Moussaoui is given life in prison without possibility of parole. The government wanted the death penalty as did millions of Americans. So why did a jury of twelve people decide against it? Did Moussaoui deserve to live? But here is a different question, did Moussaoui deserve to die?
This is not the same question. According to an article from the AP, “Three jurors said that Moussaoui had only limited knowledge of the September 11 plot and three described his role in the attacks as minor, if he had any roll at all.”
If this is the case, then to sentence Moussaoui to death would make him a martyr for his cause. This would be an underserved elevation of a man that barely had any part in the plot. But to Al Quida followers, it would not matter. His death would become a rallying cry behind which they could rebuild their ranks.
He did not deserve the praise of this cult. He did not and does not deserve to be remembered as anything more than a conspirator and a murderer. He shall not be given a ‘holy place’ in Al-Quida’s collective memory. He shall live out his days under lock and key.
The AP article also reports that Moussaoui clapped his hands and said “America, you lost. I won.” No Moussaoui, you only think you have won. But you will rot in prison, surrounded by hundreds of prisoners who will gladly murder you in your sleep. You will not be remembered. You will not have so much as an asterisk in America’s history books. You are nothing but a murderer who got off easy. What you wanted – eternal glory – shall be withheld from you. Even your sentence did not make the front page of the news. Just like the article on your sentence was buried on page 12A of the local newspaper, so will the memory of your existence be buried over time in the deep depths of America’s forgetfulness. This is one time I am glad that American’s have a short memory.
The government, Justice Department and the American people should not look on this as a defeat. Justice was served. This peon did not deserve any glory. This pawn will not be given a martyrs death. He will rot and he will be forgotten. He has had his 15 minutes of fame and after this, will be remembered no more.