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Moussaoui Liable for Death Penalty, U.S. Argues

Top al Qaeda detainees have told government interrogators that Zacarias Moussaoui was not a “designated participant” in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror plot but was instead to be part of a second wave of attacks flying planes into American buildings, prosecutors said in court documents unsealed yesterday. But the briefs, filed with a federal appeals court, say Moussaoui participated in the conspiracy that killed nearly 3,000 Americans and should be executed for his role. They urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to overturn a judge’s ruling that eliminated the death penalty as a possibility for Moussaoui and any evidence that he played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks. “While the rights of this admitted terrorist undoubtedly deserve protection, the criminal justice system ought to work for the victims as well,” the briefs say in arguing that the judge’s ruling “sends a troubling message” to family members of victims and would prevent them from testifying at Moussaoui’s trial about their loss. Full Story

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