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Pentagon won’t slow 9/11 death penalty filings

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GitmoA senior Pentagon official on Friday refused to delay a pre-arraignment phase in the prosecution of five Guantánamo captives accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks. Defense lawyers had asked to delay at least until this summer the process of filing memorandum on why the 9/11 trial should not go forward as a capital case.

They cited an ongoing dispute over the prison camps handling of privileged attorney-client mail, now being addressed in several courts, as well as delays by some defense lawyers in meeting with their alleged terrorist clients.

But the Pentagon official, retired Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald, wrote 9/11 defense lawyers on Friday that Monday was still the deadline to argue in writing why life imprisonment — not military execution — should be the maximum possible penalty in the future tribunals of confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other alleged conspirators.

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