October 11, 2011

"He would have stood up in front of a jury and said, 'I wanted to murder my fellow passengers and here's why.'"

The underwear bomber, whose trial begins today, is not going to give his own opening statement, which — in the opinion of one former U.S. terrorism prosecutor — would have been disastrous.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 24, ... is officially representing himself, after firing a team of four lawyers appointed by the Detroit Federal Defender office last year.

[Anthony] Chambers is the "standby counsel" appointed by a federal judge....

Last week, he shouted "Anwar is alive" during jury selection, an apparent reference to Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born al-Qaeda recruiter killed in a drone strike in September.

During a pre-trial hearing, Mr Abdulmutallab made similar statements about Osama Bin Laden after his publicised death.


PETER V. BELLA said...

He's toast.

madAsHell said...

He puts a bomb in his underpants, and then we are to be surprised by his outbursts in court.

w/v: ovenabl - Toast!

Leland said...

Ok, this is starting to show a flaw in the judicial system. I understand Umar plead "not guilty" in order to get a trial. But if he then refuses counsel and then wishes to tell the jury the details of his guilt; why is he not allowed this right?

And don't tell me about Powell vs Alabama, because I don't buy that Umar is ignorant or feeble-minded.

Bender said...

Is he representing himself or not? Is Chambers stand-by counsel or is he the counsel of record?

This hybrid approach of half-self-representation, half-attorney-representation, is untenable.

If the defendant wants to torpedo his case, THAT IS HIS FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to do so, and allowing "stand-by" counsel to interject himself is a gross violation of his right of self-representation, and grounds for appeal.

edutcher said...

Nothing like getting up in front of a jury and telling them, if they'd been on the plane, you'd have been happy to kill them.

Fred4Pres said...

You have the right to put on a completely ineffective defense. It is not insanity per se, but the statements of a fanatic. But he is not legally insane. He does not care if he spends his life in prison, so let him have his theater for clarity purposes and then send him on his way to Florence, Colorado or some other similar federal facility.

And BTW, I heard Tim DeChristopher on NPR last night who fraudulently bid on some federal oil contracts to disrupt them. He is a son of an oil engineer. He is absolutely against carbon based fuels and thinks global warming is a great catrastrophy. So he is unapologetic and got sentanced to two years. In his credit, he was non violent in his criminal civil disobedience behavior. I disagree with him (I think we encourage oil exploration and at the same time move to alternative non carbon fuels for the future). But if you do the crime, pay the time.

Hagar said...

Regardless of what this young fool believes, I think those who sent him, supposedly including al-Awlaki, knew quite well that the "underwear bomb" would not work - as a bomb that is - and that what did happen was the most they could hope for.

You may want to think a bit about what kind of people would pull a stunt like that on an ignorant young man.

Fred4Pres said...

Hagar, didn't he burn his fun stick off? Given that the federal prisons he is almost certainly heading to are 23.5 hour lock ups a day and solitary confinement, he is probably going to spend a lot of time reading.

But not going blind.

Fred4Pres said...

He is just another unibomber who fortunately did not kill anyone. Let him go to prison. I hope one day he appreciates how wrong this was and what he gave up.

As far as Tim DeChristopher, he did not kill anyone. But his motiviation is similar to this terrorist, fighting for a cause he deems important. But that does not make how he did it right. And he has to pay the price for that (granted it is far less of a price).

Fred4Pres said...

You may want to think a bit about what kind of people would pull a stunt like that on an ignorant young man.

The same who would highjack planes to fly into the WTC?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... You may want to think a bit about what kind of people would pull a stunt like that on an ignorant young man...."

Huh? Dude came from a rich family, attended private schools and has a degree in mechanical engineering. He's hardly ignorant.

traditionalguy said...

I know what.

First we convert him to evangelical Christianity. Then we send him home as a missionary.

He will be beheaded in the first 24 hours with no trouble or expense to us.

Never mind.

Dustin said...

Killing Alwaki saved the lives of innocent American children and others.


Anyone questioning whether that was a legitimate aim in the war should really consider what they would do instead. It's not like he didn't have ample notice that he was wanted by our law enforcement.

If you facilitate these terrorists, you should be blown up.

Leland said...

Anyone questioning whether that was a legitimate aim in the war should really consider what they would do instead.

Indeed, but the interesting thing is the questioning appears not only to be coming from Ron Paul, but also President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

For the life of me, I don't understand apologizing to the family of the terrorist working with Awlaki. It suggests a mistake in taking the shot. Further, why question whether or not its acceptable to assissinate a US citizen, which is something even Obama's legal team did. Awlaki had pledged allegiance to a foreign entity at war with the US. In WWII, US airman who served in the British Eagle Squadron were stripped of their citizenship (until 1944 when Congress acted to reinstate their particular citizenship). The only question is whether or not Al Qaeda is an armed force of a foreign nation, and I think that's an easy political and legal argument. I'd declare his citizenship voided by his action and therefore a legitimate target (along with Khan).