On January 4, 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a ruling [PDF] upholding 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui's life sentence. Moussaoui's attorneys appealed his conviction after he pleaded guilty to six conspiracy charges in April 2005. His defense team claimed that Moussaoui's rights were violated by an involuntary plea and the court's restriction of his counsel's access to statements made by other al Qaeda members denying Moussaoui's involvement in planning the 9/11 attacks. Moussaoui narrowly avoided the death penalty when one juror voted for a sentence of life imprisonment after concluding that Moussaoui played a "minor role" in planning the attacks.
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