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May 10, 2006

Interesting analysis of Moussaoui verdict

Over at FindLaw, Professor Michael Dorf has this interesting essay entitled "What the Moussaoui Sentence Teaches About 'Mitigating' Evidence."  Here is Dorf's overview of the piece:

No doubt the [Moussaoui] verdict left many Americans scratching their heads.  Moussaoui had pled guilty to the crime of conspiracy and during the sentencing hearing, he brazenly took glee in the suffering his co-conspirators' acts had caused.  If the only person to go before a jury for the single greatest act of mass murder in U.S. history does not deserve to die, who does?  If we are going to have a death penalty for any crimes, how can we impose it on street criminals for drug deals gone bad, but not on the likes of Moussaoui?

I try to answer these questions below.  I also discuss an intriguing suggestion that the jurors formally rejected, but that may, nonetheless, have played at least a subconscious role in their deliberations: the idea that execution was unwarranted because it would only make a martyr of Moussaoui and thereby invite further attacks.

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May 10, 2006 at 03:07 PM | Permalink


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