Tuesday March 11, 2014
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A convicted drug smuggler in Iran was found guilty, hanged for 12 minutes, and declared dead. Later he was found alive in the morgue by his family when they came to bury him.
The Iranian courts have found that he should again be hanged. The Iranian Minister of Justice disagrees, saying that he should not be hanged twice.
In Iran, the government has no direct control over the judiciary, and so the chances are that the court decision will stand.
The Question Is....
Should someone be executed a second time?
Here's a question for you. It may make you think too much, and you may not like that, but it is an important question when this issue is considered:
We "sentence" people to a "punishment" for a crime.
Reasons usually given for doing it are:
• To punish the individual.
• To protect society.
• As simple justice — as ye sow, so shall ye reap.
• To deter others from committing the same crime.
Please look at that first one, which I am sure you agreed with: To punish the individual.
Please notice that when you saw it separated from the second one, "To protect society," you — just like almost all people — had no argument with that. So when we send people to prison, it is not only to protect society from them by putting then someplace where they can't hurt us; it is also to punish them, in other words (as defined) to inflict a penalty on them, something unpleasant.
Do we intend that when the death penalty is imposed that the "punishment" will be only the death of the individual? Or do we also wish to impose the pain and suffering he or she will feel, knowing that he or she is going to die? Or do we also intend to inflict the actual pain and suffering of the method of death, however painless we may make it? I ask that question because the thought of retributive punishment is very closely allied to the question of whether or not someone should be twice executed, isn't it?
You have my permission to hate me for making you think about all that. :-)
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