6 Myths About Trying Mohammed in NYC

US legal system is, in fact, up to this challenge
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2009 5:31 AM CST
Five Sept. 11, 2001, attack co-defendants at a hearing at the US Naval Base, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – While the news that Sept. 11 terror suspect Khalid Sheik Mohammed will be tried in New York has created quite a furor, there are also a number of misconceptions floating around about the trial. Andrew Cohen clears up six:

  • Mohammed’s lawyers won’t be able to get the case dismissed because he was waterboarded. It’ll play some role, but the feds wouldn’t bring the case to New York if they didn’t have lots of other evidence.

  • He will be able to find an impartial jury. All it takes is that jurors “be able to set aside their pre-judgments and fairly evaluate the evidence shown at trial,” the CBS legal analyst writes in the Washington Post.
  • A trial in New York doesn’t heighten risks of another terror attack there. The city’s hosted such trials before, and in any case, security for them is “awe-inspiring.”
  • A civilian trial doesn’t mean the feds are waving the white flag. In fact, “a civilian trial is the best chance of ensuring conviction and sentencing.”
  • No judge is going to let Mohammed off on a technicality. This isn’t TV.
  • Mohammed won’t turn the trial into theater. Just too many rules ensuring he’ll behave—not that he won’t try, though.