Judge Sentences Moussaoui to Die with a Whimper
Judge Leonie Brinkema got in the last word today, as she sentenced Zacarias Moussaoui to six consecutive life terms in prison.
U.S. Judge Leonie 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 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. “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. 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. “You will never get a chance to speak again and that’s an appropriate ending.” [AP]
Unfortunately, though, it is not at all clear who “won.” Moussaoui began this process having pled guilty and with life without parole as his best option. The only purpose for the trial was to elevate that sentence to execution. That was not accomplished.