In general, I think the death penalty is stupid. That psycho who ate his murder victim's brain is creepy, but he's just one terrible man that everyone avoids anyway. When it comes to extremely influential war criminals (ahem Dick Cheney) I think the death penalty is good policy. Cheney's PR junket has been exactly my worst nightmare of what would happen when he got out of office in the event he weren't put on Death Row somewhere. Everyone's pooh-poohing the way he insisted lies about Iraq be tortured out of detainees in Guantanamo, and humoring his delusions about protecting the country by terrorizing a few guys the military picked up in Afghanistan. He does not belong in polite society. He's still powerful enough that he can fuck up American policy and thinking from beyond the grave that is the ex-vice-presidency.
Frankly, I think Osama bin Laden has done all he can for Al Qaeda, and him walking freely around in the US would be less dangerous to the American people than leaving the Bush administration officials to die rich and happy.
Orchestrating and completely blowing bloody, unnecessary wars should be reason for a person to feel physically threatened by his constituency. Instead, he gets to talk up his "hard decisions" on national television, while wearing a sharp suit that cost more than my car. He had to make "hard decisions" all right, but that doesn't mean he made the right ones. They're "hard" because the consequences are great, and the risk of error is extraordinarily high.
The Obama-shouldn't-have-shaken-Hugo-Chaves' hand scandal seemed pretty ridiculous - and it was - but I can sympathize, even though I don't know what wingnuts think he's done to deserve the world's cold shoulder. I don't think Cheney deserves the cold shoulder, I think he deserves to be put to death. Or, everyone else deserves him meeting that fate. Residual respect for the office that he stole will keep him empowered to influence the national dialog as long as he's alive.