Muhammad is Granted Right to Represent Self
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 Muhammadâs state-financed defense team would remain on hand to consult with him, but that Muhammad would be handling his own defense.
Moussaouiâs been milking this successfully, so Muhammad probably sees it as a preamble to a lengthy appeals process - shouldnât 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 Muhammadâs 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 spectatorsâ 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 judgeâs surprise request Monday, Muhammadâs 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 2003-10-20