The Relevance of Feeling

The opening sentence of the piece really captures it all:

Jurors are being asked to relive the raw emotion of Sept. 11, 2001, as prosecutors argue that Zacarias Moussaoui should be put to death for conspiring with the hijackers.

I caught a bit about this as I was headed out the door this morning that really got me thinking about the sentencing phaseof the trial.

The line I heard as I was leaving echoed the above; it went something like, “Presecutors will attempt to replay the emotion that overtook our nation in the days following September 11, 2001.”

Should that really be the goal? I understand the prosecutors may be out to get as harsh a punishment as possible, but do we really want the sentence for a crime to be dependent upon the emotion evoked by its commission?

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One Response to The Relevance of Feeling

  1. John says:

    Emotionalism works.

    I’ve only sat on one jury trial, but I was aghast at how easily my colleagues were swayed by emotional testimony.

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