Sec. State Condoleezza Rice’s voice trembled as she was inclined to sort-of apologize for the lack of “dignity given to the accused” at a news conference in Egypt today. Perhaps the shakiness of her comment can be pinned to its sickening irony.
Saddam Hussein and two of his aides were executed by the Iraqi government within weeks of being sentenced to death for the killing of 148 civilians in the Iraqi city Dujail. Saddam was hanged a mere 56 days after his sentencing — so quick, in fact, that it necessitated the dropping of a separate case charging Hussein with the murders of some 100,000 Kurds.
The average length of stay on U.S. death is up to 12.86 years for current inmates (as of Oct, 2006). Capital punishment is officially sanctioned in 38 of the 50 states, although court appointed doctors are consistently questioning the ethics.
Last month in Florida, it took Angel Diaz 34 minutes to die in a botched execution that left him talking and gasping for air for a good 11 minutes. The last execution in California was that of 76-year-old Clarence Ray Allen, a blind, wheelchair-bound man who spent 26 years on death row.
So what’s this about “dignity” Ms. Rice?