Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole on Wednesday for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Moussaoui was convicted of several terrorism-related counts last year, including conspiring with Al Qaeda to commit acts of terrorism and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.
Some would have preferred the death penalty including Moussaoui who is in his thirties. He could spend 40 or more years at the Colorado Supermax prison. Moussaoui is unrepentent, arrogant and defiant. His attitude may change once he finds himself out of the limelight and in solitary confinement.xxx
Supermax (supermaximum prison) and SHUs (Secure Housing Units) are free-standing facilities or units within other prison facilities. They are to provide for the management and secure control of inmates who have been designated by Department of Corrections (DOC) officials to exhibit violent or disruptive behavior while incarcerated. This most often means inmates are held in isolation, solitary confinement, in sensory deprived conditions and in an environment restricted of stimulation.
Supermax prisoners are locked into cells for approximately 23 hours a day. They have almost no contact with other human beings. There are no group activities: no work, no educational opportunities, no eating together, no sports, no getting together with other people for religious services, and no attempts at
There are no contact visits: prisoners sit behind a plexiglass window. Phone calls and visitation privileges are strictly limited. Books and magazines may be denied and pens restricted. TV and radios may be prohibited or, if allowed, are controlled by guards.
Prisoners have little or no personal privacy. Guards monitor the inmates' movements by video cameras. Communication between prisoners and control booth officers is mostly through speakers and microphones. An officer at a control center may be able to monitor cells and corridors and control all doors electronically.
Typically, the cells have no windows. Lights are controlled by guards who may leave them on night and day. For exercise there is usually only a room with high concrete walls and a chin-up bar. Showers may be limited to three per week for not more than ten minutes.
Prisoners are confined to a concrete world in which they never see a blade of grass, earth, trees or any part of the natural world. Moussaoui will be living a slow, psychological death. Relatives of 9/11 victims live in emotional turmoil on a daily basis, grieving their losses.
Moussaoui and his terrorist ilk wish to become martrys but will find places like Supermax have no privileges, no honor, no dignity and no virgins. They will not attain glory, they will continue as the insignificant, inhuman murderers they are.