March 27, 2006

Nightmare? Maybe Not.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:49 pm

It’s often said to be every criminal defense lawyer’s worst nightmare.

You break your butt building a case designed to produce just enough “reasonable doubt” in the minds of twelve jurors to win an acquittal for you r client (or to keep your client from being executed). At a minimum, you try to plant a sufficient amount of “reasonable doubt” in the mind of at least one juror in order hang the jury, which will force the government to start from scratch with a new trial. (A verdict of guilty or not guilty must be unanimous.)

Then your client insists on testifying. You explain to your client why that is very, very bad idea, but he insists, and proceeds to hang himself with his own words.

That’s what appears to have happened today in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui.

Ignoring the advice of his attorneys, Mr. Moussaoui took the witness stand and proceeded to admit that he was aware of an impending attack on the World Trade Center, that he was happy about learning of the 9/11 attacks, and that he (along with Richard Reid – the Shoe-Bomber) was slated to fly a plane into the White House in a subsequent attack.

Of course, instead of it being a nightmare, Moussaui’s testimony may have been a moment of deliverance for Moussaoui’s lawyers, particularly if they had been appointed by the court to defend Moussaoui (I frankly don’t know whether they were appointed or were paid for).

This is so, because a lawyer’s sworn obligation is to zealously represent his or her client within the bounds of the law, even if the lawyer knows that his client is a despicable, murdering swine.

If after you’ve done your best to zealously advocate your client’s position within the bounds of the law, your client insists on hanging himself, you can sleep well at night knowing that you discharged your sworn duty, but at the same time justice was done.

After all, how well might you sleep knowing that your “win” put a guy like Moussaoui back on the street?

Adios, Zacarias.


  1. Jim, you may find this Google Search of interest:

    Comment by Ken Adams — March 27, 2006 @ 11:27 pm

  2. He’s crazy and he got shafted by the prosecution.

    Don’t care.

    Hope they fry his ass.

    Comment by Sluggo — March 27, 2006 @ 11:33 pm

  3. One of those occasions when the Law, and Justice, coincided. Pity the political system prevents him from dying in as slow and painful and abhorrent way as those in the WTC.

    Comment by DMerriman — March 27, 2006 @ 11:51 pm

  4. “Hope they fry his ass.”

    Not me. But then maybe I am just more vindictive?

    You see a really devout, fanatic Muslim of the Wahhabi, Salafist stripe REALLY believes they go straight to Paradise if they die as Shaheed Martyr in a Jihad against the Kaffir.

    Not just Paradise, but with all sorts of special bennies. That is exactly the way the Old Man of the Mountain motivated his assassins.

    It does not matter if we think that is crazy the thing is HE believes it.

    So death is not much of a punishment, it is a Go Straight to Paradise Get Out of Jail Card.

    Now me? I would point out his cell and tell him.

    No quick trip to Paradise for you m’Boy.

    See this cell? Get used to it, because you are going to be here a LONG time, and when your body starts giving out?

    We will put you on machines, who knows? We may be able to keep you on this earth for HUNDREDS of YEARS.

    Enjoy Eternity in the US Federal Penal System.

    But then like I said maybe I am just more vindictive.

    Comment by Dan Kauffman — March 28, 2006 @ 1:07 am

  5. Ken –

    Moussaui’s pro se status was revoked in 2003. He was/is represented in these proceedings.

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — March 28, 2006 @ 3:52 am

  6. I’m just glad it all finally came out. And I love the fact that he hung himself. Bastard.

    And I just wanna see him suffer – for a good long time.

    Comment by Tammi — March 28, 2006 @ 7:44 am

  7. Cuz,
    As a Prosecutor who has tried 6 capital cases, as strange as it may seem, I think his “performance” may actually save him from getting the hotshot. If even one juror decides that Death is what this piece of garbage wants, they will sentence him to life imprisonment.

    I hope I’m wrong. I’d like to personally put this piece of trash on death row. I’d ” put his antlers on my mantel”.

    God Bless the FDNY.

    Comment by cousin gary — March 28, 2006 @ 8:36 am

  8. Jim, I knew that when I pointed to it. My point was that based on his pro se record, his appointed attorneys knew exactly what they were getting in this case. That they were unable to dissuade him from testifying “on his own behalf” was no surprise to them. He clearly wants the US Government to send him to Paradise.
    I think Dan Kauffman got it right above, and I also hope that the jurors realize his game and give him life in prison.
    I also hope that he gets a prison cell lined in bacon, but that may be too much to ask.

    Comment by Ken Adams — March 28, 2006 @ 12:07 pm

  9. Jimbo, you labor under the misapprehension that the defense had a sane client who wanted to save his butt. Moussawoweewowee is a farooking SUICIDE BOMBER. I really don’t think he cares. Stickin it to the Christer infidels.

    Comment by v — March 28, 2006 @ 7:47 pm

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