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article imagePoll Reveals NY Supports Death Penalty for 9-11 Terrorists

By Joan Firstenberg     Nov 22, 2009 in Crime
An exclusive Daily News/Marist poll finds there is broad support among New Yorkers for the death penalty in the Khalid Shaikh Mohammad terror case.
There were questions when the decision was made to try the five men accused of plotting the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks in New York City, rather than somewhere else. But New Yorkers now say they have no qualms that the jury will find mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his four cohorts guilty, and that they should be given the death sentence as a conviction.
The exclusive Daily News/Marist poll found that 77% of New Yorkers agree with President Obama that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his four helpers will be found guilty in a Manhattan federal courtroom.
And a number of New Yorkers said they would relish the idea of being on the jury that convicts them. Larry Amandola is a 48-year old electrician from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn....
"If I'm on that jury, there's no doubt they get a conviction - no doubt. I had a few friends who died on Sept. 11 and I worked [at Ground Zero] immediately after. The people that suffered through this have a right to judge them."
The poll questioned 811 New York city residents, and was conducted by The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion for The Daily News. It found that 47% of those questioned agreed with Attorney General Eric Holder's move to try the 9-11 terrorists in a civilian New York court, rather than in a military one. But 41% disagreed with Holder's decision.
One of the chief critics of the move has been former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who argued that a civilian court trial could be risky and expensive for the city, and gives the accused too many rights that they shouldn't get. ts.
The poll did wind up finding a good measure of apprehension about an Al Qaeda trial New York. Fifty-two percent said they were concerned it will increase the city's risk of a terror attack, while 45% said they were not worried.
The poll did uncover a minority who continue to question whether a jury in left-leaning New York City would ever return a sentence of death. But there is agreement that just will be served, either way.
William Nieves, a 27-year old bakery driver from Hell's Kitchen says...
"I don't think they're gonna get the death penalty in New York, and that's okay. They should serve life sentences because it's a worse punishment ...[Jail] will be worse than Hell. Guards, prisoners, everyone will be after them."
But attorney Steven Stegman, who is 67-years old and worked on Liberty Street and watched as the towers fell down, says he thinks New York will rise to the task.
"I would love to see them convicted in New York. It's poetic justice ...New York can do this."
More about 9-11 attacks, Trial, Death penalty
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