I always feel depressed just thinking about death penalties, it can ruin a whole day for me, even when it's someone like Saddam Hussein who was one of the most brutal and evil people on earth. He didn't think so himself, of course, but he was; behold:
Hussein staged perhaps his most macabre purge in 1979, when at age 42 he consolidated his hold on Iraq. Having pushed aside President Bakr, Saddam called a gathering of several hundred top Baathists.
One senior official stepped forward to confess to having been part of a widespread plot to allow a Syrian takeover. After guards dragged the man away, Hussein took to the podium, weeping at first as he began reading a list of dozens implicated. Guards dragged away each of the accused. Hussein paused from reading occasionally to light his cigar, while the room erupted in almost hysterical chanting demanding death to traitors. The entire dark spectacle, designed to leave no doubt as to who controlled Iraq, was filmed and copies distributed around the country.
Firing squads made of cabinet members and other top officials initially gunned down 21 men, including five ministers. Iraq's state radio said the officials executed their colleagues while “cheering for the long life of the Party, the Revolution and the Leader, President, Struggler, Saddam Hussein.”
I've seen parts of the above mentioned video, and it's absolutely sickening.
The only good thing I can think of in this matter is that a lot of Iraqis probably feel a sense of justice now. And some a sense of injustice…
It'll be interesting to see what happens now.