State-sponsored execution is not a sign of an enlightened and advanced society and to be fooled by the distorted view of terrorism — where one dead eye requires the death of another eye — is to purchase the argument that terrorism successfully strikes fear in the heats of reasonable people.
Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person convicted in a U.S. court in connection with September 11, should spend his life in prison instead of being executed for his role in the hijacked airliner attacks, a jury decided on Wednesday.
If we wish to lead by the example of our lives, killing those who kill others must not be the role of the state because it levels those who represent the people to the same station as the killer. The Death Penalty is especially ironic when the forces fighting most for the preservation of life in the womb have no problem and see no irrational disconnect in ending a life with a needle or a firing squad or an electric chair.
Moussaoui did not win.
He will serve a more terrible term than finding immediate relief in death. He will not have a Martyr’s end and the United States will not lower its values to those of a terrorist. He will die a natural death as his life is slowly drained from him as a common criminal doing time for an extraordinary crime.
Moussaoui’s living confirms our faith in intellect over emotion and in the rule of law over the brutality of self-initiated terrorist acts. Children seek revenge.
Adults seek punishment. Immature minds see the world in black and white, in right and wrong and in how one always equals one. Mature minds see the world in greys, and in “if, but” and in how problems can equal more than one solution. It’s easy to kill. It’s harder to forgive. It’s hardest to take the high road while realizing — even if your opponent doesn’t — that winning is only in the eye of the beholder.