Saddam Hussein could be hanging by his neck even as I type this. A.P. reports that a judge has ordered his execution "no later than Saturday." Despite my growing reservations about the death penalty generally, I don't have a problem with this particular example, except for the timing. I could understand if a crowd of angry Iraqis strung Saddam up around the same time they were toppling his statues. I could understand if he were executed after a series of trials, or one big trial, that laid out the depth and the breadth of his crimes. But to hang him after he was convicted of killing a mere 148 people in reaction to an assassination attempt, a crime that could be (and was) portrayed as a case of overzealous self-defense, seems anti-climactic to me.
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