Sunday, March 16, 2008

9/11 Plotters and the Death Penalty

Should the U.S. execute the 9/11 plotters being held at Guantanomo? AG Mukasey says "no," and Stephen Bainbridge circles the issue several times before agreeing with the AG:
Let KSM and his pals sit in Guantanamo for the rest of their lives, contemplating their sins.
Doug Mataconis seems to agree with Prof. Bainbridge:
The visceral reaction is to say that these men should die a slow, painful death. But I’ve got to wonder what that’s going to accomplish at this point.
I stand by what I said three years ago:
Justice serves civilization and social solidarity.... [I]t meets the deep, common need for catharsis through vengeance, while protecting the innocent (and all of us) by replacing mob rule with due process of law.

Justice -- to serve its purposes -- must be swift, sure, and hard. That is, it must work and be seen to work, by the just and unjust alike.
"Swift" and "sure" seldom apply to the death penalty anymore, but "hard" certainly does. The need for social catharsis through judicial vengeance was never greater than in the case of 9/11. Fry 'em.