May 3, 2006

Moussaoui jurors decide on life in prison

No virgins for you!

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 3 — A federal court jury spared the life of Zacarias Moussaoui today, voting to send him to prison for the rest of his days rather than condemn him to death for the carnage of Sept. 11, 2001.


Although Mr. Moussaoui testified that he was proud to belong to Al Qaeda and took delight in the 9/11 attacks, his lawyers portrayed him as a bumbling terrorist hanger-on who slid in and out of mental illness. To execute him, the lawyers argued, would be to grant him a martyrdom he did not deserve.

UPDATE 5/4: Slate's Dahlia Lithwick nails it:
This case was about a conspiracy, about some factual connection, however attenuated, between Zacarias Moussaoui's jihadi heart and the events of 9/11. And although the government has steadfastly stood by its legal claim that it was enough for Moussaoui to have wanted to be on those planes on 9/11, enough for him to have delighted as those planes went down, the jurors recognized this afternoon that a conspiracy to aid in a terror plot requires more than just a bad heart, and more than mere willingness to participate in the next one.

This decision, which will doubtless bring with it some serious national fallout, is more subtle, and more courageous, than the prosecution itself. Acting as a check on a runaway state, these jurors refused to allow a government needing a scapegoat and a man wishing for martyrdom to stand in the way of the facts. These jurors understood that for this country to kill a terrorist for his ideas, hopes, and dreams is not much different than the terrorist's desire to come here and kill us for ours.
(Props to BARBARian colleague the Decider King of Zembla for the link.)


wom said...

I would've liked to see death on this issue. Rather than have the taxpayer's money fund a shelter and food for this guy, death would've been more appropriate. He has confessed to the plot numerous times. I'm a religious person so I have my faith in God to punish him after death.

JollyRoger said...

Life was exactly right for Zacharias.

The guy is obviously so bent that he'll be dangerous forever, but I seriously doubt that he was ever more than a bit player on the playground he inhabited.

Manny Kulkowski said...

Guess once he's inside he'll die a small death every day as his ass is reamed mercilessly by his new 'boyfriends'. Can't see him lasting too long in there to be honest.