Biden Leery of Involvement in Potential Plea Deal in Sept. 11 Case
A proposal to end a decade-long attempt to seek the death penalty before a military tribunal carries political risks, but the Trump administration also decided the system failed.
WASHINGTON Across four presidencies, the question of how to obtain a measure of justice in court for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has vexed American officials. A military tribunal case against five Guantnamo Baydetainees accused of conspiring with the hijackers has spun its wheels for more than a decade with no trial in sight.
Now it is the Biden administrations turn. Prosecutors have proposed ending what could be more frustrating years of litigation, suggesting a deal in which the defendants would plead guilty in exchange for being spared the possibility of the death penalty. But prospects for resolving the case remain murky, underlining political and legal obstacles that have hardened in the generation since the attacks.
The White House is distancing itself from the negotiations, declining to weigh in and leaving it to the Pentagon to decide how best to proceed. Officials there, however, are said to be uncertain they have the right to decide on a course of action with such major implications.
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