Gitmo Prisoner Lawyer’s Appearance Rescheduled

Cassidy Tire had this sign up the week that Sgt. Jason McLeod was honored in Crystal Lake.

Donations to the widow and her children may still be made by calling Marie Davis at 815-477-5050.

The McHenry County College Student Peace Group, or course, had no way of knowing its timing would be bad.

They canceled NIU Professor Marc Falkoff’s talk about his book

“Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak”

Now its on for the Thursday after next Tuesday’s election.

The group’s press release follows:


[Jan. 26, 2010.Crystal Lake, IL] The McHenry County College Student Peace Action Network (SPAN) has rescheduled a controversial event focusing on a book of poetry by Guantanamo Bay detainees. for Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in the college’s conference center.

The keynote speaker, Marc Falkoff, a Northern Illinois University criminal law professor who represented 16 detainees, plans to speak about a book that he edited titled “Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak.”  The moderator will be Todd Culp, Ph.D., political science instructor at MCC.

Falkoff initially was scheduled to speak at the college in December, but the event was canceled because of security concerns. SPAN had planned the December speaking engagement well in advance, but publicity about the event stirred up controversy as it coincided with funeral visitation for Sgt. Jason A. McLeod, a 22-year-old from Crystal Lake who died in a mortar attack in Afghanistan.

Northern Illinois University criminal law Professor Marc Falkoff

He will discuss the torture the prisoners suffered, the false information elicited, the disarray of evidentiary files, and the telling resignations of  key military prosecutors.  According to Dr. Falkoff, a very real problem exists,

“politics rather than principle reigns at Guantánamo.  As concerned American citizens, we can learn what action we can take to demand accountability and redress of grievances.”

Following the program, he will be available to sign books.

The event is part of SPAN’s Current American Issues Information Seminar Series. SPAN is made up of students promoting peace nationally and locally through action and education. The event is co-sponsored by Pax Christi and the McHenry County Peace Coalition. The event is free and open to the public.

The college is located at 8900 U.S. Hwy. 14, Crystal Lake.  For more information, contact the MCC Student Activities Office at (815) 455-8772.

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Here’s background from NIU on the professor:

Background: Falkoff comes to NIU after three years as an attorney with Covington & Burling in New York. The firm, which is considered the top pro bono law firm in the nation, once named Falkoff the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year during his time there. He earned his juris doctorate from Columbia and also holds a Ph.D. in literature from Brandeis. While this is his first full-time faculty appointment, he taught for several years as an adjunct member of the faculty at the Brooklyn Law School. He is currently working on behalf of 17 Yemeni men who are being held without charges by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay.

Why NIU? “NIU has a very high commitment to public interest law, and that is extremely important to me.”

Goals: “I want to give my students a solid grounding in legal theory, but also instill in them an appreciation for the amount of social good they can do in the world as a lawyer. Personally, I want to not only do excellent scholarly work, but also maintain my real-world focus. It is very important for me to do both, and that is actually something that is encouraged here.”


Gitmo Prisoner Lawyer’s Appearance Rescheduled — 1 Comment

  1. Mr. Falkoff is the sort of human being we as a species need more of : an attorney grounded in the humanities. Without his moral, humanistic approach to Law, we will revert to savages. I speak as a writer & a Viet Nam veteran. Mr. Falkoff is a leader of the greatest magnitude in the Ken of human relations.

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