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Hussein's lawyer says US should not hand Saddam over to Iraq to be executed.

AMMAN, Jordan — Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer implored world leaders on Thursday to prevent the United States from handing over the ousted leader to Iraqi authorities for execution, saying he should enjoy protection from his enemies as a "prisoner of war."


I found this article on foxnews.com which, in my opinion, brings up an interesting question. Should the US hand Saddam over to Iraq for execution? My first gut reaction to the question is no; however, I feel this way for the simple reason that I do not believe in capital punishment. If they (Bush, Shiites, whoever) wanted him dead they should have shot him on the battle field. However, as he so cowardly allowed himself to be captured and he no longer posses a threat to anyone it is now our obligation not to kill him. What gives us the right to execute him, and how would that make us any better than him? Don't get me wrong, I have no respect for the man; and he certainly deserved to be stripped of his power. However, no matter what he may or may not have done I do not believe anyone has the right to execute him, or anyone else for that matter.

Of course there are other factors which weigh in on this as well. Albeit I will be the first to admit I am not exactly up on my understanding of international law or any of the various treaties we (the US) have signed governing prisoners of war; it seems to me Saddam's attorney has a point. Out of all of the treaties we have singed I am fairly sure at least one would prevent the US from handing over a POW to his or her enemies. While one could argue we would simply be returning Saddam Hussein back to his native country, as would be customary with POWs, it could easily be argued that Iraq as it is today is no longer the same Iraq from which Saddam is from. Yes this argument dances around pins and needles; however, in my opinion it is worth mentioning.

On the flip side of the coin is of course another argument. Saddam is from Iraq, is an Iraqi citizen, and he committed his crimes in Iraq. While he may currently be in US custody the current acting government of Iraq has every right to ask the US to extradite Saddam to Iraqi custody so that he can answer for his crimes. This of course begs the question; was he tried according to the current laws governing Iraq or the laws in place during his leadership of Iraq? Whichever the case Iraq is (somewhat) of a sovereign nation and has already tried and convicted him according to their laws and will expect the US to hand him over to be executed; which begs the question, "How would Iraq receive and respond to the US refusing to hand him over?

I will leave it up to you, the reader, to answer these questions and to draw your own conclusions. But, you must admit, it does make you think.

Thought provoking piece. Great start.

I would also like to add to your comment about Iraq not being the same as it once was. This is indeed true and is a factor that should weigh into any decision of whether he should be executed or not. It is one thing to return him to an Iraq that is relatively peaceful. It's an entirely different story with the Iraq of today, where we are still trying to tamp down on the violence. If his death were to incite it further, as the Sunni's have already said it will, I don't see how his death will be of any benefit except perhaps to some "Death of Tyrant" rah rah speech from the Bush administration.

All valid points which weigh in truth.

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