Tell us why KSM should be tried in your hometown.
Posted Friday, Jan. 29, 2010, at 5:24 PM
Rumor has it that Attorney General Eric Holder is getting some pushback from the City of New York over the proposal to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other alleged 9/11 terrorists in a federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan. Evidently Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, and all sorts of local merchants are angry about both the cost of the undertaking ($250 million a year to host the trials, an expense the federal government would pick up) and the effect on business in the financial district if roads are closed and tight security imposed. On Friday Julie Menin, the chairwoman of something called Community Board 1 in Manhattan, proposed a list of alternate sites for the Justice Department to consider, including Governors Island (in New York Harbor); the Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y., up the Hudson River; West Point; and the federal prison complex in Otisville, N.Y., near the Pennsylvania and New Jersey border.
Luckily, Mayor Nicholas Valentine of Newburgh, N.Y., quickly stepped forward to offer his hometown instead. Said Valentine: "Two hundred million and something dollars to Newburgh would completely change this city around. It would double my police force. It would pay off my debt. …. Maybe it's just crazy enough that we could pull something like this off." Maybe. Or maybe it's not quite crazy enough.
We think Slate readers can do better. Using the form below, tell us why your own town or city should host these trials. Submit your nomination by 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8. The winner might get $200 million in federal funds. We can't guarantee that Eric Holder will seriously consider your proposal. But we will—and we'll publish the best of them .
Thank you for your submissions. This contest is now closed.
Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate.