Charles Krauthammer agrees with the jury’s decision in the Moussaoui case but is less than enthusiastic about their reasoning:
Moussaoui is more in that equivocal Hinckley category. He clearly is delusional, but he is also clever, aware, and savagely cruel, as he demonstrated in taunting the 9/11 families. Nonetheless, he seemed to me just deranged enough to be spared execution on an admittedly close insanity call.
But that appears not to be why the jury spared him. Instead, fully nine of 12 jurors found mitigation in his ``unstable early childhood and dysfunctional family,'' lack of ``structure and emotional and financial support'' and ``hostile relationship with his mother.'' Plus the father with the ``violent temper.''
You read that jury form and you despair for your country. Have we sunk so low? So Moussaoui had a tough childhood. I'm sure Pol Pot's was no bed of roses either. Who gives a damn? On those grounds, there is not a killer in history who cannot escape judgment. What next? The Twinkie defense -- the junk food made me do it -- for Khalid Sheik Mohammed?