8/03/2007

Ashamed

You won't see a picture of this week's executions in Iran here. I cannot tell you how watching those images has affected me. The fact that they happen is bad enough. To watch them and those who watched them is a disgrace to humanity. After seeing them a few times, I have stayed away from any of the blogs who had the pictures, as I know those images will haunt me endlessly. I strongly oppose the death penalty anywhere in the world, and see it as a violation of human rights and human integrity. I believe that capital punishment for heinous crimes should be life sentences in prison, where the criminal is punished by separation from the society, living in which in harmony is the ultimate human privilege.
How is killing someone because he or she killed another any better than what he or she did? How perfect can a judicial system be to determine a person must cease to live? Is there such a perfect judicial system in the world? In less than perfect judicial systems, even if death penalty is allowed, can we all be certain that the person being executed is guilty, has received the proper trial, and a fair verdict? I think governments must protect and improve life for their citizens, and must not take it away from them, or, worse yet, to expose them to view the process of someone being brutally murdered. That’s why looking at pictures of young people being executed in Iran this week has been a disgusting and horrible experience for me.
Wherever I went this week, there were pictures of several men in various stages pre-, during-, and post-execution. With each picture, I cried in pain and shame. The pain is at loss of human life, and the shame is for belonging to two countries, Iran and US, both of which have capital punishment in their laws. The shame comes from any judicial system that believes a still young person is uncorrectable and that there is no hope in his or her being redeemed, re-educated, and restored. I feel the pain of families who lost a loved one to a hideous crime, but I cannot condone "an eye for an eye." I can't.

2 comments:

Assal said...

Well said.

I know it is very difficult to look at the pics or videos and confront the horror that is taking place, but it is a positive thing for us, as Iranians, because in seeing the evil, we know and understand how wrong it is.

I think the reason Americans haven't tackled Capital Punishment as seriously as you'd think they would as a progressive people is because of the fact that the executions taking place in American prisons are kept out of the public eye. The way they have set up the process, giving the prisoner chances at appeal, last dinner, consultation with the priest, not allowing press...these things are attempts to disguise the evil and make it seem like a humane process.

If we could see an actual image of a dead American sitting in the execution chamber after the fact, it would be a mind altering for the average American.

But the whole thing is a double edged sword. If you see it as an Iranian you are pained because you can't do anything about it. If you don't see it as an American, you think it's not all that bad!

In summation "Life Sucks, Death Sucks More" (sorry for the "sucks").

Nazy said...

An astute observation dear Assal. At its core, Capital Punishment harbors "justice through revenge." I think by the time revenge produces results that might be satisfactory to some, the process has challenged and destroyed an immense amount of humanity in people. Several of the pictures showed a young child in the front row of spectators to the executions. Oh my god. Do you suppose that child's life will ever be the same after this? My heart cries with the shame of that--just one product of this mess.