Death penalty challenged in pirate case

2012-09-28 19:02

Norfolk - Attorneys for three Somalis charged with murder in the shooting deaths of four Americans aboard a hijacked yacht want a federal judge to stop prosecutors from seeking the death penalty if they're convicted.

The attorneys wrote in a recent court filing that the death penalty's infrequent use makes it arbitrary and unconstitutional.

Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar face a host of death-penalty-eligible charges related to the February 2011 hijacking of the yacht Quest.

In total, 22 of the 26 counts the defendants are charged with are death-eligible offenses. Their trial is scheduled to begin in 2013 and they have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors have not yet responded to the filing. Experts say some of the arguments have been made unsuccessfully in the past.

  • squeegee.pilot - 2012-09-28 19:36

    Give it to them! Pirates don't care about people, just money. They would do it again given the chance.

  • robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-09-28 20:46

    An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. Hang the bastards.

  • dave.ducker.3 - 2012-09-29 11:43

    Oh Please, Only if they are caught do they plead the please don't hurt me... perhaps they should not have murdered anyone... this whole system of goodie goodie softly softly is absolutely pathetic !!!

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-09-29 18:44

    Bullsh-t. Hang them, shoot them, whatever,but send a clear message. The reason these individuakls choose this path is because they know that if they get caught, some hman rights activist is going to get them off the hok. They then end up in a jail where they are better off than they would be at home.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-09-29 20:01

    They should have studied the laws before they decided to commit the offences. They deserve what's coming to them. How much thought did they give to the people they harmed. It's time to start looking at the rights of victims and not only those of the criminals.

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