Sunday, December 31, 2006

Justification for Saddam's execution

The whole world's attention was riveted Friday and Saturday on the news -- and then images -- of the execution of Saddam Hussein.

I was at a party of fellow rightwingers, and someone raised a glass in toast. I chose not to join that gesture, although I share the celebration of justice being done on a murderous tyrant, I can't celebrate anyone's death.

There has followed, of course, a debate about the propriety of the death penalty, and we know the Vatican issued a statement deploring it.

All that said, it occurs to me this situation may well fit the circumstances in which Catholic teaching considers the death penalty a legitimate option.

I had more to say, but then I saw Publius at Res Publica et Cetera already said it.


Unknown said...

I have mixed feelings on the death penalty. As a general rule, there seems to be enough errors, procedural and factual, in many trials that in most cases the death penalty has a high probability of being incorrectly given.

Saddam is as close to an evil man as I have known in my lifetime, so I'm not particularly upset about it in his case.

What I am pleased about is the quick resolution once the verdict was upheld and the punishment was carried out within days. That is wonderful.

One of the awful aspects of the American justice system is the length of time to have any trial, capital crime or not, the length of the trial and then the ridiculous amount of time that the appeal process can take.

By the time a person is executed (or imprisoned) the time of the crime is so long in his past that he can see no relationship between a crime he can't remember committing and the punishment.

The death penalty is not much of a deterrent if it takes 10 or more years for it to be carried out.

Unknown said...

What I think is a horrendously idiotic decision is to bury Saddam in his home village.

He should have been cremated and his ashes dispersed in an unknown location.

Now the Sunni Iraqis will have a permanent shrine where they can vist to get reinvigorated when they need a morale boost.

The Scotsman had an article written prior to the execution that covered the issues, but our leaders appear not to think much.

Interestingly, The Shiites have their Shrine to Ali, promised heir of Mohammed and his martyred grandson, Husayn, that they have been upset about since the year 680.

You'd better believe that Saddam's followers will be mourning him at least that long.

What is the matter with us? The Russians when they found Hitler's body, knew what to do with it. Get rid of it.

Just another stupid decision by this administration.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

While I can't shed many/any tears over the death of Saddam, I am convinced that his execution was very, very wrong. As someone once said, it was worse than immoral, it was STUPID. While I realize that the decision was offically the responsibility of the Iraqi government, it reflects all the wisdom and the political sophistication of the crowd that has shaped US policy in Iraq over these past three dreadful years

Anonymous said...
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Fr Martin Fox said...


I'm sorry to delete your post, but it was simply too long; posting an entire article, with notes and bibliography, is a bit much.

If you want to try for a shorter post, and link the article, that's no problem.

Sir Galen of Bristol said...

"...this situation may well fit the circumstances in which Catholic teaching considers the death penalty a legitimate option."

My opinion exactly.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance to him, his sons and all that supported this rat.