The Champion

December 2009 , Page 30 

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Control the Defense: Representing Zacarias Moussaoui

By Kenneth P. Troccoli

And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain. My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain. … I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway. But more, much more than this, I did it my way.
— Frank Sinatra, My Way (1969).


As I began my first week on the job in January 2002 as an assistant federal public defender (AFPD), my new boss, Frank Dunham, Jr., came to me with a problem. His newly appointed client, Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “20th hijacker” of the 9/11 attacks, had imposed certain restrictions on the conduct of his defense. These restrictions — which came to be known among those of us on the defense team1 as the “three Ms” — were: no motions, no mitigation, and no Muslims. That is, Moussaoui, in his capital prosecution, had ordered that no motions were to be filed, no mitigation evidence was to be presented, and no Muslims were to be interviewed or summoned as witnesses. Frank asked me to analyze the extent to which M

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