AMMAN (AFP) â€” A teenage woman was jailed for 15 years in Jordan on Wednesday for murdering her parents and two brothers by poisoning their orange juice, a court official said.
Hana al-Shamali, 19, was sentenced to prison and hard labour for the February killings in the city of Irbid, north of the Jordanian capital Amman, the official said on condition of anonymity.
As the sentence was passed, she shouted out, “I swear to you, I didn’t do anything,” the official added.
“The youth, a university student, added poison to orange juice which she served to the family, who had accused her of stealing 30 dinars (42 dollars) from her father.” [source]
â€œHer family searched her room, then her brother dragged her by the hair and hit her on her head and legs,â€ the court added.
The defendant said she decided to take revenge because her family was treating her as a thief, so she mixed juice with a deadly poison her father had brought home to kill stray dogs and offered it to her parents and two brothers.
…The suspectâ€™s 14-year-old sister was the sole survivor because she did not drink the juice. [source]
And this is exactly why I only drink apple juice, people!
And why I only drink pineapple juice!
There was some talk that the girl had used laquer i believe by mistake instead of adding sugar. She said her father always leaves different materials around the house, and that when they said the verdict she yelled out in tears “I didn’t do anything, I swear”.
I’m more inclined to believe the girl than our extremely just legal system.
Did she really? Because it was reported that she said the exact opposite. Mainly the story that Farah talked about which sounded very plausible and a lot more likely. Which one sounds more likely to you? Killing your whole family because they accused you of stealing money, or mistaking poison (that looks like white crystals) for sugar?
There is nothing just or legal about our legal system really.
I have to disagree. Maybe it was a mistake, but a law is a law until it is changed. We all sympathize with the story, but making assumptions and throwing your own judgment is not something I recommend, espcially if you are not a CSI or a judge. And rules are built on solid facts and evidence, not sympathy and stories!
What do you disagree with? The fact that this story claims that the girl said something that earlier reports contradicted? Or the fact that it’s more likely that the girl mistook poison crystals for sugar than poisoned all her family deliberately? Or do you disagree with my last statement that there is nothing just or legal about our legal system? Do you disagree that forced confessions are more than likely in Jordan?
You meant to say “cases” are built on solid facts and evidence, but you and I both know that’s not always the way of things in Jordan. Facts and evidence don’t always matter and people, especially in Jordan, are rightfully left with having to come up with their own conclusions.
Because we don’t trust the courts.
We don’t trust the press.
We don’t trust the government.
We don’t trust the judges.
We don’t trust the representatives.
We don’t trust our neighbors or even our cousins.
And we have no good reason to.
When our courts decide, “based on facts and evidence,” that a premiditated murder warrants only six months in prison when you know the only just verdict would be life in prison or the death sentence, you have to wonder about every decision that the courts make.
uff uff, so we take her word that it was a mistake and don’t punich her? What kind of logic is that! Oh, I killed them by mistake, so please forgive me! Dude, she got four death sentences then it was reduced to 15 years in prison? What more do you want?
And please let’s now mix “honor” crimes with this case..Your logic is completly flawed!
“Because we donâ€™t trust the courts.
We donâ€™t trust the press.
We donâ€™t trust the government.
We donâ€™t trust the judges.
We donâ€™t trust the representatives.
We donâ€™t trust our neighbors or even our cousins.
And we have no good reason to.”
You have a trust issue then..And that has nothing to do with the case..On what basis don’t you trust the judges?
If you are angry, don’t use this case as an execuse..Talk about other stuff when they are relevant and don’t mix apples with oranges!
Also, What do you have to say about that? Laws are put for 95% of the cases, not the 5% you and I sypathize with:
Where’s the proof? Where there witnesses? Did the 14 year old sister testify against her, for example?
Where’s the proof? Were there witnesses? Did the 14 year old sister testify against her, for example?
Ok,Based on your logic: Where is the proof she didn’t?
You miss the point that there are two conflicting reports of what “her word” is. The court relied on some form of confession to judge that this was murder. The Jordan Times article says:
“In her initial confession to police, H.M. claimed she had no intention of killing her family, but â€œjust wanted to harm them because they considered her a thief.â€
But this directly contradicts other reports of what the girl said. That she mistook the poison that was placed in the kitchen for sugar. That story is very plausible and more likely than a girl killing 4 members of her family because they accused her of theft. And that story is supported by the fact that the rest of her family themselves “dropped their right.”
Maybe six months per person like they give males who kill their female siblings or children and their families stop seeking charges.
Can you maybe go into a little more detail about what the flaws are? Because obviously, and as you know, I have trust issues so I’m not just gonna settle for a statement that I obviously disagree with because I think the two issues are very much related.
As an analogy, if there is a certain official who we both agree demonstrated corruption in one case, then we should be able to question his/her integrity when talking about other cases.
If we both agree that our legal system and courts are broken demonstrated by their handling of these so called “honor” crimes, then why can’t we question this system and its courts in all other criminal cases? Especially a case like this one where the defendant is also a female, and where the court makes alarming assertions and statements like this one:
â€œThe defendant is a harsh person and presented her family with the deadly mix without knowing their fate and without taking into consideration the religious violation behind her actions,â€
Really? So religious violations are important now? Hmm, why are they not important then when it is a man that’s wrongfully killing his sister or daughter?
Plus, I’m not a lawyer and I admit that, but if the court is willing to admit that the girl “didn’t know their fate,” then how can it judge that the killings were deliberate?
One person is different from a whole system. The system may have some flaws that needs to be fixed, but the judges rule with what they have, they don’t build their judgments based on empathy and public opinion. We are not lawyers, so we can’t get into the details without sounding stupid, but what we can do is look at the issue objectively not subjectively.
This is not an “honor” crime, maybe it was by mistake that she killed them, but this doesn’t mean that her senetence should be less than what she got. We don’t want to get into the phase where we give reasons of why she did it. Laws and sanctions serve certain purposes, so the argument that if one law is “flawed” because me and you doesn’t agree with it(Even if it is unjust)doesn’t mean that we have to question the integrity and the validity of every other law in place!
So 15/4=3.75 years for each soul lost, isn’t that fair?
Laws preserve social order, and mixing your trust issues with the system to express your dissatisfaction is not only flawed, but completly wrong.
It’s not just “trust issues.” It’s valid concerns about the system. I’m fine with laws, and I’m fine with people who follow the laws even when the laws are bad, but I and many Jordanians have very valid concerns about whether laws in Jordan are being applied correctly by the courts.
The court always produces reports because the public deserves to know what happened, and because even judges’ decisions are not immune from the public eye. The problem rises when the courts produce reports that point towards problems in the process.
For example, when a court produces a report that says that a brother invited his sisters to dinner to work out differences, and later in the report says that he used a gun that he brought with him to the meeting to kill them, a huge red flag gets raised questioning the guy’s motive for holding the meeting in the first place. Yet the same court report simply says that the guy committed his murder “in a fit of fury” that occurred during the meeting. Why would you bring a gun to a meeting with your sisters if you didn’t think about possibly harming them in the first place?
So, this is not about a massive portion of the population that for some weird reason has “trust issues” with the system. This is about serious obvious flaws in the system that make it not trust worthy.
Again, we are back to mixing. We are looking at this specific case, I don’t see why you keep bringing the “fury” and “honor” crime issues. They are not relevant to this case. What I hear you saying: she only deserves 6 months for each soul! Injustise is not solved by implementing it on everyone! A woman can kill her husband in an “honor” crime and she gets also 6 months, so the law goes both ways.
I am just pointing to the tendency to express anger and dissatisfaction by dissing anything that comes out of the system.
Final thought: What percentage of the massive population wants to keep the reduced honor crimes sentences? You can’t have it both ways.
How do you know the 14 year old sister didn’t do it?
If there’s no proof or witnesses, they can’t convict her. Can you say that you’re 100% sure she DID it because there’s no proof that she DIDN’T do it.
How old are you?
Thanks for the “great” discussion, Mohannad.
Can someone please tell me if the court had any proof to convict the girl?
I am not going to repeat everyword I said on this thread. You can go back and read them, but I will not get involved in a byzantine discussion.
Let me break it down to a few related points:
1- Criminal courts issue reports about cases they handle, including this one.
2- In this report, the court says it relied in the verdict on a story from a “confession” that the girl made.
3- There are reports that directly contradict that story and question the validity of the “confession.” Now, this should raise the issue of whether a forced confession was obtained. This is not a new concept that i just invented, it’s a valid concern that comes up in all societies, and especially in Jordan.
4- Our courts, that are in charge of preserving justice, have demonstrated their inability to deliver on that promise in numerous cases each year. I know about the unjust laws, but in many of these cases the laws don’t even apply but they still get used, and this is not based on mere doubts or speculation, but on what the reports that the courts issue say.
My comment about giving her six months was sarcastic.
But this is not what’s going on here. If you’ve seen me criticize everything that comes out of the system maybe you have a point, but it’s not like I just decided that the courts were wrong here. All I’m saying is that there is enough that we know about this story to cast doubt on the courts’ decisions, and more importantly, there is enough history of our courts that we know of to cast doubt on their performance.
Mohanned on May 8th, 2008 said: “Ok,Based on your logic: Where is the proof she didnâ€™t?”
I think this is no small point:
The burden of proof is on the State, they have to prove she did do it, she doesn’t have to prove her innocence — just that small, tiny little principle of “innocent until proven guilty”. The burden of proof lies with the Prosecuting party.
There does seem to be a prima facie case against her the girl, however, there are several factors which should at least raise Reasonable Doubt (you must acquit!): a tragic accident (albeit one that was invited by a careless father); she knew the effects, but wanted to harm not kill (manslaughter*?); she wanted to kill, but only after sustained physical (brothers hitting, kicking and dragging) and physiological (being blackballed by the family) abuse (again, possibly manslaughter); perhaps the other sister did it; the orange juice became poisoned completely unbeknown to anyone, chemicals can “transfer” to nearby containers (never store cleaning products (bleach, etc) in food cupboards); etc.
On the other hand, if all these can be safely debunked (which, without access to evidence / court transcripts, we can’t do), why is she only getting fifteen years? Surely a smart, cold-hearted killer who sat and watched her family gulp down their own demise deserves far longer in prison (I completely disagree with a State dishing out “hard labour”, this isn’t Stalinist Russia).
Either way, this is a flawed decision.
(*I realise that “manslaughter” may not exist in the Jordanian legal system, but I am sure there is an equivalent).
From the report as mentioned in the story, the court seems to have relied on a confession made by the girl.
I was not implying that she is guilty until proven innocent. I was trying to make a point that there is more to the case than asking simple questions.
you stated that there is enough info around the case to have us doubt the court decision. Well, I don’t think we have anything but a report written in a newspaper, so based on the credibility of our press I will have more doubts about the reporting than the court system. And lets not fall in what we hate most: Making judgement without having enough information. My discussion with you was only about the dissing and the mistrust attitude about everything. The stories that I hear about our judges have mostly been positive, so I won’t diss the whole system because of some laws, and never forget than judges build their decisions on laws and facts.
I don’t believe in our justice system at all!! Allah la ywar6ak o te3taz ma7kameh in Jordan
but i’d like to mention one point to all those sympathizing with her, the same society that is capable of producing a 14 year old boy who will stab his sister 20 times, a woman who will chop up her daughter and mother in law, and many killing their entire family by gas or cyanide is capable of producing a female murderer who tried to kill her family. Yes all these are heinous crimes, shocking and hard to believe but they do happen ..mafrakhet el majaneen wil gotala in our society ma fargat 3an any other place.
The truth of how bad and evil a situation is shocks people, most of us are in denial. When i was a kid i used to believe stories that claimed someone died by drinking kerosene or bleach by mistake thinking it was water, but if you ever smell either substance you will know how absurd that is. Could it be that poisoning by mistake and stupidity is too common or is it suicide or disguised murder that isn’t always caught?
Why is it so hard to understand that when the Jordanian “justice” system continuously produces verdicts such as those in the cases of honor crimes, it is undermining its integrity, honesty, and credibility in the eyes of any rational being? I am personally not familiar with all the tax fraud, money-laundering, rape, robbery and other cases that the system has considered to be able to say that they have decided unfairly. And I don’t need to, because we’re just using the honor crimes as an example of where the justice system has gone miserably wrong. If this system produces a 6 month sentence for a double murder that appears to be premeditated, and a 15 year sentence for murders that are clouded with suspicion, then WE HAVE TO QUESTION THE SYSTEM. It’s NOT about the honor crime or whatever cultural baggage is attached to it. It’s simply about the legal justification.
On a side note, do you have any information on any case where a woman was given a short sentence for killing a male relative for “honor” reasons? I’m really curious to see when that happened.
Again, I am not going to repeat every word I said. But let me ask you this: Don’t you think your logic is flawed when you diss everything coming out of the system for the reason of some controversial and unjust laws? We don’t have the details so we shouldn’t come to conclusions, but what I know is that when you try to hurt someone or maybe kill them you have to be puniched.
And the use of capital letters DOESN’T make your argument stronger 🙂
As for cases where women committed honor crimes, I have no data, but the law is clear: A man or a woman are the same. If a woman kills her husband in for cheating on her she will get the 6 months.
Question: Is a woman’s testimony considered half that of a man’s in a court of law?
Mohannad, you keep coming back to the same point about, in your words, “dissing everything coming out of the system.” There are two things to consider here:
1- This is not what’s happening. People here are not commenting on “everything” coming out of the judicial system. They are commenting on one case in particular. There have been many reported crimes in Jordan in the past years that the same people participating in the discussion here didn’t care to scrutinize the courts for.
2- You don’t follow your own advice, so why should I? In this discussion, you’ve dismissed everybody’s argument as unfounded mistrust of the courts in Jordan based on sources that lack credibility. But in a previous discussion on Khalaf’s blog where the object of scrutiny was the government, not the courts, here is what you said to me:
This was your attitude towards the government based on, as far as I know, the same sources that people are talking about here; ie. the Jordanian press.
So the concept that bad performance from the past warrants greater scrutiny is not really that foreign to you.
Mohannad, I’m sure you know there is a discriminatory law regarding honor crimes. It’s 340 I think. It’s true this law rarely gets used (I think only twice in the history of the country before it was ammended), but nonetheless it serves as a safe spot for the spirit of gender discrimination in Jordan’s law.
Last time I checked the judicial system was seperate from the government. And there is no relation whatsoever between the corruprtion + the mismanagement thats exists in the government and this case. You simply were wrong,generalized,dissed, and admitted that you have trust issues. You mixed oranges with apples, took this chance to express your dissatisfaction with everything you dislike about jordan.
As for this “So the concept that bad performance from the past warrants greater scrutiny is not really that foreign to you.”
Judicial issues are different, but it seems you can’t grasp this concept. Judges are not subjective like you and me. Oh and by the way, judges don’t manage our lives, don’t decide our foreign policy, and they don’t privatize resources or dictate economic plans..And yes I respect our judicial system and the judges with its flaws, but what I don’t do is diss them.
lol, come on man, there’s no reason to get this angry. “Everything I dislike about Jordan”? Did I really pour all of that here in this thread?
You say that judges are not subjective like you and me. Well, I know one aspect in which they are like you and me; they’re people, and people can make mistakes. My grandfather was a judge, but I know he wasn’t a machine. He was a person like you and me, and sometimes he disagreed with fellow judges and fellow judges disagreed with him. Just because somebody makes it to a judge position doesn’t mean they are immune from scrutiny.
Finally, when you say things like “you admitted that you have trust issues,” and “dissed everything.” For how long do I have to take that for you to finally quit?
Just for the record, the terms “diss” and “trust issues” have only been used by you in this discussion. “Diss” indicates disrespect, and I don’t think I disrespected anyone here; I only brought valid concerns about one case. “Trust issues” indicate a lack of ability to show trust when trust is warranted. A person having “trust issues” is a person who cannot trust their spouse, cannot trust their best friends, their family, etc. It goes beyond one case that was tried in criminal courts and reported in the newspapers. So did I really admit that I have all these “trust issues” here Mohannad?
😀 I am not angry at all, as a matter of fact my mood lately has been very good except for the bad news we hear about lebanon and some local issues. As for trust issues, I was not referring to your personal life, you know better than that 🙂
I know you love Jordan, and when I say: Things you dislike about jordan, I am not implying anything, there are many things that I dislike about jordan, but we all want the best for it.
As for diss, it also means looking for faults and ignoring the positives.
Are we cool?
wtf is juice?
“wtf is juice?”
dude…u made me laugh really hard today 😀