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Criminal Procedure

US Won’t Try Alleged Sept. 11 Plotters in NY; What Is Plan B?

Posted Feb 1, 2010 8:32 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The administration won’t try five alleged plotters of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in Manhattan after all, a decision announced after Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the security costs could be at least $200 million a year.

The New York Times had the story on Friday, and ran a story about the mixed reaction to the news on Saturday. Another New York Times article says the Justice Department is now “scrambling to come up with a Plan B” even as Congress considers blocking money for civilian trials.

American University law professor Stephen Vladeck told the Times that venue for a murder charge could be where the planes crashed—New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia—or in Massachusetts and New Jersey, where two of the jets took off. But adding a charge of conspiracy could widen the venue to states where the alleged hijackers hatched their plot, including Florida, California and Maryland.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-N.C., plans to reintroduce legislation to block the criminal trials, a move that could force the administration to revive the military commissions option, the Times says.

Graham told the Times the about-face on the plan for trials in New York City “just shows what a dumb idea it was in the first place.”

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