It was only a month ago, during the Terri Schiavo controversy, that the New York Times, dubiously assuming Terri was in fact in a persistent vegetative state, was editorializing about how sensible it was for the Florida courts to have accepted the “testimony of her husband that [Terri] would have chosen to die rather than live indefinitely in such condition.”
Now comes today’s interesting report from the Times’s Eric Lichtblau about Zacarias Moussaoui’s apparent intention to plead guilty to participation in the 9/11 conspiracy. Such a plea could result in imposition of the death penalty. Upon noting that, in a letter to the court, Moussaoui has “asked to be sentenced to death,” Lichtblau speculates: “One question likely to be raised by defense lawyers is whether Mr. Moussaoui’s desire to be executed is, by itself, evidence that he may be mentally unfit.”
The Times, as ever, sports all the trendy, progressive pieties. It is in euthanasia’s “right to die” vanguard, but it is revolted by the death penalty, even for mass murderers.
So, follow the logic: Expression of the supposed choice to die, if purportedly made by an innocent but inconvenient person, based on “proof” of the most suspect nature, must at all costs be deferred to on the theory that it is a personal and thoughtful decision. To the contrary, expression of the choice to die by a guilty terrorist, proved indisputably in an unambiguous written assertion by the person himself, is actually evidence that the person is “mentally unfit” on the theory that, well, who in his right mind would make such a personal choice to die?
Who said Terri would have been better off if she were a terrorist?