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« Court to Padilla: come back later, if necessary | Main | The "Da Vinci Code" trial »

April 04, 2006

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Moussaoui, the death penalty, and game theory:

» Moussaoui eligible for death penalty from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
A federal jury found al-Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui eligible Monday to be executed, decidin [Read More]

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To answer your question, maybe in some circumstances that might be true, especially when you're confident the other side will argue you are a "martyr." On the other hand, it doesn't seem to be a very safe argument for the average criminal defendant.

But I think this framework is a little off-mark. I mean, the jury shouldn't really be considering what Moussaoui wants or doesn't want. Presumably he doesn't *want* to be in this position at all (would he still choose to martyr himself if he weren't in his present situation? Or would he?). I think it's an interesting argument that the jury should try to determine what punishment would be most punitive for the defendant, but I'm not convinced it's an appropriate consideration for the jury.

Given all that, I think I would probably vote against the death penalty in this case (even if I believed in it) because there doesn't seem to me to be enough culpability/causality on his part to warrant the death penalty, even if there is enough culp./caus. to make him eligible.

John

Professor, Unpartisan.com (the website that links to this post) classifies your blog as liberal. How do you feel about that?

Your hypothesis reminds me of the scene from The Princess Bride, where the one of the villains tries to determine which cup contained the poison, including this line:

But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

Tung Yin

How do I feel about classified as "liberal" by Unpartisan.com? About the same as if I'd been classified as "conservative," I think . . . .

rick

Why spend money on this crap... send him off to a life in any hell hole

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