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Elayne Boosler Headshot

Execution Etiquette

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Many, many people are upset at the behavior of Saddam Hussein's executioners. An investigation has launched. Heads will roll. And when they do, you'd better know the Do's and Don't's, in case you're invited.

Not like those sadistic guards presiding over the Saddam execution. Saddam Hussein, mass(ive) murderer, dictator, tyrant, Stalin worshiper, torturer, contortionist by proxy, mass grave filler, public beheadings Master of Ceremonies, (the Kurds found him a gas), fingernail-extracting, eye-gouging, genital-shocking, bucket-drowning, multi-tasker, shared power with his two sons. Their favorite form of murder was the wood chipper. If they liked you, at least they'd put you in head first, but that was rare. They were the "Wedding Crashers", but in the Dictator's Cut, they got to rape all the brides.

What heinous crime did these execution guards commit? Right before hanging Hussein, they taunted him. You read it right. Taunted. Verbally. Hussein was only found guilty of murdering 148 people. That is the isolated case on which America chose to try him. That's like convicting Hitler on a noise violation. It must have been very unsatisfying to the millions of survivors waiting, in vain, for justice for the murders of a million of their countrymen and families. Now they wouldn't get to tell their stories, bear witness, be heard, get justice, find peace, heal. But, and I think we can all agree here, that is no excuse for taunting. Taunting is just plain rude. And how did they taunt him? They chanted the name of a different leader. I mean, talk about kicking a guy when he's down. I wasn't around for the hanging of Wilhelm Frick after Nuremberg, but I'd like to think I wouldn't have said anything.

Come on people, let's make up our minds about capital punishment. I'm against it, morally and ethically, unless someone kills someone I know and love, then I'm for it.

If we're against it, then let's not do it. But if we're going to do it, then let's do it!!!! Why make it as pleasant, painless and considerate as possible? Let's GO for "deterrent". It won't be "cruel and unusual" if it becomes usual. No painkillers, slow injections, easy slipping into the twilight, with doctors and priests and bed and blanket. So we don't lose ourselves, let's get the best in the business to do the job for us; let the already convicted murderers do it. They need the work, and a chance to think outside the box.

I know the reason we all got sick watching that go down last week was precisely because of our humanity, because we are not them. But, they are not us, either.

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