Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Death Sentence

I made it into Crikey's comments section yesterday with a comment on their coverage of the Saddam Hussein verdict.

Your intro yesterday that "there is no doubt Saddam deserves to die" rests on two premises; that Saddam is guilty of a "heinous crime", and that for that crime the appropriate penalty is death. There are a number of difficulties with this proposition. To begin with if we believe in the "rule of law" you have to find a law that Hussein broke and there isn't one on the Iraq statute books. If you believe in the concept of "crimes against humanity" then the charge needed to be brought by an international court. So the first part itself is problematic, at least matching the crime to the court. The second part is that some of us believe the death penalty is never warranted, no matter how severe the crime. So I think there is a lot of doubt that Saddam deserves to die, while not defending his rule or conduct in any way. PS How many Iraqi citizens have the coalition of the willing now killed? When do George Bush and John Howard go on trial?

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