Saddam and Evildoers Before Him
With Eichmann in front of me, I questioned the death penalty. To take a person’s life, even after due process and a fair trial, is a fearful deed, seeming to overpower taboo and the instinct to respect one’s fellow men. A day came when his appeal was heard. I was in court. The judge was quoting this and that precedent in international law, and suddenly, without ceremony or pause, he rejected the appeal. Eichmann was escorted away. Everyone else gathered in the small square outside the court, all of us silent, a few in tears. After quite a short time, the news came through, again without ceremony, that he had been hanged. To my surprise, the sun immediately seemed brighter, the sky more blue, the earth cleaner, and I realized that I do not in fact question the death penalty for mass murder.