AP: Feds to Offer $200 Million in Security to City Hosting 9/11 Terror Trials
The AP reports that on Monday, President Obama will release a budget request that includes $200 million in security for the city that ends up hosting the 9/11 trials. While no official announcement has been made, it appears Manhattan has been scrapped.
The other day I set out the applicable constitutional and statutory provisions on venue. Most likely, the Government will pick a city in which an overt act in furtherance of the 9/11 conspiracy was committed. Here's a partial list: [More...]
From the military charge sheet against the five 9/11 defendants the Government will seek to try together: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hasawi:
- San Diego, CA
- Newark NJ
- Atlanta, GA
- Decatur, GA
- Venice, FL
- Sarasota, FL
- Miami, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Delray Beach, FL
- Boynton Beach, FL
- Batavia, OH
- Phoenix, AZ
- Washington, DC
- Laurel, MD
- Portland, ME
- Boston, MA
- Dulles, VA
- Arlington, VA
- Shanksville, Somerset County, PA
Since most of the witnesses at trial will be from the East coast, I'd rule out California and Arizona.
Boston successfully prosecuted 'shoe-bomber" Richard Reid, but he wasn't huge news and while the city has 6.5 million residents, it practically shuttered downtown during the 2004 Democratic convention. I don't think layout- wise it would be a good choice.
The Pentagon plane that went down predominantly affected those living in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. I think it would be too hard to pick an impartial jury in D.C., since it only has 600,000 residents, but the Eastern District of Virginia has hosted many terrorism trials, including that of Zacarias Moussaoui. Its also experienced in housing prisoners in terror cases.
Newark, NJ might be convenient for the trial participants -- it's close to New York and has 8 million residents, enough to pick a jury from.
Miami should seriously be considered. The 9/11 hijackers received flight training in South Florida and many wire transfers were sent to Florida bank accounts. Since none of the planes crashed there, selecting a jury could go faster and more smoothly. Miami successfully tried "Dirty Bomber" Jose Padilla. And, there would be a jury pool of over 6 million from which to try and find impartial jurors.
While New York would have been the best place for the trials, as it has a bevy of experienced prosecutors, judges and defense counsel to handle them, a large and diverse prospective jury pool and national media is already centered there, there are plenty of other options.
I think the DOJ's most likely options, if New York is out, are Miami and Virginia. How about Newark? Your thoughts?
Update: Here's more, with exhibits showing places with venue.
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