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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Just Wondering…

Just read this:

A Saudi court has ruled that a man convicted of raping five children will be beheaded and crucified.

Muhammad Basheer al-Ramaly, 22, left his youngest victim, aged three, stranded in the desert to die.

He was caught when he tried to abduct another boy by offering him a lift home from school in his car.

I find myself wondering if that’s the right order of events. Because, that crucifixion bit seems to be coming a bit too late to do any good.

For what it’s worth.

Read the rest.

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Makes me cringe, because you never know if the charges are substantiated. Saudi religious courts often concoct a wild fictional story like that to justify crucifying gay men who have done nothing of the sort.

on Nov 04 2009 @ 10:34 PM

Hadn’t even thought of that--I took it at face value.

It made me cringe because I couldn’t even get my head around it at that level. I’ve stated my opposition to the death penalty and, in general, I don’t like institutionalized torture or inhumane treatment (we can argue over what precisely that means some other day), but…

...but, if this guy did what was reported, if he not only raped toddlers and left one “stranded in the desert to die”, it’s mighty hard to gin up any sympathy or outrage over his poor treatment.

Back to your point: can you imagine that the Arab world and the West will ever be comfortable rubbing shoulders with each other until the Arab world liberalizes? And it’s not just the treatment of gays, it’s women’s rights, freedom of speech, democracy in opposition to theocracy, and tolerance in a larger sense. I can’t.

on Nov 04 2009 @ 10:54 PM

If there is really any chance that this man has psychological issues (as quoted from the Amnesty worker in the bbc article) I think it is a horrendous court ruling. I do not agree with the death penalty or torture any way, as I do view it has hypocritical, but especially if a criminal is mentally disabled. I do not sympathise with him in any way but I believe he is entitled to a fairer hearing.

on Nov 05 2009 @ 03:29 AM

Unfortunately, the entire culture of Saudi Arabia has even more horrendous psychological issues.

on Nov 05 2009 @ 07:08 AM

...and I say that as a supporter of the death penalty.

on Nov 05 2009 @ 07:09 AM
jed

I suppose the crucifixion part is for display purposes, much the same as corpses were gibbetted. Yeah, sometimes people were gibbetted alive. I can speculate on some possible religious motivations, based on thwarting resurrection of the body, if the body is defiled or in some way made not whole. The reverse of that would be the preservation of vital organs in canopic jars as part of mummification. (Of course, most of us realize that canopic jars can also contain Gua’uld symbiotes.)

The deterrent effect can also be disputed, particularly if Sharia law is already in effect, as the mere possibility of corporal punishment would seem to most of us as a pretty strong deterrent. Well, didn’t work in Olde England, or the American colonies either.

I’m not opposed to the death penalty in itself. I am quite skeptical of the ability to be certain of the verdict in many cases. However (cf. John Allen Muhammad), I think there can be cases where knowledge of guilt is certain. In such cases, I say detonate a small charge at the base of the skull. Before you accuse me of barbarism, think about what opportunity for any sensation of pain exists when the entire brain is mushified in a few thousands of a second. Some people would consider it ghoulish to hook up an EEG to monitor death by lethal injection, but what’s the level of certainty that it’s painless? To say nothing of the botched attempts. If you’re going to do it, make it quick and certain.

on Nov 06 2009 @ 06:20 PM

Desecrating the body adds shame to his family and is basically just an additional signal that this particular crime is considered intolerable. Kind of like how in the old days if somebody really crossed the mob, they’d really get splattered rather than just getting shot.

on Nov 06 2009 @ 09:33 PM
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