Thursday, April 06, 2006

Let Moussaoui Live!

By putting Zacarias Moussaoui to death, we are playing right into his hands, and validating everything our enemies say about us. Richard Cohen makes the very sensible case for life imprisonment in today's WaPo:

The process is almost a parody of justice -- a laborious procedure to carry out what most of us recognize is nothing more than revenge. Call it justice if you will, we all know what it really is....With the government's help, [Moussaoui] will attain what he always wanted -- martyrdom.

Zacarias Moussaoui's execution will do no good. We will see it as justice, but so will he. With a lot of money and immense effort, we will give some of the world another martyr -- and Osama bin Laden can finally close the book on his most successful mission.


Blogger hurtleg said...

If the SOB wants to die for his cause, let him. I don't think it will act as much of a deterent, but I think the punishment should fit the crime.

As Patton famously put it, "You don't win wars by dying for your country, you win by making some dumb bastard die for his."

2:23 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

For the death penalty to be at all effective in this case, it would have to be something that the government does not have the grapes to do. They should desecrate this man with all sorts of forbidden things like pig guts, alcohol, and maybe some gay man's clothing, and then kill him.

Barring that (and it will be barred), I agree with the author. An easy death is not going to do anyone any good, and really, it's not going to bring back anyone either. It's going to have all of the negatives, practically and morally, that go along with an execution, with none of the positives.

I believe our government needs to read more Skinner.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

The death penalty has been conclusively proven to have little to no deterrent effect, one of the many trump cards we death penalty opponents have. In the Moussaoui case, I think it's plausible to assume his execution will have the OPPOSITE effect - he will be celebrated as a martyr, and will reinforce the nutjob terrorists' resolve.

The revenge-based mentality that advocates executing Moussaoui - heedless of the consequences, divorced from any rational strategic objective - is the same thinking that got us into the current expensive and futile quagmire in Iraq.

Patton may have been a wise and famous man, but his words don't apply here. We are not "making" Moussaoui die for his "country;" we are executing him. And how that will win any war is beyond me.

There's also the sticky matter of ZM not actually having killed anyone. Basically we'll be executing him for the crime of not telling investigators of the 9/11 plot - which, apparently, it was ZM's responsibility, rather than law enforcement agencies, to prevent. This may be an egregious crime, but saying it warrants the death penalty is a slippery slope. Say I see a traffic accident happen and keep driving. Then some other motorist trailing me, unaware of the accident, slams into the cars and dies. Am I criminally negligent for not having warned authorities in time? And does it warrant my execution?

Maybe the legally-trained among us know: is there legal precedent for executing someone for murder, the planning of which he neglected to inform the authorities of? Even with the information, there's no guarantee the FBI would have stopped the 9/11 hijackers, as ZM's lawyers pointed out.

12:00 PM  

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