Saturday, December 30, 2006

Let the Healing Begin

I oppose the death penalty. I always have, and I probably always will. I oppose it on philosophical grounds and on more pragmatic ones. But the death penalty is usually carried out against "common people." They may be uncommon in their crimes, but they are "common" in terms of their station in life.

Yet, Saddam Hussein was the president of a prominent country when he was captured. He was tried, convicted, and executed for acts he committed as president of Iraq. Those acts caused death and suffering, both told and untold, for hundreds of thousands if not millions of human beings and brought physical, economic, social, and spiritual ruin to a once relatively prosperous nation.

Despite my general opposition to the death penalty, I confess that I do not mourn the hanging of Saddam Hussein. While I also do not feel happy over his death, I do feel a sense of closure and resulting relief that a man who did monstrous things that impacted his nation and the entire world in terrible ways has been irrevocably removed from the world stage and that perhaps, just perhaps, the healing of people's souls and the slow and arduous rebuilding of a nation can finally begin.

1 comment:

Tom said...

I agree that a special case relating to the death penalty exists when someone like Saddam is tried.

While he was being tried, the relatives of his judges and attorneys connected to the trial were being killed.

There is something particularly outrageous with the idea that Saddam must be carefully attended to while a slaughter continues by supporters of his who would with to return the madman to power.

Indeed, killing Saddam makes the possibility of him returning to power impossible; it is an irrevocable step that creates an opportunity for the nation to move forward.

For this reason, I cannot oppose the death penalty. It is ironic, perhaps, but until life is treated more preciously, I think we must impose death against those who commit crimes against humanity.