Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hangman's Noose Awaits

The Iraqi appeals court has required that the sentence of death on Saddam Hussein must be carried out within 30 days (from yesterday). The hangman's noose awaits, and it appears that quite a few Iraqis are vying for the job of pulling the floor out from under Saddam, even though there are more than a few folks who aren't happy with the decision, including the Indian government worried about sectarian strife and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Dr. Sanity also comments. Ed Morrissey thinks that the Iraqi government should pick a Kurd, any Kurd, to delivery justice to the Iraqi people for all the misery inflicted on the country by Saddam and his minions.

There's some question as to whether the Iraqi President and two Vice Presidents must sign off on the execution.
Iraqi officials had said such a decision must be ratified by President Jalal Talabani and Iraq's two vice presidents. But a presidential spokesman said that was not necessarily the case.

"Some people believe there is no need for his approval," said Hiwa Osman, Talabani's media adviser. "We still have to hear from the court as to how the procedure can be carried out."

Lawyers were debating whether an Iraqi High Tribunal provision mandating the imposition of the death penalty could take precedence over a law in the constitution that requires the president to approve death sentences.

The appeals court also affirmed on Tuesday death sentences for two of Saddam's co-defendants, including his half brother. It ruled that life imprisonment for a third was too lenient and demanded he too be sentenced to death.

Some Iraqis said Saddam should be hanged immediately, but others feared Iraq's bloodletting could escalate if the former dictator is executed at a time when sectarian attacks are already on the rise.

"Executing him now is dangerous. The situation is very bad. Things need to be calmer," said Saadia Mohamed Majed, a 60-year-old Shiite in Baghdad who wants the penalty to be postponed for at least three years. Shiites endured persecution under Saddam and his fellow Sunni Arab leaders, and many are eager to remove a symbol of the old regime.

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