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In the Name of God بسم الله

Capital Punishment/Death Penalty

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Reza

Thoughts on the Death Penalty (Capital Punishment)?  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. Thoughts on the Death Penalty (Capital Punishment)?

    • Support Broadly (Domestic Cases Like Murder, etc)
      11
    • Support in Extreme Circumstances (ie War Crimes, Genocide)
      8
    • Oppose Completely
      1


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Surprisingly, I haven't found much discussion on this subject here. Some on individual cases, but not really the topic as a whole. 

What are your thoughts on the death penalty (ie capital punishment)? You can discuss it from the Jurisprudence angle, but I'm also interested in the social, political, and practical/real life dimension. 

Many countries and territories have abolished the death penalty completely (see map below) while some maintain it. Some perform executions more commonly, while others in only rare circumstances (like Japan recently with the subway gas attackers). 

It's the opinion of some (including organizations like Amnesty International) that believe the death penalty should never be carried out, no matter what the circumstances. Others believe there are times where it's appropriate and just. 

Of course, I would assume proponents see executions overall as unfortunate and undesirable, but necessary sometimes nonetheless. 

Source: Wikipedia

500px-Capital_punishment_in_the_world.sv

 
World map of the use of capital punishment as of 26 March 2018
Legend
  Retentionist countries: 56
  Abolitionist in practice countries (have not executed anyone during the last 10 years and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions): 29
  Abolitionist countries except for crimes committed under exceptional circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime): 7
  Abolitionist countries: 106
 
Country Total executed
(2016)
23px-Flag_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_ China 1,000+
23px-Flag_of_Iran.svg.png Iran 567+
23px-Flag_of_Saudi_Arabia.svg.png Saudi Arabia 154+
23px-Flag_of_Iraq.svg.png Iraq 88+
23px-Flag_of_Pakistan.svg.png Pakistan 87
23px-Flag_of_Egypt.svg.png Egypt 44+
23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States 20
23px-Flag_of_Somalia.svg.png Somalia 14+
23px-Flag_of_Bangladesh.svg.png Bangladesh 10
23px-Flag_of_Malaysia.svg.png Malaysia 9
23px-Flag_of_Afghanistan.svg.png Afghanistan 6
23px-Flag_of_Belarus.svg.png Belarus 4+
23px-Flag_of_Indonesia.svg.png Indonesia 4
23px-Flag_of_Singapore.svg.png Singapore 4
23px-Flag_of_Japan.svg.png Japan 3
23px-Flag_of_Nigeria.svg.png Nigeria 3
23px-Flag_of_Palestine.svg.png Palestine 3
23px-Flag_of_Sudan.svg.png Sudan 2
23px-Flag_of_Botswana.svg.png Botswana 1
23px-Flag_of_the_Republic_of_China.svg.p Taiwan 1
23px-Flag_of_North_Korea.svg.png North Korea Unknown
23px-Flag_of_South_Sudan.svg.png South Sudan Unknown
23px-Flag_of_Vietnam.svg.png Vietnam Unknown
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I voted support of capital punishment. In the US it is a legal form of punishment for heinous crimes. However, the court will go through a long and extended process of appeals which could take 8-12 years before the execution. If there is any doubt about the person committing the crime it would be delayed again. 

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As usual my position is that I only support it if it's in accordance with the Islamic rulings. 

Unfortunately I'm not too familiar with what the sharia says on this issue. E.g. under what circumstances death penalty is given?

I have heard of stoning and hanging as death penalties in islam. I hope it's ok if I ask a related question. Is it halal in sharia to change a verdict of stoning to a lethal injection or the electric chair?

If it's halal then I would want the prisoner to choose themselves how they want to die. 

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I don't see how anyone can credibly participate in a planned killing (either by pulling the trigger, handing down the verdict, voting for it etc) and claim to be any better than a murderer. What is the difference between the deeds of each ttype of killer? The effect is the same and the crime is the same imo

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Just now, Klanky said:

I don't see how anyone can credibly participate in a planned killing (either by pulling the trigger, handing down the verdict, voting for it etc) and claim to be any better than a murderer. What is the difference between the deeds of each ttype of killer? The effect is the same and the crime is the same imo

It’s called justice

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4 minutes ago, Klanky said:

 What is achieved and what is lost by it? It's worthless justice

Less evil in the world with that person gone. Less damage to innocent people.

It increases social pressure against committing horrible crimes. 

The victims get some sort of justice. 

Less costs for society to keep a devil alive. That money can be redistributed to vulnerable people like the homeless who deserve them better than criminals. 

I'm sure there are many more pros.

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3 minutes ago, erik said:

Might be worthless justice to you but not for the family of the person who had been murdered

Maybe, and maybe in an Islamic country they get a say in it. Could be just vengeance or revenge either.  In the United States, afaik, the family has no say, it is a decision for their justice is system (famous the world over for its fairness).

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There are so many things wrong with the death penalty process that it is hard to support it. However, extreme heinous crimes lead to wanting to exact revenge on the person who committed the crime, and even though I am not sure if revenge is a good motive for killing someone, I would probably support it.

Anyway, problems with the death penalty in general:

Highly disproportionate number of people who receive the death penalty are poor and have little to no advocacy or means to advocacy.  People with money (and/or power) who commit murder can get themselves out of the situation anywhere in the world through everything from paying for huge specialized legal teams to engaging in clear corruption - giving bribes or giving threats against judges, jurors etc, .  Unless it is one law for all members of society, it should not be used.

Keeping some young marginalized, deluded kid (often a teen) in a small cell for 23 hours a day for many years, often decades, is cruel and inhumane - it is psychological torture and leads to significant mental disorders.  I understand the legal appeal process takes a long time but originally the death penalty was the penalty.... not lengthy imprisonment and then the death penalty.  

Lengthy process causes stress for victims' and perpetrator's families.  People cannot move on with their lives as the death penalty hangs over their heads for a generation of people. 

Actual commission of the death sentence has many mis-steps.  People killing the prisoner are not properly trained to carry out the process of the death sentence with the equipment given.

Also, countries with the death penalty do not see a reduction in murders; it is the opposite.  Countries without the death penalty have lower rates of violent crime.

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I have no issues with it as long as the crime is clearly established (there are some tragic cases of executing the wrong person).

Maintaining a prison and prisoners has a cost which the taxpayer has to bear. When people are starving of hunger I find it hard to allocate funds to keeping child rapists alive and healthy.

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1 hour ago, Mahdavist said:

Countries without the death penalty have lower rates of violent crime

this is because they measure violent crime with different measures & standards

5 facts about crime in the U.S. ( it says that before Trump crime rate was so high that after his election becomes lower but one of reasons is because of not reporting crimes)

BY JOHN GRAMLICH

Donald Trump made crime fighting an important focus of his campaign for president, and he cited it again during his January 2017 inaugural address. As the administration takes steps to address violence in American communities, here are five facts about crime in the United States.

5Most crimes are not reported to police, and most reported crimes are not solved. In its annual survey, BJS asks victims of crime whether they reported that crime to police. In 2016, only 42% of the violent crime tracked by BJS was reported to police. And in the much more common category of property crime, only about a third (36%) was reported. There are a variety of reasons crime might not be reported, including a feeling that police “would not or could not do anything to help” or that the crime is “a personal issue or too trivial to report,” according to BJS.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/30/5-facts-about-crime-in-the-u-s/

Canada's crime rate: Two decades of decline

Canadian Megatrends

Crime.

It's reported in the news every day. Sometimes, it's the leading story.

We read about it, talk about it, and wonder how the news stories relate to the overall picture.

And the numbers tell us that the overall police-reported crime rate in Canada has been falling for more than 20 years. 

Since 1962, Statistics Canada has collected information on all criminal incidents substantiated and reported by Canadian police services, as well as on victims' experiences.

In Canada, there are two complementary ways to measure police-reported crime: the traditional crime rate and the Crime Severity Index. While both measures take into account the volume of police-reported crime, the Crime Severity Index also accounts for the seriousness of the crime.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-630-x/11-630-x2015001-eng.htm

Edited by Ashvazdanghe
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I think many types criminals are deserving of the death penalty, when I hear about a crime at first. But, when I think about it further, the death penalty seems too harsh. Allah SWT is the one who created us, and He will be the one to take us back. As Muslims, I find it hypocritical that we  condemn murder on religious grounds, and punish that crime by murder. If you're living in a western country, sharia law doesn't apply here, so the best judge for a western society is the one in a western court. 

Also, I think leaving a criminal to dwell on their crime in solitary isolation with a life sentence, is a great punishment. We also shouldn't forget that suicide rates are extremely high in prisons, so the criminals end up either developing severe mental illness or killing themselves. If you want a punishment, that's the biggest punishment of all. You can't get more hurt mentally than when you're feeling suicidal, which is even to an extent pitiful to the criminal. I don't think the family of the victim would feel alot better if they found out that the criminal was killed. I don't know, I can't speak from experience, but that's my assumption. The grief and pain must be so huge that they don't care about anything else but the loss of their loved one. 

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If I lost someone to murder I probably wouldn't really care what happened to the murderer even if he was killed but I would not want the murderer's family to also suffer a death. To me he's just a murderer but to them he's a son/father/brother etc and maybe he's not all bad. A more just system, for me, allows for the possibility of criminals - even murderers and child abusers - becoming valuable manners of society again. Of course there are some people who are just too dangerous and need to be kept off the streets

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From now until the day of judgment, you will always have murderers and psychopaths. We are always free to look into the minds of psychopaths, and try to prevent them from committing such crimes, but capital punishment reflects justice within a society. Religion is supposed to transform our inner soul, so people in society don't ever do something evil like murder someone. However, capital punishment is to stop the people, who have failed to get rid of evil in their hearts.

Edited by ali_fatheroforphans
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2 hours ago, alidu78 said:

I support death penalty for cases where sharia law consider it must be applicated. I think also that my position is supposed to be the position of all Muslims. 

So you oppose the death penalty in non-Muslim countries?

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6 hours ago, alidu78 said:

I support death penalty for cases where sharia law consider it must be applicated. I think also that my position is supposed to be the position of all Muslims. 

Not necessarily.  The death penalty is permissible but I am not aware of where it absolutely must be applied.  The judge has the right to discretion when applying sentence.  Mitigating factors can be taken into account such as mental health issues, circumstance, power position of the individuals involved etc.  Countries applying Sharia law differ in their interpretation of when the death penalty should be used.  Tunisia, for example, rarely uses the death penalty.  Then again, there is forgiveness by family members and the possibility of blood price.

Muslim family members who forgive the killer of their loved ones are definitely saying no to the death penalty.  If it is applied, it is yet another life taken and it has no constructive purpose other than to hurt another family. The woman in the film clip above wants to have her son's death have some sense of meaning so it is not just a senseless loss.  If she can turn this guy's life around, she can benefit his family and hers and is ultimately working for the greater good of the community.  

Being a Muslim means you accept that the death penalty is permissible, but you do not have to support its application.

My biggest objection is that it is grossly disproportionately applied to people with low social-economic status in both Muslim and non Muslim countries and therefore open to abuse.

7 hours ago, Mahdavist said:

Not sure if this is always true (Saudi Arabia for example)

I dont know either.  I know that Saudi applies the death penalty as a punishment for more than just murder; they have a myriad of reasons as to why they execute people, including political, so it would be hard to correlate.  It is easier just to look at countries that do not have the death penalty vs countries that do not have the death penalty and then. compare violent crime statistics

Edited by forte
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22 hours ago, forte said:

Also, countries with the death penalty do not see a reduction in murders; it is the opposite.  Countries without the death penalty have lower rates of violent crime.

Even if it is the opposite, that does not mean that it is the death penalty per se that is causing the increased number of murders. Why would people be more likely to kill others in a country where there is death penalty than in a country where there is no death penalty? That's not logical. The opposite is more reasonable, so this means something else is the cause.

It is likely other factors that are causing the increased numbers of murders. Social problems in a country are known to correlate with increased crime rates. So if we want less crimes we need to focus on social justice and taking care of the unprivileged citizens of society, and not on removing the penalty from those who deserve it according to sharia law. 

And if families are forgiving murderers and that is ok according to sharia law then there is no need to remove the death penalty from the system. It will then only be used in cases where the sharia states so and the family does not forgive.

 

Edited by Carlzone
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On 8/12/2018 at 5:43 PM, Carlzone said:

Even if it is the opposite, that does not mean that it is the death penalty per se that is causing the increased number of murders. Why would people be more likely to kill others in a country where there is death penalty than in a country where there is no death penalty? That's not logical. The opposite is more reasonable, so this means something else is the cause.

It is likely other factors that are causing the increased numbers of murders. Social problems in a country are known to correlate with increased crime rates. So if we want less crimes we need to focus on social justice and taking care of the unprivileged citizens of society, and not on removing the penalty from those who deserve it according to sharia law. 

And if families are forgiving murderers and that is ok according to sharia law then there is no need to remove the death penalty from the system. It will then only be used in cases where the sharia states so and the family does not forgive.

The point is NOT that the death penalty increases murders, it is that it does NOT appear to deter them - which is one of the main reasons people say they support the death penalty.

And if we truly focus on addressing the social problems of underprivileged members of society due to poverty and circumstances through no fault of their own (those who happen to be disproportionately executed), it would be very hard to justify killing them within the social justice we are affording them.

No one said to remove the death penalty from Sharia.  It was emphasized that the death penalty is permissible - not wajib. There are mitigating factors (such as mental illness) that can affect the sentence, and families can forgive and there is the option of blood price, etc.  

The OP asked: "What are your thoughts on the death penalty (ie capital punishment)? You can discuss it from the Jurisprudence angle, but I'm also interested in the social, political, and practical/real life dimension."  That is what I was responding to.

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2 hours ago, forte said:

The point is NOT that the death penalty increases murders, it is that it does NOT appear to deter them - which is one of the main reasons people say they support the death penalty.

And if we truly focus on addressing the social problems of underprivileged members of society due to poverty and circumstances through no fault of their own (those who happen to be disproportionately executed), it would be very hard to justify killing them within the social justice we are affording them.

No one said to remove the death penalty from Sharia.  It was emphasized that the death penalty is permissible - not wajib. There are mitigating factors (such as mental illness) that can affect the sentence, and families can forgive and there is the option of blood price, etc.  

The OP asked: "What are your thoughts on the death penalty (ie capital punishment)? You can discuss it from the Jurisprudence angle, but I'm also interested in the social, political, and practical/real life dimension."  That is what I was responding to.

Of course you can give your opinions on the subject from any angle you choose. But we will also give ours. 

Well if some people claim that then they are misinformed but that does not mean that if they were educated about all the factors involved that they wouldn't still support the death penalty. I'm almost certain that most of them would still support it as the majority of our emotionally relevant decisions are made on an unconscious level and what we consciously know has little value on that level. 

It is permissible yes. I'm taking other factors into the equation. Why pay large amounts of money to keep truly evil people alive when we can allocate that money to help the poor and sick members of society? They deserve it better and that is one way of doing social justice as well.

Despite having a hard life most of the socially unprivileged people still don't do heinous crimes. So obviously these criminals have chosen that path themselves. The sharia already takes into account insanity and other relevant factors so there's no reason to despute the sharia on that basis.

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For me it's pretty straight forward, starting with an example of the type of people who should be put to death,

I was talking to a psychiatrist a couple of years ago, he explained a video documentary of sorts he saw where they were interviewing a pedophile who completed his prison sentence or something. Note that this guy was in a wheelchair and couldn't use his legs (I forgot how he lost function of his legs). Point is, one part of the interview was outdoors and there were kids playing in the distant background. 

Long story short, they asked him what is the solution to stopping people like him from abusing children, he replied along the lines of "Do you see those kids over there playing? If I had my legs, I would go and rape them right now. So the best solution is to lock people like me up and throw the key away."

Clear cut cases like this, serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer, deserve the death penalty because one, that's justice whether you like it or not, two, you're saving people (this, in conjunction with the fact that it's just, does not lower you to the level of a murderer, rather it raises you because you're saving vulnerable individuals through just means), and three, I don't want to pay taxes to feed, house, and cloth such creatures. It's beyond ludicrous the amount of money it takes to maintain a SINGLE prisoner, especially in maximum security or PC. I would say nearly all people aren't aware of how high the cost is.

Also, not sure where forte got the information that the death penalty has no evidence of acting like a deterrent, I do recall doing a research project in high school about capital punishment and I remember finding and presenting a lot of stats supportive of its deterrent effect, then again I was just a high schooler so who knows.

Edited by dragonxx
typo
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On 8/11/2018 at 7:02 PM, forte said:

There are so many things wrong with the death penalty process that it is hard to support it. However, extreme heinous crimes lead to wanting to exact revenge on the person who committed the crime, and even though I am not sure if revenge is a good motive for killing someone, I would probably support it.

Anyway, problems with the death penalty in general:

Highly disproportionate number of people who receive the death penalty are poor and have little to no advocacy or means to advocacy.  People with money (and/or power) who commit murder can get themselves out of the situation anywhere in the world through everything from paying for huge specialized legal teams to engaging in clear corruption - giving bribes or giving threats against judges, jurors etc, .  Unless it is one law for all members of society, it should not be used.

Keeping some young marginalized, deluded kid (often a teen) in a small cell for 23 hours a day for many years, often decades, is cruel and inhumane - it is psychological torture and leads to significant mental disorders.  I understand the legal appeal process takes a long time but originally the death penalty was the penalty.... not lengthy imprisonment and then the death penalty.  

Lengthy process causes stress for victims' and perpetrator's families.  People cannot move on with their lives as the death penalty hangs over their heads for a generation of people. 

Actual commission of the death sentence has many mis-steps.  People killing the prisoner are not properly trained to carry out the process of the death sentence with the equipment given.

Also, countries with the death penalty do not see a reduction in murders; it is the opposite.  Countries without the death penalty have lower rates of violent crime.

Not true, in Lebanon murderes have increased ever since they abolished the death penalty,I would rather kill when its abolished since , that would mean that I have another chance at life and I could be well feared in prison and be in the top of gangs there , etc... Also ever since ,people are being killed for stupid reasons, I remeber someone killed in Lebanon by a brazilian supporter for supporting the germans in world cup, thats just one example.

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