Zacarias Moussaoui is a convicted Al Qaeda terrorist.
You know that, and I know that.
Zacarias Moussaoui had prior knowledge of the 9/11 plot, and he may at one point have been assigned a part to play in that horrific attack or in a second wave.
I’m not prepared to dispute that, either.
Zacarias Moussaoui is a creep of the first order.
His testimony this week has been beyond remorseless: It’s been sadistic.
He gloated at the grief of survivors.
And he boasted that he would try to kill Americans again, “any time, anywhere.”
Still, Zacarias Moussaoui does not deserve the death penalty.
And not because the prosecutors coached some witnesses.
No, that would get him off on a technicality.
I believe his life should be spared on principle.
Yes, I do.
The death penalty--even for someone as heinous and despicable as Zacarias Moussaoui--is immoral.
Having the government execute Moussaoui would not demonstrate our revulsion at senseless killing; it would cloud it.
Having the government execute Moussaoui would not salve the pain of the 9/11 victims. That haunting pain will linger regardless.
Having the government execute Moussaoui sure won’t act as a deterrent.
It’s not like it’ll make Al Qaeda terrorists think twice before waging their next attack on us.
These are suicide bombers, remember. They’re perfectly willing to die already.
And having the government execute Moussaoui is hardly necessary for our own protection. Moussaoui, incarcerated for life without parole, would pose no risk whatsoever.
So why the death penalty?
The only reason is vengeance, and this primitive emotion should not prevail in a civilized society.
And so I say, yes, spare the life even of Zacarias Moussaoui.