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US & Iranian Death Penalty Compared

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Woodsman
1071042.  Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:03 am Reply with quote

The Iranian mother who decided at the last moment to spare her son's killer from the death penalty, as allowed under Iranian law, showed a compassion not allowed in US states' death penalty law.

Putting aside for the moment, if we can, the stupidity of the death penalty as a form of punishment, look at how they deal with the situation in Iran versus, say, a backward jurisdiction like Texas. All those supposed Christians in Texas could take a lesson in how to apply compassion. Who knows, they might break out and abolish the death penalty altogether if they were facing the condemned up close and personal like the Iranian mother and were allowed to make that choice.

 
PDR
1071061.  Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:29 am Reply with quote

I am no fan of the death penalty, partly because no system of justice is error-free (a posthumously-quashed conviction is a little too pyrrhic for my taste) and partly because a lifetime of hopeless incarceration is actually the more severe punishment IMHO.

But I am opposed to the middle-eastern concept of blood money - I don't like the idea that the wealthy can buy their way out of punishment. I am comfortable with mercy being *offered*, but not with it being *bought*.

PDR

 
djgordy
1071062.  Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:44 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:


But I am opposed to the middle-eastern concept of blood money - I don't like the idea that the wealthy can buy their way out of punishment. I am comfortable with mercy being *offered*, but not with it being *bought*.


Of course, that's totally different to the American system whereby the wealthy buy their way out of punishment by being able to hire more expensive lawyers.

 
PDR
1071064.  Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:50 am Reply with quote

I think it is, yes. Although neither concept is admirable.

PDR

 
Jenny
1071097.  Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:29 pm Reply with quote

It's certainly true that the wealthy in the US avoid punishment for their crimes at a disproportionately higher rate than the poor.

I think Woodsman's point is an interesting one though.

I wonder how many people in Iran show that level of compassion though, and how many people in the US would if they had the opportunity.

Incidentally, there was no 'blood money' paid in this case, at any rate according to the report in the Guardian.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/25/interview-samereh-alinejad-iranian-mother-spared-sons-killer

 
Spud McLaren
1071101.  Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:39 pm Reply with quote

But don't both the UK and the US legal systems take the view that a crime is a transgression against society at large, and that therefore it isn't up to the direct victims and/or their relatives as to the application of clemency?

 
ConorOberstIsGo
1071109.  Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:02 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
PDR wrote:


But I am opposed to the middle-eastern concept of blood money - I don't like the idea that the wealthy can buy their way out of punishment. I am comfortable with mercy being *offered*, but not with it being *bought*.


Of course, that's totally different to the American system whereby the wealthy buy their way out of punishment by being able to hire more expensive lawyers.


Well there is such a thing as compensation and damages. could those things not be seen as a kind of blood money in cases of death and harm?

 
Posital
1071185.  Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:52 am Reply with quote

How do you prove it really is compassion, and not fear and/or greed?

Without this clear proof, there is the likelihood of undue pressure on the accuser while "selecting" the punishment.

 
djgordy
1071187.  Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:12 am Reply with quote

Spud McLaren wrote:
But don't both the UK and the US legal systems take the view that a crime is a transgression against society at large, and that therefore it isn't up to the direct victims and/or their relatives as to the application of clemency?


There are certain relatives of mine whose murder would be most welcome so, not only would I be quite happy to apply clemency to the culprit, I'd make them the guest of honour at the post funeral celebration.

 
Spud McLaren
1071194.  Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:53 am Reply with quote

Are we related?

 
djgordy
1071213.  Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:20 am Reply with quote

You're still alive, so probably not.

 
Woodsman
1071304.  Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:18 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Without this clear proof, there is the likelihood of undue pressure on the accuser while "selecting" the punishment.


In the Iranian case, the accuser (who is not the accuser anyway but the relative of the victim) apparently doesn't 'select' the punishment, the state does. The relative may choose to pardon the death penalty, but then the prisoner's sentence is reduced to life in prison. That's the way I understood the article, anyway.

 
Posital
1071354.  Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:37 am Reply with quote

Someone is making an "arbitrary" choice between two punishments - life or death - however it's dressed. It'd be interesting to see how the decision is actually made in practice. Dreams? Really?

Is Lady Justice loosening her blindfold?

 
PDR
1071369.  Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:23 pm Reply with quote

Klaxon!!

Lady Justice has a pair of scales and a sword. The blindfold is an occasional variation which is far from universal (for instance the statue on the top of London's Central Criminal Court doesn't feature one).

PDR

 
Woodsman
1071505.  Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:56 am Reply with quote

Posital wrote:
Someone is making an "arbitrary" choice between two punishments - life or death - however it's dressed. It'd be interesting to see how the decision is actually made in practice. Dreams? Really?

Is Lady Justice loosening her blindfold?


Not sure what you are getting at here.

 

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