So the verdict of the Moussaouï trial is in and it will be life in jail instead of the death penalty. After the protracted and often contentious proceedings what can we conclude ?

Beyond the morality of the debate on the death penalty itself, there is a lot to be said for this trial and the way it was conducted. Due process was fairly applied and arrived at a verdict in the way the judicial system is supposed to. A potential terrorist and fanatic islamist will be put behind bars for life (a clear message to any others who might harbor the idea that this is a good career path). And the USA finally once again shows what it stands for: a moral beacon of light in stark opposition to the “dark ages” mentality of the Islamist movements.

It’s a true shame that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 this clear moral superiority was sacrificed in the name of expediency resulting in the judicial horror at Guantanamo Bay. As is pointed out in this excellent editorial in the New York Times, the loss of moral superiority was pointless and the result of the Moussaouï trial only serves to further highlight this fact.