This week's horribly botched hanging of the co-defendants in Saddam Hussein's has sparked outrage from groups around the world, from Iraqi Sunnis to the United Nations. Death penalty opponents are taking the opportunity to renew the call for an international moratorium on state killings.
Here at Hairshirt, we are big fans of the death penalty. It gets rid of pesky overlords. It opens up room in our jails for even more scumbags. And it gave everyone a wonderfully warm sense of closure. You ask anybody whose family was brutally executed by Saddam Hussein: "How has Saddam's execution affected the way you feel about the loss of your family?" You know what they'll say? They'll say, "I was really pissed for a long, long time. But now I'm cool with it. Saddam's hanging healed my metaphysical boo-boo."
And it's not like we haven't had the occasional head pop off during these things before. In fact, if you read your history books just a little more carefully, you'll see that this sort of thing happens all the time and the world just keeps right on spinning. For example:
August, 1927: Due to faulty wiring in the Massachusetts prison where he is being executed, anarchist Bartolomeo Vanzetti is placed in the electric chair no less than thirty-seven times when the prison's fuses keep blowing. Finally, a quick-thinking guard just whacks Vanzetti over the head with a frying pan.
July, 1934: FBI agents who ambush John Dillinger outside of the Biograph theater all turn out to be really, really bad shots. One agent grazes Dillinger in the foot, but he escapes mortal wounding until he trips on the sidewalk and falls on some bullets that Agent Carl Schweinshtupper had accidentally dropped on the pavement before the ambush.
June, 1953: Julius Rosenberg manages to secret a bag of dog poop in his prison jumper. During his electrocution, the bag catches fire. Only after they've attempted to stomp the fire out do prison guards realize that they've now got dog poop on their shoes. Reportedly, Ethel Rosenberg laughed herself silly for about twenty minutes straight upon hearing the story.
May, 1962: Israeli officials get the mischievous notion to tie the hangman's noose around Adolph Eichmann's testicles instead of his neck. When the trap door is released, Eichmann drops quickly and is promptly ripped in two. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion vomits after catching half of Eichmann's large intestine in his lap.
May 1994: The execution of serial killer John Wayne Gacy is halted for twenty minutes when it's discovered that the chemical hooked up to the IV meant to give Gacy a lethal injection is actually a vat of barbecue sauce from the kitchen. Despite Gacy's pleas for authorities to find some way to go ahead and kill him with the barbecue sauce, prison medical staff eventually put the right chemicals in place and the fat clown is put down.
Yeah, sure, from time to time executions are botched. And, okay, innocent people are sometimes put to death. But isn't it worth it to give so many people such peace of mind?