NYC
2019
Event Type: 
Panel
Room: 
H215
Timeslot: 
Session A: Friday June 28th, 5:00pm - 7:00 pm
Event Organizer: 
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Liberty today is threatened by governmental overreach in the name of national security. There is no codified defense against entrapment, no check on the arbitrary expansion of security laws to include constitutionally protected activities, and no prohibition against showing secret evidence to judges (but not the defense) in criminal trials. The government uses these legal loopholes to incarcerate political enemies rather than criminals. Tarik Shah, a famous jazz bass player, will speak about his own case, as a victim of government overreach who, for reasons unknown, was targeted by the FBI in a phony entrapment case and served 15 years in prison. Attorney Steve Downs will discuss these national security cases which primarily target Muslims, and will present on the Entrapment and Government Overreach (EGO) Relief Act, a proposed piece of legislation he co-wrote to restore justice and remedy these constitutional abuses.

Participants

Tarik Shah, affectionately known by many Jazz greats as the Groove Master, is an eminent leader among the top 1% of jazz bassist on the scene today. For unknown reasons, the FBI targeted him in a manufactured entrapment case that stretched out over years until the informants goaded him into...

Read more

Stephen Downs, Esq. graduated from Amherst College (1964) and Cornell Law School (1969) after serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in India (1964–66). He was chief attorney of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct from 1974–2003, part of the defense team in U.S. v. Yassin Aref (2006–2007...

Read more

Mel Underbakke is a co-founder and the Executive Director of the Coalition for Civil Freedoms. She holds a doctorate degree in Interdisciplinary Education, and is an educator and researcher, formerly at the University of South Florida. She also founded Friends of Human Rights shortly after the...

Read more