Monday, July 24, 2006

Don't Die Before We Kill You

There was Slobodan Milosevic. There was Kennth Lay. And now, quite possibly, there will be Saddam Hussein. What do these men have in common, besides being greedy, spiteful, evil men? They have all committed heinous crimes against their fellow countrymen, and then died before they could be sentenced. But I am jumping the gun just a bit here.

Milosevic, the Yugoslav president who ordered the deaths of thousands of Serbs, and Lay, the Enron executive who was convicted of fraud and stole millions of dollars from his company, both died of heart attacks. In Milosevic's case, I do believe he died because of a bad heart.

But in Lay's case, I doubted what I heard the second I heard it. That man had enough money to buy and sell every physician in Texas. Alot of things can look like heart attacks. And for the right price, some doctors will attest to it. Lay was a crooked man and he had to have many crooked friends to help him get where he was. No one succeeds to that level of dispicable all by himself.

And Saddam (I have always been curious why we refer to him by his first name) seems headed towards death as he continues his hunger strike while on trial for his life for crimes against humanity. And now he is playing the part of the spoiled child by not eating because his trial is not going "his way". The bitch about this situation is that rather than let him kill himself, he is being taken to a hospital and fed through a tube in order to keep him alive long enough so that we are not robbed of the sheer joy of killing him. Nevermind that the U.S. and its allies killed thousands of Iraqis in search of this one man. He's not dying until WE say so!

I will admit to being completely torn on this subject. On one hand, if someone commits a crime, he should have to pay the penalty in full. That's basic justice. However, if someone is sentenced to death or even to life in prison, he should be allowed to commit suicide of some kind if there's no chance he will ever be a free man again. Because as a taxpayer, I don't want to have to pay for him to live.

In Milosevic's case, his trial lasted about 4 years. Eventually, he would have died from old age anyhow. Which could be the standard bearer for Saddam's trial also - which has been going on for a little over two years now. I am not sure why it takes so long to convict a world leader of something, especially when we had to go to war in order to bring him to justice. But is justice really served if the convicted die before they live one day of their sentence?