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How many times can we hang him?

This morning's Boston Globe has an interesting editorial. In it, the unsigned author argues that Saddam Hussein should not be executed for his recent conviction, because there are so many other charges pending against him. Apparently, he should stand trial for all of them before any sentences should be passed.

It's an odd argument. I can almost see the reasoning behind it -- it would give a sense of "closure" for all his heinous deeds -- but there are a few major problems with the notion.

For one, Iraqi law is clear: sentence MUST be carried out within a certain time once all the legal niceties have been attended to. It's a clear-cut case of "justice delayed is justice denied."

For another, Saddam committed a LOT of crimes over his 14-year rule. The trials could go on and on for ages.

For a third, remember Slobodan Milosevic? He was put on trial for similar crimes. His trial -- ONE trial -- went on for over four years, and only ended when he got bored of the whole thing and kicked the bucket. And Slobodan was four years younger than Saddam.

Saddam, by rights, should have been simply executed on the spot when found. He wasn't, though, but he did have one benefit he denied literally millions of his subjects -- a trial. He was found guilty, so let's let the sentence be carried out.

And if the Boston Globe doesn't like it, let them pay to dig up his body and put it on trial all over again.


Comments (23)

The only argument for putti... (Below threshold)
cirby:

The only argument for putting Hussein on trial for his other crimes is to keep him from being executed at all. Iraqi law doesn't require that he be tried for all of his crimes, and almost nobody in Iraq would want to keep Hussein around for any longer than they really have to.

I still think they should hang him right before midnight on Sunday. That way, he doesn't get to see another year, and Iraq can do some real celebrating, while starting out 2007 with a somewhat cleaner slate. Enough Iraqis follow the Western calendar for this to resonate well.

Hmmmmm. Here in California,... (Below threshold)
Scott:

Hmmmmm. Here in California, we have almost 600 people on death row.

Wouldn't it be nice if had that 30-day law here? Most of our scumbags have been on death row for over 20 years.

Surely the Glob editorial w... (Below threshold)

Surely the Glob editorial writer(s) is aware of all these points you've raised, Jay. I just wonder if the Glob is simply opposed to executing Saddam, for whatever reason, only they know that their position is indefensible, so they thought the best way to get the results they're after would be to argue for interminable delays in the name of justice. After all, if Saddam were put on trial for all of his crimes, he'd die of old age, which perhaps would suit the Glob just fine.

I'll be surprised if Saddam... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

I'll be surprised if Saddam is executed before the end of the Anfal trial.

I bet there's a lot of talk in the Iraqi government right now, 30 days being the order of the court and thus subject to change.

In any event, the Presidency Council has to issue a decree for the execution to take place.

I've thought that the Kurds would want to have their say against him and the satisfaction that he was being executed for Anfal as well as Dujail.

We'll see, maybe he's dead already.

Sorry to say I told you so,... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Sorry to say I told you so, but, I knew some of the clueless libs would argue to keep Saddam alive.

Murder an innocent baby, sure, deny Terri Schaivo's parents the right to care for her, no problem, save Tookie, here here, but kill a guy who mas killed 100,000's, maybe more than a million, sure, leniency makes sense!

I've thought that the Ku... (Below threshold)
cirby:

I've thought that the Kurds would want to have their say against him and the satisfaction that he was being executed for Anfal as well as Dujail.

No, mostly they just want him dead.

Trying to put him on trial for anything else would just make that not happen. If the SOB reaches his 70th birthday without being executed, he can't be executed, by Iraqi law. They can only put him in jail for the rest of his life.

That's not good enough.


It is my understanding that... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

It is my understanding that further trials will take place, just not with Saddam present (have your cake and eat it too).

Did anyone else hear this?

Would this be the Glob tryi... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

Would this be the Glob trying to impose its political/cultural standards or views on another country?
Isn't that what they have accused the Bush Admin of doing? Trying to impose our governing system and beliefs on another country?

Oh, sorry...Its OK for the liberals...er...media...to demand that their preferred method be carried out.

if the SOB reaches his 7... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

if the SOB reaches his 70th birthday without being executed, he can't be executed, by Iraqi law.

What law is that? The only restriction in the Iraqi Criminal Procedure law is the one against executing pregnant women.

"Saddam, by rights, should ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"Saddam, by rights, should have been simply executed on the spot when found."
I think not a real good idea.

It is my understan... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
It is my understanding that further trials will take place, just not with Saddam present (have your cake and eat it too).

I like it! Then they can dig up his rotting corpse and hang it again.

Personally, I think the Rom... (Below threshold)

Personally, I think the Romanians had it right when they just took that murderous butcher Ceaucescu and his hideous wife out in the cold and shot them.

What law is that? The on... (Below threshold)
cirby:

What law is that? The only restriction in the Iraqi Criminal Procedure law is the one against executing pregnant women.

Not according to a LOT of different reports, ranging from PBS to Free Republic to Human Rights Watch to arabnews.com.

You're literally the first person I've seen claim otherwise.

Personally, I think the Rom... (Below threshold)
Rich Edwards:

Personally, I think the Romanians had it right when they just took that murderous butcher Ceaucescu and his hideous wife out in the cold and shot them.

Well, I recall Saddam asking to be shot some time back in case of a guilty verdict. With a little luck, Ramsey Clark will volunteer to act as a human shield, when in the words of Gobler in Raiders...shoot zem - shoot zem both.

Not according to a LOT o... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

Not according to a LOT of different reports, ranging from PBS to Free Republic to Human Rights Watch to arabnews.com.

There may be some stray Iraqi law saying you can't excute someone over 70 in Iraq, but it's not in the Iraq Criminal Procedure law.

If anyone knows, I'd be interested in the citation.

Remember..the gas he used t... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Remember..the gas he used to slaughter his own people we gave him...of course we thought he would use it againt Iran...It is odd that none of the others who were in power at that time are not facing trial...oh well...one less leader with his peoples blood on his hands is a good thing..

It's all our fault, again, ... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

It's all our fault, again, eh, np?

Quickly!! Before the ACLU s... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Quickly!! Before the ACLU sticks its weenie nose in and screws it all up!!

Remember..the gas he use... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Remember..the gas he used to slaughter his own people we gave him

Actually, no.

That's another of those Leftist Urban Legends. Saddam's poison gases were made in-country, using equipment bought from, well, the countries that opposed going to war against him the most. German, mostly, with some equipment coming from France and Russia (and others, but not the US).

Over the years, a couple of American companies have tried to sell Iraq chemicals that could be used to make those gases, but they've been breaking US law when they tried it, and were shut down when caught.

The only things we sold Iraq in the couple of years we last did business with Hussein (mid-1980s) were some helicopters (civilian types, which ended up being used as transports for generals - they had plenty of actual combat helos they bought from the Soviets) and some insecticides (which were carefully chosen as to not be usable for conversion to any sort of poison gas weapons, and which were desperately needed for actual agriculture). We also gave Iraq some satellite intel for use against the Iranians. That's it.

You keep harping about Iraqi criminal procedures, but I have the feeling that you're going off of that short summary that got published a while back, which is only a small drop in the bucket of actual Iraqi laws that have been passed or modified since the war. You should remember that quite a lot of the Iraqi system of laws went fairly much unchanged after the changeover.

I've cited multiple sources that claim the 70 year age limit, while you... haven't cited anything whatsoever.

Where is Saddam's President... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Where is Saddam's President Ford? Someone to pardon him to heal the nation?

Where is Saddam's Presid... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Where is Saddam's President Ford?

Unfortunately, he was killed a while back while assembling a car bomb.

The next guy in line is, unfortunately, in the other line, applying for the hangman job.

Where is Saddam's Gerald Fo... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Where is Saddam's Gerald Ford...?

What did I miss something here? How many hundred of thosuands of U.S. citizens did Nixon murder?

Robert, up the Zyprexa, you... (Below threshold)
epador:

Robert, up the Zyprexa, your delusions are showing again.




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