Juror: Moussaoui spared because he had “limited knowledge” of the plot
posted at 1:32 pm on May 5, 2006 by Allahpundit
I got it wrong initially, but corrected myself (twice, for good measure) so I only eat half a log on this one. Here’s what I wrote in the Moussaoui post that got all the trackbacks, citing the fact that nine jurors found he had a violent father and a dysfunctional family growing up:
Those are the only two mitigating factors which a majority of jurors — not all, mind you, but a majority — agreed the defense had proved. The highest number for any other factor was five. The questionnaire didn’t ask them to weight the factors so we can’t know for sure how important each one was relative to the others, but in all probability the reason this guy will live instead of die is because … he had a rough childhood.
Er, no. For reasons I explained in the very next update:
It only takes one holdout to force a life sentence, of course, and it should be noted re: the questionnaire that three jurors wrote in a mitigating factor of their own — namely, Moussaoui’s limited knowledge of the attack plans. Insofar as they felt strong enough about it to add it to the court’s list, we can probably safely assume that it carried a lot of weight for those who signed on to it. Which means my emphasis on the childhood factor might be misplaced, especially if the three write-in jurors were the only holdouts. Let’s see if anyone’s willing to talk to the press about deliberations and what the vote was. WaPo is pretty comfortable using anonymous sources from what I understand.
A sage prediction, as it turned out. For in this morning’s Washington Post, we find….
By order of the court, the jurors were anonymous, although Brinkema told them that they were free to discuss their deliberations if they wished. The juror contacted a Washington Post reporter, who recognized the juror from the trial. He spoke to The Post anonymously because he did not want to be hassled if his name were revealed….
The juror said he was one of three people on the panel who wrote a “mitigating factor” on the verdict form, saying that Moussaoui had “limited knowledge” of the Sept. 11 plot. He said nine jurors decided that Moussaoui’s dysfunctional childhood was a mitigating factor in part because a number of them read a book by Moussaoui’s brother, which was entered into evidence, in the jury room. But he said that was far less significant to the final decision than the questions about Moussaoui’s Sept. 11 role.
Here’s a screenshot of the key factor from the questionnaire:
So I was dopey enough to get it wrong, but smart enough to realize I was wrong after the fact. I.e., I know nothing except the fact of my own ignorance. Like Socrates.
Anyway, consider the record corrected. If you’re looking for more Moussaoui news, there are a thousand articles on the wires today like this one about how awful Supermax is, how it truly is a fate worse than death, etc etc. All of which no doubt are motivated by the media’s fierce longing to inflict the worst possible form of punishment on this degenerate terrorist douchepail and not motivated by their agenda of doing away with right-wing barbarities like capital punishment generally. Certainly not.