You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
As of this date last year, the latterly deposed Hosni Mubarak still held power of life and death over subjects.
And on this date in 2010, he used it to turn thumbs-down to both Jihan Mohammed Ali and Atef Rohyum Abd El Al Rohyum.
Those two were condemned for the 2004 murder of Jihan’s husband, but Jihan apparently claimed to have acted alone, involving her lover only as an after-the-fact accessory to move the body.
(You know what they say … friends help you move. Good friends help you move bodies.)
Atef’s attempts to parlay this information into a new trial or some form of executive mercy fell on deaf ears, prompting a fruitless Amnesty International appeal that Egypt was risking a wrongful execution.
The two were executed on the same day, though not executed together; Jihan hanged in al-Kanater prison outside Cairo, while Atef was put to death in Isti’naf prison.
We suspect that ex-President Mubarak’s regrets, if any, run more to the prosaic opportunities missed in the maintenance and exploitation of power. But given the events of recent months, maybe his soul and his regime alike could have profited from fewer revengeful spirits like Atef.