I have made it clear in previous posts that I am opposed to the death penalty, even for criminals of the magnitude of Saddam Hussein, but even if you agreed with the execution, there is surely room for debate over the manner in which it was carried out, and I suspect this is what John Prescott was on about this morning.
As a means of ending someone's life, hanging is a barbaric practice which deserves to be consigned to the dustbin of history. A public hanging such as this was, with people shouting abuse at Saddam as he went to the gallows, belongs even more surely in the middle ages.
If we have to have the death penalty at all, then surely the most humane method of killing is by lethal injection. To deny Saddam's humanity by arguing that this would be "too good" for him is simply to stoop to his level.
Some bloggers have decided to display the mobile phone video images of the moment of death. The blogosphere is a free world - mercifully - and that's their right. But Jonathan Calder on Liberal England has a typically thoughtful post in which he compares it to pornography, and I agree with him.