Monday, April 03, 2006

Just a thought

I'm not trying to defend Zacarias Moussaui. I've been following his case fairly closely the past few weeks. I'm not at all surprised that he was ruled eligible for death, and I'm opposed to the death penalty. But my problem is this: the heart of the prosecutions case has been that if Moussaui, after his arrest on imigration charges, had admitted to being part of a plot to fly airplanes into buildings that security would have been upgraded and the 9/11 plot foiled, and that his silence ammounted to a conspiracy. Let's ignore for a moment the huge leaps in logic involve in this stance. I'm more interested in the actual conspiracy charge then whether or not the 9/11 attacks could actually have been prevented in this case. The prosecution is equating Mousaui's silence to conspiracy. But doesn't that go against his fifth ammendment right to avoid self incrimination? As far as I can tell, the prosecution is saying "he should have confessed, and by not confessing he took part in a conspiracy."

That's really confusing to me.

I'm sure there must be precedence for this somewhere. I'm sure there is case law saying silence can equal a conspiracy. And I can see that if you are being silent about what you know other people are doing. But if you are being silent about what you wourself are doing....while under arrest....well, aren't you practicing your right to remain silent? I'm sure this guy had that right. I hear it on Law and Order every week. If he had a right to remain silent then how can the state kill him for remaining silent? I'm just asking.


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