A few months ago I was wondering if Sajida Rishawai, the would be suicide bomber of last year’s Amman bombings, would actually get the death penalty and would it be a just punishment for the crime. Ashraf Al-Akhrass, the groom of the wedding that was attacked, who pleaded with the court back in May to give Sajida the death penalty, inspired my contemplation. I was trying to put myself in his shoes after losing 18 family members including a father, father-in-law and mother-in-law. I wondered if I would ask for the maximum punishment or ask the court to be merciful.
It’s been nearly a year and evidently the court has decided on the former punishment as 7 are now sentenced to hang but since Sajida is the only one in custody she will be facing the gallows alone, being the first women in Jordanian history to do so.
One of the Parliament’s lawmakers, Mahmoud al-Kharabsheh, said the harsh verdict Ã¢??sent a clear sign to terroristsÃ¢?Â. And I suppose this was the intention and/or “reasoning” behind it. The problem with this is that terrorists could care less. I’m inclined to believe that someone who straps a bomb to his or her body to kill people and be killed in the process could care less about the death penalty. The sentence only strengthens the cause of terrorists. Perhaps it would have been better for the court to show her mercy. Perhaps not. I think everyone has an opinion but I think the most valid opinions should factor in the actual case, the perpetrators and the victims, rather than have a generic view of the death penalty. It’s not always universal and it’s not always one size fits all, in the sense that it is much easier to advocate against the death penalty from afar but we enter darker territory when the crime hits closer to home with us.
An interesting excerpt from a Forbes article today…
Ashraf al-Akhras, who was the groom in the stricken wedding party and who lost his father and 16 other family members and in-laws, said, “She got her just punishment, but it won’t assuage the fire inside for my great loss.”
Al-Rishawi “got what she deserved,” said Mahmoud al-Akrabawi, one of the wedding guests who lost his wife and two children.
“I hope the government will allow us to attend her execution and I wish that the rest will be brought to justice,” he said. [source]