Noor Salman has been found not guilty by a jury of her peers for her involvement with her husband’s slaughter of 49 in an Orlando club.
The jury foreman has released a statement that explained they were “convinced” that the widow of Pulse Nightclub mass murderer, Omar Mateen, knew that her husband was planning an attack, but the jury’s hands were tied with regards to the final decision.
As Ed previously wrote, Mateen, who is one of the worst domestic lone wolf terrorists in United States history, had been on the FBI’s radar.
Jurors listened to eight days of testimony to render a verdict on charges that Salman helped her husband prepare for and plan the 2016 massacre at the nightclub. She was also charged with obstructing investigators’ efforts after the killing.
Matten’s attorneys argued that she had a low IQ and was subject to the abuse of her husband. They convinced the jury that even though the evidence against her told quite a tale, she was unable to do anything to react to it.
The court kept the identities of the jurors secret. Now, the jury foreman has released a statement as to why they acquitted Salman of these charges, even though they were convinced that she knew about her husband’s plans to commit a terrorist attack on American soil. The foreman believes the verdict may have been different had the FBI recorded their interviews with Salman.
Below is his statement in its entirety:
“As foreperson of the jury in the Noor Salman trial I felt it important that I present a juror’s perspective of the verdicts. I am giving you my perspective, and not speaking for the entire jury. My initial inclination was not to communicate with the news media at all, however once I returned home a watched the news coverage of the reactions to the verdicts I felt compelled to at least clarify several misconceptions.
First, I want to express my deepest sympathy to family and friends of the victims of this senseless tragedy. I understand the desire to hold someone accountable for this heinous act of violence. Omar Mateen is dead. He cannot be punished. It is only logical the world would look next to Noor Salman.
These past few days have been very difficult. We listened carefully to opening arguments, testimonies from both prosecution and defense witnesses, viewed many exhibits and heard closing statements. We received many pages of documentation from the court outlining very specific instructions related to the charges and how we should apply the law. We used these detailed instructions, our courtroom notes, and all evidence presented by both sides in our deliberations.
Having said that, I want to make several things very clear. A verdict of not guilty did NOT mean that we thought Noor Salman was unaware of what Omar Mateen was planning to do. On the contrary we were convinced she did know. She may not have known what day, or what location, but she knew. However, we were not tasked with deciding if she was aware of a potential attack. The charges were aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice. I felt the both the prosecution and the defense did an excellent job presenting their case. I wish that the FBI had recorded their interviews with Ms. Salman as there were several significant inconsistencies with the written summaries of her statements. The bottom line is that, based on the letter of the law, and the detailed instructions provided by the court, we were presented with no option but to return a verdict of not guilty.”
This verdict is not going to sit well with a lot of people for obvious reasons. She apparently knew what her husband was planning, but the jury was unable to find her guilty. So, Noor Salman is free to live her life as dozens of families continue picking up the pieces.
Everyone is entitled to their day in court and sometimes we don’t like the verdicts that are rendered.