Dec 28 2014
By Daoud Kuttab
I am in principle opposed to the capital punishment. In Jordan I am even more opposed to carrying out this inhuman punishment for a number of reasons.
Among the main reasons people are opposed to the capital punishment is the fact that the chances of miscarriage of justice is high. Throughout history the cases of proven death to individuals who later were proven to be innocent exist in abundance. The development of DNA testing has shown that some of the world’s most careful judiciaries have made mistakes that led to this irreversible punishment.
In Jordan, the judiciary is well respected by the public but it is not prone to mistakes. In fact weeks ago an issue that led to the early retirement of five senior judges point to the potential of grave miscarriage of justice. A 1% chance that a wrong judgment can lead to the end of someone’s life is enough reason to refrain from carrying out this cruel punishment.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is the problem of double jeopardy. The fact that after an 8 year hiatus in which the capital punishment was suspended and then reinstated means that those hanged last week were punished twice. Jordanian law and general principles of justice make it unacceptable to punish a person twice for the same crime. Effectively replacing the capital punishment with a long term imprisonment and then reversing that on the same individual’s means that those who suffered from long term jails and the capital punishment were victims of this illegal double jeopardy. Continue Reading »