On May 1st, 2011, the world’s most wanted and possibly even the most hated person in this world, Osama bin Ladin was executed. Since then, there has been a huge amount of conspiracy regarding the decision to kill Bin Laden without detaining him or trying him before a court. To some, due to the severity of the acts Bin Laden committed, it is easy to come to the conclusion that Bin Laden should have been killed immediately and didn’t deserve a trial. However, such a decision is rash and fueled by emotions, which should not be the case. When approaching this issue from an objective and purely legal perspective, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting the belief that bin Laden should have been tried regardless of what horrors he masterminded.
When murder is immoral, how come Bin Laden is an exception?
From the moment we can understand what good and wrong is, we are taught that murder is immoral. It is a given fact that Bin Laden is immoral and evil because of how he killed thousands of innocent people in cold-blood. But here’s the question: “When murder is seen as immoral, how come the murder of Bin Laden is an exception?” How is it that killing Bin Laden, with no involvement of the judiciary, is perfectly all right in some people’s minds? By doing the same thing Bin Laden is doing, from a moral perspective, – not an ethical one – are we not undermining our values and core beliefs that murder is wrong? I understand that in some people’s minds, there was nothing wrong with killing him because the courts would’ve found him guilty anyway. However, what gives the executive or the military the right to decide verdicts before courts are held? If we are to use the case of Bin Laden as a precedent, is it not possible that cops will go around shooting criminals because they “knew” that the courts would find him guilty and sentence him to death?
Setting the example
By escaping prosecution for such a long time, Bin Laden soon became revered by extremists as the man who was “above the law,” because of how he not only avoided prosecution, but also the constant efforts of the US government to bring him down. It was Bin Laden’s successes in escaping the clutches of the US government that began to fuel other extremists and provide moral support. By simply executing him without proper trial, Bin Laden’s “spirit” was never brought down. Had they detained him and put him on trial, he could have been made an example of to the whole world that no one, not even Osama Bin Laden, escapes judgement and justice. By doing so, Bin Laden would’ve been defeated in multiple ways and the extremists’ source of morale and encouragement would’ve been undermined.
In conclusion, for the integrity and the values that our not only America, but the world wishes to uphold, Bin Laden should’ve been detained and tried rather than being simply executed.