Thursday, May 04, 2006

Moussaoui lives

I haven't really been watching the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui because I thought it was a forgone conclusion - he'd be found guilty and sentenced to death. It wouldn't matter that he was mad, it wouldn't matter that he had only periphial involvement in the plot, it wouldn't matter that he was in jail at the time and that an essential element of his offending was not telling the FBI whatever he knew (so much for the Fifth Amendment) - America demanded blood for September 11th, they were going to get it from Moussaoui, and bugger the facts. Moussaoui's behaviour during the trial - essentially demanding martyrdom - only supported this conclusion.

It turns out I was wrong. Rather than being sentenced to death, Moussaoui has been sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. The jury did not give in to America's nasty, vengeful streak and its desire for bloody revenge, but instead asked the right questions and concluded that Moussaoui didn't deserve to die. It's a small victory for humanity over barbarism and the mentality of the lynchmob - but only a small one. Post sentencing, fully half the jury expressed doubts about Moussaoui's involvement in the plot, which makes you wonder why they voted to convict in the first place...


To be protected by the 5th one has to explicitly call on it. Moussaoui did not, instead he chose to lie. So the 5th is irrelevant.

He was charged, tried and convicted by a jury on the basis of the evidence and his own admission of involvement in the 9/11 plot. Surely that is what you would want from a justice system.

Posted by Neil Morrison : 5/04/2006 01:41:00 PM

Neil: as I said above, those doubts expressed by members of the jury do undermine the credibility of the conviction somewhat. But it was still a lot better than it could have been. And I have to say that the judge did her best to give Moussaoui a fair trial, despite his efforts to the contrary.

My main interest is really that he didn't get the death penalty. No-one deserves that, not even terrorists.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/04/2006 01:55:00 PM

I/S - people are generally convicted following a guilty plea.

Moreove, the jury don't get a say.

This is pretty standard around the world - the US, the UK, France, India, even NZ.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 5/04/2006 09:42:00 PM

Anyway it doesn’t bother me too much even if he is innocent (that is the giving him a life sentence part).
There is also reason to want to lock up a person who is willing to claim to be a mass murderer in order to get themselves killed. That’s not a guy you want wandering around in public.

If I am right you used to have an alias. Dumping it really made it hard for me to find your posts!

Posted by Genius : 5/04/2006 11:08:00 PM

He did plead guilty, you know. Makes you wonder just how bright the jurors 'expressing doubts' were, really.

Anyway, to recap:

- he pled guilty to supporting a plan that murdered 3000 people

- he expressed absolutely no remorse, in fact taunted and cursed his way through the entire trial, even verbally attacking his own lawyers

- finally, after the sentence of life imprisonment was handed down, he declared that he'd be free by the end of George Bush's term as president

He deserved to die.

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 5/05/2006 01:45:00 PM