A federal court jury spared the life of confessed al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui on Wednesday, rejecting the U.S. government's effort to execute him for the Sept. 11 attacks.That's exactly right. As far as I'm concerned, he got away with murder. He is barely worse off than Jonathan Pollard, if at all.
The panel of nine men and three women deliberated for 41 hours over a week before concluding that the 37-year-old French citizen was only a minor player in the most deadly assault ever on U.S. soil, and that he deserved life in prison rather than death.
Moussaoui, who pleaded guilty to six terrorism conspiracy charges related to the attacks, gave a slight smirk as the verdict was read aloud by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in a packed courtroom here.
"America, you lost!" the husky terrorist called out later as he was led from the courtroom. "I won."
Terrorists who found themselves free again after supposedly being given life sentences include Mohammad Ali Hamadi and Ahmed Yassin. Carlos the Jackal has been working on his release and is currently engaged to his lawyer.
Update: J-Bloggers who do not take the same view at all: Meryl Yourish and Smooth Stone. Protein Wisdom makes a similar point to mine and links to some other blogs. See Hot Air also.