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Husband Of 9/11 Victim Opposes Death Penalty For Accused Plotters, Mastermind

Courtroom drawing shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (C) and co-defendant Walid Bin Attash (L) attending a pre-trial session in 2008 in Guantanamo Bay. (AFP PHOTO/POOL/ Janet Hamlin)

Courtroom drawing shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (C) and co-defendant Walid Bin Attash (L) attending a pre-trial session in 2008 in Guantanamo Bay. (AFP PHOTO/POOL/ Janet Hamlin)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The husband of a woman killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks said the events of the past cannot change his beliefs in opposing the death penalty.

Earlier this month, Blake Allison was one of 10 relatives of victims to be chosen to attend the arraignment of confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four others in Guantanamo Bay.

While there, Allison met with defense attorneys and offered to testify against using the death penalty in the case.

“I had made clear to the prosecution in previous meetings, as recently as the summer of 2011 in Boston, my opposition to the death penalty and my willingness to make a victim’s statement on the behalf of the defense,” the 62-year-old told 1010 WINS.

Allison is aware his position is controversial but claims he is not alone, adding that not all the family members of the victims of 9/11 want the death penalty for the accused men.

“It’s one thing to read in the Bible about turning the other cheek, it’s another thing to actually have to do it,” Allison said. “I feel a certain responsibility to do this. It is difficult. I really feel the people need to know the family members are not all of one mind.”

His late wife’s relatives are among those who support the death penalty in this trial but Allison said there is no excuse for him to go back on his beliefs.

“I don’t believe just because someone whom I was deeply in love and married to was murdered…excuses me to say, ‘Okay, I’m against the death penalty except for these guys because they’re so awful,’” Allison said. “I have to remain consistent.”

Allison said he has opposed the death penalty for decades and his wife’s death has not changed his stance on the issue.

“My opposition to the death penalty is not conditional,” Allison said.

Mohammed and his co-defendants — Ramzi Binalshibh, Waleed bin Attash, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi and Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali — face charges that include 2,976 counts of murder, one for each person killed in the Sept. 11 plot that sent hijacked commercial airliners slamming into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

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