Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Kiss of Death: It's disheartening when our political system runs more efficiently than our criminal justice system. It looks like Zacarias Moussaui is on his way to receiving the death penalty, but that trial is sure taking a long, windy road to get there.

For instance, Moussaui has already been found guilty. Then the jury determined that he is eligible for the death penalty. Now they have to decide whether he will actually be put to death.

I'm just wondering, why couldn't the jury just decide whether or not to kill Moussaui while they were deliberating about whether he was eligible for such a punishment? I'm sure it came up at some point in the conversation.

I know, legal procedure is convoluted like that. But this trial has been a circus from the get go. I'm not going to join the chorus that says it is impossible to bring due process to terrorist suspects, but I think this case shows it has limited effect. Nihilistic barbarians with nothing to lose will play the system every step of the way.

The other issue I hear everyone talking about is whether he should be put to death. He's an evil scumbag, we all know. But some people say we shouldn't kill him because that's what he wants. It would only make him a martyr.

Call my cynical, but I find it a little disingenuous when the same people who oppose the death penalty because they believe it's cruel and unusual are now opposed to it because it would be too nice. All the logical twists and turns in an argument aren't very persuasive when you end up in the same place you were before.

Besides, we really don't know what Moussaui wants. He's on the record saying he wants the death penalty, and also saying he doesn't. A terrorist flip-flopper. Is he seeking martyrdom but denying it to antagonize the jury? Or does he want to save his own neck and is talking about martyrdom as some sort of reverse psychology? Sounds to me like he's a nut job who believes he's supposed to die but is still trying to pick a fight.

Even if he wants to die, that shouldn't be a reason for us not to kill him. If he conspired to kill Americans, then by law he deserves the death penalty. Besides, Al Qaeda has plenty of martyrs to worship. One more won't make a difference.

Honestly, I don't care what happens to him at this point. If he dies by lethal injection, he's a martyr. If he is locked in jail for the rest of his life, he's still a martyr, via symbolic political prisoner or some such.

The 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, has already revealed that Moussaui was an Al Qaeda member who was to be tapped to kill Americans. Whether Moussaui was telling the truth about his role to fly a plane into the White House or whether he was supposed to be part of a different attack, that's all irrelevant. He is a dangerous terrorist, and now he's behind bars. Mission accomplished. On to the next one.


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