Ahmed Ghailani Guilty of Conspiracy, But Not Murder

The jury in Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani’s trial for his role in the 1998 embassy bombings has found him guilty of conspiracy, but not the charges of terrorism he was accused of. With the one count, however, he may still face a life sentence.

It appears likely that just one juror voted against the other charges against Ghailani. Earlier in the week, a juror wrote the judge that she was being attacked by other jurors, asking to be dismissed because her views on the charges would not change. Then, earlier today, the jurors asked the judge to explain the conspiracy charge that Ghailani was ultimately convicted of. So it appears that juror did ultimately vote for the conspiracy charge.

There will be a lot of incredulity about the fact that Ghailani was not found guilty of the other charges. In particular, people will suggest that had Hussein Abebe been permitted to testify that he had sold the explosive to Ghailani used in the attack, then he would have been found guilty on all charges.

But aside from second-guessing the trial result, there’s a problem with that: Judge Lewis Kaplan strongly suggested that he refused to let Abebe testify not just because prosecutors wouldn’t have found him if it weren’t for the torture-induced confession of Ghailani, but also because Abebe himself was coerced to give the testimony he did. Which means we couldn’t know whether his testimony had been shaded to reflect what those coercing him to testify wanted him to say.

All of which debate of course distracts from the larger point: yet another terrorist–a big one, if you believe the government–has been convicted in a civilian trial.

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bmaz @JustADCohen Ahem, the 9th Circuit sometimes does better than that on key O/A's
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bmaz @jaketapper Just wait until the first day of college, there will be something in your eye and something not in your wallet.
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bmaz @astepanovich Access journalism at its finest.
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bmaz RT @lawfareblog: Jack Goldsmith: "A New Tactic to Avoid War Powers Resolution Time Limits?" http://t.co/RYz0QWinDt
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bmaz I've been asking the question about 60 timing w/rolling+evolving WPR notifications for weeks. Goldsmith catches on: http://t.co/pAwSXMQtoB
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emptywheel @TheFree_Lance I'd say its problem it in viewing politics as nothing more than a game. But, yeah, doesn't necessarily bode well.
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emptywheel Correction: New WaPo publisher EDITED a book abt St. Ronnie wisdom. Didn't write it. http://t.co/8fs39QtUqH
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emptywheel RT @just_security: .@RParekh88: "UK PM @David_Cameron's new counter-terrorism measures" http://t.co/pS2af3ioyh cc @terrorwatchdog @ukhumanr
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emptywheel @PhilPerspective I guess we can stop holding our breath hoping that Fred Hiatt will ever lose his job.
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bmaz @BradMossEsq @cody_k It contemplates warrants and real probable cause you know Brad!!
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emptywheel Jeff Bezos hires guy who wrote entire book abt Reagan "wisdom" as publisher of WaPo. http://t.co/8fs39QtUqH
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JimWhiteGNV With all the new wars DC tried to roll out in August, I shudder to think what September has in store for us.
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