Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Zacharias Moussaoui Part Deux

Not long ago, I recounted my Criminal Law professor's pride in America the day a jury acquitted John Hinckley despite that whole shooting-the-President-of-the-United-States-on-national-television thing. I was half serious and half smirking when I reported this sentiment, because I recognized that it contains equal measures of truth and absurdity.

But I can say with complete candor that I felt proud to be American the day Zacharias Moussaoui was spared the death penalty. On that day we witnessed a man associated with the most outrageous slaughter in American living memory, one who openly mocked victims and their families during his trial, escape death because a jury believed he did not merit it under our laws.

OK, sentimentality over; now I have to tell you about this really offensive thought I had. You may remember that the press carried details of Moussaoui's "Con Air" flight to a federal penitentiary. Wouldn't the irony have been delicious had the pilot lost consciousness and Moussaoui saved the day by landing the plane? That would have been excellent.

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