I read everyone's comments on my Moussaoui death penalty post and I'm not surprised by the various opinions, but I am disappointed that the jury found Moussaoui "eligible" for the death penalty. The proceedings now move on to the second stage where jurors will decide whether or not to sentence him to death. I hope they spare his life and give him life in prison. I'm against the death penalty under all circumstances, but particularly so in this case because I believe (like many of you) that Moussaoui is getting what he wants - a chance at martyrdom - and I also feel it reduces us down to his level. We have become a lynch mob looking for someone to kill in order to vent our anger. That anger is a strong emotion, and it probably helped fuel the jury’s decision too, but what will his death accomplish?
The Boston Globe printed some responses from the families of the 9/11 victims that ranged from joy to frustration, much like the rest of America.
Rosemary Dillard of Alexandria, whose husband, Eddie, sat next to a hijacker on the flight that crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, gripped the seat in front of her, smiled, and exhaled. Outside the courthouse, she pumped her fist in front of television cameras and declared that Moussaoui deserves to die.We do need closure, but I seriously doubt executing Moussaoui will accomplish that. Besides, if we claim to be a country that values life, then executing him will only show the hypocrisy behind our words. This is an opportunity for our nation to rise to a higher standard or, as Elizabeth Hayden eloquently stated, "Let us instead distance ourselves from the evil wrapped in their warped behavior. Let us maintain a strand of humanity that will bond us to the value of life. Let us define ourselves as principled people not acting out of fear and hatred, but a people who under the most challenging of circumstances can transcend evil and prevail with reason and justice. Let us strive to have love for one another."
''I'm shocked they came to this," said Stephanie Holland-Brodney of Wayland, whose mother, Cora Holland, was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, adding that she thinks the jury found Moussaoui eligible for the death penalty because ''people so badly want to blame somebody for this. . . . [But] this was not the person to pin it on. I think if given the opportunity, he would have killed Americans. But I absolutely do not believe he was part of the plot that day."
Christie Coombs of Abington, whose husband, Jeff, was also killed on Flight 11, said she was frustrated by the verdict because she's convinced Moussaoui was ''an Al Qaeda wannabe" and that jurors are on a runaway train headed for the death penalty. ''Let him rot in jail," said Coombs...
''Killing him is not going to bring any of our loved ones back," said Cindy McGinty of Foxborough, a mother of two boys, whose husband, Michael, was attending a business meeting in one of the World Trade Center towers when he was killed.
But one woman was pleased with the verdict. ''I feel that he needs to have the death penalty," said Katherine Bailey of Lynnfield, whose husband, Garnet ''Ace" Bailey, a hockey scout and former Boston Bruin who was on United Airlines Flight 175 when it crashed into one of the towers. ''I feel he's totally evil and I don't want him in our lives. . . . We need an end to this."