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Moussaoui takes stand again to berate defense lawyers, recant execution wish

[JURIST] Convicted 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui [BBC profile] took the witness stand for the second time [JURIST report] in his sentencing trial [JURIST news archive; case docket] Thursday and lambasted his court-appointed defense attorneys for failing to move the proceeding away from Alexandria, VA, only a few miles away from the Pentagon building that was hit on 9/11. Virginia juries are thought to be more likely to administer the death penalty, and Moussaoui's jury last week found that the so-called "20th hijacker" is eligible for the death sentence [JURIST report]. This is not the first time the issue of venue has been raised: in April 2002 Moussaoui's initial bid to move the trial [CNN report] away from Virginia was denied [PDF order] by presiding judge Leonie Brinkema, who said Moussaoui would receive a fair trial there, despite the high concentration of government workers in Arlington and the media attention given to the Pentagon terrorist strike.

In other testimony Thursday, Moussaoui expressed no regret [Washington Post report] about the 9/11 attacks, but said that he no longer wished execution for his actions, as he had determined that the death penalty was inconsistent with Islamic teaching [Reuters report]. AP has more.

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