Justice, Not Vengeance
John Farmer, the former attorney general of New Jersey and a death penalty supporter, writes about the absurdity of the government's efforts to put Zacarias Moussaoui to death.
Through a perverse confluence, Mr. Moussaoui's interest in becoming something in death that he never was in life -- important -- has combined with the government's interest in executing someone for the 9/11 attacks. The likely result is an odd form of assisted suicide, in which Mr. Moussaoui will claim martyrdom as he is executed, and the United States will claim that the rule of law has been vindicated by bringing a terrorist to justice for 9/11.
Farmer reminds us that "Atrocities cry out not for vengeance, but for justice." The government's unjust quest to kill Moussaoui, at best "a fringe character," shouldn't distract from the larger issues arising out of the administration's war on terror:
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