Monday, February 06, 2006

This Is Not a Time for You to Be Speaking

From CNN
Proclaiming "I am al Qaeda," Zacarias Moussaoui [ed:  the suspected 9/11 hijacker who couldn't make it that day] was removed from the courtroom as jury selection began Monday at a trial to determine whether he should be executed for terror conspiracy.
The disruption began with Moussaoui protesting that he did not want to be represented by his defense attorneys.
"I am al Qaeda. They do not represent me. They are Americans," Moussaoui objected.
U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema told Moussaoui that "this was not a time for him to be speaking."
About 120 prospective jurors who witnessed the outburst sat in silence.
After the interruption, Brinkema told potential jurors to note on their questionnaires if they thought Moussaoui's actions might influence their decision-making.
I suppose the answer would be, uh... what?  Would the defendant's declaration that he "[is] al Qaeda" influence my decision-making?
Hmm.  If I told you it wouldn't influence my decision about whether to, say, let someone watch my luggage before I get on a plane that he says he's al Qaeda, would you let me fly?
Of course not.  Someone with that level of opacity can't leave town-- we need him to serve on a jury.

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