Gov. David Paterson followed former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's lead yesterday, when he denounced plans to hold the trial for Kalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists in New York.
Paterson spoke out against hosting the high-profile, high-security trial in the city, telling the Daily News: "This is not a decision that I would have made...Our country was attacked on its own soil on Sept. 11, 2001, and New York was very much the epicenter of that attack. Over 2,700 lives were lost. It's very painful; we're still having trouble getting over it. We still haven't been able to rebuild that site, and having those terrorists tried so close to the attack is going to be an encumbrance on all of New Yorkers."
While many Republicans echoed Giuliani and Paterson's sentiments, Democrats like Hillary Clinton came out in support of holding the trial in New York, Newsday reports. For his part, Mohammed likely wants the trial in New York, as upon his detainment, the so-called "jackal" asked for two things: a lawyer, and to be sent to New York, according to a Times profile.
In an over-the-top package on the terrorism trial, the Daily News files three additional stories on case — going so far as to send sports columnist Mike Lupica all the way to Texas to pen a piece about how the city of Dallas never got a chance to try JFK-shooter Lee Harvey Oswald because he was gunned down first. Later in his column, Lupica voices his opposition for a New York City trial, noting it "will dominate the city and hold it hostage and bring back the day and none of the dead. This bum will get the stage he wants and tell the city it is a target all over again."
Lupica's biggest fears could become realities if Mohammed chooses to he serve as his own lawyer — a situation an ACLU lawyer told the paper is relatively probable. "It's quite possible that these defendants will undertake to represent themselves," Ben Wizner said. "They've been trying to fire their lawyers the whole time so they can be executed."
And what about the jury? The Daily News wraps up its balls-to-the-wall coverage with a piece on the "12 New Yorkers willing to put their lives on hold — and maybe on the line — to try the mastermind behind the biggest crime in U.S. history." Though the trial could be long, dangerous, and stressful, it might not turn out being too bad. Recently, some New Yorkers have been lining up for jury duty, and a spot on the jury for the trials of Mohammed and the four other suspects might be the only way to see the drama play out, because the trials will take place federal courts where filming is banned, the Post reports.