Admittedly, dictators belong to the very cruel of the human species.
Men who butcher, torture, starve and steal from their people deserve anything but mercy.
Exactly why Wednesday’s public trial of Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president disgracefully forced out of power in a popular uprising in February, was a great victory for justice.
With 30 lawyers jostling for a piece of the action and another 130 reportedly locked out, the court drama made for interesting TV watching.
A day like this was not going to end without the bizarre.
One lawyer demanded to know from the judge who was going to hold brief for “the angels and the martyrs”.
Another one wanted a DNA test done to prove that the man in the cage was a Mubarak clone – the real one having died in 2004.
Yet for all the drama, there was also something horrifying about seeing an 83-year-old man lying on a stretcher in a metal cage.
It is one thing to sympathise with the hundreds of Egyptians killed in the February revolution and their families and another to suppress the raw human emotions stoked by the public humiliation of their geriatric tormentor.
The elderly man lying there could be anybody’s grandfather.
History books decorate him as an Egyptian war hero and one of the most brilliant air force pilots of his generation.
A somewhat glorified loser, he pulled off a diplomatic manoeuvre, made peace with Israel and helped win back the Sinai Peninsula for the Egyptians.
It is actually the kind of CV that would have earned Mr Mubarak a generous retirement package, including a tax-free pension, monthly allowances, chase cars and bodyguards, in another country I know.
Not in Egypt, the home of early civilisation, though.
In light of the murderous regime Mr Mubarak presided over, all that decorated past is likely to count for nothing.