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Families of 9/11 victims outrage over possible plea deal that would avoid death penalty for suspected terrorists

Some say it is not fair for the suspected terrorists to live when so many loved ones have died.

News 12 Staff

Aug 19, 2023, 2:38 AM

Updated 335 days ago


Some families of Sept. 11 victims are outraged after hearing the government is considering a plea deal that would take the death penalty off the table.
Some say it depends on what that plea agreement would include, but others firmly say no, it is not fair for the suspected terrorists to live when so many loved ones have died.
Every Sept. 11, Lorraine Seicol visits The Rising, Westchester County's 9/11 memorial in Valhalla.
"I bring my flowers and make sure I touch every stone, every name," she says.
Seicol knows people who died or escaped the Twin Towers. Now, she and her husband, David, are worried for them again on hearing the government is considering a plea deal that could mean none of the suspected terrorists would face the death penalty.
"There should be no plea deal," David Seicol says. He says he has never favored the death penalty, but in this case he is not so sure and it should be up to the families.
"They're the ones that feel it the most," he says.
The government is asking their opinions.
It has been more than a decade the case against accused mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others at Guantanamo Bay has been unresolved. Many of the delays are attributed to legal issues around the torture the suspects received. Also, there is the question about whether the case should move from military tribunals to civilian court.
"I think people need to know more details so that we don't forget, that we always remember," David Seicol says.
The Obama administration considered a move, but some victims' families were against it and there was​ concern about security costs. Some feel a plea may not allow them to get more information about possible involvement from Saudi Arabia for example, which has always denied it.
For their friends, the Seicols are among those who feel there should not be a plea deal in the case but feel it has to go through the legal process.
"It's fair to those families because a plea deal is not going to settle their souls," Lorraine Seicol says.
She says the first responders who are now dying from helping at ground zero also need to be heard.
The letter some family members have received from the government asks they respond with their thoughts by Monday.

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