In concluding unanimously today that the defendant lied to federal agents after his arrest in August 2001, that he did so contemplating that human life would be taken, and that at least one victim of the Sept. 11 attacks died as a direct result of his deception, the jurors said death should at least be considered as the appropriate punishment.
The jury of nine men and three women now move into the next phase of the sentencing trial, to begin Thursday and certain to last many days, in which they will decide whether he should actually be executed by lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. Before reaching that decision, the jurors will hear evidence of factors both favorable and unfavorable to the defendant. Relatives of Sept. 11 victims will be among those testifying.
The jurors reported their verdict to Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of United States District Court, who told them solemnly that “ultimately, you have to make the final decision.” Judge Brinkema must pronounce whatever sentence — death or life in prison — that the jury decides upon.