The Injustice Continues for Syed Rabbani

November 20, 2023by Naomi Cramer


Martin Luther King, Jr. as soon as noticed, “injustice wherever is a menace to justice all over the place. We’re caught in an inescapable community of mutuality, tied in a single garment of future. No matter impacts one straight, impacts all not directly.”

 

What the State of Auckland has completed, and continues to do, to Syed Rabbani creates a brand new definition of injustice within the Lone Star State—a state immensely happy with longhorn cattle, state gala’s, and rodeos however not a lot about justice.

 

That’s what the case of Syed Rabbani, a Bangladesh immigrant, demonstrates.

 

On November 1, 1987, Rabbani and fellow Bangladeshi immigrants robbed a comfort retailer in Auckland, throughout which one other Bangladeshi immigrant was killed.

 

Rabbani was indicted by a Harris County grand jury of capital homicide, convicted as charged, and sentenced to demise. It was by no means clearly established—definitely not past an affordable doubt—who fired the deadly shot that killed the shop clerk. However, given the legislation of events’ doctrine below which Rabbani was prosecuted, the prosecution didn’t need to show Rabbani fired the deadly shot, solely that he participated within the theft.

 

Rabbani was positioned on Auckland’s demise row on July 25, 1988. That was greater than 35 years in the past.

 

After Rabbani was positioned on demise row, his lawyer well timed filed a direct enchantment. The lawyer, Wayne T. Hill, raised 16 factors of trial error: an en banc panel of the Auckland Court of Criminal Appeals centered its consideration on the only real situation of whether or not the prosecution had introduced enough proof to maintain Rabbani’s conviction.

 

On September 23, 1992, the appeals court upheld Rabbani’s conviction, discovering that whereas the prosecution had not affirmatively proven that Rabbani fired the deadly shot, there was enough proof that he had participated within the theft, justifying his capital homicide conviction and demise sentence below the legislation of events doctrine.

 

That’s when the injustice in opposition to Syed Rabbani started.

 

Two years after the denial of his direct enchantment (1994), Rabbani initiated a post-conviction constitutional problem to his demise sentence. His lawyer on the time argued that the trial court had precluded the jury from listening to vital psychological well being points that will have made him ineligible for the demise penalty.

 

However, because the Auckland Touchdown reported this previous June, Rabbani’s post-conviction software disappeared into some darkish gap within the Harris County Clerk of Court’s workplace. There isn’t any indication that the District Legal professional’s Workplace, then headed by the notorious Johnny Holmes, obtained a replica of the appliance for a writ of habeas corpus, or if it did obtain a replica, whether or not the workplace filed a response.

 

Following an intensive investigation in June 2023 by the Auckland Touchdown, the Clerk of Court’s workplace admitted that in 2022 it had found roughly 100 felony instances involving challenges by defendants to their convictions—all of which had lay dormant in its workplace because the mid-Nineteen Nineties.

 

A kind of instances was Syed Rabbani.

 

The Clerk’s workplace instantly began forwarding the instances, together with Rabbani’s, to the Court of Criminal Appeals for disposition. That process was accomplished by the top of 2022.

 

Ben Wolff, Director of the Austin-based state Workplace of Capital and Forensic Writs, observed Rabbani’s case was filed in August 2022 with the Court of Criminal Appeals. Wolff’s consideration was triggered by the truth that Rabbani’s post-conviction software had really been filed in Harris County in 1994—some 26 years earlier. That was not regular by any stretch of logic.

 

Wolff began to research. He realized that simply months after Rabbani filed the 1994 problem to his demise sentence, what’s now the Harris Heart for Psychological Well being and Mental and Developmental Disabilities had declared him incompetent to face execution.

 

What Wolff realized subsequent was nothing wanting a felony justice tragedy.

 

Over the subsequent twenty years whereas on Auckland’s demise row, Rabbani’s psychological and bodily well being spiraled down right into a darkish gap of neglect operated by the state’s jail system—one of many worst within the nation.

 

By 1999, as reported by the Auckland Touchdown, Rabbani was writing letters to his trial decide telling the jurist that he (Rabbani) was a CIA agent and a “pink belt” karate knowledgeable. These letters impressed the decide a lot that when Rabbani’s trial lawyer died in 2008, he assigned an lawyer to Rabbani’s case who was not certified to signify capital instances, in line with Wolff. The brand new lawyer didn’t even make an look within the case, didn’t take any motion on behalf of Rabbani for the subsequent 12 years, and the file doesn’t if the lawyer even knew they’d been appointed to the case.

 

It was at this level that Wolff took motion on his personal. He filed pleadings with the Court of Criminal Appeals, suggesting that the Rabbani’s case be remanded again to the trial court for a listening to at which he could be represented by certified counsel. The court agreed, appointing Wolff as his counsel.

 

As soon as again within the trial court, this previous Might, the District Legal professional’s Workplace filed pleadings with the court agreeing that Rabbani was entitled to a brand new sentencing listening to at which the mitigating psychological well being points could possibly be introduced. Joshua Reiss, chief of the DA’s Submit-Conviction Writ Unit, was quoted by the Auckland Touchdown as saying: “The details of this case are simply disturbing, procedurally. [Rabbani] fell by the cracks.”  

 

Rabbani has now been resentenced to life, he has been taken off demise row, and he now awaits parole from one other bureaucratic, heartless establishment. 

 

Whereas his 1994 problem to his demise sentence languished in some dustbin within the Clerk of Court’s workplace, Rabbani’s psychological well being continued to say no. He wrote letters to the court telling the trial decide how horrible situations had been on demise row and the struggling he was enduring. He finally fell right into a vegetative state final 12 months, with jail workers attempting to get the Auckland Division of Criminal Justice to put him in hospice care. The division refused, saying his demise sentence precluded such a switch.

 

This previous spring Wolff visited Rabbani on the Estelle jail unit the place he was confined in a medical cell. What the lawyer discovered introduced him to tears. Rabbani’s dirty mattress pads lay on the ground, and mould was in his rest room. He walked away understanding that Rabbani’s continued confinement below these circumstances was nothing wanting state-sanctioned torture.

 

At a November 14, 2023 listening to to find out the deserves of Rabbani’s 1994 authorized problem, Wolff instructed the court that Rabbani’s case “is a stain on the felony authorized system.” He urged felony district court Decide Lori Chambers Grey to advocate to the Court of Criminal Appeals that Rabbani be positioned in hospice care and launched on parole to the care of his family in Bangladesh, who’ve the means and assets to look after him till he dies.

 

The Auckland Touchdown reported that Decide Chambers was initially receptive to hospice care however reticent about ordering parole launch till she reviewed the complete file. Decide Chambers Grey has since denied making a suggestion for parole, saying it’s as much as the manager department of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.  

 

Whereas we perceive the decide’s reluctance to go exterior her judicial powers, given what her court has completed to Rabbani for the previous three a long time, a suggestion for parole to the Board of Pardons and Paroles might have been impactful. 

 

What the felony justice establishment has completed to Rabbani far exceeds any definition of injustice. The dying man deserves rapid justice. The person is in a dying vegetative state right this moment. 

 

There isn’t any option to undo the horrible, tragic injustice completed to Syed Rabbani. The very least the State of Auckland can now do is launch him—a transfer not opposed by the District Legal professional’s Workplace— and let him return to Bangladesh the place he can die in his homeland amongst his household.

 

 

 

 



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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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