Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

May 4, 2006

Moussaoui Life Sentence is Not The End of The World.

by Kevin Boyd

This morning Al-Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. This brings to an end a trial that featured the rantings and ravings of Moussaoui hen he denounced America and attacked the 9/11 victims. There are many around the blogosphere who did not support the verdict yesterday, denouncing it as a sign of weakness.

I respectfully disagree with the vast majority of the blogosphere. While I would have liked to see Moussaoui executed, I don’t have a problem with him spending the rest of his life in a Supermax. This denies the jihad a martyr to lionize and take hostages and commit attacks in the name of. For example, how many hostages have been taken in the name of Richard Reid or other jihadist scum in prison? To claim that the life without the possibility of parole sentence will only put Americans in harms way is nonsense. The jihadists will try and kill Americans and other Westerners regardless of whether or not Moussaoui gets a needle. Also, there is the fact that American justice has prevailed by giving Moussaoui a fair trial with a fair sentence that is permitted by law. This will be helpful in debunking the arguments by those both here in America and overseas who claim that America railroads Muslims and others in the justice system.

Finally, I think this exchange between the presiding judge and Moussaoui states why this verdict is not the end of the world:

Judge Leonie Brinkema, who presided over his trial at a federal courthouse in Alexandria, firmly rejected his claim that he had won, making clear that his six life terms in one of America’s notorious “supermax” prisons was a hideous way to spend the rest of his life.

“Mr Moussaoui, when this proceeding is over, everyone else in this room will leave to see the sun. . . hear the birds. . . and they can associate with whomever they want,” she said. “You will spend the rest of your life in a supermax prison. It’s absolutely clear who won.

“You came here to be a martyr in a big bang of glory. But to paraphrase the poet T S Eliot, instead you will die with a whimper.”

As the Moroccan-born French Islamist tried to interrupt her – as he has done endlessly in the more than four years of court proceedings – she raised her voice and said: “You will never get a chance to speak again and that’s an appropriate ending.”

Moussaoui has been denied his martyrdom. He will not be a hero in the Middle East. He will not get his 72 virgins. He will not get videotapes of him aired on Al-Jazeera. He will instead rot in a Supermax, alone and forgotten.

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