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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment has existed since the dawn of time. As an American it disturbs me that the United States is the ONLY western nation on a list of the 21 Nations who executed the most criminals in 2011. China topped the list having executed more than 4,000 people. My country is number five on the list bookended in the top ten by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan and Bangladesh at number ten. Every other “Enlightened” Western Nation has abandoned the barbaric practice.
I have mentors who support Capital Punishment. I respect their opinions but I disagree on this issue. I have discussed it at length with my Atheist mentor whom I consult frequently on secular matters. Her only objection to Capital Punishment is that the sentence isn’t evenly applied in the United States. She sent me a link once that contained statistics showing poor minorities are more often sentenced to death for the same crimes committed by poor white citizens. Aside from this disparity, she supports the right of the state to remove violent criminals from society without paying for the costly up keep of overcrowded prisons. As an enlightened westerner, I refuse to allow this issue to be reduced to a matter of economics. I am against Capital Punishment. I do not support Judicial Killing any more than Vigilante Killing. The only acceptable circumstance for taking a life is self-defense.
Many in my country who support Capital Punishment point to the most heinous crimes committed by those on Death Row to justify the State’s punishment. Often these are the same people who say “do not inhibit my gun rights, instead focus on mental illness health care,” then fail to take mental illness into account when defending the Capital Punishment.
The analysis of motive has its place in our justice system. It should be used in determining guilt and the likelihood of recidivism. Obviously, if the criminal in question is likely to continue the pattern of crime following release, even with efforts at rehabilitation, Life in Prison is the only acceptable sentence. An Offender spending the rest of their lives in prison gives them the opportunity to reflect and repent. Not all of them will but, those who do have a chance to experience remorse and ask forgiveness prior to being called to judgment by Allah (swt). They must be allowed to keep all the time Allah (swt) allotted them to do so. By giving the State the power to kill them, we interfere with the offender’s redemption. Our lives are given to us by HIM. Only HE should decide when we are called to his judgment. Humans judge you by your words and actions. Only HE knows your heart.

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