Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

CYBER-CRIME, ASSAULTS AND MURDERS PLUS ONE SHOULD ANGER YOU

This week, the Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog has seemingly discussed two very different criminal matters. One was the white collar crime of cyber-crime and the other involved the other side of the criminal coin, violent crime. Shootings. Assaults. Murders.

It would appear that the only thing the two blogs had in common were that they were depressing because those charged with combating these problems seem to be almost throwing up their hands in hopelessness. Some even try to put a “smiley face” on the subject in order to cheer folks up.

This is how we conduct criminal investigations, you see?

As you will see, this is the part that should concern you.

The blogs, and the news they reflected, may have depressed you.

They angered me.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Defense And The “Bad Part”

Do you remember, after September 11th, how everyone seemed shocked and angry when it came to light how weak security was at various airports?

I do.

We were thereafter told how the security was made much better. To prove the improvement, zillions (I am not sure if it was millions or billions, so I will compromise and use neither) of dollars were spent and new procedures were set up. There was no denying that these new procedures were in effect…everyone was complaining about how inconvenient they made air travel.

Would you be interested to know that, earlier on Saturday, New York’s John F. Kennedy airport was the scene of a breach in security which should boggle one’s mind?

You see, Daniel Castillo went out jet skiing with his friends and had a little problem. He ran out of gas and could not attract his friends’ attention for help. And so he jumped into the water and headed to the nearest lights.

Those lights, it turned out, were at the airport.

And so it was that Mr. Castillo, wearing a bright yellow life jacket, arrived ashore, climbed an eight foot airport security fence and then walked across two large runways toward the closest airport terminal, a distance judged to be about two miles.

Completely undetected.

“Well, Sam, if he was ‘completely undetected’, how do we know the story?”

You’re right. I was not completely accurate. He was detected. When he, walked right up to the Delta worker on the tarmac and asked for help.

Whoops! What are you doing here?

Naturally, immediate response from all those who were asked nasty questions about how this was possible turned to the politically expedient solutions. Point fingers. Pontificate. Yell allot.

First order of business was to arrest Mr. Castillo and blame him for saving his own life.

Nicholas Casale, former deputy director of security for counterterrorism for the New York metro transit agency announced that, as soon as Mr. Castillo crossed . the perimeter, there should have been a red alert: “Immediately there should have been an armed response. Heavy weapons, armored cars to the area that the perimeter was breached. The airport should have been locked down.”

New York Representative. Peter King, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, warned that the matter could come up in a congressional hearing. He further explained that “The bad part is a guy who didn’t know what he was doing was able to breach a $100-million security system.”

Is that really the “bad part”?

How about that we are lucky that Mr. Castillo was a basically innocent man who was simply trying to save his own life? How about that if Mr. Castillo could, without any plan, inside information or use of force could get as far as he did….which was only limited to his basically turning himself in?

How about what might have happened if it was not simply a wet and soggy guy wearing a “Hey! Notice me!” jacket, but instead was dressed in clothing designed to camouflage with a couple of guns, bombs and a plan?

Well, as I said when we began this series on Monday, I am not expert on national defense. Only criminal justice defense. To me, what is really the “bad part” in this story is what we have been talking about this week. It has to do with how we handle these problems and it has to do with how the response to the “bad part” is likely to impact you.

Tomorrow we will discuss both these factors.

And maybe you will become just a little angrier and less complacent.

For the original stories upon which this blog were based, please go to http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/08/14/158752675/stranded-jet-skier-breaches-multimillion-dollar-security-system-at-jfk-airport , http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2012/08/13/study_companies_remain_vulnerable_as_ever_to_hackers/ and http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/08/14/boston_police_seek_unique_white_suv_seen_fleeing_dorchester_quadruple_shooting/?page=full

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