Articles by Rachel King

American Judicature Society

The impact of capital punishment on families of
defendants and murder victims' family members  
by Rachel King teaches legal writing at Howard Law School and is the author of Don't Kill in Our Name: Families of Murder Victims Speak Out Against the Death Penalty and Capital Consequences: Families of the Condemned Tell Their Stories.

The families of both murder victims and defendants are adversely affected by the death penalty.

292 JUDICATURE 89 (March-April 2006)

Life in Prison for Moussaoui – the Right Decision

By Rachel King, May 4, 2006

The case of Zacharias Moussaoui is probably the most challenging case a jury has had to consider in the last three decades.  The crime had more than 3,000 victims.  Some died instantly in a plane crash, their last moments filled with terror and fear; others jumped to their deaths to escape being burned alive.  In fact, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were so severe that our country has gone to war against two countries to avenge them. 

Given the magnitude of the crimes, most would agree that those responsible for the 9/11 attacks would qualify as “the worst-of-the worst offenders.”  So why is it that a jury in Virginia, a state known for its liberal use of the death penalty, deliberated for over a week and then returned a verdict of life in prison for Moussaoui?

I suggest that there are several reasons why the jury made this decision and that it was the right one to make. More.

All book royalties go to: Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation and Journey of Hope…From Violence to Healing. Author Rachel King is a Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., and former anti-death penalty organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project.