CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Would-Be Plane Bomber Pleads Guilty, Ending Trial"

From the New York Times:

DETROIT — The trial of a man accused of trying to blow up a commercial airliner with a bomb sewed into his underwear ended Wednesday, just a day after it had begun, when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the accused, abruptly announced that he would plead guilty to all of the federal counts against him.

Prosecutors and federal agents seemed stunned, if pleased, and declared that the plea was evidence that the American court system, as opposed to a military tribunal, could bring a suitable outcome to a terrorism case. Anthony Chambers, a legal adviser assigned to Mr. Abdulmutallab, who was representing himself in court, said that he was disappointed with Mr. Abdulmutallab’s last-moment decision, but that it was entirely his choice.

. . .

After telling Judge Nancy G. Edmunds that he was indeed pleading guilty to each count against him, Mr. Abdulmutallab read a statement that he had written saying that his behavior may have violated American law but that it was in keeping with Muslim law, and that his efforts to harm Americans were retribution for American acts around the world.

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