Monday, May 01, 2006

Arrogance in the Post on Moussaoui

Today, the Washington Post editorial board weighs in on whether Zacarias Moussaoui should be executed. Of course, the enlightened Washington Post editorial board opposes capital punishment in all cases, and it feels the need to let everyone know what it thinks of executing the so-called 20th hijacker, and while doing so, displays know-it-all arrogance.

Personally, I favor the death penalty, and I think it should be used far more often than it is. But I can accept the view of the opposing side. The Post's editorial board cannot--it stoops to ad hominem attacks on those who may think that Mr. Moussaoui deserves death. We are told that only a "wise and courageous" jury could find that the mitigating factors in Moussaoui's case outweigh the aggravating factors, as if any other decision would be reflective of a jury less steeped in wisdom and courage. And to cap it off, prosecutors in this case are "not smart" because they seek to put to death a conspirator who participated in a conspiracy that killed thousands.

The arrogance of the editorial is astounding. Although the editorial makes a good point about the eligibility of the death penalty for "low-level" conspirators and the possibility that Moussaoui's death could be used for recruitment (although I personally think that his execution will prevent the possibility of some terrorists deciding one day to take hostages to try to win his freedom, and I also think it will send a message that the American public is not squeamish about killing terrorists), the editorial writers cannot help denigrating those who might disagree as "not smart" or less than "wise and courageous". (Of course, if the Post's advice is taken, and Moussaoui goes on to kill or maim a prison guard (a distinct possibility), one wonders if the Post would have the nerve to pen an editorial stating that life was the proper decision.)

The prosecutors and jurors deserve better.

I am reminded of an editorial penned by the Washington Post on July 17, 2005 entitled "Sentenced for Speaking". In that editorial, the editorial board argued that an American citizen named Al-Timimi who recruited followers to travel abroad to kill American troops was treated unfairly because he received what is effectively a life sentence. Given the abject silliness of that editorial, one is not surprised by the Post's arguing for lenience for Moussaoui, but it certainly should give one pause about the Post's editorial board's judgment when it comes to matters of crime and punishment.

(the above from the new Mediacrity contributor.....)

To read the most recent items in this blog, click here!

To donate to Mediacrity, click here!

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home