Sunday, November 02, 2008
This is meant by "Death Penalty" as well!
Quoting from The Guardian about an event which happened last Monday:
An Islamist rebel administration in Somalia had a 13-year-old girl stoned to death for adultery after the child's father reported that three men had raped her.
Amnesty International said the al-Shabab militia, which controls the southern port city of Kismayo, arranged for a group of 50 men to stone Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow in front of a crowd of about 1,000 spectators. A lorryload of stones was brought to the stadium for the killing.
Amnesty said that Duhulow struggled with her captors and had to be forcibly carried into the stadium.
"At one point during the stoning, Amnesty International has been told by numerous eyewitnesses that nurses were instructed to check whether Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was still alive when buried in the ground. They removed her from the ground, declared that she was, and she was replaced in the hole where she had been buried for the stoning to continue," the human rights group said.
"Inside the stadium, militia members opened fire when some of the witnesses to the killing attempted to save her life, and shot dead a boy who was a bystander."[...]
Duhulow's father told Amnesty that when they tried to report her rape to the militia, the child was accused of adultery and detained. [...]
If you have a closer look at this simple word stoning, it includes a person being buried into the ground so only the head and part of the shoulders can be seen and the person can't move any more and the stones have to be in a size so death does not come too fast....
In the US - usually only someone who actually killed another person (or was convicted under the law of parties in a crime where someone was killed) can get the death penalty. Yet other countries have other laws. So in some countries one can get the death penalty for drug-trafficking, espionage, treason, homosexuality, rape, incest, desertion, cowardice,....and adultery.
People get executed by firing squad, electrocution, lethal injection, hanging, ... and decapitation (for example in Saudi-Arabia by sword).
So there are no limits to the death penalty if you just have a look at the whole world.
Naturally, we could say that we only accept the death penalty for certain - especially brutal - crimes. Surely none of us reading this would want a young girl ,who had been raped, stoned for the crime of adultery--as still happens in some countries. Still, who among us has the authority to tell other nations when to use certain punishment for and when not? Who among us has the right to draw a line, to set a limit? And where is this limit to be set?
Whether in Europe, the US, or wherever - there are people with different opinions about where this line is supposed to be....some people accept the DP only for really brutal murder, some accept it for felony charges, some for child rape.... so we don't even have to look at any culture other than our own to find different limits which people have for the use of the DP.
If we allow any exception at all to permit the death penalty--no matter how distasteful or horrific it is--then are we in any position (as a nation) to tell others that they can't allow the same? Every time we allow exceptions to the rule of law--whether our nation's own particular safeguards and exceptions or our nation's own safeguards and exceptions to those international accords to which our country subscribes - we take a wider risk--we become inconsistent to the point of injustice, unfairness and risk losing judicial respect in and out of our own nation.
We may also thereby risk the same punishment or retribution happening to our own country's citizens, society, military members, family, friends, neighbors and even ourselves at some point in the future. While we may wish to accept the death penalty for some of the cases of exception, there are others which we may well never accept (for whatever personal or social reason of conscience.)
So where is the consistency in our rulings and matters of personal conscience?
In conclusion, every time we allow exceptions to our own rule of law - and to the international accords to which our nation has subscribed - we lose any authority to say to another nation: "No, you're doing something wrong there." (For example the stoning of the 13-year old girl who was raped.)
Thus, by our inconsistency with the rule of law - we enforce our own silence about other nations' exceptions and inhumanity. If we allow the DP at all, we take the risk of also allowing it for situations which are general considered cruel and unusual punishment to people in America, Europe and possibly the whole world over who care about human rights.
I'm asking all of you who say that you are pro-death penalty: Are you REALLY for the death penalty? In all cases? For the girl who got raped as well? If a country has a death penalty, then is it ok that that nation decide when to mete it out? Or are you only for the death penalty in the cases YOU think are o.k.? Are you personally the one - who at the end - has the permission and the right to tell the whole world where to draw the line? What are your criteria for those lines?
By Susanne Cardova my co-blogger at The Journey of Hope Blog
Please see this blog for more items on the Death Penalty from many points of view and a movement which honors and is led especially by Victims of Murdered who are also against the death penalty