Monday, November 20, 2006

Gonna send you home to momma in a cardboard box

I've just been reading about Human Rights Watch's report on Saddam Hussein's trial.

I don't agree with the death penalty full stop. If killing is wrong, then state-sanctioned killing cannot be right. Even when it is someone like Hussein who committed and/or ordered atrocities, killing him brings us down to his level, if you see what I mean.

I'm also worried about the martyrdom factor, and if what HRW says is true, it can only increase the likelihood of him becoming some kind of symbol.

Allegedly he has been obstructed from appeal, while the trial itself was "marked by frequent outbursts by both judges and defendants.
Three defence lawyers were murdered, three judges left the five-member panel and the original chief judge was replaced.
Defence lawyers boycotted proceedings but HRW said court-appointed counsel that took their place lacked adequate training in international law.
In addition, important documents were not given to defence lawyers in advance, no written transcript was kept and paperwork was lost, said HRW.
The defence was also prevented from cross-examining witnesses and the judges made asides that pre-judged Saddam Hussein. "

It's all very depressing.

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