Yes to the Death Sentence for Murderers

Yes to the Death Sentence for Murderers

Al-Ahram, Egypt, October 1

There have been growing voices in Egypt calling to abolish the death sentence in our country. I disagree. It’s impossible to think that barbaric crimes, such as first-degree murder, will simply be punished by imprisonment. This would be especially jarring given the fact that those convicted of such heinous crimes receive a fair and free trial. I don’t expect these abolitionists to change their view or position overnight. But since their motivation is purely humanitarian, one would think that they’d be able to empathize with the victims’ families and support a penalty that would deter others from committing similar crimes. Consider a crime that took place in September 2014, when a number of Brotherhood terrorists stalked a security guard at the Al-Azhar University branch in Mansoura, blocked the road on which he was driving his motorcycle with his father, and proceeded to kill him by pouring a bucket of gasoline on him and setting him on fire. The father managed to get some passersby to rush and help his burning son. The victim was thrown into a water canal to put out the fire and was later evacuated to the hospital. He remained hospitalized in critical condition for 12 days until succumbing to his wounds. Last Monday, the Mansoura Criminal Court sentenced two of the attackers to death and imprisoned the remaining others. Those who support the abolition of the death penalty allow such criminals to enjoy life. Even worse, it encourages families of the victims to seek revenge themselves, thereby sparking a vicious and never-ending cycle of violence that could have otherwise been avoided. Therefore, there is no good reason to abolish capital punishment in Egypt. Indeed, some states in the US still use the death penalty to this very day. And until just a few decades ago, Europe relied on similar punishments for convicted murderers, which it used decisively against Nazi criminals who were brought to trial. – Ahmed Abd Al-Tawab (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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