Despite two previous lengthy and expensive mistrials, federal prosecutors said today they will seek a third trial of six men charged with plotting attacks on Chicago's Sears Tower and FBI offices.
The two previous trials have reportedly cost several million dollars to taxpayers and both ended in deadlocked juries.
Critics say the two previous mistrials represent a significant failure for Bush administration policy regarding the prosecution of potential terrorists and that a third trial could be a further waste of time and money.
"I think it's an unfortunate mistake that the government is going to try this a third time. Two juries have examined the evidence and found it lacking, and I think the government should recognize that this should not have been prosecuted on the charges that were brought," Neal Sonnett, the former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, told ABCNews.com.
Indeed, the jury foreman from the first trial told ABCNews.com that the government simply didn't succeed in proving its case.
"There was a problem with lack of evidence," said foreman Jeffrey Agron. "There was talk of them wanting them to do certain things, but when they raided their headquarters they never found any literature dealing with Jihad or with terrorism, or bomb-making, or destroying buildings."
Critics say that unless the government has new evidence to offer, a third trial will be an expensive waste of time.
"You've got two juries that worked very hard to reach verdicts. They couldn't reach verdicts," said former South Florida U.S. attorney Guy Lewis. "That tells you that you're not there on the evidence that you have, and so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out you need to develop some new evidence."
The government built its case against the men with a paid FBI informant who infiltrated the group posing as an al Qaeda terror group member. The informant offered to help them obtain new boots, guns and $50,000 from al Qaeda if they swore allegiance to the Islamic terrorist organization.
Unaware they were being videotaped by the FBI, the men took a loyalty oath led by the informant.
The arrests of the men, from Miami's impoverished Liberty City neighborhood in June 2006, drew national attention, with the Bush administration touting the arrests as an important victory in the war on terror.
But defense lawyers argued that the men had no intention of carrying out any attacks and were only interested in conning the informant out of money.