USA | Parkland Case Challenges Us All to Figure Out What a Mass Murderer Deserves

The ongoing sentencing trial of Nikolas Cruz, the 23-year-old Florida man who in 2018 murdered fourteen students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, will test whether the seven men and five women on the jury hearing his case can hate the sin but muster the courage to spare the life of the sinner. That is exactly what his defense team is asking them to do as they sit in judgment of the person who perpetrated one of this country’s most brutal mass murders. Like many death penalty defense lawyers before them, Cruz’s lawyers, to their credit, have not downplayed the gravity of the horrors their client inflicted in Parkland, Florida. Instead, during the sentencing trial, or what the journalist Dahlia Lithwick once called a “trial of the heart,” they have focused their attention on who Cruz is and the factors that shaped his life. As the Supreme Court said more than fifty years ago, in capital cases those who impose the sentence must consider “

Libya | Christian convert from Islam sentenced to death for apostasy

A Christian convert from Islam has been sentenced to death by the Court of Appeal in Misrata, north-west Libya.

The man became a Christian around four years ago, and has been arrested several times since then by Libyan militias who act as law enforcement in the disordered country.

The death sentence for apostasy was applied as a result of his refusal to return to Islam.

Libya’s General National Congress (the GNC, which sat from 2012 to 2014) passed a law stating that apostates from Islam who refuse to recant will be sentenced to death.

All laws passed by the GNC were subsequently abolished by its replacement, the Libyan House of Representatives.

However, the Libyan Supreme Court in Tripoli has ruled that the House of Representatives is illegal, allowing courts to continue to apply laws passed by the GNC, including the death penalty for apostasy.

The death penalty for sane adult males who renounce Islam is compulsory in all schools of sharia (Islamic law). 

The Maliki school – which is dominant in Libya – also makes mandatory the death penalty for sane female apostates from Islam.

Like other Sunni schools, the Maliki school allows the apostate three days in which to repent before applying the death penalty. 

The Maliki interpretation of sharia requires that the apostate must previously have been a practising Muslim to deserve the death penalty.

Only a handful of countries have this aspect of Islamic law in their national laws. Even those who have it rarely sentence anyone to death and of those who are sentenced very few have actually been executed.

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Source: barnabasfund.org, Staff, September 15, 2022

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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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