A Legal Loose Cannon

How does a government lawyer on the Moussaoui case commit a blunder so basic in a trial so big?

The roots of the bungle seem to come down to this: Carla Martin, a government lawyer with a small role in the sentencing trial of confessed 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, thought the chief of the prosecution team was overplaying his hand. In his opening statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Spencer argued that if Moussaoui had told the FBI what he knew about the 9/11 plot in advance, authorities "would have prevented" the hijackings and thousands of lives could have been saved. Martin, 51, a veteran in the aviation field, thought defense attorneys could "drive a truck" through that assertion, as she...

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