Friday, July 09, 2010

Stone Age Iran

Iran is planning to stone to death a woman convicted of adultery.
 Apparently giving the woman 99 lashes wasn't enough to satisfy the need for justice to be seen to be done. 99 lashes would have resulted in flesh being torn from the back as the whip would cut into exposed flesh. No doubt the woman would have fainted from pain after twenty lashes and been revived before the further eighty lashes were applied. And this wasn't punishment enough.
In the western world, punishment is primarily seen as an opportunity for rehabilitation via prison whilst the death penalty is reserved for the most heinous of crimes of murder committed randomly and without provocation. 
Whatever the reason for advocating stoning to death as a form of punishment, I think stoning should be reserved for mass murderers. Stoning of Saddam Hussein might have been more appropriate than hanging. Idi Amin certainly deserved a sentence of stoning, and justice was denied when he was given refuge in Saudi Arabia and his life being subsidized by the Saudi Royal family. It's interesting to note here how "Saudi Arabia" pops up. Saudi Arabia advocates sharia law but obviously only for adultery or other crimes equally more serious than mass murder.

Truth be told, when a society advocates capital punishment for crimes committed, that society puts itself up for critical examination. If there is room for capital punishment to be justified, it must be because there is no room for rehabilitation of the offender. If capital punishment is practiced as a form of outrage for immorality then that only reflects a mentality that existed and belongs in the stone age period of humanity.

History: Stoning is arguably the world's oldest form of execution. It is as old as written literature, and the most common death penalty described in the Bible (prompting Jesus' famous anti-death penalty statement in John 8.7: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"). Although it has never been a legal form of execution in the United States, it is practiced elsewhere in the world, primarily in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

Unsavory Overtones: Stoning is primarily enforced by Islamic fundamentalist sharia law, often for bizarre reasons. In 2004, 13-year-old Zhila Izadyar was sentenced to death by stoning in Iran for the "crime" of being raped by her older brother. Although the sentence was later overturned due to international outcry, equally horrific stoning sentences are quietly carried out throughout the developing world on a regular basis.

How It Works: The prisoner is buried either up to his waist (if male) or up to her shoulders (if female) and then pelted with stones by a crowd of volunteers until obviously battered to death. Under the terms of most fundamentalist courts, the stones must be small enough that death cannot reasonably be expected to result from only one or two blows, but large enough to cause physical harm. The average execution by stoning is extremely painful, lasting at least 10 to 20 minutes.


Jeannie said...

Funny how only women are sentenced to stoning for adultery.

Lexcen said...

Jeannie, stoning is applicable for males but strange that we don't hear about stoning of men. The man accused of rape would probably get off with a slap on the wrist whilst the female victim is usually stoned.

Lexcen said...

According to Wikipedia,
" according to Amnesty International, three people were stoned to death in 2006-2007, and as of January 2008 nine women and two men were sentenced to death by stoning"

Patrick Carroll said...

I am a steadfast advocate of the death penalty for serious violent offenders, whether they be rapists, terrorists or murderers. BUT I'm not into the stoning thing at all.

The death penalty should not be about retribution, it should be about eliminating a problem.

REHABILITATION for violent hard core criminals is a leftist created myth.

The best way to rehabilitate the worst of the worst is a quick, cheap and easy bullet to the brain.