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Moussaoui Wants a Do Over

Now that Zacarias Moussaoui has learned how soft and stupid some American juries can be, he wants to withdraw his guilty plea and try again.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Convicted Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui says he lied on the witness stand about being involved in the plot and wants to withdraw his guilty plea because he now believes he can get a fair trial.


In a motion filed Friday but released Monday, Moussaoui said he testified March 27 he was supposed to hijack a fifth plane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House "even though I knew that was a complete fabrication."

A federal court jury spared the 37-year-old Frenchman the death penalty last Wednesday. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema gave him six life sentences, to run as two consecutive life terms, in the federal supermax prison at Florence, Colo.

At sentencing, she told Moussaoui: "You do not have a right to appeal your convictions, as was explained to you when you plead guilty" in April 2005. "You waived that right."

She said he could appeal his sentence but added, "I believe it would be an act of futility."

Moussaoui's court-appointed lawyers told the court they filed the motion even though a federal rule "prohibits a defendant from withdrawing a guilty plea after imposition of sentence." They did so anyway because of their "problematic relationship with Moussaoui" and the fact that new lawyers have yet to be appointed to replace them.

Unfortunately, he'll have his entire life to play games like this with the American judicial system.


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Comments (21)

Unfortunately, he'll hav... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Unfortunately, he'll have his entire life to play games like this with the American judicial system.

How so? He pled guilty, he cannot appeal that plea, no judge would allow it. He can appeal his sentence, but that won't get him very far because of, again, the guilty plea. His games are pretty much over, now a long stay in a small box is all that awaits him.

Typical. "Now that Zacar... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Typical. "Now that Zacarias Moussaoui has learned how soft and stupid some American juries can be..."

Stupid is as stupid does, Kim, and that is a pretty stupid remark.

"Unfortunately, he'll have ... (Below threshold)
Thad:

"Unfortunately, he'll have his entire life to play games like this with the American judicial system."

Erm, seeing as the judge IMMEDIATELY DISMISSED HIS REQUEST, I think your "Oh noes he will waste our tax dollars on frivolous lawsuits!" suggestion is a bit of an overreaction.

So sorry you weren't on the jury to make a martyr of a paranoid schizophrenic for being a bit player in a tragedy whose real masterminds are either dead or still at large, but I think the rest of America can consider this justice served.

And his crime was prior (an... (Below threshold)
Jim:

And his crime was prior (and vague) knowledge of the 911 attacks?

Seems like there are some folks in the US government that could be convicted of this same crime....

The US government can't even nail its only appointed 911 poster child w/o looking like idiots....

"Seems like there are s... (Below threshold)
Marc:

"Seems like there are some folks in the US government that could be convicted of this same crime...."Care to list them, with documented evidence?

He has already wasted a ton... (Below threshold)
virgo:

He has already wasted a ton of money on his sham trial room circus act. now we will waste a ton more on keeping this piece of ---- alive.

Kim you were right about how stupid some juries/jurists can be! Lee is proof of that.

Jim
I agree, Sandy Burglar and Jamie Gorelick are two just for starters.

He pled guilty, he... (Below threshold)
He pled guilty, he cannot appeal that plea, no judge would allow it.

You ... haven't been watching the U.S. judicial system very closely or very long, have you?

If he gets a mulligan on th... (Below threshold)

If he gets a mulligan on the trial - do we we get a do-over on the penalty phase?

You ... haven't been wat... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You ... haven't been watching the U.S. judicial system very closely or very long, have you?

Sure have, but I was talking about this particular case not the judicial system as a whole. If you can think of any possible reason Moussaoui could give for an appeal that would be accepted, do tell.

In his plea agreement, Moussaoui waived any right to appeal. These waivers are long established and in fact the Third Circuit Court recently upheld such a waiver in US v. Wilson. As long as he cannot present evidence that he unknowingly waived his right to appeal (which is pretty near impossible in this case), he cannot appeal.

Pretty near impossible? is ... (Below threshold)
virgo:

Pretty near impossible? is not near enough for the likes of Ramsey Clark..

For those of you who think ... (Below threshold)
The Real Steve:

For those of you who think it is better that he was not executed because that would make him a martyr among his friends and allies. Well consider what his friends and allies must think now. It's okay to kill Americans because they won't execute you they will put you away and give you 3 (religiously correct) meals per day, free health care (better than most of them have ever seen, a free education and various other perks. All you have to do is stay alive, get tried in their courts

The proper response to this... (Below threshold)
jaymaster:

The proper response to this request is:

YOU LOST MOUSSAOUI!

This request might not go f... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

This request might not go far, but it is the first of many. The well is far from dry.

If you can think o... (Below threshold)
If you can think of any possible reason Moussaoui could give for an appeal that would be accepted, do tell.

That's the point, Mantis. If he can find the "right" judge to hear his appeal, there doesn't HAVE to be a reason.

mantiswhat's to ke... (Below threshold)

mantis

what's to keep Moosie from getting new lawyers and appealing based on the fact his prior lawyers were incompetent, that he didn't receive adequate legal counsel AND thus his waiver of rights wasn't made competently?

hmmm?

and for the nitwit 9/11 conspiracist above...

PUT DOWN THE GLUE, didn't your momma tell you what huffing does to your brain?

That's the point, Mantis... (Below threshold)
mantis:

That's the point, Mantis. If he can find the "right" judge to hear his appeal, there doesn't HAVE to be a reason.

Ok, so which combination of three judges on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals do you think would toss out the waiver of appeal?

what's to keep Moosie from getting new lawyers and appealing based on the fact his prior lawyers were incompetent, that he didn't receive adequate legal counsel AND thus his waiver of rights wasn't made competently?

Probably the fact that he wouldn't take any of his lawyers' advice in the first place. Hard to claim your lawyers didn't represent you right when you ignored them. Besides the judge made clear to him what he was agreeing to with his plea.

An interesting side note here is what he said in the motion:

As a result, Mr. Moussaoui said he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea "because I now see that I can receive a fair trial even with Americans as jurors and that I can have the opportunity to prove that I did not have any knowledge of and was not a member of the plot to hijack planes and crash them into buildings on Sept. 11."

He said, "I had thought that I would be sentenced to death based on the emotions and anger toward me for the deaths on Sept. 11, but after reviewing the jury verdict and reading how the jurors set aside their emotions and disgust for me and focused on the law and the evidence that was presented during the trial, I came to understand that the jury process was more complex than I had assumed."

He wanted the death penalty. He was sure if he claimed to be part of 9/11 and had knowledge beforehand, he would have been executed. A fair trial deprived him of his wish. Now he'll have a long, long time to go mad in a box in Florence, CO. I doubt we're going to hear much more from him.

personally I wish they'd st... (Below threshold)

personally I wish they'd stick him in the general population and let THEM take care of 'em.

Dahlmer anyone?

Wasting Tax payer dollars:<... (Below threshold)
Schwerv:

Wasting Tax payer dollars:

Does someone have the numbers the government, (taxpayers), spend to keep ONE PERSON in one of these supermax prisons. I have heard between 50 and 75 grand per year.

Also while we are looking for it, Find out how much is spent dealing with an appeal, even one that is immediately rejected.

Death Penalty: Priceless. (

"Unfortunately, he'll have ... (Below threshold)
Flakbait:

"Unfortunately, he'll have his entire life to play games like this with the American judicial system."

Well technically that would be true even if he had a death sentence. ho ho ho ho I'm so witty

On a positive note, we coul... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

On a positive note, we could tack on a few months to his sentance for perjury, right?

Flakbait has a point. How l... (Below threshold)

Flakbait has a point. How long does it take to carry out a death sentence these days? How many appeals are required? I expect that even if he'd been sentenced to death he'd still be around for decades.




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