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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emptywheel @JPughMI Do YOU ever got tired of smacking down Steve Mitchell? @FiveThirtyEight
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emptywheel I get that Levin is running interference for his POTUS and party, but dodging this AUMF vote not a good legacy to leave on.
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emptywheel @Jockular To fight other than Assad.
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emptywheel Gillibrand pointing out very obvious point that "moderates" have no incentive to fight ISIL until Assad ousted.
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emptywheel Really Gillibrand should have asked, "Is Turkey or is Turkey not one of our Secret Friends?"
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emptywheel Tho King's "geopolitical whack-a-mole" isn't bad.
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emptywheel @ChrisWarcraft You saw that Cantwell just dropped bill to end non-profit status? @oraTV
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emptywheel Angus King started this speech by acknowledging that Kaine had already made his point more articulately. King was right.
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emptywheel Tho note to Tim Kaine's staffer who had all her papers on lap behind boss while he was making superb speech: that's gonna hurt TV clip.
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emptywheel Also really HOPE HOPE HOPE Cantwell makes a very good Internet ad calling Jerry Jones a welfare queen for not paying taxes.
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emptywheel Tim Kaine giving an excellent lesson in the history of the 2001 AUMF. Hope that makes the TV news.
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emptywheel Now that Cantwell's going after NFL's non-profit status, I hope pollsters start polling whether people KNOW NFL doesn't pay taxes.
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