Moussaoui sentenced to life in prison
Updated: 2006-05-04 19:48
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Zacarias Moussaoui claimed victory over America after a
jury rejected the government's effort to put the Sept. 11 conspirator to death
and instead decided to lock him away in prison for the rest of his life.
rendering shows Zacarias Moussaoui, left, his defence team, standing from
left, Alan Yamamoto, Anne Chapman, and Gerald Zerken, the prosecution
team, seated from left, Robert Spencer, David Raskin, and David Novak, in
U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., as the sentence for Moussaoui,
life in prison, is read, Wednesday, May 3, 2006. [AP]
Moussaoui, who spent much of his
two-month trial cursing America, blessing al-Qaida and mocking the suffering of
9/11 victims, offered one more taunt after the jury reached its verdict
Wednesday: "America, you lost. ... I won," he proclaimed, clapping his hands as
he was escorted from the courtroom.
Moussaoui gets one last chance to speak publicly Thursday when U.S. District
Judge Leonie Brinkema sentences him to life in prison without the possibility of
release for his part in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.
Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Moussaoui then will be sent to a
super-maximum federal prison in Colorado under special conditions that will
prevent him from having any contact with the outside world.
After seven days of deliberation, the nine men and three women rebuffed the
government's appeal for death for the only person charged in this country in the
suicide hijackings of four commercial jetliners that killed nearly 3,000 people
on Sept. 11, 2001.
From the White House, President Bush said the verdict "represents the end of
this case but not an end to the fight against terror." He said Moussaoui got a
fair trial and the jury spared his life, "which is something that he evidently
wasn't willing to do for innocent American citizens."
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, attending a European Union security
conference in Vienna, told reporters Thursday: "There are challenges that exist
with respect to prosecuting terrorist cases in our system. I think justice was
served in this case."
Families of 9/11 victims expressed mixed views.
Carie Lemack, whose mother, Judy Larocque, died on hijacked American Airlines
Flight 11, which crashed into New York's World Trade Center, said her mom didn't
believe in the death penalty and would have been glad Moussaoui was sentenced to
life. "This man was an al-Qaida wannabe ... who deserves to rot in jail."