Patterico's Pontifications

5/3/2006

Moussaoui Penalty Verdict

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:28 pm



I predict death.

UPDATE: I was wrong.

UPDATE x2: Via Howard Bashman comes a link to the jurors’ verdict form. Pay special attention to page 9, where the jurors wrote in an additional mitigating factor that apparently had not been proffered by Moussaoui’s lawyers (who must be feeling both chagrined, and relieved that the jurors filled in this gap in their argument):

That Zacarius [sic] Moussaoui had limited knowledge of the 9/11 attack plans.

Three jurors subscribed to that view. That was obviously a critical factor.

27 Responses to “Moussaoui Penalty Verdict”

  1. I’m not persuaded the FBI would have believed Moussaoui in the summer of ’01, anyway.

    That the jury split on Moussaoui’s hardscrabble upbringing in foster homes as a mitigating circumstance was unconscionable. It should have been the first criterion rejected outright.

    steve (07463e)

  2. […] Update: Even the professionals were blind-sided by this one. […]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Breaking: Verdict reached in Moussaoui sentencing (d4224a)

  3. Moussaoui Life In Prison: Jury Says No To Martyrdom

    I’m a little disappointed here. I was hoping they were gonna fry this creep. The Jury has decided against the death penalty for Moussaoui. He will be serving life in prison. On the bright side, he will not be getting his wish to meet Allah, …

    Stop The ACLU (aa6604)

  4. Maybe it’ll calm the liberals for awhile. After all, they’re still grieving over the loss of Tookie.
    I’m not generally for the death penalty but this case would have been appropriate.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  5. Whatever. I’m not sure it matters whether he got the death penalty. Might even be worse for him in a way.

    [Normally I would disagree, but in this case you might be right. This guy will be housed at a Supermax facility with 23-hour solitary lockdown. That ain’t much of a life. — P]

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  6. This is the strangest death penalty sentencing that I can recall. It’s not often that everyone is at such cross purposes – the judge, prosecutors (even within their own ranks), defense attorneys, and the defendant all seemingly had different issues and agendas. Clearly this jury worked hard and it was a terrible case, but I can’t help wondering if the jury members finally just gave up.

    DRJ (3c8cd6)

  7. Since we can’t chase him off a tall building at the point of a flamethrower, I really don’t care. It would be interesting to know if it was 11-1, as some of the jury form seems to indicate.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  8. My only qualm is that I’m willing to bet that at least one American will die in the future in some hostage situation where Moussaoui’s release is a demand.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  9. >>This guy will be housed at a Supermax facility with 23-hour solitary lockdown. That ain’t much of a life. — P

    CStudent (59bfb8)

  10. Someday I’ll figure out how to post here . . .

    The rest of that comment was – if he ever is allowed to mix with other inmates he’ll be first on the list of people they want to shank.

    CStudent (59bfb8)

  11. Do we have a Supermax facility where the staff is trained in proper Islamic manners and procedures?

    Abu gharib, Gitmo and now yet another prison will fall under the liberal spotlight.

    Cookla14, Fran14 and Ollie14 (98b75e)

  12. Check out the UPDATE x2, which has a link to the jurors’ verdict form. Interesting.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  13. Shouldn’t that be “addition[al] mitigating factor?”

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  14. Yes. Thanks.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  15. Life for Moussaoui

    The only man tried in the United States in connection to the September 11th attacks got life in prison today instead of the death penalty:A federal jury decided Wednesday al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui deserves life in prison for his role

    The Sandbox (72c8fd)

  16. How could the jury answer “Yes” to II. C, D, E, F, and G, but “No” to I.B. and II.B?

    In I.A. and I.B., the jury found that Moussaoui’s actions created a grave risk of death but weren’t heinous, cruel or depraved (involving torture or serious physical abuse). What??? Sitting on those planes as they crashed into the WTC and leaping off burning buildings wasn’t torture and serious physical abuse?

    As to II.B., the jury refused to find that Moussaoui’s actions caused the death of 3,000 people. Okay, but then how can they square that with II.C., which found that Moussaoui’s actions resulted in injuries, disfigurement, etc. to the survivors? So Moussaoui caused the injuries to the survivors but did nothing to the people that died? That makes no sense.

    Maybe the jury felt Moussaoui did not directly cause the 9/11 deaths but II.B. doesn’t require that his actions were a direct cause of 9/11. If it does require that, then the jury should have answered “No” to everything in Parts I. and II.

    Unless I’m completely misreading this, and that’s certainly a possibility, the answers in Parts I. and II. aren’t consistent. I think the jury gave up.

    DRJ (3c8cd6)

  17. Most, not all, of the 19 hijackers had limited knowledge of the totality of what they were doing.

    rab (b9e68e)

  18. The guy seems to have limited knowledge of a lot.

    actus (6234ee)

  19. Beyond the questions of whether he will be served pork, provided access to a Quran, told which direction Mecca is from within his jail cell, etc., to what extent does he come in contact with guards?

    If he is a true jihadi, and is not afraid to die, what is to keep him from trying to maim, cripple, or kill a guard, be it one serving him food, one collecting his plates/dishes, or one escorting him to the exercise yard?

    There was a NY guard who was attacked by an Islamic fundamentalist, iirc, resulting in brain damage and the like. What is to prevent Moussaoui from trying to do the same thing?

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  20. There was a NY guard who was attacked by an Islamic fundamentalist, iirc, resulting in brain damage and the like. What is to prevent Moussaoui from trying to do the same thing?

    Something tells me that our penitentiaries have dealt with this sort of proble before.

    actus (ebc508)

  21. Tell that to Louis Pepe, “the Federal prison guard who suffered brain damage, partial paralyzation, and partial blindness after a former top aide to Osama bin Laden stabbed him in the eye when Mr. Pepe was working at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.”

    Here’s how ready the system was for folks like Moussaoui:

    Four of the prisoners under Pepe’s watch were members of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network, captured by German authorities and turned over to the United States in connection with the August, 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa that killed 231 people.

    Two of the terrorists, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim and Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, had an appointment that dreary Wednesday afternoon with their court-appointed defense attorneys. They also had a plan to take over the jailhouse, take hostages and win the release of other imprisoned muhajadeen.

    Here’s what they did, within a prepared federal correctional center:

    It all happened in an instant. As he escorted them back to their cells, Salim and Mohamed sprayed Pepe in the face with a homemade brew of pepper sauce and vinegar. Then, as Mohamed held the disabled guard down, Salim plunged a sharpened comb into Pepe’s eye with a blow so vicious that the hard plastic penetrated three inches into his brain

    (Emphasis added.)

    Yup, all ready for ’em.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  22. Tell that to Louis Pepe, “the Federal prison guard who suffered brain damage, partial paralyzation, and partial blindness after a former top aide to Osama bin Laden stabbed him in the eye when Mr. Pepe was working at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.”

    Can you imagine it? A prison guard getting hurt on the job?

    actus (ebc508)

  23. Moussaioui is and was an unstable, untrustworthy pawn in the plot. His prosecution was ridiculous from the start — Not only did our government disregard him and other warnings about 9/11, but if this is a “war” on terrorism, do our captured soldiers have a duty to tell the enemy of our plans and strategies or face enemy prosecution and the death penalty?

    This trial is a distraction. Why hasn’t the government “brought to justice” (as Bush repeatedly vowed to do to all terrorists) the two true planners we have had in custody for years — Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh? I don’t recall any speeches promising to endlessly “extract intelligence” from those we hold. It is a “war” only when it is convenient. Obviously, like almost everything else from the W. Administration, it is just rhetoric and appearances. They won’t try the REAL terrorists because they have torture to hide.

    nosh (d8da01)

  24. @nosh
    “do our captured soldiers have a duty to tell the enemy of our plans…?”
    our captured soldiers were presumably in uniform when they were captured, and consequently subject to the geneva convention, etc.
    if you accord martial status to moussaoui, he becomes an enemy soldier wearing a civilian uniform in our territory during wartime. traditionally, these folks are court-martialed and shot as spies. ever heard of the old soviet counterintelligence agency known as “smersh”? its name is a contraction of two russian words meaning “death to spies”.

    assistant devil's advocate (5dd979)

  25. Lurking Observer – it seems unjust to punish him for something other people have done which we suspect he might do.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  26. The jurors got it exactly right. Moussaoui will now spend the rest of his miserable life in a maximum security prison. He will die a pathetic old man, ignored by civilized society. He is an insignificant gnat. He will not die a martyr’s death. There will be no virgins waiting on the other side.

    Good riddance.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  27. It will take a few more terrorists acts on our soil but eventually we will come to grips with killing the enemy who want to kill us.

    Personally, once anyone signs up to be a suicide bomber, I’d be all for their death by our government. After all, they want to die, so why wait for them to take someone with them?

    Same thing for anyone like Moussaoui who professes that he would kill any and all of us if he could. They want us dead, then we kill them first. You can call it “preventive self defense” or “first strike self defense” — I don’t really care.

    But someday you will realize that the only way to respond to a fanatical group that wants you dead for no particular reason is to kill them first.

    It may sound bad to you or feel wrong, but it truely is the only response that is logical.

    Charlie (22cc32)


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