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Home Front
Muhammad is Granted Right to Represent Self
2003-10-20
EFL - Another circus comes to town
Accused sniper John Allen Muhammad was granted permission to represent himself Monday at his capital murder trial. Prince William County Circuit Court Judge LeRoy F. Millette Jr. made the stunning announcement following a 25-minute bench conference with Muhammad and his attorneys. Millette said Muhammad’s state-financed defense team would remain on hand to consult with him, but that Muhammad would be handling his own defense.
Moussaoui’s been milking this successfully, so Muhammad probably sees it as a preamble to a lengthy appeals process - shouldn’t have taken him alive
Millette advised the jury that Muhammad had filed a petition to represent himself and that "the court has granted that motion." No reasons for Muhammad’s request were given. When Muhammad entered his not guilty plea before the court last week, he was specifically asked if he was satisfied with his legal defense, and he asserted at that time that he was. "He must follow rules of evidence and be treated as any other attorney would be treated," Millette said.
tarring and feathering huh?
As the judge instructed the jury, Muhammad sat at the end of the defense table, legal pads and papers spread out before him. His attorney, Peter Greenspun, sat in his familiar spot at the opposite end, chin resting in his hand. Behind Muhammad sat the five Virginians chosen by lottery to fill the scant spectators’ seats each day, and the handful of reporters allowed inside the courtroom. Most of the media observes the trial from a big-screen video feed in a separate building. A similar viewing room has been set aside for families of sniper victims. The first case to come to trial in the series of shootings that left 10 people dead and three wounded focuses on the Oct. 9, 2002, slaying of civil engineer Dean H. Meyers. The 53-year-old Gaithersburg bachelor was shot in the head as he pumped gas at a service station outside Manassas on his long commute home. With no eyewitnesses to the homicide, evidence against Muhammad is considered circumstantial, with prosecutors expected to link him to the bloody rampage using evidence such as fingerprints, DNA analysis and ballistics comparisons. Before the judge’s surprise request Monday, Muhammad’s state-financed defense had hoped to persuade jurors that Muhammad himself never pulled the trigger — what could be a crucial point when considering the death penalty if the Gulf War veteran is convicted. Also at issue is interpretation of an untested anti-terrorism law, which allows for capital punishment when acts of violence are meant to intimidate the public or influence the government.
or extort money?
Posted by:Frank G

#8  Ng is a pretty common surname in Southeast Asia.

Posted by: Anonymous   2003-10-20 6:00:27 PM  

#7  Thank you, Frank. Charlie Ng, still holds the record for most expensive trial. He lasted a number of years in jail in Canada playing his rope-a-dope game of firing defense counsel. After he dies they ought to study his elemental compnents to see if there is anything special there. His last name belongs on the periodic table.
Posted by: Super Hose   2003-10-20 3:11:48 PM  

#6  ...and so it begins:
"One of the things we're here for today is to find out what everyone wants to know. What happened?" Muhammad told the jury in his capital murder trial.
"There's three truths. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I always thought there was just one truth," he said. "Jesus said, 'Ye shall know the truth.'"
"The facts should help us identify what's a lie, what's not a lie," he told the jury. Muhammad, wearing a suit and tie, then told a story about how he punished his daughter for eating chocolate cookies, only to find out later that the daughter had not actually disobeyed him. He said he is similarly being persecuted by authorities who don't know the truth behind the sniper shootings.
"I know what happened. I know what didn't happen. They're basing what they said about me on a theory," he said. "If we monitor step by step, it will all show I had nothing to do with these crimes. They know this."
He said he hopes to be found innocent "by the grace of Allah."

Can anyone say "Colin Ferguson"?
Posted by: tu3031   2003-10-20 2:38:26 PM  

#5  Charles Ng, along with Leonard Lake (who committed suicide by cyanide IIRC) had a cabin in the Sierra foothills in Gold Country - did a LOT of horrible things and videotaped it. Ng is on death row. These guys pull this crap as effort to set up lengthy appeals, but it seems teh courts are saying that if you had the capacity to rationally decide this, you live with the consequences....
Posted by: Frank G   2003-10-20 1:30:25 PM  

#4  We had a guy try this up here in Mass. So the judge says okay and he gets convicted and now he wants a new trial on the grounds that he got an insufficient defense. Just a possible coming attraction.
Posted by: tu3031   2003-10-20 1:18:44 PM  

#3  There was a serial killer form Washington or California that really developed this strategy. I think his last name was Ng. I may be wrong, but it didn't have a vowell.
Posted by: Super Hose   2003-10-20 12:49:03 PM  

#2  Frank, I was so hopeful that the snipers would put up a struggle and get killed by the police. I had no desire to spend even one of my taxpayer dollars to arrest, feed, house, prosecute and defend either of them. (I would have gladly paid for the bullets myself). They terrorized me and my community for weeks and now we have to put up with a sham trial that will only result in endless procedural delays and inevitable appeals. I believe the tab has already exceeded $1 million for the defense attorneys that Muhammad just put on "standby". I won't curse on Fred's bandwidth, but I'd sure like to!
Posted by: seafarious   2003-10-20 11:35:36 AM  

#1  He has a fool for a client...
Posted by: mojo   2003-10-20 11:27:28 AM  

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