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Moussaoui appeals life sentence, refusal of new trial

[JURIST] September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] has appealed [notice of appeal, PDF] both his life sentence [JURIST report] on conspiracy charges and US District Judge Leonie Brinkema's decision to deny his motion to withdraw his guilty plea [JURIST reports] and grant a new trial. Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month at the conclusion of a two-month sentencing trial [case docket]. He pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in April 2005 to conspiracy charges [indictment] in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, including conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, conspiracy to destroy aircraft and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. Brinkema refused to allow Moussaoui to withdraw his plea [order, PDF] under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(e) [text], which prevents defendants from withdrawing a guilty plea after a court has imposed a sentence. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will consider Moussaoui's appeal. Reuters has more.

The US Marshals Service [official website] said Saturday that Moussaoui has been transferred [press release] to the Administrative Maximum facility [BOP backgrounder] in Florence, Colorado where he has begun serving his life term. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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