The husband of a 9/11 victim who was among the handful of relatives at Guantanamo Bay for the arraignment of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other alleged terrorists says the accused murderers should not be put to death if convicted.
Blake Allison won one of 10 lottery tickets available for relatives of 9/11 victims who wanted to see their loved ones' accused killers formally arraigned on terrorism, conspiracy and other charges last weekend, reports The New York Post.
His wife, Anna, was a software consultant en route to visit a client in Los Angeles and was on board American Airlines flight 11. She was 48.
Allison told friends and family he wanted to go to Guantanamo Bay to "see the faces of the people accused of murdering my wife," reports the Post. While there, the 62-year-old ended up meeting with the lawyers of the accused, offering to testify against the death penalty should a military commission convict them of capital charges, according to the paper.
The wine-company executive's staunch opposition to the death penalty predates his wife's death. Allison told the Post he believes the death penalty should be off the table in the 9/11 case, though he acknowledges his wife's relatives and the relatives of the other 9/11 victims who went to Guantanamo Bay disagree.
"They want what they perceive as justice for their loved ones," Allison said of the other families. "I would never tell anybody in my position what they should feel."
"The public needs to know there are family members out there who do not hold the view that these men should be put to death," he added. "We can't kill our way to a peaceful tomorrow."
Allison said that his opposition to the death penalty does not mean he doesn't seek justice for his wife's killers, nor does it mean he believes that, given the opportunity, KSM and the alleged terrorists would take a different course of action.
"But for me, opposition to the death penalty is not situational," he told the Post. "Just because I was hurt very badly and personally does not, in my mind, give me the go-ahead to take a life."
Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights (MVFHR) is an international organization, based in the United States, of family members of victims of criminal murder, state execution, extra-judicial assassinations, and "disappearances" who oppose the death penalty in all cases.
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