A federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia declined to accede to the bloodlust of our Imperious Leader and refused to impose a death sentence on convicted 9-11 plotter Zaccarias Moussaoui.
As a result of this legally correct verdict, following a government prosecution rife with misconduct and a virtually impossible burden given FBI agent testimony that no matter what Moussaoui said, Bureau chieftains could not be convinced of the merits of a 9-11 plot, Moussaoui will be automatically sentenced to life in prison.
And there we have it. Frankly, I have no brief for Mr. Moussaoui who has, I believe sincerely, told us that he hates us and regrets that more of my fellow New Yorkers weren't killed on that horrible morning in September of 2001 across the street from where I sat, watching. But the rule of law is far more important, and the Government has been side-stepping the rule of law in its treatment of purported unlawful combatants of its own determination in derogation of all principles of our Constitution, statutes and treaty obligations, be they citizens, legal residents or foreigners alike, wherever apprehended. One hoped the Government would do better in the one criminal case supposedly related to the 9-11 events themselves... Instead, the Government still managed to take as many shortcuts with the law that its prosecutors thought they could get away with... pretty much, the defining mark of the Bush Administration in general.
Let's just say it's gratifying to see a judge and jury do their job the way the law actually intended. Judge Leonie Brinkema successfully managed to handle an impossible case with aplomb, and by following the law. As the jury was not unanimous in saying that Imperial bloodlust should be satisfied against Moussaoui, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting in the former capital of the Confederate States of America will not have an opportunity to reverse Judge Brinkema (again).
And we needn't agonize for years more while a death sentence would have kicked around appellate courts. This chapter is over. And Mr. Moussaoui can spend the rest of his life in prison, alone with his hate, and his madness.