[Marxism] Judge bending over backward to enable govt to murder Moussaoui

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Mar 17 19:25:53 MST 2006

The judge has effectively dropped her original point that the government
was violating all precedent by arguing that Moussaoui should be executed
for not telling officials about his Al Qaeda connections (the things you
can be executed for these days -- Schwarzenegger executed Tookie
Williams because he dedicated a book to Mumia Abu-Jamal!).  And now she
is allowing aviation officials to testify despite evidence that the
government was actively trying to manipulate the testimony of at least
some of them.  
Given that juries in death penalty cases are chosen partly for their
firm support to the death penalty, I think we can assume that any jury
that hears evidence of an admitted 9/11 conspirator, will vote to
execute him no matter what the state of the evidence that reaches him.
The only way to prevent that miscarriage of justice was to reject this
indefensible case from going to the jury, and the judge's nerve has
clearly failed.
Fred Feldman
March 17, 2006

Judge in Moussaoui Case Accepts Compromise on Testimony 

is/index.html?inline=nyt-per> NEIL A. LEWIS

WASHINGTON, March 17 - The government salvaged part of its death penalty
case against
oussaoui/index.html?inline=nyt-per> Zacarias Moussaoui today as a
federal judge partly reversed herself and said prosecutors could call
aviation officials as witnesses. But she barred those who had been
tainted by the improper coaching of a government lawyer.

rinkema/index.html?inline=nyt-per> Leonie M. Brinkema refused to
reconsider her earlier ruling that the government cannot use aviation
witnesses who had been subjected to the improper conduct of the lawyer,
Carla J. Martin. But Judge Brinkema said that an alternative proposed by
the government, namely that it be allowed to call witnesses unaffected
by Ms. Martin, "has merit."

Accordingly, the judge said, those witnesses can be called to testify as
to what the United States government "could" have done to prevent the
Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, had Mr. Moussaoui disclosed what he knew before
that date. But she said the witness could not testify about what the
government "would" have done, "as such testimony would be unduly
speculative and misleading to the jury."

Judge Brinkema said prosecutors must provide the names of such witnesses
to the defense at least three days before they are to appear. 

Today's ruling was far from everything the federal prosecutors had
sought, but had Judge Brinkema ruled against them entirely their case
might have been fatally harmed. 

Ms. Martin has been forced to take a leave from the Transportation
Security Administration, a department spokeswoman said Thursday.

The actions of Ms. Martin threw into turmoil the case against Mr.
Moussaoui, the only person charged in a United States courtroom with
responsibility for the deaths from the Sept. 11 attacks. She has not yet
offered an explanation for her behavior, disclosed over the last few
days, but her lawyer, in a statement Thursday, said, "Ms. Martin has now
been vilified by assertions from the prosecution and assorted media

Her lawyer, Roscoe C. Howard Jr., said Ms. Martin was preparing a

"When her opportunity comes," Mr. Howard said, "her response will show a
very different, full picture of her intentions, her conduct and her
tireless dedication to a full trial."

The disclosure Monday that Ms. Martin had sent trial transcripts and
e-mail messages to seven government aviation officials listed as
witnesses with suggestions as to how they should testify caused a furor.
Judge Brinkema called it the worst case of a lawyer tampering with
witnesses she had experienced on the bench. Judge Brinkema also said Ms.
Martin had not told the truth when she told prosecutors that some of the
government officials had refused to talk to Mr. Moussaoui's
court-appointed lawyers. 

The judge ruled Tuesday that the government would not be permitted to
call any of the witnesses who might have been tainted by Ms. Martin's

Even though Mr. Moussaoui was in jail at the time of the Sept. 11
attacks, prosecutors have argued that he bears responsibility for the
deaths that day because he lied to investigators who arrested him three
weeks earlier.

Judge Brinkema recessed the trial until Monday. In asking her to
reconsider her ruling, prosecutors argued that the sanction against the
government was excessive.

In a response Thursday, Mr. Moussaoui's lawyers reminded Judge Brinkema
that courts were obliged to be especially sensitive to problems that
might deny a fair trial to someone facing a death penalty.

Because Mr. Moussaoui has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in
connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, the sole question is whether he
will be executed or imprisoned for life.

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