Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Throw Away the Key

The Moussaoui jury got it right, thank goodness. Sentencing him to life in prison accomplishes three things: it punishes him appropriately for the criminal activities he was involved with, it denies him the martyrdom he so obviously craved, and it restores confidence in America's sanity, that we are not willing to execute someone for a crime they only wanted to commit.

For my take on the trial, go here. But for a much more spirited, entertaining rant, go here.

UPDATE: The fantastic Dahlia Lithwick sums it up: 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.


Jeff said...

I, too, am glad he got life in prison. I don't think this is what he expected when he heard he'd get to have sex with a bunch of virgins.

(Just kidding... prison rape is nothing to joke about...)

little-cicero said...

You're right, prison rape is nothing to joke about. It's something to be serious about. I SERIOUSLY hope that Moussoui is someone's special friend in prison. That is the only way I will be appeased over this verdict.

kr pdx said...

Um LC, hypocracy on the homosexuality issue?

Brent said...

Well said. I think robbing him of martydom is the best way to punish him since it is what he really desires. Add a lifetime of confinement and justice was served. BTW, like your site and your entries. Came across it linked from another.

Matthew said...

Given what I have read about the case, I think the punishment is appropriate. There is a lot to be said for denying him martyrdom.

DJRainDog said...

l-c, the temptation to engage you is once again too great for me to resist. Mr. Roman Catholic "homosexuality is wrong abortion is murder toe the line believe it because they say it's true", how can you square all of this with thinking Moussaoui deserved the death penalty? How can you believe that death is a greater torture for him than being incarcerated, probably tortured by his fellow prisoners, left to rot and be forgotten in silence, which he most seems to fear? Regarding the death penalty in general, I will merely refer you once again to the book Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean. She's a Roman like you, though much older and wiser. Perhaps one day I'll have time to write about my experience meeting her. If you don't have time to read the book, do what most bonehead Americans do: watch the movie.

Trickish Knave said...

Personally, if he had received the death penalty I wouldn't have shed a tear. But after reading more into the case I can side with the decision of the jury.

But martyrdom, shmartyrdom. Denying him that status should have no forebearance on the decision. If this one day becomes a catalyst in our judicial system then the real assholes who deserve the death penalty will gel with this ideology.

What it boiled down to was conspiracy. He conspired to do harm to us but never actually did. Just as Anna Nichole Smith gave gold-diggers around the world a reason to unite, her case boiled down to a legal tort against her dried up husband's son.

The legal system works, most of the time, although it doesn't always end up like an episode of Law and Order.

Aethlos said...

AWWW... thanks for the link andy!... Yes, they got it RIGHT! Whoohoo! I was shocked and glad. Oh, and Jeff... prison rape is a PERFECT subject to joke about.... i've made a living at it. :)

little-cicero said...

I assume that we are talking about what Moussoui deserves here, and if so I would maintain categorically that this man deserves to be passed around that prison like a cigarrette, but alas he will luckily be in solitary confinement for the entire duration so there is little chance of this happening. I'm talking about retaliatory justice, not legal justice, of course, so that opinion would have no bearing in a court of law.

There is good reason to support the death penalty if indeed Moussaui took part in the planning of 9-11. If so he is no worse than the actual murderers. To say that a man has to pull a trigger to be considered a murderer is practically putting out a disclaimer for all mobsters saying "Don't whack Jimmy the Snitch yourself, get a hitman to do it and you won't be a murderer." So legally there are ample grounds to fry Moussoui.

As for the martyrdom issue, it is a non-issue to me 1) because he is not respected by the Islamofascist brotherhood to begin with, so calling him a martyr is like calling an abortion-bomber who is executed a martyr. 2)Even if martyrdom is at hand, it is more so at hand if Moussaui dies day by day in prison as if he dies in a single minute with a lethal injection. If martyrdom is based on death, surely there is more death in Moussaui's incarceration than there would be in his execution.

Also, since he explicitly denied execution and asked to live in court, there is reason to believe that he didn't even seek martyrdom as a primary preference.