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June 6, 2008

Death Is Not the Answer In This Case

Although it may be the fitting punishment for a man that planned and helped execute a crime that left thousands of lives shattered, this time, death should not be the sentenced issued. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed stood before a court in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and said that he would like to be martyred for his part in the September 11th terrorist attacks.

This man helped arrange the death of 3,000 people. He has said that he will pass on having any lawyer to represent him and martyrdom is what he is looking for. It always amazes me that people who claim to be religious can see the systematic murder of others as an act of god. I don’t care what you think or call the supreme being, if you truly are a religious person, you don’t murder people.

Mohammed is 43 years old and he ahs been accused of being the main mastermind behind the September 11th attacks. He says that he is in an inquisition, not a trial and that he has no right to anything. Four other suspects were in the court as well and the five men greeted one another and laughed as if they were at a high school reunion. There is no feeling of remorse it seems about the thousands of lives that they helped end.

For men like these death is too good of the penalty. Death means nothing to them and being executed would make them feel like hero’s. Instead, these men should languish in some prison for as long as their lives continue. Give them time to figure out what a terrible thing they have done. They are young enough to live decades more and hopefully within that time they will see the error in their ways. If not, that is okay too. It is the ability to rot in a cell that they need. Not the freedom and martyrdom that death can bring.

It will be difficult to not convict and kill these men. However, that is the best way to send a message to them. Although they were willing to take lives without any remorse, we should not meet an eye for an eye. This time, restraint is necessary.

The September 11th terrorist attacks did not target diplomats or politicians directly. Average, everyday people were on the planes that were high jacked. Men, women and children were targeted and murdered without any rhyme or reason. The men that masterminded such an attack should not die for these crimes right now. Instead they should be an obituary on the last page of some futuristic Internet zine that gives them a blurb. Let their names fall from our minds and seep into a realm of forgetfulness. Let these men die death that very few notice because death by execution is a victory for them. In their warped minds, they want to die for what they did and they think that their execution will make them martyrs. We can not give them their last final wish. Let them live out their days, and may those days stretch on and on, behind bars.

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