Charges: A long list of counts starting with the 1998 ethnic cleansing campaign against Kurds (including gassing the town of Halabja), the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the crushing of the Kurdish and Shiite rebellions following the war, the killing of political activists, the 1993 massacre of members of the Kurdish Barzain clan, the 1974 killing of Shiite religious leaders, and the killing of 148 people in the Shiite town of Dujail following a 1992 assassination attempt.
Justice: U.S. troops pulled Saddam out of an 8-foot-deep "spider hole" on Dec. 12, 2003, and turned him over to Iraqi authorities a short time later. He made his first appearance in an Iraqi courtroom almost two years later and immediately challenged the legitimacy of his trial, saying, "I preserve my constitutional rights as the president of Iraq.... I do not respond to this so-called court, with all due respect."
Saddam was convicted and sentenced to death on Nov. 5, 2005, for the killings in Dujail. He was hanged on Dec. 29. As a formality, the court dropped the rest of the charges against him, including genocide, in January, prompting protests from Kurdish groups. (Saddam's henchman Ali Hassan "Chemical Ali" al-Majid would eventually be executed for his part in the massacre of Kurds.) The emotional victory for Iraqis glad to see Saddam finally face justice was undercut somewhat by unauthorized video footage showing guards taunting the former leader in his final moments.