Two Readers Duke It Out While I Think It Over

An outraged death penalty supporter, believing the limitations on the death penalty described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2266-7) are a de facto ban of the practice --and thus a break with Tradition-- challenges me to come up with an example of an execution that would be licit under John Paul II's standards. Meanwhile, out of the blue, a close crony writes:
By now I think it is clear that Saddam's living in prison since he was captured has needlessly cost many innocent lives. Like all tyrants, where there is life, there is hope...for those who want nothing so much as his return to power. Is it humane therefore to try him, at the cost of many innocent lives? What is the point of this trial? What is it to prove...whether he broke any laws so he can be punished? (He didn't, since he was the law). Whether he ever murdered anyone?
Moreover the intervention of such clowns as Ramsey Clark is helping to turn the courtroom into a burlesque. It cannot increase the Iraqis' respect for "the rule of law," it can only undermine it. That I think is one of Saddam's major reasons for behaving outrageously. A trial is not a natural right in my book. I conclude that he should have been executed at once.
I'm weighing that against the refutation of Saddam's methods signalled by trying him, but his case does seem to qualify as a justifiable execution.