ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Prosecutors are struggling to save their bid to execute al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui after the judge said a government lawyer's misconduct makes it very difficult for the case to go forward.
Visibly angry, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema summoned the offending lawyer, Carla J. Martin of the Transportation Security Administration, to a hearing Tuesday to assess what damage she may have done by coaching seven witnesses.
The worst-case outcome for the government here is that Moussaoui spends the rest of his life in jail. This trial is all about putting a needle in his arm - and of course making the Government look good in the process.
Martin e-mailed the upcoming witnesses a transcript of the trial's first day and her analysis of the government's opening statement and of vulnerabilities exposed in the government's case by questioning of the first witness. Until recently, Martin had been the government lawyer representing the FAA witnesses.
Martin said the opening statement "has created a credibility gap that the defense can drive a truck through." She expressed concern that FAA witnesses would be made to look foolish on cross-examination and tried to shape their future testimony to meet or deflect possible defense attacks.
Brinkema said she also would reconsider the defense's request of last week for a mistrial Â made after a question from Novak suggested to the jury that Moussaoui might have had an obligation to confess his terrorist connections to the
FBI even after he had invoked his right to an attorney.
Ruling the question out of order, she warned the government it was treading on shaky legal ground because she knew of no case where a failure to act resulted in a death penalty as a matter of law.
"This is the second significant error by the government affecting the constitutional rights of this defendant and, more importantly, the integrity of the criminal justice system in this country," Brinkema said Monday.
Too many people have died upholding the Constitution for it be casuallyviolatedd in order to kill someone and further the careers of prosecutors. And as much as Idespisee the man and all he stands for, Idespisee him no more than those who are working equally hard from within our society to destroy everything I love and Zacarias Moussaoui hates - our individual liberties, our freedom to act as we choose without harm to others and without fear of some idiot bastard like him deciding that choice makes us deserving of death.
The man haspleadd guilty to conspiring to fly airplanes into buildings; something he seems quite proud of. He's going to rot in a supermax for the rest of his life. Is this not enough revenge?
Considering he was more than willing to sacrifice his life in order to achieve the results he longed for and considering that the US Government seems more than willing to spit on the Constitution in order to martyr him in public, I think life in prison without parole is more than just - it's just ironic as hell.
Especially if Dick, George, Carl and the rest of The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight are on the same tier.