Friday, December 31, 2004

Koranic justice 

'Saudi executed and crucified' - headline, United Press International.

One would think that "executed" and "crucified" are redundant. Actually, the convict was "beheaded and crucified," presumably in that order.

One thing about the Saudis -- they have the courage to execute criminals the old fashion way, with lots of blood and in public. Or maybe political and moral courage isn't required in a Muslim country. Are there are still a lot of people in those lands who are entertained by public executions?

I go back and forth on the merits of the death penalty, but I deplore our antiseptic executions. If you are going to execute people, public hangings, firing squads, and even beheadings make sense to me. I am offended, though, by the American taste for oh-so-nice executions away from the public eye. It is as if we want our retribution, but we don't want to confront it in the light of day. We need executions at dawn in front of the courthouse, with television crews there to record it. Only after a few of those will we know whether we really believe that capital punishment is good public policy.


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