2006_05_moussaouiverd.jpgWith alleged terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui awaiting his formal sentencing this morning, the focus is on how the jurors decided to give him life in jail over the death penalty. The NY Times has a helpful graphic showing the mitigating factors that led the jury its sentence: The biggest factors seemed to be that he had a terrible childhood, with two abusive parents, and that he seemed to be, at best, a fringe member of Al Qaeda, one without any real knowledge; conversely, the jurors weren't as convinced by the defense's arguments that he was schizophrenic and wanted to be a martyr by dying. (All jurors need to agree on the death penalty.) While some September 11 victims' families accepted the verdict, many others had been hoping for the death penalty; even former mayor - and witness for the prosecution - Rudy Giuliani said he was "disappointed". President Bush took the time to remind America that the war on terror is still happening and "Evil will not have the final say."

A Daily News editorial thinks Moussaoui should have received death, while the Post editorial has the same point but is surprisingly more measured

Courtroom sketch of Moussaoui cheering after the verdict from the AP