Thursday, May 04, 2006


I figure most people have learned that the 13'th hijacker got life in jail instead of a death sentance.

I think that this is a good thing. I don't want the government to be able to hand out death sentances, definately not to it's citizens, and probably not to anyone tried in a civilian court. War is different. During war, the other guy can shoot back, and hopefully we've done everything we can to avoid a war before we have one.

But I think that the jury did the right thing when they gave Moussaoui a life sentance.
Now he will not be a martyr. He will also not be beyond our reach in the future...and he will not be able to cause any more harm.

I'm not advocating a life of comfort for this guy, but I don't think it's necessary to kill him. If the terrorists think it's weak to let him live, well, then I invite them to join him and see how much they like it. And since when did I start caring about how weak the terrorists thought I was?

Others disagree, and some agree...what do you think?

Update: Althouse quotes from a news article (she's got the link):

"In the case most comparable to Moussaoui's, the 2001 trial of four al-Qaeda members accused of blowing up U.S. embassies in East Africa, a federal jury in New York chose life in prison instead of death for the two defendants eligible for death. Ten jurors wrote on the verdict form that executing one of the men would make him a martyr, and five said life in prison would be a greater punishment.
Let's hope it is."

Ditto, and I do think life in jail is worse than a quick execution.

Update II: Moussaoui is obviously the 20'th hijacker, and I was obviously staring out into space (or otherwise distracted) when I wrote that (her name is...). I'm sorry for any confusion I caused...


  1. Actually, he was the 20th hijacker, not the 13th. You're possibly thinking of Antonio Banderas in The 13th Warrior. Maybe.

    The jury says life without parole rather than the death penalty so I'm okay with that. I won't second guess that. The thing now is to ensure that he doesn't spend the remainder of the time alloted to him in prison recruiting of future jihadis.

    It'd be nice if prison recruiting of jihadis would be made a capital crime, say when/if future recruits go on to commit terrorist acts resulting in death or serious injury. Then we could make a correction if the jury has thusfar erred.

  2. thanks for the correction...

    yes, you are very correct to bring up that he should not be allowed to recruit more people while he's in jail.
    In fact, I don't see much reason for him to be talking to anyone besides guards in the jail, nor do I see much reason for him to have access to a computer or anything like that...

  3. What's her name, Ben? Is she good enough for you?

    From what I'm reading about Supermax, it's seems unlikely he'll have much chance of interaction with other prisoners. Which is just as it should be.

    I'm in complete denial about any possibility of him being extradited to serve out his sentence in French custody.

  4. I think I'm gonna keep her name under wraps for the moment. I'm in a tricky position at the moment, and I'd like to limit the possible embarrassment.

    But, yes she's amazing...the question is more am "I good enough for her?" (isn't that always the romantic's doubt?), and also if there is really time to legitimately persue the (hopefully mutual) attraction. The year is almost over, and then we'll go our separate ways over the summer, and I'll be interning in DC next I'm gonna see how it plays out for now.

    -Now, back to the actualy interesting important stuff-

    There's a possibility that he's gonna get extradited to France? What? That would be horrible...
    Where did you hear about this?