Thursday, May 04, 2006

In the Name of the Father, Go Granny!, -and- Who Ya Gonna Call?

In the Name of the Father - Navy chaplain may face court-martial for praying
Go Granny! - world's oldest person celebrates 128th birthday
Who Ya Gonna Call? - riot slimer will bring mob to its knees

Moussaoui said as he was led from the courtroom, "America, you lost." He clapped his hands. The jury's decision on Moussaoui was not an act of compassion; it was a gross failure of nerve. He should have been sentenced to death.

This is what Moussaoui did: He was in jail on a visa violation in August, 2001. He knew of the upcoming attacks. He had taken flight lessons to take part in them. He told no one what was coming. He lied to the FBI so the attacks could go forward. He pled guilty last year to conspiring with al Qaeda. At his trial, he bragged to the court that he had intended to be on the fifth aircraft, intended to destroy the White House. He could have stopped it. He did nothing. 2,700 people died.

The jury did not doubt Moussaoui was guilty of conspiracy. They did not doubt his own testimony as to his guilt. They did not think he was incapable of telling right from wrong. They did not find him insane. They did believe, however, that he had had an unstable childhood, that his father had been abusive, and that as a child he suffered the trauma of being exposed to racial slurs.

Of course he had a bad childhood. Of course he was abused. One generally does not become a killer because one enjoyed a childhood filled with love and sweetness. He should have been sentenced to death.

My complaint is not with the jury, however; my complaint is with the sentencing system. I believe it should be the responsibility of the jury to determine the verdict in the guilt phase, and it should be the judge's responsibility to pass sentence. Additionally, I believe there should be mandatory sentences for particularly abhorrent crimes, and mandatory sentencing in Moussaoui's case should have been death. Treason, terrorism resulting in death, mass murder, and serial murder should all qualify for mandatory death sentencing, in my opinion. Child rape should have a mandatory sentence of 25 years, and a subsequent offence should qualify for a mandatory sentence of death.