Moussaoui was granted a life sentence recently instead of the potential death sentence that everyone had been bandying about for the last month. I for one, thought this to be an auspicious turn of events, but then again I'm pretty hardset against the death penalty. It's something that's stuck with me through a very torturous period of time in my development, where I was like a ping-pong ball in a dryer, bouncing between beliefs as quickly as someone could give me a reasonable argument for them. What's always stuck with me is the idea that it would be wrong to put a man to death for a crime he committed. There was a time when I would claim that that was because I thought he deserved worse (i.e. torture him, rather than kill him), but as I've grown older and just generally thought about it more, that has been exposed to me as folly. So, using that as a launch pad, let's talk about my true concern in all of this.
If anything, I'd say it's the idea that we, as Americans acting through our government, would allow the death penalty to be applied to a man who, while involved with one of the worst criminal acts in American history, really didn't do anything beyond conspire to commit said act. The entire time the judgement phase was underway I kept thinking "are we going to kill a man for withholding information and negligence?" It frightened me that I even considered it a real possibility, but then again that's just where we find ourselves in this day and age I guess. Now, I'd probably be considered a conservative if we really sat down and thought about it (if it was really of any interest). I believe in the free market, limited government in most cases and states rights and all that other jazz, but still, I kept thinking that this is what it comes to when the party I thought I belonged to (along with any party, really) is in power too long; ideology rules the day and the ultimate goals and basest drives of the lowest denominator get a real, powerful voice in government in the name of reelection, partisanship and supposed justice.
I guess this is all really just about my relief that reason won the day today.