Capital Punishment… Who’s to Argue Against it?

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 10 August / Aug 2016. 10:20 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

Who would argue the death sentence for the Ein Al Basha attacker who killed 5 soldiers with cold blood?

The day before last, not many withheld their sentiment when they heard the news about the death of the murderer of security forces martyr, Nart Nafesh, during a raid in Maan. And many others, including the Martyr’s family, friends, and a vast audience of angry people, rallied to cast the death sentence on the second suspect in Nafesh’s death

Official authorities have resisted the popular pressure to revive the death sentence for years now. And death penalty was indeed suspended. But a major event shook the pillars of Jordan’s society and pushed authorities to revoke capital punishment, sooner than later; the martyrdom of military pilot Moath Kasasbeh, who was shot out of the sky and killed by ISIS. In a vengeful response to the heinous crime, judicial orders came in to execute Sajida Rishawi, who was involved in the 2005 Amman hotel bombings, and Ziyad Karbouli, the terrorist who killed a Jordanian citizen in Iraq and planned terrorist attacks in Jordan.

Briefly afterwards, the authorities executed 13 people sentenced for ugly crimes like rape and murder. Not so long ago, there was an inclination to execute several more sentenced criminals, but respective authorities have been holding off on final decisions.

Nationally speaking, the majority of the public, according to surveys, back the implementation of the death sentence. Furthermore, most support its expansion to penalise other crimes for which the death penalty is not evoked by law. Still, the government takes into consideration, the discretions and reservations of European partners and international donors. It was under pressure by these parties that the death sentence execution was suspended in the first place.

In an attempt to avoid societal pressures, and keep donor countries pleased, authorities have worked overnights to reconcile families of murder victims with sentenced murderers, to justify holding the execution of death to some of the convicts. And indeed, many settlements have been attained in numerous cases in which plaintiffs actually receding from the death penalty.

Nonetheless, it is most unlikely that such settlement is valid for terrorist acts, like the attack on the Intelligence office or the murder of Nart Nafesh, and other terrorist plights targeting civilians, army, or security forces.

Jordan has been lenient before towards some involved in terrorist operations that targeted the Kingdom’s security, regime, and many a vital institution, tolling the death of many citizens, as well as military and security personnel. But this leniency was part of a bundle of settlements to secure the Country’s stability and avoid further turmoil.

It is therefore, very different now; there are terrorist organisations that will not hesitate to strike Jordanian citizens and military all the same. The Kingdom is engaged with those organisation in a war that cannot be taken lightly. And save for a group of people who principally stand against Capital Punishment, you will not find among the rest of Jordanians those who plead mercy for the perpetrators of terrorism, such as the one act that took 5 of our soldiers.

To others whom have lost their loved ones to crime, the death sentence will serve as a reminder to them of their right to see the criminals who took their loved ones away from them be put to justice, and that this right has been long due.

Most probably, respective authorities will have to revaluate cases and investigate ones deserving of Capital Punishment, and muffle out international and European voices against the execution of these decisions.