Is Moussaoui case over?
The government’s headline-making prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui — the only person so far convicted of any crime related to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 — will not be tested in the Supreme Court, at least for some time. The time to file an appeal ran out on July 30, and his court-appointed lawyers have since advised the Fourth Circuit Court that Moussaoui did not authorize them to file a petition for review by the Justices. The attorneys have now been allowed to withdraw from the case.
More than eight years ago, in December 2001, Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, was charged with six counts of conspiracy in connection with the terrorist assaults. At various points in the case, he has been referred to as the “20th hijacker,” although that was never proven because he pleaded guilty in April 2005. The jury, after seven days of deliberation, refused prosecutors’ request to impose the death penalty; he was then sentenced to life in prison without the chance for release.