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Moussaoui Spared Death Penalty

An Alexandria, Virginia jury has decided that Zacarias Moussaoui does not deserve the death penalty for his role in the 9/11 bombings that killed nearly 3000 people.

A federal jury decided Wednesday al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui deserves life in prison for his role in the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history, on Sept. 11, 2001. On the seventh day of deliberation, the jury of nine men and three women informed Judge Leonie Brinkema that it had reached a decision. The verdict was announced at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

Moussaoui, a 37-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan descent, is the only person charged in this country in connection with the suicide jetliner hijackings that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

The verdict came after four years of legal maneuvering and a six-week trial that put jurors on an emotional roller coaster. The panel of northern Virginia residents was shown gruesome never-before-released images of the carnage that day, heard the first public playing of the cockpit recorder from United Flight 93 whose passengers tried to retake the jet over Pennsylvania, and watched and listened as dozens of victims and relatives described the horrors and losses they had endured. (AP)

Incredible. If Moussaoui doesn’t deserve to die for his crimes, almost no one currently on death row does. Those who argue that the current system of capital punishment is arbitrary and capricious have much more ammunition now.

Elsewhere:

    Rusty Shackleford: “Moussaoui deserved death. This is a travesty of justice.” and “I’ve got news for Moussaoui: watch your back in prison.”

    John Stevenson: “On the bright side, he will not be getting his wish to meet Allah, and become a martyr.”

WaPo has a roundup of previous Moussaoui stories.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. s settings in Windows to print on a paper of a certain size for a document, but Microsoft Word refuses to acknowledge the change when I print. How can I fix this? A. Microsoft Word may be ignoring the adjustments you made ifMoussaoui Spared Death Penalty Outside Beltway – An Alexandria, Virginia jury has decided that Zacarias Moussaoui does not deserve the death penalty for his role in the 9/11 bombings that killed nearly 3000 people. A federal jury decided Wednesday al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias

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  2. become a martyr. However, that is no relief to me whatsoever. I wonder how long he will last in prison? Let it be known, I do not think that justice was served here. I don’t even think he should have had a trial. This ruling really is an outrage!James Joyner at Outside the Beltway says: Incredible. If Moussaoui doesn’t deserve to die for his crimes, almost no one currently on death row does. Those who argue that the current system of capital punishment is arbitrary and capricious have much more

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  3. been able to prevent the death of 3000 Americans. UPDATE: Moussaoui shouted, “You lost, I won!” after the verdict was read and the jury had left the room. UPDATE II: Reaction… Jay at Stop the ACLU: “I wonder how long he will last in prison?”James Joyner: “Incredible. If Moussaoui doesn’t deserve to die for his crimes, almost no one currently on death row does. Those who argue that the current system of capital punishment is arbitrary and capricious have much more ammunition now.”

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  4. Meanwhile, somewhere in a cave complex in the wilds of Pakistan, Usama bin Laden smiles the smile of the strong horse and enjoys a plate of figs and mountain berries… (h/t Allah, who has more. See also, PJM,James Joyner, So Cal Pundit, Say Uncle, Stop the ACLU, Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, Wizbang, Joust the Facts, and Dread Pundit Bluto; Expose the Left has video of the announcement; political pitbull has audio of Guiliani

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  5. Stop The ACLU: “I was hoping they were gonna fry this creep. Let it be known, I do not think that justice was served here. I don’t even think he should have had a trial. This ruling really is an outrage!”Outside the Beltway: “Incredible. If Moussaoui doesn’t deserve to die for his crimes, almost no one currently on death row does. Those who argue that the current system of capital punishment is arbitrary and capricious have much more ammunition now.”

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  6. [IMG]23. Moussaoui Spared Death Penalty » Outside The Beltway | OTB (citations)[IMG] [IMG][IMG]

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  7. Moussaoui Spared Death Penalty Outside The Beltway | OTB

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  8. video of the announcement. Update: Even the professionals were blind-sided by this one. Update: Meryl thinks they made the right call, as does Pieter Dorsman, who says Moussaoui has “residual asset value.” Update:James Joyner: “Those who argue that the current system of capital punishment is arbitrary and capricious have much more ammunition now.” Still waiting for the answers to the juror questionnaire to be posted.

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  9. Meanwhile, somewhere in a cave complex in the wilds of Pakistan, Usama bin Laden smiles the smile of the strong horse and enjoys a plate of figs and mountain berries… (h/t Allah, who has more. See also, PJM,James Joyner, So Cal Pundit, Say Uncle, Stop the ACLU, Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, Wizbang, Joust the Facts, and Dread Pundit Bluto; Expose the Left has video of the announcement; political pitbull has audio of Guiliani

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  10. Update #3James Joyner: “If Moussaoui doesn’t deserve to die for his crimes, almost no one currently on death row does.” Well, yeah. That’s sorta my whole argument. Read more

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  11. Moussaoui Life In Prison: Jury Says No To Martyrdom…

    I’m a little disappointed here. I was hoping they were gonna fry this creep. The Jury has decided against the death penalty for Moussaoui. He will be serving life in prison. On the bright side, he will not be getting his wish to meet Allah, …

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  12. Verdict reached…

    In a few minutes, the world will find out whether 9/11 conspirator Zacharias Moussaoui lives or dies. More… No virgins for Moussaoui; life in prison. Clarity and Resolve: The Fiend Lives James Joyner: “If Moussaoui doesn’t deserve to die for……

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  13. Steven Plunk says:

    The death penalty is what he wanted so he could become a martyr. Denying him that is a form of justice.

    While he clearly deserved to die, the life in prison verdict may be the best for our country. Society is passing judgement here and as such society may deem not creating a poster child for terrorists a good thing. If given death the appeals would have taken forever and we would see his face on TV for many more years.

    Perhaps he will be killed in prison and therefore not be a martyr but just the pathetic human being that he is.

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  14. agoh says:

    no one currently on death row does.

    The majority of the world’s countries have abolished the practice of capital punishment.

    Perhaps the jurors are rejecting the barbarism epitomized by terrorists like Moussaoui in favor of an affirmation of a civilized culturre of life?

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  15. Moussaoui Gets Life: Travesty of Justice…

    A jury has sentenced Zacarias Moussaoui to life in prison for his part in the 9/11 conspiracy. News reports just breaking the story. Updates soon. Moussaoui deserved death. This is a travesty of justice. Video of announcement. MSNBC: A……

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  16. [...] Al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui should spend the rest of his life in prison for his role in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, a federal jury decided Wednesday. [...]

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  17. Herb says:

    Well, we done it again. We let a foreigner who came to this country to kill us, off the hook with all the aid and help of a Federal Judge who told the jury how to reach a verdict with a forty two page list of instructions. Justice, Yeah, we sure have it in this country and we have the bastardization of our laws and Constitution to prove it and with judges who act like they and they alone are the law and to hell with what the people think. How many times have we seen such blatant use of individualized power?
    The jury in this case, if they were true Americans, should have told the Judge to take her 42 page document and “Stick It” and that they and they alone would decide the verdict.

    Now the taxpayer, who is on a “Death List” from the likes of Moussaoui, will continue to “pay the Price” to keep this scum behind bars for life or until some other Federal Judge decides to let him go free. And from what I have seen from Federal Judges, I would not doubt it, if it happened.

    Well Mr. and Mrs. taxpayer, get ready to spend several more Millions of dollars to provide him with with all the “American Hospitality” we can give him, at your expense, of course.

    Isn’t it ironic that our Federal Judges let the killing of a helpless individual go forward, without the benefit of a full judicial review as requested many times, and we give animals like Moussaoui every benefit, review and assistance that can, or could be, provided.

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  18. [...] Dr. James Joyner says it’s “incredible” Moussaoui didn’t receive the death penalty. [...]

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  19. Life in Prison – About Right…

    Zacarias Moussaoui got a life sentence for the role he played in 9/11. This strikes me as about right. I have never been convinced that he had any role in the plot….

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  20. [...] Update: James Joyner: “Those who argue that the current system of capital punishment is arbitrary and capricious have much more ammunition now.” Still waiting for the answers to the juror questionnaire to be posted. [...]

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  21. Dave Schuler says:

    I’m relieved. Perhaps this will reduce the likelihood of the ball being kept up in the air.

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  22. hugh says:

    What were they thinking…

    Moussaoui Evades Death, Receives Life in Prison

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  23. Dave Schuler says:

    They were thinking that giving a suicide bomber the death penalty is pretty strange.

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  24. The Sandbox says:

    Life for Moussaoui…

    The only man tried in the United States in connection to the September 11th attacks got life in prison today instead of the death penalty:A federal jury decided Wednesday al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui deserves life in prison for his role…

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  25. Where Is Our Generation’s Jack Ruby?…

    I am angry almost beyond words. A federal jury decided today that Sept. 11, 2001, conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui should be sentenced to life in prison, rejecting government arguments that he should be executed for his role in the deadliest terrorist……

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  26. Rot in hell…

    I have no problem with the jury’s decision. If it was me, I’d probably have voted for death. The arguments for life instead are very strong….

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  27. Roundup of reactions to Moussaui sentence…

    Smoothstone: “America, you lost,” Moussaoui taunted, according to this article. Jawa Report roundup: So, you’re happy that Moussaoui got life in prison because killing him would have made him a martyr? … Does that apply to Bin Laden too? Much……

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  28. I support capital punishment, but I think this is the right verdict. Moussaoui didn’t kill anyone, so the death penalty would have been unjust in his case. And justice is what we want from a jury, not vengeance.

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  29. Myopic Zeal says:

    Moussaoui Denied Martyrdom…

    While some may cry that it’s a tragedy of justice, it seems that death and martyrdom were just what Moussaoui wanted. Life without the possibility of parole seems to me to be a worse punishment than death. After 50 years in the super max with …

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  30. Life vs Death…

    If the jury had handed down death for Moussaoui, I wouldn’t have complained. But life in prison is less expensive all around, especially in a country where, the moment someone is placed on death row, a taxpayer-funded juggernaut goes into motio…

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  31. The American Taxpayer = Moussaoui’s Sugar-Daddy

    That’s just great.

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  32. ICallMasICM says:

    Countdown to the first Free Moo-sow-ee sighting

    10..9..8..7..

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  33. T. Longren says:

    Moussaoui Gets Off…

    A jury decided yesterday that Zacarias Moussaoui doesn’t deserve death for the hand he played in the 9/11 attacks. How the fuck did they come to that conclusion? They should have killed him.
    The jurors deliberated for 41 hours over a seven day …

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  34. Moussaoui’s Daily Schedule in Supermax…

    6:00am – Wake up to audio broadcast of The 700 Club
    6:30am – Shower and shave (no more scraggly beard)
    6:35am – Gang-raped in the shower
    7:00am – Breakfast (bacon, sausage)
    more……

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  35. yakziry says:

    A person who helped kill 3,000 people I believe should have gotten the death penalty. We should not spare someones life when he wasn’t willing to spare thousands of innocent lives. If he would have cooperated with the FBI those lives would have been saved but he chose to go the other way. I was given the assignment by my CWP teacher to agree or disagree with the verdict. As you have read i totally disagree and why should we waste our tax money to support a terrorist stay alive in a cell for the rest of his life?

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  36. Jeremy Hymes-Balsley says:

    Hey, he didn’t deserve death because he WANTED death. You don’t give criminals what they want. You give them what they don’t want!

    Now, he’ll be denied being a martyr. Instead, he’s just a common criminal doing life for, at the least, being stupid enough to claim he was involved with 9/11, and at worst, actually being a part of it.

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