Moussaoui “Defense”: Please Kill Me

As I expected, the-now-convicted 9-11 plotter Zaccarias Moussaoui took the stand in his own “defense” (as I fully expected, ignoring my advice) and proceeded to say he was sorry the 9-11 attacks didn’t kill even more Americans, that the testimony of relatives of those killed on 9-11 was “disgusting” and otherwise ingratiated himself with the jury sufficiently to get the jury to return that death sentence he seems to want, which, quite frankly, was a foregone conclusion from the moment Moussaoui took the stand in the first part of the penalty phase to tell us about a (most improbable) plot between himself and “shoe-bomber” Richard Reid to pilot and crash a 5th airplane.
And there we have it. Judge Leonie Brinkema will be left with an interesting problem: as a matter of law, she knows bloody well that the FBI agent’s testimony in the first part of the case clinched it vis a vis the government’s theory that “but for” Mr. Moussaoui’s silence as to the 9-11 plot, it would have been thwarted and lives saved, FBI upper management would hear none of it, even as other elements of the plot were reported to it… as such, as a matter of law, Moussaoui’s complete candor wouldn’t have likely changed anything, and the government has failed to prove its case. (Think about it a moment: his testimony of a plot with shoe-bomber Richard Reid sounds implausible now, even after the 9-11 attacks; beforehand, it would have certainly been dismissed as crackpot.)
Judge Brinkema also knows that the bloodthirsty Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond (there’s no other way to describe a court more willing to toe the political line than to follow the damned law) will undoubtedly reverse any non-death finding (unless its by the jury, in which case, it can’t.)
Or she can rubber stamp the jury, and wash her hands of it, making the arguably-not-fit-to-stand-trial Mr. Moussaoui face a death sentence herself.
My guess is she’ll do that (though I think she has the integrity not to). Mr. Moussaoui, like Timothy McVeigh, is hardly a sympathetic figure (though the latter was unquestionably responsible for the horrible deaths of 168 people including dozens of children, whereas Mr. Moussaoui’s role is more murky). That will probably be sufficient to sustain the death penalty, which will probably be carried out in 3 or 4 years.
The President will doubtless try to move things along so that he can enjoy the show on his own watch (we love a good execution…) And, just as we lost any possibility for Mr. McVeigh to tell us any actual useful details of his crime (and ended the torment we could subject him to during life imprisonment), so it will be with Mr. Moussaoui.