I've been arguing against capital punishment for half a century, with little to show for it. I'll leave it at this: if one has a choice, one should not kill. I don't see it as a leap of logic at all to differentiate ourselves from murderers, and societies condoning murder, by making a choice not to kill when we can make that choice. Nor do I see it as a leap of logic, or flawed logic, to differentiate a society casually and brutally employing show trials, if even those, and executions, from one under the rule of law, restraining a state's power, requiring documentation of a crime and exacting punishment from those found guilty. Quite the contrary: I find the logic inescapable. That Al Qaeda and Bin Laden pose current threats that a defeated Germany did not only adds to my argument: recourse to the rule of law is a mark of courage rather than weakness, of confidence in one's values, and would resound throughout the world as an alternative to non-state actors', or state-sponsored, terror, brutality and murder. I believe such a course to be profoundly in America's national interests, even narrowly construed. Again, half a century's experience with the topic allows the safe prediction that many will disagree. But there it is.
We had a choice at Nuremburg, and tried the Nazis, affording them defense counsel. Israel had a choice with Eichmann, tried him, affording him defense counsel, and executed him. We might, or might not, have had a choice with Bin Laden. His capture was necessary, and if there was no other way to capture him than dead, it was worth doing. If we had a choice, which I don't know and have a hard time opining half a world and a week and a half away, we should have captured him and put him on trial for his crimes. And it is always, always unseemly to celebrate death, even if necessary. I predict disagreement on this point, over a gap that will not be closed by further argument.