U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court Refuses to Toss Prison Guard’s Asylum Appeal
Posted Mar 3, 2009 11:06 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The U.S. Supreme Court has kept alive the asylum case of a former prison guard who says he was forced to persecute others.
The court ruled in the case of Daniel Girmai Negusie, who helped operate a prison camp in Eritrea during a war with Ethiopia, the Associated Press reports. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the 8-1 opinion (PDF), according to SCOTUSblog.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans had ruled against Negusie based on a federal law barring asylum for those who participate or assist in the persecution of others. The appeals court had ruled coercion is irrelevant.
Kennedy said the Board of Immigration Appeals had not yet ruled on the meaning of the statute and the case should be remanded for its interpretation of the law’s application to Negusie’s case.
Reuters also reported on the decision.