Congress calls for Biden administration not to spare 9/11 hijackers of the death penalty: 35 lawmakers join fury at proposed deal for murderers to avoid execution for killing 2,977 Americans
- 34 Republicans and New York Democrat Pat Ryan wrote a letter to the Biden administration demanding he nix a potential plea deal
- Deal would spare 9/11 mastermind and co-conspirators of death penalty in exchange for guilty plea
Don’t negotiate with terrorists, a group of House Republicans and one Democrat are urging President Biden.
Thirty-four House Republicans and New York Democrat Pat Ryan wrote a letter to the Biden administration demanding they nix a potential plea deal that would spare alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others of the death penalty.
‘This would be a grave miscarriage of justice, especially for the families of the 2,977 innocent civilians and first responders who lost their life that fateful day,’ the letter, led by GOP Rep. Mike Lawler who represents New York City suburbs, read.
It also urged the Biden administration to work to conclude the sentencing of the alleged terrorists who have been held at Guantanamo Bay while their trials have faced over 20 years of setbacks and delays.
Don’t negotiate with terrorists, a group of House Republicans and one Democrat are urging President Biden
Earlier this month the Pentagon sent a letter to the families of 9/11 victims explaining that plea deals are being explored for Mohammed and four of his alleged co-conspirators that would see them ‘accept criminal responsibility for their actions and plead guilty….in exchange for not receiving the death penalty.’
Guilty pleas in exchange for a life sentence could finally bring to a close the over-two decade-long case, the longest ever at the war court.
Guilty pleas that result in life sentences could complicate President Biden’s promise to shut down Guantanamo Bay. The facility has become more and more secretive over its 20 years of operation, even as it costs taxpayers millions of dollars per year.
Thirty-eight prisoners still remain at Guantanamo. Ten have been charged but not yet tried.
Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi were all expected to face the death penalty if convicted. Their charges include: terrorism; hijacking aircraft; conspiracy; murder in violation of the law of war; attacking civilians; attacking civilian objects; intentionally causing serious bodily injury; and destruction of property in violation of the law of war.
The al-Qaeda terrorists are accused of hijacking four airplanes and carrying out the coordinated attacks across the US that led to the death of 2,977 plus hundreds more who have died in subsequent years from breathing in toxic particles that were released in the rubble of the attacks.
The case against the five men has been bogged down in pre-trial proceedings due to the CIA’s use of torture to extract evidence from the defendants and to Covid-19 delays. Nearly a decade after the men’s arraignment, the military judge has yet to set a trial start date.
Congress has already forbid bringing the 9/11 plotters on U.S. soil, and the plotters themselves have demanded to stay at Guantanamo, where they can pray and eat in groups. They do not want to be sent to the supermax prison in Florence, Colo., where federal inmates are held in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day.
Thirty-four House Republicans and New York Democrat Pat Ryan wrote a letter to the Biden administration demanding he nix a potential plea deal that would spare alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others of the death penalty
A plea deal is sure to ignite fury from some of the family members of the victims who have demanded justice through capital punishment. Another issue is whether some of the accused accomplices who did not have as direct a role as the five men would be given even lesser sentences.
Meanwhile, defense lawyers have argued that the U.S. government lost the moral and legal authority to execute the defendants because of torture. Psychologists leading interrogations for the CIA waterboarded Mohammed 183 times. Agents were also known to strip defendants, beat them, tie them up in chains and subject them to rectal abuse and sleep deprivation in so-called CIA black sites.
Guantanamo has reportedly cost U.S. taxpayers over $6 billion since its inception.
American taxpayers spend roughly between $9.5 and $13 million per prisoner, per year. The prison currently has 38 inmates. That’s compared to $78,000 spent per inmate at a ‘super-max’ prison in Florence, Colo., home to some of the highest-risk prisoners in the U.S.
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