A Blow To The Defense

In courts across the U.S., the Sept. 11 attacks are giving prosecutors and police the upper hand

Sept. 12 wasn't the best day to face charges of killing a cop. That's what lawyers for onetime Black Panther H. Rap Brown, now known as Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, figured when they got his trial, for shooting a Georgia deputy sheriff, pushed into next year. "To continue at such a time would be--well, I hate to say suicidal, given what happened on the 11th," says Al-Amin lawyer Jack Martin. "It would be ill advised."

The terrorist attacks have produced collateral damage in an unexpected place: criminal courtrooms. It's not hard to see why Al-Amin, an Islamic clergyman who shows up at...

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