Zacarias Moussaoui shouted after his sentencing, "I won...! You lost...!"
Looks as if, very soon, he will have an entirely new perspective. Without cameras.... and without a forum. Plus, if he appeals his sentence, he won't be allowed to appear in court and rant in search of martyrdom. So, who really lost...?
U.S. Judge Leonie Brinkema had some tough words for Moussaoui, as counterpoint to his venomous and taunting words in the courtroom during the sentencing phase of his trial.
I would have preferred to see him executed for abetting the 9/11 terrorists by choosing to keep quiet about their planned atrocity, thus helping it to go forward. But, following the minority of the jury's poorly analyzed and misguided decision, Judge Brinkema, a Bill Clinton-appointed judge, sentenced Moussaoui to six terms with no chance of parole.
It was reported here that Brinkema "sent Zacarias Moussaoui to prison for life Thursday, to "'die with a whimper,' for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He declared: 'God save Osama bin Laden - you will never get him.'
Brinkema and the unrepentant Moussaoui capped the two-month trial with an intense exchange that will mark the defendant's last public words before his incarceration in a maximum security prison in Colorado....
Brinkema firmly refused to be interrupted by the 37-year-old defendant as she disputed his claim that his life sentence meant America had lost and he had won.
She went on: 'You will spend the rest of your life in a supermax prison. It's absolutely clear who won.' And she said it was proper he will be kept away from outsiders, unable to speak publicly again.
'Mr. Moussaoui, you came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory,' she said, 'but to paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, instead you will die with a whimper.'
At that point, Moussaoui tried again to interrupt her, but she raised her voice and spoke over him....
This artist's rendering shows Zacarias Moussaoui celebrating as he is taken from the courtroom at...Full Image 'You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending.'
Brinkema sentenced Moussaoui to six life terms without the chance of parole...."
The Editors at nationalreview said "Moussaoui was right. We Lost."
“America, you lost,” crowed Zacarias Moussaoui after a federal jury in Virginia voted against executing him for the savage murders of nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11, acts of war against the United States in which the same jury had found him complicit. For once, Moussaoui was right.
Understandably, Justice Department prosecutors suggested that we should take away a different message. Moussaoui, after all, does stand convicted of participation in al Qaeda’s terrorist conspiracy.... The government was right to undertake this effort. If participating in 9/11’s barbarism isn’t worthy of the death penalty, what is?....
Taking the jurors at their word, they didn’t spare Moussaoui because giving him the death penalty would turn him into “martyr” to the jihadist cause, or would somehow be better treatment than a life sentence. Instead, they homed in on run-of-the-mill personal-tragedy factors that are so common in death-penalty cases: Moussaoui had a rough childhood, his father had a bad temper, he was a victim of racial discrimination.
But a lot of people have bad home lives, and don't try to kill thousands of people, or commit acts of war. Treating Moussaoui’s personal difficulties as a mitigating factor in this kind of case is a denial of moral responsibility, and our war effort needs moral clarity.
The trial confirms that we have lost what once seemed to be the epiphany billowing from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. After 9/11, we were resolved that this was a war, not a crime wave. Al Qaeda was not merely guilty of a terrorist conspiracy; it was a hostile foreign power waging war against the United States. Its operatives were not just criminals; they were enemy combatants....
They would be subjected to military commissions. Justice would be swift. They would receive due process, but it would be the minimum owed to savage enemies of the United States with no claims on our Constitution. Moussaoui’s case presented the perfect opportunity to apply this new approach. Yet, in pre-9/11 fashion, he was indicted in the civilian criminal-justice system....
The trial took over four years; he turned the proceedings into a circus; his case has been up to and down from the appellate court twice; his early attempts to plead guilty were rejected because of due-process concerns; when he finally did plead guilty, the court, extraordinarily, bifurcated the sentencing phase, refusing to permit the government to present evidence about the horror of 9/11 until it first persuaded the jury of his culpability (a matter already settled by his guilty plea).
Then the jury, convinced of the guilt of a man who had already conceded it—indeed, a man who wore it like a badge of honor—determined that his act of war did not mean he should die.This is no way to fight a war—much less win one...."
I couldn't agree more! This unfortunate result, among other notoriously ridiculous outcomes of jury decisions---the O.J. Simpson trial comes to mind---calls out for use of professional jurors for criminal cases and military trials for terrorism and acts of war.
And judges should not have the authority to bifurcate a sentencing phase, or obstruct any other part of a trial, by restraining the prosecution from presenting all relevant and legitimate evidence to prove their case---or make their case for the death penalty.
It appears here to be a back-door judicial-activism method of getting around the death penalty. And smacks of the multiculturalist, global views against the death penalty in any circumstance.