Monday, April 03, 2006

Moussaoui can Face the Death Penalty

"Jury Finds Moussaoui Eligible to Die" sayz the Washington Post

The details:
A federal jury today found Zacarias Moussaoui eligible to die for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, concluding that Moussaoui's lies to federal agents paved the way for the deadliest terrorist strike in U.S. history.

The unanimous verdict in U.S. District Court in Alexandria means that Moussaoui's death penalty trial will now move to a second phase, in which prosecutors will try to persuade jurors to vote for execution while defense lawyers seek to spare his life.

A 12-member jury has determined that Zacarias Moussaoui, who pleaded guilty last April to six counts of conspiring with al Qaeda in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, is eligible to be executed.

Reading the verdict outside the courthouse, court spokesman Edward Adams said, "By this verdict, the jury has found that death is a possible sentence in this case."

As he was being led from the packed courtroom after the jurors had left, Moussaoui, wearing his habitual white knit cap and green prison jumpsuit, glared at the remaining spectators and yelled, "You'll never get my blood! God curse you all!"
What an upstanding representative of humanity! How civilized and compassionate Mr. Moussaoui is! The man who self-incriminates himself on the stand now calls down curses from God. How surprised will he be when God doesn't answer him?

Yes, it's easy to hate Zacarias Moussaoui. It's easy to cast upon him the guilt of the nineteen murderers that butchered over 3,000 lives on September 11, 2001. Mr. Moussaoui has made that easy himself. He identifies himself and convicted "shoe bomber" Richard Reid as the designated hijackers of a "fifth airplane":
Staring straight at his questioners, he said he was supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11 and fly it into the White House with a crew that included British "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.

Although he did not know the exact date of the attack, he said it was supposed to come just after August and that the World Trade Center was among the other targets.
He coldly admits his hatred of Americans during his own sworn testimony:
He said he wanted to kill every American and matter-of-factly explained how he was prepared to cut the throat of a passenger or flight attendant on the plane he would have hijacked.

And in a series of admissions, Moussaoui acknowledged he had lied to agents when he was arrested in Minnesota in August 2001 so as to allow the plot to go forward. According to testimony at the trial, Moussaoui told agents he was taking flying lessons purely for enjoyment.
How sweet it would be to jack a needle in his arm and send him to hell where he belongs. Yes, how inticing.

Too inticing.

How many of us have heard the expression, "If it looks to good to be true, it probably is."

That certainly applies to any execution of Zacarias Moussaoui. As heinous as his sins are, he is nonetheless a man, not a demon. Men enjoy a dignity freely given them by our Father in heaven. However wretched our lives or outrageous our crimes, we can't forfeit that dignity. No one can take it away. The state can only supress it and offend against it.

While Caesar has convinced the Court that Mr. Moussaoui's crimes render him liable for the death penalty, we Fools answer to a Higher Authority.

And that's tough. Right now, I want to jack the needle in him myself. Had I lost loved ones in 9/11, no security detail on Earth could separate me from him. And,believe me, he wouldn't last five seconds.

His death would absolutely satisfy me. That still doesn't make it right. My wishing for his execution on account of his participation in 9/11 doesn't justify it. His crimes alone do not justify it, catastrophic as they are.

Christ has made his teaching known through the magisterium:
56. This is the context in which to place the problem of the death penalty. On this matter there is a growing tendency, both in the Church and in civil society, to demand that it be applied in a very limited way or even that it be abolished completely. The problem must be viewed in the context of a system of penal justice ever more in line with human dignity and thus, in the end, with God's plan for man and society. The primary purpose of the punishment which society inflicts is "to redress the disorder caused by the offence".46 Public authority must redress the violation of personal and social rights by imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime, as a condition for the offender to regain the exercise of his or her freedom. In this way authority also fulfils the purpose of defending public order and ensuring people's safety, while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behaviour and be rehabilitated. 47

It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent. (Emphasis mine)
We can argue many things about Mr. Moussaoui. We can't argue that his death is necessary to defend the United States of America.

As scandalous as the teachings of Christ are, they are clear. The execution of even a sickening, hateful and anti-social coward such as Zacarias Moussaoui is wrong. Fools should not fool themselves with the Reasonable notion that somehow, just this once, it's not. For once, I wish I could be more Reasonable. These are the times when Foolishness is difficult. If it weren't, it wouldn't be Foolishness!

We face the thin line between justice and vengeance. Do we dare cross it?