Gov. Paterson has added his name to the growing list of New Yorkers who oppose President Obama's plan to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspected 9/11 plotters in a Lower Manhattan courthouse. "What we really might think about are some suitable alternatives that would fall within the court's jurisdiction but for the public at large would be a better place to hold the actual trial," he said.
While initial criticism of the plan centered mainly around the use of civilian courts instead of military tribunals, locals including Lower Manhattan's Community Board 1 and Mayor Bloomberg—who initially said trying the suspects in Manhattan would be "fitting"—have started coming out against the terror trial plan due to the estimated cost of $200 million per year and the possible impact the cases will have on quality of life in Lower Manhattan. The opponents have pushed to move the trials to alternate locations including Governors Island.
According to the Daily News, Paterson doesn't want the trial in Lower Manhattan, though he didn't pinpoint an alternate location he prefers. "A change of venue would be certainly something we would consider, maybe even just different places where it won't tie up some many people and the cost. The challenges are going to be formidable." He added: "Even though I believe we would strongly be able to protect citizens and have the trial go off without any problem, the fact is that's just half the battle...The other half of the battle is making sure people aren't so anxious that it's a negative just because there's so much fear and anxiety."