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Moussaoui Verdict Is In – He Is Found “Guilty”

You really have to wonder what was taking them so long.

From the DNC’s Associated Press:

Verdict reached in Moussaoui trial

ALEXANDRIA, United States (AFP) – The jury has reached a verdict in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial and will announce at 2000 GMT whether he is eligible for the death penalty for his role in the September 11, 2001 attacks, the court announced.

If it rules the 37-year-old Frenchman is eligible to be put to death, new hearings will be held to decide if he should be executed.

Moussaoui is the only person to be charged in a criminal court in the United States over the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Though he was detained before the hijacked airliner strikes, prosecutors say he lied about the planned attacks, contributing to the almost 3,000 dead.

The panel of nine men and three women retired to the jury room on Wednesday to decide Moussaou’s fate.

After a weekend off, they were back at work on Monday morning.

If the jury decides against a death penalty possibility, the only other possible sentence is life in jail without parole, though prosecutors have signaled they are holding out hope for a mistrial and another shot at seeking execution, if the jury is unable to come to a unanimous conclusion.

The defense argued during the three-and-a-half week trial that government mistakes were as much to do with the failure to stop the attacks as Moussaoui’s obstruction.

They also ridiculed their clients claims that he would have piloted a fifth plane, aimed at the White House on September 11, had he not been in jail.

Moussaoui was brought to the courthouse a few miles outside Washington DC in a police motorcade as usual Monday, and waited for a verdict in a cell in the basement.

Moussaoui pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to fly airliners into prominent US buildings but said he was part of a separate plot to September 11 — a position he reversed during his trial.

Jurors have only been spotted once since they withdrew for deliberations on Wednesday.

They briefly filed back into court to ask Judge Leonie Brinkema to clarify one of the three capital counts against Moussaoui: conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.

"Weapons of mass destruction, for the purposes of count four, are airplanes intended for use as missiles, bombs or similar devices," Brinkema told jurors.

Moussaoui also admitted capital charges of conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national borders and conspiracy to destroy aircraft.

For each count, the jury must say whether the prosecution has proved the threshold for the death penalty.

To do so, prosecutors must have shown that Moussaoui intentionally participated in an act, that is: lying to federal agents on August 16-17, 2001; believing those lies would kill someone; and that they caused the death of one person on September 11, 2001 as a direct result.

Opposing lawyers in the case sketched out sharply different pictures of Moussaoui, the only man tried in the United States in connection with the September 11 attacks, in final arguments on Wednesday.

"Zacarias Moussaoui came to this country to kill as many Americans as he could. In this trial you have heard from the defendant himself that is exactly what he did," prosecutor David Raskin said.

Defense counsel Edward MacMahon hit back: "Moussaoui was not involved in the 9/11 plot, no matter what he says."

I say give the man what he wants.


From the DNC’s Associated Press:

Moussaoui Found Eligible for Death Penalty

Associated Press Writer

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal jury found al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui eligible Monday to be executed, deciding that his lies to FBI agents led directly to at least one death in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The only person to face charges in this country in the nation’s worst terrorist assault, Moussaoui now faces a second phase of his sentencing trial.

The nine men and three women of the jury will hear testimony on whether the 37-year-old Frenchman, who was in jail at the time of the attack, deserves to be executed for his role.

The testimony will include families of 9/11 victims who will describe the human impact of the al-Qaida mission that flew four jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

Court-appointed defense lawyers, whom Moussaoui has tried to reject, will summon experts to suggest he is schizophrenic after an impoverished childhood during which he faced racism in France over his Moroccan ancestry.


Talk about out of control attorneys.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 3rd, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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