Outrage

Saudi Arabia beheads woman for witchcraft – chicagotribune.com.

I am outraged by this. Capital punishment is appalling enough for capital crimes, but this, a state killing of a woman accused of sorcery. What did they think she could do, lay a spell on the ruling family?

The Chicago Tribune story goes on to explain the huge increase in executions in Saudi Arabia this year, several for “sorcery”, some even men.

The newspaper doesn’t comment, although it may have in the past, on the continued execution of people in the United States. Many of these are mentally challenged. Those convicted of killing white individuals are far more likely to be executed than those killing people of any other colour. Those killers who are women are highly unlikely to be executed. Even-handed justice? I think not.

Every country, including this one, has a number of the falsely accused, or wrongly convicted. Guy Paul Morin, Donald Marshall, Stephen Truscott. Those are the names we need to remember when politicians talk about bringing back the death penalty(for our falling murder rate) here. I don’t want innocent blood, shed by the government in my name and yours, on my hands. You can’t say sorry to a corpse.

http://freesakineh.org Please sign the petition.

Death Penalty

PM’s remarks rekindle debate on the death penalty – The Globe and Mail.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario/man-acquitted-in-baby-sons-death/article1877244/

These two stories from the Globe and Mail, the first reporting on the response to the Prime Minister’s “musings” on the death penalty, the other reporting a man who has been acquitted of the murder of his child 19 years ago, a death for which he was convicted, went to prison, having been bullied into a confession, and suffered social disgrace for all that long time, demonstrate the constant battle that must be fought against those who would return us to primitive practices. There are only a few countries in the world who actually have the death penalty, China, Saudi Arabia and the USA among them, even in the latter state after state is repealing it.
In this country we have seen over and over again the demonstration of innocence of the wrongfully accused, who would have been killed by the state had we retained the death penalty. The death penalty does not act as a deterrent; it does not decrease the rate of other violent crime. It serves no purpose but revenge.
When I think about the death penalty, I remember that this act of killing would be done in my name, that I would bear responsibility as a citizen for taking the life, that it was my hand on the trigger or plunger or pulling the switch. I won’t be a party to it, and neither will the Supreme Court, which has ruled against it.
I don’t think we should give Harper and the Conservatives a majority. I think they are constrained from carrying our their deeply fundamentalist agenda only by their minority position.