Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

Chapter III of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran contains provisions related to the rights of the people.  In this Chapter, Article 22 states: “The dignity, life, property, rights, domicile, and occupations of people may not be violated, unless sanctioned by law.” However, the number of crimes punishable by death in Iran is among the highest in the world. Charges such as “adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, insulting the Prophet Mohammad and other great Prophets, possessing or selling illicit drugs, theft and alcohol consumption for the 4th time, premeditated murder, moharebeh (waging war against God), efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), baghy (armed rebellion), fraud and human trafficking” are capital offences.[1] Many of the charges punishable by death cannot be considered as “most serious crimes” and do not meet the ICCPR standards.[2] Murder, drug possession and trafficking, rape/sexual assault, moharebeh and efsad-fil-arz and baghy are the most common charges resulting

South Carolina | Where's the Christianity in electric chair, firing squads?

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster recently signed legislation that would allow the state to execute people by firing squad or the electric chair if chemicals used for lethal injections are not available. The death-row inmate would be able to choose between the other two options. It is sad that the US remains the one western nation still dedicated to this archaic practice. It is also particularly problematic given the racist realities of the death penalty.

It is especially tragic that the legislators who voted in favor of this and the governor who signed it almost all claim to be Christians and pro-life, but deny the way of Jesus out of a desire to appear tough or appeal to some misplaced idea of justice.

The United States is the only western nation, and one of the few democracies, that still actively practices the death penalty. In 2019, we were fifth in the world for executions behind China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt. Of course, none of these nations is known for its great human rights record. For the US to hold onto this archaic practice makes little sense, especially after studies have concluded that the death penalty has not been effective in stopping murder and is costlier than life in prison.

The racist nature of the death penalty is also very evident. For example, as the Death Penalty Information Center highlights, even though African Americans only make up 15% of death-penalty cases, they make up 34.4% of the executions.

In South Carolina this is particularly relevant. Though many in South Carolina may not learn about it in their history books, in 1944, South Carolina executed a 14-year-old African-American old boy, George Stinney, for alleging murdering two white girls. Later, evidence put great doubt on his guilt and showed that he did not receive a fair trial.

Ultimately, almost all these legislators and McMaster, who claim to be Christians, are distorting their Christian faith. Jesus undermined the idea of capital punishment in his life and teaching. There is the famous story of the woman caught in adultery, which was a capital offense under Mosaic law. He told those looking to stone her that those without sin should cast the first stone. He told his followers to love their enemies, forgive those who wronged them, and put down their swords. Half of the New Testament was written by a man who was a murderer, the Apostle Paul, who told believers not to return evil for evil but overcome evil with good.

For Christians to be proponents of the death penalty while much of the rest of the society is opposed to it shows a Christianity that has become detached from the actual teachings and heart of Jesus.

True justice and wholeness will not come from executing more evil people in the society. It is a false hope that will not lead to more peace.

It is time for legislators in states like ours to take a hard look what is pushing them to make this desperate attempt to continue with the death penalty.

Source: greenvilleonline.com, William McCorkle, May 30, 2021. William McCorkle, Ph.D., is a South Carolina educator and immigration advocate.

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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