Today, one of the most wanted men in the world, is now free and clear of American law enforcement.  Before you check the date of this blog, understand that this is only after Osama bin Laden was declared dead.  Originally indicted for the 1998 bombing of 2 U.S. embassies in Africa, the charges were dropped today.

Why Dismiss Charges Against bin Laden With A Nolle Prosequi?

The charges were formally dismissed on June 17, 2011 in Manhattan via a nolle prosequi filing.  A nolle prosequi filing is pretty rare, but it is used by a prosecutor in a criminal action when the prosecutor declares that he or she wishes to discontinue the action.  It literally means “we shall no longer prosecute” in latin.  In this case, the prosecutor’s filed this motion because bin Laden is dead.

The Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Geroge Z. Toscas, said that the U.S. government confirmed that bin Laden was dead.  This confirmation came through DNA samples, facial recognition technology and by verifying it with one of his wives, who lived in Pakistan.  Additionally, the Assistant Attorney General utilized CIA papers that detailed the efforts to make sure the man that was killed was actually bin Laden.  In fact, the papers showed that “the possibility of a mistaken identification is approximately 1 in 11.8 quadrillion.”   Because of this, the CIA concluded “with high confidence that the deceased individual was bin Laden.”

What Was The Original Lawsuit Against bin Laden?

The original lawsuit, which involved a grand jury voting to indict bin Laden in 1998, was based on charges he supported the ambush that left 18 American soldiers dead.  However, the dual bombings of American embassies in East Africa were added the indictment.  The charges included conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against U.S. nationals and conspiracy to damage and destroy U.S. property.

What do you think? Should bin Laden be criminally charged even though he is dead?

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