Importance of Federal Trials Not Diminished by Logistical Debate
New York City Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino today said that recent logistical and cost issues about the upcoming federal trials of four 9/11 conspirators in New York City do not diminish the importance of these federal civilian trials in advancing national security. Noting that the issues raised by New York officials should be addressed but in no way call into question the decision to hold these men accountable in federal civil courts, she issued the following statement:
"Logistical debates about the appropriate New York venue to hold the trial for four accused 9/11 terrorists do not change the fact that they must be brought to justice in federal court. There can be no dispute that these cases belong in federal civilian court and should be tried on U.S. soil. The victims of 9/11 and the American public deserve to see justice done, and the best way to achieve that is by prosecuting these men in a reliable and credible criminal justice system where the focus will be on their culpability, not on the lack of legitimacy or fairness of the proceedings. Federal trials are part of a coherent and smart counter-terrorism strategy, which involves treating these perpetrators as criminals and depriving them of the warrior status they crave. This is an important distinction and will help thwart their ability to recruit others to their cause. Logistical and security concerns canand shouldbe addressed. But they cannot overshadow the importance of these federal trials."