlled by the intelligence agencies, including the FBI, which has become an intelligence agency. I think it’s very dangerous to start merging intelligence into criminal prosecution.”
Mr. Durkin is quoted in a July 27 New York Times article entitled “F.B.I. Emphasizes Speed as ISIS Exhorts Individuals to Attack”.
The article discusses the speed of recent ISIS trials. Mr. Durkin is quoted saying, “Everything is: ‘Not on my watch. Do you want to be responsible for letting that kid go home? Not me.’”