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Enemy of the State: The Trial and Execution of Saddam Hussein First Edition Edition

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ISBN-10: 0312385560
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Law professors Newton and Scharf recount their involvement in the trial of Saddam Hussein, from the Iraqis' iconic removal of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdus Square in April 2003 to the deposed leader's chaotic hanging. Newton and Scharf helped write the rules of the Iraqi High Tribunal for the trial, giving them an insiders' view of the case. They candidly summarize the difficulties posed to courts and lawyers intent on bringing Hussein's crimes to light and exposing him to fair and unbiased judgment. Most illuminating is the day-by-day recounting of the tensest period of the trial, in a chapter aptly titled Disorder in the Courtroom. They admit that the trial was both revolutionary in its aspiration and at times rudimentary in its applications. Readers interested in the future of global jurisprudence will find much to ponder in this frank and detailed account. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Newton and Scharf are noted experts on international war crimes and former advisers to the U.S. Department of State. They provided judicial assistance to the trial of Saddam Hussein and other Ba'athists, including training of judicial personnel, writing rules for the Iraqi Tribunal, and observing the nine-month trial proceedings. Here, they write of their experiences and provide perspective on the trial, which began in October 2005, including gavel-to-gavel coverage of the proceedings. The Iraqi High Tribunal was a newly formed court, and its base of authority was a complex mixture of Iraqi law, international law, and trial law. The authors examine how this tribunal sought to develop its credibility with the Iraqi people, a task complicated by the defense team's efforts to delegitimize the legal process at almost every stage. They also often effectively draw analogies between this trial and trials before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg after World War II. Their insiders' account is directed toward general adult audiences and will effectively aid them in understanding this crucial phase as Iraq struggles toward its future. Recommended for major public and university libraries.—Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312385560
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,044,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alan L. Chase VINE VOICE on February 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Like most Americans, my awareness was murky, at best, of the chain of events that transpired between the time that Saddam Hussein was disinterred from his "spider hole" to his ignominious execution by hanging. I was vaguely aware that there had been a much-publicized trial that was marred by outbursts from Hussein and his co-defendants. I recall comments by the media that the court was either a puppet of the U.S. occupation force or a "kangaroo court" cobbled together as a fig leaf to cover raw revenge on the part of the dictator's Iraqi enemies and victims.

Michael A. Newton and Michael P. Scharf have provided an important service in setting the record straight - not only about the trial of Saddam Hussein, but of the steps that led to the establishment of the tribunal that sat in judgment of him. Both authors work behind the scenes in advising those who set up the Iraqi High Tribunal and guiding the intricate blending together of Iraqi domestic law and international law that governed the trial. Theirs is a straight-forward and illuminating peek inside the proverbial tent that housed the trial and execution of the Iraqi despot.

It became clear to me in reading the authors' account of the last months of Saddam Hussein's life, that his trial was not the three-ring circus and rush to judgment that some of the global media have portrayed it to be. Neither was it the flawless exercise of judicial probity and restraint that the new Iraq government and their supporters hoped it could be. The messy truth of how it played itself out is a compelling story and important historical footnote.

Despite the best efforts of U.N.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. on November 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a GREAT book! It is meticulously written by Professors Newton and Scharf, each equally qualified both by education and experience as subject matter experts in international law. What sets them apart is that they have served as Advisors for some of the more notorious dictators to be brought to trial, most recently the Iraqi High Tribunal, in the eventual trial of Saddam Hussein. They were tasked with an unenvious task that many legal scholars would pass up due to the innate challenges that such a monumentous undertaking would present, but the work speaks for itself.

This book takes the reader through some of the history of Iraq during Saddam's reign. Where part of its strength lies is not specifically in the details of his atrocities, but in describing the effort of gathering evidence that eventually found him guilty. It shows great depth and insight into the resolve of the Iraqi people and the transition from a population living in mortal fear of this dictator, to those that found their own identity through the trial's proceedings. It starts off with the capture of Saddam; after months of intensive searching and failed missions to the pre-trial proceedings, the trial itself, and concludes with his execution and afterthoughts.

Much of the strength of this book lies in the minutiae of the preparation for the trial, and the trial itself. The information presented, the history chronicled, the exasperation of the Iraqi people, the anguish over whether to utilize the death penalty as a sentence against someone who used it with casual abandon on his own citizens.. all of this and so much more. It reveals volumes to the reader about the Iraqi people, and some of the key personnel that helped bring about change (specifically, Judge Ra'id).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Russell on September 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very in intersting read the inside story of Sadam Hussein trial and any body thats taking a course in International Criminal Law.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By aeroengineer on April 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard author Michael Newton interviewed on WNYC and was very impressed. He made a very credible case that the news coverage of the trail of Saddam had been frequently ill-informed and misleading, leaving a undeservedly poor impression of the administration of justice by the Iraqis. So I bought the book. i am not a lawyer.

The good news is that this is a very thorough and well documented account of the trial, and parts of it are fascinating to the lay reader. The accounts of Saddam's oppression and the scale of his violence are sobering and would be instructive reading for those who support humanitarian military intervention in Libya but think the American invasion of Iraq unjustified.

The bad news is that there is a lot of material, clearly necessary for establishing the legal basis for the proceedings, that delves into arcane matters of international law and its adaptation by the Iraqis. I know it is important stuff, but frankly I found it tedious.

The authors have clearly added to the historical record and deserve credit. If I had the power to change the book, I would place the details of the legal basis for the prosecution into a separate chapter in deference to the lay reader.

One last point. The behavior cited in the book of former US Attorney General as a member of Saddam's defense team is disgraceful. If you think I am referring to his representation of such a monster, I am not.
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