Moussaoui jury completes second day without verdict

Jurors in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui completed their second day of deliberations Tuesday without deciding whether the Sept. 11 conspirator should receive a death sentence or life in prison.

They went home after working 6 3/4 hours, bringing their total deliberations over two days to 9 3/4 hours. They will return Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, they asked for but were denied a dictionary.

Before lunch, the jurors and Moussaoui filed into the courtroom to hear Judge Leonie Brinkema's response to the request.

Brinkema told them that sending a dictionary in would be like adding evidence in the case, but she invited them to come back if they had questions about specific definitions. They asked no additional questions Tuesday, reports AP.

According to Reuters, Defense lawyers have asked the jury to sentence Moussaoui, an admitted al Qaeda member, to life in prison so he would not become a martyr.

Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, was arrested three weeks before the hijackings. But prosecutors say he knew about the plot, and his lies to the FBI after his arrest helped prevent the agency from thwarting the attack.

"Your decision in this case is not a close call. Zacarias Moussaoui came here to kill Americans, and he killed Americans," said prosecutor David Raskin during closing arguments on Monday.

"There is only one penalty that fits this crime and this defendant ... and that is the death penalty."

Is Moussaoui a madman? Moussaoui himself says he’s not. But, if he’s truly mad, who is he to judge? Does it even matter? Mr Raskin, the prosecutor, argued that it does not. "What could possibly mitigate all of this?" he said during closing arguments. "Just because we can’t comprehend this kind of evil, doesn’t mean he suffers mental illness." Raskin also rejected defense arguments that executing Moussaoui would make him a martyr. "He wants you to think Osama bin Laden will be mad at us. Do you think Osama bin Laden gives a damn about what happens here?" he said. "It’s a joke."

In the end, it will all come down to the jurors, many of whom choked up during emotional testimony from family members of 9/11 victims. As Moussaoui crowed after a day in court last week: "Crazy or not crazy, that is the question", informs Times Online.

O.Ch.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team