Saddam Hussein is visibly upset after hearing the guilty verdict following a nine-month trial.
Hussein has been sentenced to death by hanging for killing more than 140 Shiites. The verdict doesn't come as a shock for some residents.
"I am not surprised. He is sentenced to death because of what he has done is very horrific to take as many lives as he did," said Laura Mcarthuer, a Tallahassee resident.
Some people believe the timing of the verdict was politically motivated.
"I am sure there are decisions that made them come to this decision two days before elections, I am sure there is more behind it," said Debbie Taravositch, who reacted to Hussein's sentence.
"Saddam Hussein's trial is a milestone; Iraqi's people’s effort to replace the rule of tyrant with the rule of law," said President Bush.
"It's a part of history. We are making history for years. This is something our kids and grandchildren will read about for years down the road," said Taravositch.
Some people fear the verdict will intensify violence in Iraq where bloodshed is a daily occurrence.
"It could mean increase tension between various groups," said Christopher Danello, a Tallahassee resident.
During the trial, Hussein said if he received a death sentence he would prefer to be executed by a firing squad, but prosecutors said the law only uses a firing squad when the sentence is issued by military courts.
Court officials said an appeal is automatic. If the sentence is upheld, Saddam Hussein will be executed within 30 days.