The Emir's Third Way

Here’s a dilemma: The Emir of Kuwait has to decide whether his own cousin should be executed for drug smuggling.

To grant a pardon would seriously undermine the rule of law in what is supposed to be a constitutional monarchy. But to allow the execution would obviously cause terrible distress to other members of the Royal Family (and, one presumes, the Emir himself). Such a precedent would also worry other Royal Families around the Middle East, says The Times.

But the Emir has a third way, which is to place a moratorium on executions alogther. Often, draconian laws are enacted because those with power assume “it would never happen to me”. They only change their minds when the unthinkable happens.

In other execution news, Andrew points us to ExecutedToday.com, a blog dedicated to the anniversaries of notable executions. It is fascinating and macabre, but commemorates events we would do well not to forget.

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