Ghailani Convicted on One Count, Acquitted on All Others

A hung jury reached a comprise after five days of deliberations yesterday and convicted Ahmed Ghailani on the basis of one conspiracy count, acquitting him from the 284 other charges. Ghailani was convicted of violating 18 USC 844(f)(3) and (n).

The New Yorker comments:

We don’t yet know what the jurors’ reasoning was on the counts on which they acquitted him—they may have just felt that the case was weak—but they reasoned, and after years in which our government did not act reasonably, that is a victory.

We learned that this is not as hard as people made it sound. The jurors had rough moments, but, after one sent a note to the judge, they kept talking. Ghailani, again, has been in Manhattan for a year, and we’ve managed. So let’s get the next trial going.

Pamela Geller’s controversial opinion here.


One Response


    • “While I respect the judgment of the court, I’m deeply disappointed in the verdict. We are at war with al Qaeda. Members of the organization, and their associates, should be treated as warriors, not common criminals. We put our nation at risk by criminalizing the war. Going forward, I once again strongly encourage the Obama Administration to use military commissions to prosecute enemy combatants, particularly the 9/11 conspirators like Khalid Sheik Mohammad, held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

    • “This case should put to rest any unfounded fears that our federal justice system cannot conduct fair, safe and effective trials in terrorism cases. The jury heard the evidence and delivered a verdict that — unlike military commissions trials — we can trust. We should be proud of a system that isn’t set up to simply rubber-stamp the government’s case no matter how little reliable evidence there may be. Federal courts are not only the right place but the most effective place to prosecute terrorism suspects.” Hina Shamsi, director ACLU National Security Project

    • “I am disgusted at the total miscarriage of justice today in Manhattan’s federal civilian court. . . . This case was doomed from the beginning when the judge excluded DOJ’s key witness who admitted selling the explosives to Ghailani. . . This is a tragic wake-up call to the Obama Administration to immediately abandon its ill-advised plan to try Guantánamo terrorists like the admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in federal civilian courts. We must treat them as wartime enemies and try them in military commissions at Guantánamo.” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

    • “Ahmed Ghailani was today convicted of conspiring in the 1998 destruction of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, causing death as a result He will face, and we will seek, the maximum sentence of life without parole when he is sentenced in January. I want to express my deep appreciation for the unflagging commitment, dedication and talent of the agents who so thoroughly investigated this case and the prosecutors who so ably tried it.” US Attorney Preet Bharara

    • “CCR questions the ability of anyone who is Muslim to receive a truly fair trial in any American judicial forum post-9/11. Both the military commission system and federal criminal trials have serious flaws. However, on balance the Ghailani verdict shows that federal criminal trials are far superior to military commissions for the simple yet fundamental reason that they prohibit evidence obtained by torture. If anyone is unsatisfied with Ghailani’s acquittal on 284 counts, they should blame the CIA agents who tortured him.” Center for Constitutional Rights

    Lawfare note:

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