Americans who are troubled by the decision to send alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York for trial will feel better about it when he’s put to death, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
During a round of network television interviews conducted during Obama’s visit to China, the president was asked about those who find it offensive that Mohammed will receive all the rights normally accorded to U.S. citizens when they are charged with a crime.
“I don't think it will be offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him,” Obama told NBC’s Chuck Todd.
When Todd asked Obama if he was interfering in the trial process by declaring that Mohammed will be executed, Obama, a former constitutional law professor, insisted that he wasn’t trying to dictate the result.
“What I said was, people will not be offended if that's the outcome. I'm not pre-judging, I'm not going to be in that courtroom, that's the job of prosecutors, the judge and the jury,” Obama said. “What I'm absolutely clear about is that I have complete confidence in the American people and our legal traditions and the prosecutors, the tough prosecutors from New York who specialize in terrorism.”