News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2006


Moussaoui's 6 life sentences appropriate for his crime

Had his sentence come the day after 9/11, Zacarias Moussaoui would have gotten the death penalty. But it's now nearly four years later and time has a way of dampening hot emotions.

The only person charged in this country in connection with the hijacking of the four commercial jetliners is guilty. Deciding that the jury made the right decision in giving him life in prison is more difficult.

From testimony, the misfit Frenchman was not a key participant in planning or carrying out the worst attack on American soil in the history of the nation.

His intent and views on America are not capital offenses, even though they are highly offensive. Still, millions of people would feel better knowing the government executed him for his disputed role in the tragic events.

The federal government spent millions of dollars to ensure Mr. Moussaoui got a fair trial. Having the world witness the American judicial system at work is more important at this time than sending the terrorist to his grave.

Mr. Moussaoui claimed victory after hearing the verdict. Perhaps he didn't want to die after all, as he claimed so often during his outbursts. If that is the case, he did win. But, maybe in his simple logic he viewed the government not getting its way as another loss for America.

The only way America could have lost would have been for the world to view the trial as a sham and the sentence preordained.

The more the world sees of radical Islamic views, the more rational people everywhere need to understand that America's great experiment in democracy is what keeps the world from plunging into new Dark Ages.

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