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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0 Responses to Ahmed Ghailani Guilty of Conspiracy, But Not Murder

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emptywheel @RachelBLevinson What did you name your daughter instead, bc you're right, Sasha does rock. @onekade
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bmaz Clock cannot run out on Loretta Lynch fast enough. https://t.co/hOGgy78dMo
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emptywheel @onekade Alex may be the best mainstream gender neutral name (while acknowledging Chris is even more gender neutraller).
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emptywheel @onekade Jamie and And(ie) as nicknames. Do they need an underlying real name? This child won't need to be baptized after a saint, right?
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emptywheel @JeffLandale People forget that FISC offers the equivalent of letting IC drop a class until finals are due to support grade inflation
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emptywheel @JeffLandale Right. But it was past dry run stage, in that it counted as an app. Usu they get withdrawn before that if they're "rejected."
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emptywheel @onekade Are you having a baby, Kade? Is there something you're not telling us? @TyreJim
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emptywheel @onekade Aidan. It's male in Ireland (says my angry Irish spouse), where it's from, but neutral here. @TyreJim
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emptywheel @JeffLandale Also, while everyone saying "FISC didn't reject any app again" effectively they did, which is unusual, and may have done more
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emptywheel @JeffLandale (On a smaller scale) the 2009 violations.
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emptywheel @JeffLandale In any case, only time we've seen a spike like that is when Tech cos demanded 215 orders instead lf NSLs for ECTRs or...
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emptywheel @JeffLandale FISC is including prospective location collection on targeted FISA orders, so it's possible this is that (eg Stingrays)
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