Saddam Hussein Gets Death Penalty, News at 11
To virtually nobody’s surprise, the first trial of Saddam Hussein on war crimes charges has ended in a guilty verdict:
Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced Sunday to death by hanging for war crimes in the 1982 killings of 148 people in the town of Dujail, as the former leader, trembling, shouted “God is great!”
As he, his half brother and another senior official in his regime were convicted and sentenced to hang, Saddam yelled out, “Long live the people and death to their enemies. Long live the glorious nation, and death to its enemies!”
One wonders if the quality of the ex-Iraqi president’s representation had something to do with the verdict:
Before the session began, one of Saddam’s lawyers, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, was ejected from the courtroom after handing the judge a memorandum in which he called the trial a travesty.
Chief Judge Raouf Abdul-Rahman pointed to Clark and said in English, “Get out.”
No matter how it may play among the intelligentsia, attacking the credibility of the court your client is being tried before is probably not a winning strategy.
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the death penalty (either in principle or as applied in the United States), but I suppose Saddam Hussein is pretty high up on the list of living dictators and ex-dictators who deserve to be at the end of a noose, along with Augusto Pinochet and Kim Jong-Il, so I won’t be holding a candlelight vigil for him either.