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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Noor Salman “Not Guilty” of Aiding and Abetting Pulse Nightclub Attack

Noor Salman, widow of Omar Mateen, the lone gunman responsible for what was then the worst mass shooting ever committed on American soil, has been acquitted of all charges by a jury today.

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Salman was charged with aiding and abetting Mateen in his killing spree at the Orlando Pulse Nightclub in June 2016 that left 49 people dead and 58 others wounded before he was himself killed by police.

Prosecutors charged that Salman attempted to provide material support to a “terrorist organization,” but failed to convince the jury of her guilt.

Reaction to the verdict was predictably swift and angry. Emotions are running high. The jury foreman spoke with the Orlando Sentinel to explain the jury’s decision to acquit.  The jury apparently believed that Salman knew about the attack, but did not believe she aided and abetted the crime’s commission.

People often witness crimes in progress and shut their curtains or turn a deaf ear and fail to call 911 because they “don’t want to get involved.”  This case, therefore, raised the larger question: do we prosecute people who fail to report crimes they know are going to happen or actually see taking place?  If so, will it also apply to parents who are aware of their child’s violent proclivities but hope that therapy will change them, or that they will simply “grow out of it?”

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