I am a bit late in commenting on this — many things have conspired to keep me from posting as much as I’d like to the last few days — but I did think it important to note that Moussaoui’s change of heart is not due to cowardice, as many have assumed. I believe it is much more likely that the life sentence made Moussaoui realize that our system is easier to manipulate than he thought, and that he could have gotten a lighter sentence or even won acquittal if he tried. So he tried again.
“Moussaoui Has New View of Justice System,” from AP, with thanks to all who sent this in:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Stunned that he was sentenced to life in prison rather than execution, Zacarias Moussaoui now believes he could get a fair trial from an American jury. Too late, the judge says.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema quickly rejected a motion the confessed al-Qaida conspirator filed Monday to withdraw his guilty plea and get a new trial.
In his motion, Moussaoui said he lied on the witness stand March 27 when he reversed four years of denials and claimed he was to have hijacked a fifth jetliner on Sept. 11, 2001, and crashed it into the White House, “even though I knew that was a complete fabrication.”
The 37-year-old Frenchman blamed his behavior on the effects of solitary confinement, his inability to get a Muslim lawyer and his misunderstanding of the U.S. justice system.
Moussaoui said he was “extremely surprised” by his life sentence by a federal court jury last week.
“I had thought I would be sentenced to death based on the emotions and anger toward me for the deaths on Sept. 11,” he explained in an affidavit. “But after reviewing the jury verdict and reading how the jurors set aside their emotions and disgust for me and focused on the law and the evidence … I now see that it is possible that I can receive a fair trial even with Americans as jurors.”