Executions are gruesome shit

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By Tim Redmond

If you haven't seen the truly grim footage of Saddam Hussein's hanging, you can view it here. Luke Thomas posted it on Fog City Journal, but I don't think any of the other local sites have links up.

I understand why people avoid this sort of thing: It's really nasty to look at. But there's a reason Americans should see it, and (with the advent of cell-phone cameras, and soon, little cameras hidden in all sorts of other gadgets) footage of executions, including California killings, is going to become more and more common.

The United States has tried hard to make executions seem almost clinical: The electric chair and the gas chamber have been replaced with lethal execution, which is supposed to be painless. We know that isn't always true; in fact, killing someone is never pretty and is never going to be pretty.

And if the state is going to do the killing, the public needs to know what it's paying for.

In this case, we paid for a hanging. Don't kid yourself -- your tax dollars paid for that rope and those gallows. And the United States, which controls virtually every move the Iraqi government makes, was happy to alllow this to go forward.

God bless America.