This Week in the News…

Posted: October 24, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Saturday, Oct. 18, The Free Lance-Star

Some Virginia Colleges Offer Smart Buy, Magazine List Shows

“If you’re writing tuition checks to a Virginia public college or university, congratulations. According to some, you’re getting a bargain. Virginia schools dominated the Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of the top 100 best values in public higher education, published in the finance magazine’s November issue. Locally, Mary Washington College was ranked 46. The University of Virginia ranked second, with the College of William and Mary following at third. Other state schools that made Kiplinger’s list in its November issue: Virginia Tech (10), James Madison University (51) and George Mason University (70).”

Monday, Oct. 20, U.S. News and World Report

Terror Revisited

“The evidence is imposing; the suspects were found inside a 1990 Chevy Caprice, which contained a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, later linked to 11 shootings. A stolen Sony laptop computer with maps of the shooting sites was also found in the car. In addition, prosecutors say they have a fleeting video image of Muhammad caught by surveillance cameras at a Big Lots store in Ashland, Va.; that’s where police traced a plastic bag containing a sniper’s note. ‘It seems [prosecutors] are 99.9 percent of the way there,’ says George Mason University law Prof. Craig Lerner. ‘But with such a big case, they are walking the extra, extra, extra mile.'”

Tuesday, Oct. 21, Chicago Tribune

Washington Sniper Suspect Defends Himself on Murder Charges in Virginia

“The decision was surprising since Muhammad had by all accounts two of Virginia’s best criminal defense attorneys representing him: Peter D. Greenspun and Jonathan Shapiro. Last week, he had expressed satisfaction with his attorneys. After Muhammad took over his own defense, his legal team remained to advise him. Legal experts predicted Muhammad’s decision to defend himself would prove disastrous for him. ‘There are lots of things that we hire professionals to do for us that we should not do for ourselves,’ said Dan Polsby, a George Mason University professor and associate dean. This is one of those things, he added.”

Thursday, Oct. 23, Globe and Mail

Muhammad Rehires Lawyers

“While acting on his own, Mr. Muhammad rambled through his opening statement and cross-examined a witness prosecutors allege he shot and robbed prior to last October’s sniper-style shootings. Some of his objections were overruled, and there were objections in court about the way he asked questions of witnesses. Yesterday, after he relinquished control, legal experts had mild praise for Mr. Muhammad’s turn as an amateur lawyer. ‘I was actually pretty impressed’ with the performance, said Michael O’Neill, law professor at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. ‘It humanizes him to an extent before the jury.’ But he said Mr. Muhammad’s lack of trial knowledge would have jeopardized his appeal prospects should he be found guilty.”

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