Biden admin pursuing plea bargain to stop death penalty against 9/11 mastermind

 August 18, 2023

The Biden administration is reportedly working on a plea deal that would stop the death penalty against the mastermind behind the attacks of 9/11.

The news was shared in a letter sent to several families impacted by the deaths of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy.

The background

"The prosecution of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others held at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been troubled by repeated delays and legal disputes, especially over the legal ramifications of the interrogation under torture that the men initially underwent while in CIA custody. No trial date has been set," according to the Associated Press.

“The Office of the Chief Prosecutor has been negotiating and is considering entering into pre-trial agreements,” or PTAs, the letter said. It told the families that while no plea agreement “has been finalized, and may never be finalized, it is possible that a PTA in this case would remove the possibility of the death penalty.”

The background

"No trial date has been set for the five suspected 9/11 conspirators," the New York Post reported.

"The Trump administration had previously ruled out any plea bargains with the suspected terrorists, who have been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp since 2006," it added.

The impact

"The letter generated fresh outrage in Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband died in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. She has waited years to see the five men face trial," CBS News reported.

"It's more heartbroken," Breitweiser told CBS News. "...I thought I lived in the United States of America. I thought we were a nation based upon the rule of law. And obviously, that's turned out not to be the case."

The case also has consequences for the future of Guantanamo Bay, a controversial prison controlled by the U.S. in Cuba.

If the five men involved as sentenced to life in prison at the location, the prison could remain open for several more decades despite efforts by several lawmakers to close it.

The case is angering for many Americans as it deals with bringing justice to some of those involved in the nation's largest attack of this century.

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