Thursday, April 17, 2008

Missed Again

The trial of the Liberty City “terrorists” has cratered again.

Confronted on Wednesday with a second mistrial, prosecutors must now decide whether to seek a third trial for a Miami group accused of plotting with al Qaeda to blow up federal buildings in an insurrection against the United States.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Miami — and the Justice Department — have until Wednesday to make up their minds following the unprecedented conclusion to the second hung jury in the Liberty City group’s case.


The case made headlines across the country in June 2006 when the FBI arrested the original seven suspects.

The Bush administration trumpeted the arrests as ”yet another important victory in the war on terrorism.”

Yet the prosecution — relying on FBI wiretaps, phone recordings and videotapes — struggled to prove a crime had been committed by true terrorists.

Wednesday’s outcome, which was hinted at in the panel’s first note issued Friday, was like the previous jury’s experience.

In December, that jury deadlocked on the four charges against the six defendants and acquitted a seventh after nine days of deliberations.

The former defendant, Lyglenson Lemorin, a Haitian man who grew up in Miami, now faces deportation to Haiti.

The foreman in the original trial predicted the second jury would deadlock. Jeffrey Agron, a lawyer himself, said some jurors would have doubts about the prosecution’s central case — that the six defendants intended to carry out terrorist attacks.

He also said that no guns, ammunition, explosives or terrorist blueprints were found on the Liberty City suspects after their arrests.

It’s hard to tell who’s the bigger group of fools; the klutzy gang of people arrested, or the feds who were so eager to score a win in a whooped-up case that they tripped over their own feet.