What Do Jews, Christians & Muslims Say?
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New Haven, Connecticut -- Death Penalty on 6 Counts of Murder
The verdict was handed down from the jury along with the sentencing - 6 counts of murder against Steven Hayes - But it took three and a half years and untold amounts of money from the victim's family to hear this verdict rendered.
Although Dr. William Petit Jr. said he felt a sense of justice when a jury sentenced the killer of his wife and two daughters to death Monday, he was also critical of the way the state handles capital crimes.
Petit called that time frame "absurd," and noted that Virginia, Florida and some other states routinely take capital cases to trial in half that time in instances where defendants are caught at the scene or shortly after.
His wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and daughters Michaela, 11, and Hayley, 17, were murdered July 23, 2007. Steven Hayes was sentenced to death 40 months later. Both Hayes and co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky were caught outside the Petit home, and both confessed.
"Fortunately, in this case, justice delayed was not justice denied," Petit said of Monday's verdict.
State Rep. Michael Lawlor, co-chairman of the legislature's judiciary committee, said that Petit raises a fair point, but doubted that there was a reliable legislative solution.
Lawlor, an opponent of the death penalty, said the state could pass a law mandating that capital cases come to trial within 18 months, "and then you'll find out, on appeal, after the prosecution and conviction, whether that law is constitutional.''
Lawlor, a former prosecutor, said that death penalty cases simply take a long time because the stakes are so high and a mistake by the prosecution could result in an appeals court's overturning the sentence.
Petit also said that he would like to see more money channeled into support for the families of homicide victims. He said that if he didn't have the financial means, he couldn't have devoted the amount of time he did to the case. A victim's family with fewer financial resources would be shortchanged by the system, he said.
Petit's comments were part of his emotional remarks from the courthouse steps after the jury returned the verdict of death on six counts against Hayes.
Petit, with family members and friends pressed in around him, said he wasn't looking for closure.
"I don't think there is ever closure,'' Petit said as a chilling wind whipped up Church Street. "Whoever came up with that is an imbecile.''
Asked if he can start to heal, he said, "It is helpful that justice has been served with the appropriate verdict.''
The horrific crime affected the town of Cheshire in a fundamental way. On Monday, residents of that town and others reacted -- most positively -- to Hayes' death sentence.
"I think that it would have been a waste of taxpayers' money to keep [Hayes] alive," said Kim Abate as she wheeled her grocery cart to her car in the Stop & Shop parking lot about a mile from the Petit home.
Abate said of Hayes' sentence, "It's the greatest thing I've heard in a while, even though I'm usually against the death penalty. But this shook our town to its core."
Here is what we find from the "experts"(?) on Islam --
Does Islam support the death penalty?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
|The Qur’an, in a 1983 translation by M.H. Shakir and hosted online by the University of Michigan (accessed July 25, 2008), contains the following two references to a death penalty:
"Whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for anarchy in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our apostles came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land. Chapter 5, Verse 120 "The Table"
|The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) wrote in its fact sheet "Islam and Capital Punishment" dated June 23, 2005, that:
|Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, PhD, President of the Minaret of Freedom Institute, wrote in his Nov. 6, 2001 article “Timothy McVeigh and the Death Penalty” published on www.islamonline.net, that:
Does Islam support the death penalty?
|PRO (yes)||CON (no)|
|Understanding Islam, a website dedicated to educating the public about Islam, stated the following in its article, “Regarding the Death Penalty,” published on www.understanding-islam.com (accessed July 29, 2008):
Shahid Athar, MD, President of the Islamic Medical Association of North America, wrote in his article “Capital Punishment - A Faith Issue in an Islamic Perspective,” published on www.islam-usa.com (accessed July 25, 2008):
Sheikh Ahmad Ash-Sharabasi, former Professor of Islamic Creed at Al-Azhar University (Cairo, Egypt), issued a fatwa, published on www.islamonline.net (accessed July 25, 2008) that stated the following:
|Tariq Ramadan, PhD, Professor of Islamic Studies at Oxford University, wrote in his Apr. 5, 2005 article, “An International Call for Moratorium on Corporal Punishment, Stoning and the Death Penalty in the Islamic World,” that:
Rabia Terri Harris, Coordinator of the Muslim Peace Fellowship, wrote in her article “Islam and the Death Penalty,” published on www.amnestyusa.org (accessed July 25, 2008):
Khaled Abou El Fadl, Professor of Islamic Law at the UCLA School of Law, in a Jan. 25, 2002 conference hosted by the Pew Forum, titled "A Call for Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty," stated:
Does Christianity support the death penalty?
Does Judaism support the death penalty?
But What Do You Say?
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