"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Friday, May 05, 2006

"America, you lost. ... I won."

That's the hard truth that Moussaoui uttered after masterfully manipulating our "justice" system to avoid the death penalty. It's really not surprising that a jury, even a Virginia jury, might pass on executing this guy, since the usual, moronic and irrelevant "I had a wretched childhood" show was put on by the usual warmed-over 60's radical lawyers (Gerald Zerkin is well known as a long-time agitator and activist against the death penalty, having been praised by such pro-criminal lobbies as Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (that's him in the pic getting his award)). Also, the relentless and dishonest propaganda barrage by the legal, religious, and political left against the death penalty and the criminal justice system is no doubt beginning to pay dividends to the defense bar.

It is refreshing, however, to note that the jury did not buy for one second the main contention of the defense that the accused was mentally incompetent or schizophrenic and therefore did not merit death. They specifically rejected that contention.

So while the Islamic world contemptously chuckles at our quaint devotion to "due process," we are left wondering: what would it take for us to fight back and start treating this as the war our enemies recognize it as already? If we understood that Moussaoui was not just a domestic criminal commiting a criminal act, but rather a trained, devoted soldier dedicated to waging war on our people (although since he was acting contrary to the Geneva conventions, he is not entitled to be treated as a POW), we might conclude: in such cases, a quick military hearing to ensure we've got the right guy (not at issue here, given his repeated confessions), then off to the firing squad. Leave the Peyton Place death penalty litigation circus to the "routine" cases of aggravated murder; that's the appropriate forum for people like Zerkin to showboat and excuse murder by appeal to the murderer's underprivileged upbringing: our country will survive the sad excuse for justice that such pandering antics produce; it may not survive too many Moussaoui-like trials.

As to making him a "martyr" by executing him, this strikes me as the lamest of reasons not to kill him. Our enemies are dedicated to our destruction, and simply imprisoning this terrorist will not sway them in the slightest from their goals. The only thing this verdict did was to re-affirm the belief of our enemies that we are too morally weak to kill our enemies and will not fight them seriously or proportionally; and to give our guilt-ridden and cowardly leftists grist for self-congratulatory rhetoric about how we are superior to the enemy because, as with every social and political issue, we resort to lawyers to solve our problems.

At least there was one upside to the verdict: we did not have to watch this guy bloviate on some cable show.


Anonymous said...

Tom, I am sorry that you feel that your team did not win, but in a Democracy, we must be respectful of jury verdicts. Moreover, as the jury has absolute discretion to decide not to recommend the death penalty, we must respect the fact that they can choose whatever mitigating factors they wish to use. This is the law in the United States because the framers were fearful of government using the power of criminal process to punish or execute people for essentially political crimes, regardless of the reading of the statute. I would urge you to work for changes in the constitution – perhaps one that specifically allows the death penalty in certain cases, and prevents the use of mitigating factors.

What is strange about this case is that he offered to plead guilty, and the way the law is, he would have received precisely the same sentence (maybe with one less life term).

What is sad about this case, is that the government has offered it up as an example of the “war on terror.” The problem is, is that this guy was borderline nuts. Indeed, he doesn’t seem like much of a threat to me. He seems more like an angry smurf, who will cause danger to Americans he was smart enough or disciplined enough. Which he is not. So, America is no safer with him in jail. So, as you point out, he wasn’t a solider of any sort: he was a poor criminal.

(Whether or not he would be eligible for Geneva Convention protections is a bit of a difficult issue which, as of yet, is somewhat unsettled by the courts. Most likely GC3 would initially protect him insofar as the determination of his eligibility for the such protections is concerned. But, there is some debate on this issue, and I don’t expect you to be aware of the legal issues.)

The truth may be much scarier than this guy. The truth may be that the architects of the war on terror are cold; sophisticated; calculating; and so much like Americans that it is scary. Some may even have coached softball, and acted like Americans in every way, shape and form.

Whether or not a mitigating factor is “lame” or not is a matter of perspective. Indeed, some of the aggravating factors seemed quite lame. For instance, it is unlikely that he knew of the government property (and offices) at the World Trade Center. Strangely enough, the government was able to call them an aggravating factor, even though they merely were a different kind of property damage.

Indefensible said...

Hi Tom,
Always happy to be your silver lining.