Monday, March 13, 2006

Moussaoui Trial


What's the matter with the prosecution attorneys of Zacarias Moussaoui? It seems the government lawyers coached four witnesses. This is the second significant error made by the government team. The defense, of course, moved to have the judge dismiss the death penalty as a possible outcome, saying, "This is not going to be a fair trial." The alternative, they say, should be to dismiss the witnesses from the case. The prosecution says that would exclude half the government's case. The prosecuting attorney admitted that the witness coaching was "horrendously wrong."

Now. What's the matter with these guys? Why do they do something they know to be horrendously wrong? Time after time, even in high profile cases of great importance, they think themselves above the law and break the rules, and screw the case. WHY? Somebody explain this to me ...

5 comments:

slickdpdx said...

The story is actually a little different. The lawyer for the TSA told witnesses about what had happened in the case so far when there was a sort of gag order as to witnesses.

See, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060313/ap_on_re_us/moussaoui

When I first heard this story I was really puzzled since there is nothing wrong with lawyers talking to witnesses: how do you know what to ask if you don't talk to your witnesses. which makes more sense. When

slickdpdx said...

Oops! I meant to hit preview and I guess I hit publish. Anyhow the link is here to the subsequent AP story clarifying the issue.

"U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said Monday it was "very difficult for this case to go forward" after prosecutors revealed that a lawyer for the Transportation Security Administration had violated her order barring witnesses from any exposure to trial testimony."

Earlier reporters or commenters confused the TSA lawyer with the assistant USAs at the U.S. Attorney's Office on the theory that they are all government lawyers. I expect the TSA lawyer was trying to prepare the people from her agency for trial testimony and didn't know about the rule, either that or s/he is really dumb.

pepektheassassin said...

Slick, I appreciate the information. I was confusing the TSA lawyers with the USA's also. And I didn't think it was wrong for attorneys to talk to their witnesses ... I still wonder why, if the lawyer thought it was "horrendously wrong" to do whatever s/he did, did it anyway??? If there was the slightest chance it might result in star witnesses being dismissed ...

pepektheassassin said...

Anyway, life in prison without parole wouldn't be bad, since that seems to be the deal. I could live with that.

slickdpdx said...

Me too.