Alexandria, Va. Prosecutors acknowledged Thursday the government has no evidence to support - and actually doubts - part of Zacarias Moussaoui's dramatic courtroom confession that he was involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: his claim that shoe bomber Richard Reid was to be on his team.
Thanks to legal maneuvering outside court, the potentially damaging concession reached the jury in a decidedly undramatic way: It was part of a stipulation agreed to by the government and read to the jury in the monotone voice of defense lawyer Alan Yamamoto.
The disclosure came shortly before the defense rested its case for sparing the life of the 37-year-old Frenchman.
On Monday, jurors who must choose execution or life in prison for Moussaoui will hear closing arguments and begin deliberations.