Can NYC Afford the Terror Trials?

For Your Reading // Only in NY

Count me as someone who would philosophically like to see the 9/11 suspects tried in the former shadow of the World Trade Center. I think it would be powerfully symbolic to the world and illustrate the best principles of American justice in a time when that concept has withstood a serious test under the Bush administration. (I also believe that terrorists should treated as criminals rather than “enemy-combatants.”) And speaking for myself, a citizen who admittedly did not live in New York in 2001, but does spend each weekday in lower Manhattan, I do not believe we should allow the fear of further attack to influence decisions like this…

But reading an article like this, a good case is made that NYC simply cannot afford to have the trials held here, not because of cowardice (political or towards further attacks) but because budgets in New York State and City are looking pretty horrible these days. Should our budget and economic problems make New York pass up its chance to dole out justice for an act that disproportionately effected New Yorkers?

Bloomberg has previously estimated that providing security for the trials could cost up to $250 million per year. If the trials drag on, it is not unforeseeable the security price tag could hit $1 billion, a figure that doesn’t count the impact of that security on businesses and real estate values in lower Manhattan.

White House mulls moving terror trials out of Manhattan (Politico)