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Musings on a Slow Day View Count: 123

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know by now that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried in New York for his role in planning 9/11. He’ll get his day in court with every legal protection to which he is entitled, but at the end of the day he will almost certainly be convicted and sentenced to death. Even if he wasn’t unrepentant, It seems unlikely that he will find much sympathy from a jury of New Yorkers.

I’m not alone in anticipating what seems to be inevitable; President Obama said much the same during an interview while on his Asia trip. Obama was quick to backpedal, reminding everyone that KSM is entitled to a trial and not just summary execution, but let’s get real here – it’s a done deal.


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I am a staunch opponent of capital punishment. I can cite all the usual arguments, rational, logical and emotional, but I’m not here to convert anyone to my way of thinking. As an opponent of the death penalty, I’ve always said that you have to make the argument in the hard cases, and this is a hard case. It’s easy to stand on principles from a distance. And yet, I can’t do it. I simply can’t conceive of any good reason that this man should be allowed to go on living.

Anyone want to take a stab at convincing me I’m wrong?

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Musings on a Slow Day by

  • Anonymous

    I am not morally against capital punishment. I am perfectly fine with a state or the federal government executing anyone who has committed or is directly responsible for the murder of another individual. Yet, I am completely against capital punishment the way it is implemented in the U.S. for one reason and one reason only: it costs too much money. The government spends much less money on a trial where the death penalty is not an option, including all of the costs for the lifetime incarceration of the defendant, than it does on a trial where the death penalty is an option. This is because of all of the necessary safeguards to ensure that a person is not mistakenly put to death, such as automatic psychological evaluations and automatic appeals as of right. Why should society spend so much money on putting a criminal defendant to death when it would be cheaper to try him and lock him up for the rest of his life?

    In the case of KSM, this is a perfect reason why the Administration should not have opted for a civilian trial. KSM should have been tried in a military tribunal in Guantanamo and executed. And it would have been a lot cheaper.

    And please, no one tell me that this trial will show the rest of the world that we are a country of laws. What about the detainees who bombed the U.S.S. Cole? Why are they getting military trials? If military trials are good enough for them, they are good enough for KSM. If federal civilian trials are good enough for KSM, then they are good enough for all of the detainees. We can’t have a system where the Attorney General selects where the trial will be held based on the amount of evidence we have against the defendants.

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Posted by on November 19, 2009. Filed under Home,Legal News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry



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