It took a while for the court spokesperson to read through the long and complex special verdict form, but here’s the upshot: Zacarias Moussaoui will not be getting the death penalty. Instead, he’ll be spending the rest of his life in prison.
Of course, Moussaoui enduring a lifetime of prison food is probably what would have happened in any event. Even if he had received the death penalty, an inevitable chain of appeals would have ensued. And even if he had tried to waive his appellate rights, perhaps desiring a martyr’s death, there might have been some question as to whether he was competent to make such a waiver. That in turn could have spawned a real clusterfuck of litigation, with Moussaoui and his own lawyers acting at cross-purposes — as they’ve done time and again throughout this case.
Judge Leonie Brinkema will officially pronounce sentence upon Moussaoui tomorrow morning.
Earlier: BREAKING: Moussaoui Verdict Reached