Techniguy - 05-04-2006

Today, Zacarias Moussaoui received his sentence of life in prison and all I've been seeing is outraged Americans. Should Moussaoui have received the death penalty? In my opinion, no.

In the first place, he didn't kill anyone, although under the law, conspirators are considered equally as guilty. Should a conspirator be sentenced to death? They say he had information that could have prevented 911. Maybe he did, but 911 might also have been prevented if intelligence agencies had been allowed to develop and share information under the Clinton administration. Doesn't that make Bill Clinton equally as guilty? It's entirely probable that he could have prevented 911 as well but we don't see him on trial for it although I realize many think we should.

But that's really not the point. The real point here is the punishment that Moussaoui received for his crime. Some are saying it he is not being punished enough by being given life in prison, that he should have received death. As I see it, he received a punishment worse than death and that is exactly what I was hoping for.  Here's why:

Moussaoui is being sent to a "super" maximum security federal prison where he will spend the rest of his life suffering daily for his crime. This is no "Club Gitmo". This is a hell hole where he will be living in a 7 foot by 12 foot concrete cell with no window or only a small window above his head. The cell will be furnished with a steel toilet and sink, a concrete slab with a pad for his bed, a concrete desk and stool, and that's all. There will be a small 8 inch tv set which will play only the (mostly educational) videos that the prison has selected for him as well as his prayer meeting videos, but only if he earns them with good behavior. He will have no contact with other prisoners at any time and will have only limited contact with prison guards who bring him his food. He will live alone in that cell under the watchful eye of a video camera for 23 hours a day and be allowed out only one hour a day for exercise.  He will be allowed one shower per week. He will live the rest of his life in solitary confinement in a concrete cage like a rabid animal. And everyday he will long for those 72 virgins he was planning to meet but denied by a US Federal Court.

This is not what Moussaoui had planed for his future. He came to America to die and that's exactly what he wanted from the court that denied him his wishes. That's really all any of these radical Muslims want, to die and go to be with Allah and their 72 virgins. Islam offers them nothing to live for other than death. Death is their final reward, and those like Moussaoui live for nothing other than to die a martyr. He was denied the one thing he wanted most from life. Giving him death would have been the easy way out for him, it would have given him exactly what he wanted.  When he finally does die, it will be alone, not as a martyr and not as a hero of Islam.  It will be the meaningless death of an old, worthless and lonely man who once thought being a terrorist would bring him glory and rewards in heaven. 

Had he been given the death sentence, I could just picture him now on the table in the lethal injection chamber and connected up to the tubes and syringes. I can picture him now shouting "Allah akbar, Allah akbar" as the serum begins to enter his body and the smile on his face in anticipation of the 72 virgins.  That isn't going to happen but instead, he is now going to spend the rest of his natural life in isolation, staring at a concrete wall with no hope of that ever changing, and the man is only 38 years old. Put yourself in his shoes. Would you prefer that life to just ending it all right now and going to see Allah and the virgins? Not me, give me the shot.

Moussaoui got the worst punishment possible and people need to understand that. Instead of heaven as he expected, he was sentenced literally to hell. Don't believe me? Try living isolated in your bathroom for a week with nothing to do and no one to talk to. See if you could stand staying there for even one day. Club Gitmo is a pleasure palace compared to Moussaoui's new home. The only people he will talk to there will be US Government interrogators interested in emptying his savage mind of any and all information he may still be hiding about his terrorist cell and terrorist activities he may have knowledge of. For the rest of his life he will literally be talking to a concrete wall. No, the judge and jury did the right thing.  Moussaoui wasn't sentenced to death, he was sentenced to hell for his crime and there is no worse punishment than that.

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