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First Unlawful Enemy Combatant Executed — Why Now?
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First Unlawful Enemy Combatant Executed

On this day in 1431 Jeanne d’Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen for winning battles against armies lead by middle-aged white guys, while knowingly, willfully, and with malice aforethought, being a teen-aged girl.

As she was an unlawful enemy combatant, since everyone knew that girls couldn’t fight, much less lead armies, she was charged with unlawful conversations with saints without benefit of or permission from the clergy. She couldn’t legally be a combatant, so she couldn’t be a prisoner of war, so they had to find some way of getting rid of her.

She was cleared of all charges on appeal, which didn’t occur until after she had been executed, but no system is fool-proof.

To make up for the fact that the execution was a bit premature, she was eventually made a saint, and is the patron of martyrs, captives, militants, prisoners, and soldiers.