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August 8, 2008

Mass Executions In Iran

I do support the death penalty. There are some crimes that call for nothing less than death. However, these are extreme crimes. Of course, I guess that the definition of what an extreme crime is, is up for discussion. This is the problem with the death penalty and why many people oppose it.

What exactly is a crime that deserves the death penalty? Murder? Rape? Armed robbery? Adultery? Well, there is no right answer but in Iran 29 people were recently executed. Their crimes are said to have varied from drug dealing to murder. Iran has made it a point to cut down on the amount of crime they have to deal with. The hangings are meant to show others that may be contemplating a life of crime that this is what happens when you get caught.

The actual crimes that the people committed have not been disclosed. 20 of the people that were hung allegedly committed some type of drug crimes. While this type of punishment may seem very harsh to many, there are some that think that this public execution works well.

It will be interesting to see where the crime rates are at after this crackdown. There are places that are known for their harsh treatment of criminals and those places tend to have less crime. However, that is not always the case. Also, some countries are very harsh on crime, even crimes that of the moral kind of are minor. For instance, it is believed that some of the 29 people that were hung were hung for having illegal relationships. That means that they were unmarried and having sex. This type of crime, if you want to call it that, does not call for execution. In my book, of course, it does not call for any type of punishment. Sex is a biological function of humans. There is not reason to kill people for having it. Everyone is not married.

There is not a ton of information about these executions, although they seem to have been carried out with a crane. I don’t know if they were televised of if people were allowed to gather and watch. All of these people, according to Iranian television were tried in court and found guilty of their crimes.

I don’t know what this will do for crime in Iran. Hopefully, since such drastic measures have been taken, it will have the desired effect. Of course, executions used to be carried out in a similar manner in the Old West of what is now the United States. Also, if we are honest, some people were lynched in the United States with their only crime being that they were the “wrong” race. Theses lynching mobs were comprised of prominent members of the community and could be found throughout the American south as recent as the 1960’s. With that in mind, I think we should all tread lightly before we pass judgment on these executions in Iran. I am not disagreeing with the criminals that were executed, just the people that may have committed moral crimes, such as adultery. Surely there was another way to punish them.

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