On the 3rd of May 2006, there was a verdict entered against Zacarias Moussaoui for life imprisonment. This man has admitted being a terrorist, and planning attacks against America. Of the jurors in this case 6 found that at least some level of involvement with the 9/11 attacks was borne by this man. Reasons for the life sentence instead of death included the fear of making Moussaoui a martyr, as per MSNBC at 6:10 on 5/4/06.
I say this to express my disgust in the verdict. Once guilt was determined the penalty should only have been death. The violation of national security, the planned extermination of civilians en masse, with prejudice, and the complete lack of remorse would make that obvious to me. Serial killers have been given the death penalty for far less victims and a negligible threat to the safety of the nation. By Moussaoui’s own admission of his intent/participation in attacking this nation he has labeled himself a combatant against the institution of America. Combatants against a government are normally armies, and their punishment is normally death. Even spies during, and sometimes without, times of war have been killed for their part in weakening the nation and increasing the threats against American. (One example is the Rosenbergs from the 1950’s)
Unlike those who feel that imprisonment for life in a primarily solitary cell is harsher punishment, an opinion I do respect but disagree with, there is no punishment greater than death. For someone without remorse and convinced in their righteousness, I feel, life is just the opportunity to continue to revel in their actions. A person in such a sentence becomes a symbol for those who believe in the same views. Similar in a way that Mr. Nelson Mandela was a symbol in South Africa. And of course keeping such a person alive is an expense to the American taxpayer, to provide food, electricity, water, housing and guards.
The question is not if this is a gut reaction to having the only person with a responsible connection to 9/11 in our system. Much like the execution of Tim McVeigh for the terrorist act of 1995, it is the penalty paid to attack civilians of our nation. Those who believe in the actions of Moussaoui and others do not fear imprisonment, nor even death. They are not afraid of incarceration, or our justice system. It is my impression that they see our actions as being soft and a sign of weakness.
I have mentioned that I feel our actions in Iraq are not linear nor are they as effective as we would hope. I have mentioned that I feel it is impossible to fight an ideal physically. Given that I must say that it is possible to fight and punish individuals. I think that not fully penalizing individuals, those that would kill without cause or concern for children, mothers and civilians, is insulting to the victims.
Would anyone question whether Osama bin Laden should be held responsible for all the American lives lost since 9/11? And would anyone think that life imprisonment is worth the effort and lives?
This is what I think, What do you think?