Second Mistrial In Miami Terror Plot Case


Confronted with a second mistrial, federal prosecutors must now decide whether to seek a third trial for a Miami group accused of plotting with al Qaeda to blow up federal buildings in an insurrection against the U.S., reports the Miami Herald. In the post-9/11 era, the Justice Department has won more terrorism cases than it has lost — either by jury trials or plea deals. It has never experienced two deadlocked juries in a row in the domestic legal war on terrorism. Said Kendal Coffey, former U.S. Attorney: ”In a case of lesser crimes — with two mistrials — you might walk away. But with allegations as serious as an al Qaeda conspiracy, two roadblocks do not mean the end of the road.”

Bruce Winick, a law professor at the University of Miami, said the second jury stalemate “tells a story. The jury doesn’t trust the government’s credibility here. It’s a trumped-up, overblown case. [] Don’t we have better things to do with our criminal justice system than to make the defendants run the gantlet over and over again?” After 12 days of deliberations, the jury deadlocked in the retrial of the six defendants, who were charged with conspiring to provide ”material support” to al Qaeda to destroy FBI buildings and Chicago’s Sears Tower.


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