Image 01 Image 03

Rasmea Odeh gets new trial in immigration fraud case

Rasmea Odeh gets new trial in immigration fraud case

Judge rules she can present expert testimony that she gave false answers on immigration forms as to prior conviction for terrorist murder due to PTSD.

In a development I predicted but hoped would not happen, convicted terrorist murderer Rasmea Odeh has been granted a new trial on immigration fraud charges alleging she knowingly lied on visa and naturalization applications by denying her conviction and imprisonment.

The new trial was granted because the trial court decided to allow an expert to testify that Rasmea suffered from PTSD at the time of the false answers, and that the PTSD caused Rasmea to “filter” questions as to whether she “EVER” (bold and CAPS in original) was convicted or imprisoned. Rasmea answered No to such questions, and now claims that her PTSD made her interpret the word EVER to mean since arriving in the U.S. in the 1990s.

The PTSD was the result of what allegedly was 25 days of sexual torture leading up to Rasmea’s confession to the bombing of a supermarket in Israel in 1969 that killed two Hebrew University students, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner. The evidence shows, contrary to Rasmea’s claim, that she confessed the day after arrest, not 25 days later, which is inconsistent with her torture claim. The prosecution says Rasmea is lying about the torture claim.

Both scientifically and factually, the claim is nonsense for reasons we have explored many times. As relates to the expert, the court never should have allowed such testimony for many reasons, including because the expert theory of “filtering” as used here never has been accepted or even attempted in the medical literature or any court, the testimony related to Rasmea’s current state not the time when she made the false statements.

See the following posts for more background both on the case and the expert issue:

Unfortunately, the Judge disagreed, and there will be a new trial starting January 10, 2017, at which the same evidence of false statements will be presented, but the experts from both sides will battle over the PTSD “filtering” theory.

Below is the decision (pdf.) granting the new trial. It really is weak, particularly in failing to distinguish between general PTSD and the very specific filtering claim here. The Judge basically held that generalized effects of PTSD are recognized, so it’s enough. He also said that other issues were for the jury to sort out.

What this “expert” testimony is really about is jury nullification, the hope that if the jury gets to hear Rasmea’s testimony about being tortured, the jury will ignore the clear evidence that she knowingly lied on her immigration forms. I guess we’ll get to find out in January if the jury nullification tactic works.

Rasmea’s supporters are planning to blitz the U.S. Attorney’s Office with phone calls asking it to drop the case.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 7, 2016–FOR A FULL DAY, from 9 AM to 5 PM EST–please call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade at 313-226-9100, and demand that she stop wasting taxpayer money, that she stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society, and that she Drop the Charges Against Rasmea Now!

In response to my inquiry referencing calls by Rasmea supporters to drop the case, Gina Balaya, Public Information Officer for the prosecuting US Attorney’s office, stated that the prosecution would go forward:

We plan to go forward with the trial to present our case. The new trial is to allow Ms. Odeh the opportunity to present an expert witness. It does not change our view or position on the case.


Rasmieh Odeh Case – Order 12-6-2016 Granting New Trial by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.



Ms. Odeh, despite her odious past may well be acquitted of these charges. The Government bears a heavy burden and the Sixth Circuit left the District Court with only a little wiggle room. I doubt the Court wanted to be reversed a second time.

The guilty will sometimes walk free to preserve the goal of protecting the innocent.

    Milhouse in reply to legalbeagle. | December 7, 2016 at 2:05 am

    On the contrary, the evidence against her is overwhelming. As Prof Jacobson says, the defence’s real hope is jury nullification. It didn’t work the first time, so they figured out a way to get a second try. But if the second jury does its job as the first one did, then it will convict too.

What is the point?

Court: We agree with you, PTSD led you to fill out the forms incorrectly. Now get back in the line, and fill out the forms correctly.

Rasmea (on form): Former terrorist

INS: Sorry, we can’t let you in.

I guess the only difference is does the go to jail before being kicked out of the country, or does she just get the boot? Because there’s no way she should be allowed to stay.

From the government’s appeal brief:

The flaw in Odeh’s argument is that as she posits it, the expert testimony would have contradicted, not supported her trial testimony. At trial, Odeh testified that she was fully aware of her criminal history, and that upon analyzing the form, concluded in good faith that it did not request information about events other than in the United States.

This admission by odeh would support the concept that she lacked the english skills to respond correctly.
Her testamony directly contradicts the PSTD claim

” . . . stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society . . .”.

Really. I would like to see an annotated list of that one.

I thought the new trial was granted because the judge did NOT — repeat — DID NOT — allow an expert to testify regarding her PTSD argument.

    Milhouse in reply to CloseTheFed. | December 7, 2016 at 2:03 am

    Correct. The new trial was granted because the judge has now decided, against all reason, that his earlier decision not to allow the so-called “expert” to testify was wrong.

This judge saw his out and took it.

Amazing; an unrepentant, murdering terrorist lies on an immigration application, concocts all manner of laughable and fallacious theories to support said mendacity when her deceit is exposed, and, is embraced by the Left as a virtuous figure, alleged victim and a person worthy of support. The Left’s level of moral bankruptcy sinks lower each and every day.

As Yakov Smirnov often said, “What a country!”

American Human | December 7, 2016 at 7:14 am

This seems to be so typical of the Law in this country. The plain English language of the law is interpreted by lawyers and judges to essentially mean the opposite of what the law actually says.
Only a Lawyer and a Judge can interpret the plain meaning of “No” to mean “Yes”!!!

    Nonsense. Nobody has suggested that “no” means “yes”, or that the law means anything but what it sounds like. There is no question that the answer Odeh provided was not true. The only question before the court is whether she intentionally lied. She claims, very implausibly, that she misunderstood the question; if that is so, then she is not guilty, and her naturalization is valid, thus making her deportation illegal. The first jury didn’t believe her, but the judge didn’t let it hear her so-called “expert”, who would have told them that her claim is believable. The second jury will hear that “expert” and hopefully it will see though her BS and dismiss her assessment, and thus return a new conviction that will withstand any appeal.

So let me get this straight: Odeh was never vetted…they did not even google her name?