Monday, October 10, 2005

Saddam may face execution before standing trial on all charges

KR Washington Bureau reports Saddam Hussein could be executed before the Iraqi Special Tribunal finishes charging him with all his alleged crimes, a source close to the tribunal said Sunday. For members of some groups allegedly abused by Saddam, the possibility that he'd not face their allegations drew mixed feelings. His first trial, along with seven co-defendants, is set to begin Oct. 19. It will weigh charges that they massacred 143 people in Dujail, a predominantly Shiite town north of Baghdad, in 1982 after a failed assassination attempt. If convicted, Saddam could be sentenced to death. On Sunday, officials began releasing more details of how the court will operate. Instead of a jury, a five-judge panel will hear the case and one will be the presiding judge. The defendants will be charged together, unlike in U.S. courts. Each defendant will have his own attorney, an official close to the tribunal explained, and the judges may reach a different verdict for each. The official asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak publicly for the tribunal. Once the court is finished with the first case, Saddam will likely face another trial for allegedly committing similar crimes in other communities, mostly Shiite Muslim and Kurdish areas, the official said. Saddam is a Sunni Muslim, the minority sect predominant in Iraq during his dictatorship. If he is sentenced to death in the Dujail case, he will also begin his appeals process, the official said. Should he lose his appeal, he'd be executed 30 days later. That could occur, the official continued, "before all the cases have been decided."

You can only execute him once, and while I suspect everyone would like to think he was executed for what he did to them, the important thing is that he is executed.

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