Iraq carries out first executions since Saddam Holly Manges Jones at 9:05 AM ET
[JURIST] Three convicted murders were executed in Iraq Thursday, marking the first time the death penalty has been used since Saddam Hussein [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] lost power in 2003. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [Wikipedia profile] opposes the death penalty and refused to sign the men's death sentences after they were convicted of murder, rape and kidnapping, but Talabani's deputy signed on behalf of the presidency [JURIST report]. Many Iraqis had hoped for the death penalty to be outlawed after the fall of the Baath party [Aljazeera backgrounder] but Iraqi government spokesman Laith Kubba has said, "This is not an easy thing to do. Despite all the condemnation from states who want us to abolish capital punishment, I think capital punishment will help us deter some criminals." Reuters has more.
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