It's not such big news that Saddam was hung a couple days ago. Sorry ousted dictator, no 2007 for you. For some it's an issue, for others, like me, not so much. My wife is angry, perhaps at the behest of watching too much Al Jazeera, and under the impression that the Americans chose the most sensitive possible date to snap his neck from a dangling rope - the date being Eid Kbeer, or the celebration of the Muslim Prophet's birthday. Personally, I don't think the American's chose the date, but rather it was a Shi'a decision to finally get rid of the guy - the Shi'as didn't seem to mind the sensitive date so much - at least from what I saw of them dancing through the streets.
The whole issue of the death penalty is a passionate one, with adamant people on the pro and con side. Me, I'm a fence sitter. While I'd hate to see someone hung for a crime they didn't commit - I think hanging is a just punishment for a few horrendous crimes I can think of.
In the past they had public executions, even charging people money to attend. Archaic, but fascinating to watch. The plus side being that they would help recoup some of the funds lost on the judicial process. Humanity's natural blood lust would make such an event a spectacle - I especially like the idea of turning criminals into gladiators and having them fight each other to live another day. They make for great movies anyhow - Gladiator, the Running man. (Okay, maybe not the movie the Running Man, but certainly the book. IMO, much more interesting than seeing which monster truck can bash up the most crap, or watching steroid-massive WWF guys perform fake body slams. It would giver reality TV a twisted new realm of reality and, indeed, pupularity.