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...