Saturday, March 21, 2009

Crime and Capital Punishment


"I inherited the job from my late father. At first, I used to accompany him. On my first mission, I was terrified. I wasn't afraid that the execution would fail. No. I was worried that if I failed, the people there would laugh at me," Saudi executioner Abdallah Al-Bishi told the interviewer in a program aired on Abu Dhabi TV recently. "Once the mission is done, I feel relieved. I come home relaxed. I play with the children. We have fun. We have lunch. Sometimes we go out. Other times, we stay at home. Everything is normal. It has no effect on me."

Sometimes his children also join him. "We sit with him and have fun together. Sometimes, we join him for an execution. The first time I went there, I was frightened. When the first guy was executed, I stood a bit towards the back, but when I saw that there was nothing to it, and that there was no reason to be afraid, I came in closer to watch. There was no problem," Al-Bishi's son told the TV audience.

Capital punishment is practiced for murder in several countries of the world. According to Amnesty International statistics, a total of 1,200 people were executed throughout the world in 2007. Of these 523 executions took place in four Middle East countries: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iraq.

What are the results? The graph above compares the murder rates (in number of murders per 100,000 population per year) of Iran and Saudi Arabia with those of selected Middle East and industrialized countries (source: Wikipedia). The graph speaks for itself.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

We have to introduce death sentnce soon. Otherwise drugs and violence canot control

Anonymous said...

This country is too lenient on criminals. strict law enforcement is the solution. execution is only a side issue. Scandinavian countries have lower crime rates than iran and saudi without execution.

Abdullah Waheed's Blog said...

Hilath Rasheed has made a very interesting psychoanalysis of the Saudi executioner. (http://hilath.blogspot.com/2009/03/insensitive-beheader.html)

Anonymous said...

It is utter failure of government that has led people to think beheading is the only answer to crime. if government is ineffective even beheading will not work. Murder and kidnapping are rampant in Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia despite be headings.

Anonymous said...

No matter what we think there should be deterrants for criminals so that people can walk free and are not afraid that a loved one may be murdered on the road and a loving daughter may get raped on the way to school.This is in addition to street muggings and other crimes.... It is easy to talk about human rights and other things when you are not directly involved and sit safely in an airconditioned room.The whole perspective may get altered when you are on the receiving end.In addition to taking measures to rectify social issues and find antiviruses for corrupted ''soft ware'' it is also important to have the courage to introduce death penalty for the sake of the society as a whole.Otherwise crime rates and violent crimes will skyrocket and the people and the government will be helpless to do any thing and remain mere spectators.This is definitely not the environment we want for us , our children and future generations.Few may disagree claiming to be messiahs of human rights but when the safety , dignity, security , freedom and the rights of thousands of ordinary citizens are trampled right and left then it is high time that something is done and if resorting to the death penalty is an option this also has to be explored before it is too late.

Anonymous said...

But you must also remember that not all murderers convicted in the United States get a detah sentence..i.e. Many states have abolished the death sentence..So for the graph to sepak for itself, you should look at a comparison between states which have abolished the death sentence and those that have not..

Abdullah Waheed's Blog said...

Anonymous 10"57, It's true many of US states don't have death penalty. But still it does not explain why US murder rates are higher than Western Europe countries.

Anonymous said...

it's true law enforcement is more important than having death penalty. but in Maldives there is no law enforcement. so no alternative to death penalty.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 10:35... Involvement works both ways too. It's easy for you to talk death penalty when someone else's brother or son is involved. But when it comes to your son or brother, you will see a different perspective. This is why it could not be done in the past in Amin didi's time.

Anonymous said...

It is very tricky to compare western and arabic nation stats. Those countries many murders not reported. Syria has honor killing. it is not considered murder.

Anonymous said...

when will the goverment DO something abt the drug issue? ok ok we heard you saying it is previous govt mistke. after how many nonths we can say it is this govt mistake?

Anonymous said...

Many commentors seems to support the death penalty or harsh penalties. I have a question for those. Howmany will you behead? Is that a solution to the problem at all. Murders kill, not because there is no law to execute them. This is not the problem i think. Drug addicts or robbers do not steal just because there is no one to punish them. I think there is a deeper problem here. a twisted and rotten moral values of the society as a whole. You can not scare a murderer. He will kill even if he knows he will be executed (if police find out with proof).

Marah maru, athah aiyy, fayah faiy is the laws made when we did not know much. We know what we are today, we should find out why these crimes are rampant. Why those kids turn violent? why they turn to drugs instead of persuing a successful career or field of interest. Don't tell me they were born like that. You and me were not born like this. you and me will not do not slay. why?, cause we know better! we value life. we respect each other. we have had a opportunity of at least a good education. We were brought up in an environment of tolerance perhaps. We have the means to live a happy life still..

So yes, execution is not a solution, nor imprisonment.

Anonymous said...

Execution is definitely not the solution. Life sentencing is also not the solution. For God's sake, learn from others who do things better. Look at singapore. They don't do any barbaric punishment. But they do better than all those who use barbaric punishment.

Anonymous said...

psychopathic killers do it for the thrill. The threat of execution merely heightens the thrill.

Anonymous said...

why is murder rate so high in Iran? Is it not supposed to be a model state for strict punishment?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 5-05 Am,
If we kill the pshchopathik killer, he can't kill any more. simple. Death sentence is the answer.

Anonymous said...

Who killed that girl in the Traders' Association office? Do you really think the fellow who owned up really did it?If so what was the motive?See how justice works?

Fali said...

For all you annoymouses arguing for the death penalty:
If the state wants to go through with capital punishment the state must prove without a reasonable doubt that the accused is indeed the guilty one. How many times have you heard of innocent people put to jail or even death. Can you be sure that the person sentenced to death is guilty. Verdicts are based on evidence, evidence can be doctored it can be bought, can be manufactured. If the state kills an innocent man who will take responsibility. What is the guarantee that it wont happen again.

Its very easy to advocate for the death penalty, but can you seriously trust the already muddled up justice system to get it right???

Will Jordan said...

Iran is an interesting anomaly isn't it - a reasonably hardline approach to crime, yet also a relatively high murder rate. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

To Will JORDAN,
It just shows that an efficent law enforcement system is more important than choppin heads and hands. Unless you can find the culprit you can't chop anything. it's as simple as that. Iranian religious police Basijee is highly corrupt. It's easy for them to flog girls who don't wear veil. But facing armed thugs is a different story. that's where they fail.

Anonymous said...

In Islamic practice,death penalty is not automatic. It is only when the immediate guardian demands death penalty for his loss death penalty is given. But Koran does also say forgiveness is better.

Anonymous said...

to anon 10:28 am: what is the rationale for relatives to have a say in this?

Shihab said...

It is not a question of whether we should have the death penalty or not. It is a question of how we can avoid the death penalty needlessly.

We have so many things that are not needed but only used as a last resort. But they need to be available for use when it cannot be avoided.