On NPR the other morning was some coverage of the latest Moussaoui case decision. Now that the jury's found him eligible for execution he moves on to final sentencing. And then appeals, most likely. But I digress.
A brief interview with some random family member of a 9-11 victim. On the way out of court, Moussaoui exclaimed, "you will never get my blood! God curse you all!" Apparently he does that a lot; he may have noticed that it freaks out the audience. Some were understandably upset, but not really for the reasons you'd assume.
"I'd describe him like a dog with rabies, one that cannot be cured, and the only cure is to, to put him or her to the death, " said one. Another, who lost her cousin Eddie on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania, complained:
For him to leave the courtroom and say, 'you can't have my soul,' I mean, this man has no soul. He has no conscience. So what else could we ask for then this? For this part to end in this manner.
I'd really like to thank these two for nicely illustrating my biggest objection to capital punishment. I don't much care what happens to Moussaoui personally; it's nothing new to observe that every day many thousands die for no particular reason, and a great many live comfortably who've committed worse crimes than anything he's accused of. However, while closure is all well and good, slaking the public's thirst for vengeance is a terribly dangerous thing. The wars that turn vicious and stubborn get that way because the people on one side stop seeing the other as human, as worthy of being allowed to live as a default position. And while I doubt those interviewed would appreciate the irony, the rhetoric of dismissing one's enemy as a soulless and diseased animal is a favorite talking point of extreme Islamic fundamentalists as well.