[JURIST] US District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday that jurors in the sentencing trial [case docket] of Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] will be allowed to hear the cockpit tape and read the transcript of United Airlines Flight 93 [National Park Service website], hijacked and downed in Pennsylvania on September 11 [JURIST news archive]. Brinkema suggested that the recording, which has so far only been heard by the victims families, be released to the public after it is heard at trial, but indicated she would refrain from public release if any family members objected in writing. Read Brinkema's order [PDF].
As jurors found Moussaoui eligible for the death penalty [JURIST report] earlier this week, the trial will proceed Thursday to a second phase to determine whether capital punishment should be imposed. During this the prosecution plans to present evidence about the cruel abuse suffered by all the victims of 9/11 and their families and the economic harm caused by the hijackings. Defense attorneys intend to prove that Moussaoui has schizophrenia and suffered through an impoverished childhood in an attempt to avoid his execution in favor of life imprisonment. AP has more.