I don’t understand this. Let me get this straight: You pack your sneakers with military-grade explosives and a fuse, walk onto a plane, try to light up, assault two flight attendants when they try to figure out what you’re doing, and you only face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine?
That makes no sense to me. The plane alone is worth a few million. (I’ll have to ask my buddy Sean, who happens to work in Boeing’s billing department, how much a new airliner will set you back.) Then, of course, there’s the little problem of the people on the plane. There were something like 180 passengers, plus a crew of 12? So why isn’t he facing 192 counts of attempted murder, plus two assault charges, plus whatever the appropriate charge is for endangering a few million dollars’ worth of property belonging to someone else?
We’ve come a long way from the days when stealing horses was a capital offense, haven’t we?
Since this sorry excuse for a human being was (fortunately) dumb enough to get caught and didn’t actually kill anybody, the death penalty is a little harsh, and expensive, since we don’t use cheap methods such as those that involve gallows and ropes or a single bullet anymore. I’m thinking enough consecutive life sentences to ensure he really does die in prison would be good. It saves making a martyr out of this luser and saves some money–money that can be used to foil the next one like him.
Twenty years and a quarter-mil won’t do any good. He’ll get back out, and then he’ll just be torqued off enough to try something else and do it right this time. The money’s too low too. A quarter-mil may be a lot to you and me, but there’s just too much risk that the organization that got him the C4 can also get him the quarter-mil. Any risk of that is too much risk.
Since justice isn’t going to be served, maybe some of the 192 can pursue some kind of a civil case against him, or some organization they can link him to. And then there’s the possibility that maybe 20 years is longer than this guy’s life expectancy once he gets into the penal system…
But one shouldn’t have to count on such things.