Saddam Hussein and the the Death Penalty
Is the Opposition to capital punishment hindering justice?
From the Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web":
"A mass grave being excavated in a north Iraqi village has yielded evidence that Iraqi forces executed women and children under Saddam Hussein," reports the BBC:
The skeletons of unborn babies and toddlers clutching toys are being unearthed, the investigators said. They are seeking evidence to try Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity. . . .
One trench contains only women and children while another contains only men. The body of one woman was found still clutching a baby. The infant had been shot in the back of the head and the woman in the face.
"The youngest foetus we have was 18 to 20 foetal weeks," said US investigating anthropologist P Willey. "Tiny bones, femurs--thighbones the size of a matchstick."
The investigation is proceeding slowly because Europeans--experienced in examining mass graves in Bosnia--are refusing to participate "as the evidence might be used eventually to put Saddam Hussein to death."
To much of Europe, the American practice of using the death penalty is so repulsive that it is considered a human rights violation. In fact, most of the complaints about human rights violations in the U.S. on the Amnesty International website are directly related to the issue of the use of the death penalty. In fact, many Christians in Europe oppose the death penalty as against the will of God despite the fact that the Bible directly approves the death penalty. For example, a man who I would consider a friend, Anton Hein, webmaster for Apologetics Index, is very much opposed to the death penalty based upon his understanding of the Bible and has collected a great deal of information about it here. (By no means do I agree with his assessment of the U.S. judicial system as "racist and discriminatory"--although I certainly acknowledge that it is faulty.) And Mr. Hein is apparently in good company because the Pope has even taken the United States to task over the issue of capital punishment.
While I certainly respect their view (even if I disagree with it), isn't it going a bit too far to permit a general opposition to the death penalty to prevent the recovery of evidence that will help convict and put away forever one of the world's latest and most repugnant mass murderers? Especially where the trial of Sadaam Hussein isn't going to be conducted by the Americans but by the Iraqui government to be elected in January? Look at what they found: murdered infants! All life is precious, but isn't this too much for any civilized society to protect?