April 6, 2006

"The lawyer portrayed his client as a pathetic figure..."

"...an Al Qaeda hanger-on sliding in and out of mental illness and easily influenced by radical Islamic propagandists."

Meanwhile, for the prosecution, Rudy Giuliani took the stand:
Mr. Giuliani... told of seeing a man plunge 100 stories to his death from the center's North Tower. But horrible as the sight was, it was only the beginning.

Moments later, the former mayor said, he saw several more people jump, including two who held hands all the way down. "That image comes back to me every day," Mr. Giuliani told a jury in United States District Court here.

The former mayor, whose cool presence on Sept. 11, 2001, was seen by many as the defining moment of his time in office, did not look at Mr. Moussaoui. Instead, Mr. Giuliani used a pointer and a three-and-a-half-foot scale model of the Twin Towers to depict what he saw that blue-sky morning....

As the former mayor testified, Mr. Moussaoui stared at him. Then, when prosecutors played videotapes of the Twin Towers' destruction, Mr. Moussaoui smiled.
A pathetic figure, indeed.

16 comments:

MadisonMan said...

A pathetic figure, indeed.

Yes, pathetic and ghastly. How could anyone who is (or plays) evil incarnate like that be considered sane?

jeff said...

How is it that old western line goes?

"Killin's too good for him."

Perhaps burying him up to the neck in pig excrement would work though...

Jennifer said...

MadisonMan - Can't he be insane yet still legally sane?

DaveG said...

And those others that succeeded in murdering 3000+ civilians? Was that a sane act?

I, for one, will not stand for seeing this piece of human filth portrayed as a victim of any sort, and that includes the "he wasn't sane, he was a victim of manipulators" gambit. He deserves the harshest penalty that can be applied, multiplied by 3000.

Smilin' Jack said...

The guy wants to go to heaven and the rest of us all want to send him there. Why is this taking so long?

Akiva said...

By normal standards, or at least Western society standards, plotting the murder of thousands and then being proud of your successful accomplishment may certainly be considered insane.

But what it wasn't was a mental abberation. It was well thought out, planned, and not driven by any abberant impulse. Rather, by a societal or collective impuse that views Western society as a target and defines human life as being of limited value compared to societal objectives.

You can't punish him according to your standards, even an ethical execution for him is a success. Let him face the standards he fears or he has truly won.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Truly said...

If the legal definition of insanity is the inability to distinguish between right and wrong, I don't really see how he can be categorized as insane. He knew exactly what he was doing and is only sorry that he wasn't able to participate more actively in the attacks. That's vile and depraved, not crazy.

What troubles me about executing him is 1) that's exactly what he wants, and 2) the people who agree with him have got a new martyr. Does that really further our interests?

Jennifer said...

Truly - I hear what you're saying. But the thought of only upholding our system of justice when it furthers our interests of the moment is troubling as well.

Truly said...

Jennifer: Fair enough. There are other reasonable objections to applying the death penalty in this case. What I didn't add, and probably should have, is the troubling use of evidence in this case and other prosecutorial bungling. More generally, there's the discomfort many people have with executing anyone, even people like this guy (I won't attempt to spell his name) who so richly deserve it.

Robert said...

We should let him appeal and appeal and stay in jail until the new World Trade Center site memorial is built, which should be as tall as the original. Then as part of the opening ceremonies, throw him from the top as a warning to all who seek to harm the US.

Tex the Pontificator said...

When acting as a mediator, I have often admonished emotional litigants that, even if they go to trial, the judge is not going to order done to the other party what was done to William Wallace at the end of Braveheart. But I would like to see that done to Moussaoui.

Patrick Martin said...

Jennifer: Regarding sanity, Moussai can definitely tell the difference between right and wrong (the legal requirement for sanity in criminal cases). He just has a different value judgment of what is right and wrong than we do. I think we would do more violence to our system of justice if we were to declare that all those with very different value systems than ours are insane.

We are saying that under our laws, what he did is wrong and illegal. If we said that anything done in opposition to our values must, almost by definition, be insane, then we would truly be imposing our cultural believes on others, by claiming that the others are not just wrong or misguided, but actually brain damaged.

twwren said...

"...an Al Qaeda hanger-on sliding in and out of mental illness and easily influenced by radical Islamic propagandists."

Arguably, this definition could apply to any of the 9/11 terrorsts and to anyone who would send his or her children into a crowded venue with a bomb in the name of Islam.

Moanique said...

Either way his sentencing goes, he becomes a martyr.

It may be less trouble in the long run for him to achieve his martyrdom in death than to achieve it by staying alive for 30 years as what many will view as a political prisoner. Kept alive, he instantly becomes the #1 excuse/justification for any number of hostage kidnappings stretched out over the rest of his life, natural or otherwise.

"Release Moussai or we kill all the hostages..."

You can just see that coming.

DaveG said...

"Martyrs" are reaching the level of ubiquity. Given the reduction in the term to essentially commodity level, I'm willing to take that risk in this case.