The twelve members of the jury decided against the death penalty for a man who would kill them in a hot minute.
Expose the Left has the video of the announcement.
Hot Air has a round up of blog reaction.
Here's the story from the AP:
A federal jury rejected the death penalty for al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui on Wednesday and decided he must spend life in prison for his role in the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history.
After seven days of deliberation, the nine men and three women rebuffed the government's appeal for death for the only person charged in this country in the four suicide jetliner hijackings that killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001.
Three jurors decided Moussaoui had only limited knowledge of the Sept. 11 plot and three described his role in the attacks as minor, if he had any role at all.
Moussaoui, as he was led out of the courtroom after the 15-minute hearing, said: "America, you lost. I won." He clapped his hands as he was escorted away.
So, Moussaoui dared the American people on that jury to kill him, and they blinked. What a travesty.
And notice that the verdict was not unanimous, which means that a few jurors had their heads on straight
Additional thoughts: Islam is growing quickly in prisons all over this country as its followers prey on the anger inmates feel toward America. I don't like the idea that Moussaoui will have access to more potential terror converts.
Update: The Political Pitbull has audio of Rudy Giuliani reacting.
Update II: Ace speculates that an anti-death penalty liberal may have lied his/her way on to the jury.
Update III: Daveed Gartenstein-Ross at Counterterrorism Blog sees things more optimistically that I do:
As Moussaoui left the courtroom today, he defiantly stated, "America, you lost. I won." But whether or not he received the death penalty, we could expect this kind of bluster from Moussaoui. What speaks louder than these words are his actions during the sentencing phase -- actions that scream out a desire for martyrdom. Did America lose in this case? In my opinion, it did not.
Update IV: John Podhoretz weighs in with this:
There is only one justifiable reason for a juror to make this choice. That juror has to believe the death penalty is wrong under any and all circumstances. To imagine that there can be any mitigating circumstance regarding Moussaoui's actual guilt is moral idiocy of the highest order.
Update V: Don Surber is dismayed, and rightly so:
And so it is with Zacarias Moussaoui, the only living 9/11 conspirator. The jury gave him life instead of death. A few talking heads are on TV saying how making him live is worse than executing him. I used to believe that too. But Moussaoui just made a chump out of the United States. He just showed the world that his side will kill 3,000 Americans without blinking an eye. We cannot even execute this scum.
Additional thoughts: Not only did Moussaoui make a chump out of the US, as Don says above, but now he gets three meals a day, a roof over his head, and medical care all at the expense of the American taxpayer. Again, I say what a travesty.
Update VI: Hot Air has the pdf file of the jury's sentencing questionnaire. These people's answers are baffling. They thought he was not responsible for the deaths of 3,000 people on 9/11 but was responsible for the physical, emotional, and psychological injuries of the survivors. These answers are schizophrenic. Speaking of which, they didn't think he was mentally ill.
And I am outraged and sick at this: Nine jurors said that his father having a violent temper and abusing him was a mitigating factor. Nine jurors found that his having an unstable childhood and dysfunctional family causing him to be placed in an orphanage was a mitigating factor.
Not one member of the jury thought that the death penalty would make him a martyr, so that theory goes right out the window, folks.
So, why did the jury spare this man his life? One reason: They were total bleeding heart liberals. JPod nailed this one. These jurors weren't going to give this guy the death penalty because they don't believe in it. If this guy can get away with the excuse that he had a hard childhood, then these people will not give anyone the death penalty. I bet they wouldn't give Bin Laden the death penalty because they'd find some childhood experience to spare him his life too.
Update VII: Andrew Cochran of Counterterrorism Blog sees Moussaoui's success in avoiding the death penalty as a lesson for other jihadis.
I'm even more disgusted.