[ All the time I think "I should blog this" but never get around to it. So... I figured I'd throw this out there. Not as long as it should be perhaps, but if I wait till I get enough time, I might not blog it at all. ]
Listening to talk radio the other day and they were discussin Saddam's execution and whether and the issues surrounding the death penalty and capital punishment. I thought the following was a very interesting point, and one I hadn't considered before.
While Saddam was alive, he still yielded considerable power. You might think, "We got him, he's in jail - he'll no longer be killing millions of his own people, Kurds, Persians, etc."; but it turns out that isn't true. Just as a "maifia don" many times controls his organization from within the prison walls, so to was the possibility that Saddam would continue to control his. He claimed he would return to power, and many of his subjects, people in his party, etc. believed him. And for that reason, many were scared to come forward, aid the US, etc. I mean - if someone is known for killing anyone in his country that speaks out against him, and if you think that he is going to return; how likely are you to speak out? Plenty did - but there were plenty that were probably too scared to.
That fear no longer exists.
So - unlike many "murderers" who might be on death row for a "localized crime" - killing a particular person, etc - and so giving them a life sentence removes their ability to commit a similar crime in the future; there are a set of people - such as Saddam - where merely removing them from society may not render them powerless. Their power is probably reduced, but they may still have the ability to commit similar crimes, even though they are locked up.
I think its a good point - regardless of how you feel about capital punishment.