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Saudi judge considers paralysis punishment

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Saudi Arabia enforces strict Islamic law and occasionally doles out punishments based on the ancient legal code of an eye-for-an-eye. However, King Abdullah has been trying to clamp down on extremist ideology, including unauthorized clerics issuing odd religious decrees.

Doesn't look like they can control the clerics. < :-)

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This Islamic law is great stuff. Repeat offenders in our country should be sentenced to being shipped off somewhere to be tried under Islamic law.

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Yes Ossan but unfortunately guys like Clinton got involved in telling Singapore not to cane Michael Fahey a decade or so ago. I think he should have taken the full punishment but our western "kid glove" methods were once again shoved down the throat of another nation.

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sound fair to me. 7mths for paralyzing someone with a cleaver does not.

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I'm trying to rack my memory but this is the same type of punishment I recall hearing that a muslim woman in one of the Islamic governed countries who had been beaten and lost her eye due to the assualt was able to get this type of hard-core "justice" done back to her 2 male attackers. Fortunately her male family members was witness to the situation and thats how she was able to get the perpatrators punished.

With capital punishment going by the eye-for an eye idea, one could also state it fufills the "golden rule" as well. If you want someone to paralyze you for no reason, then you should paralyze them. Hard lesson but sounds like this man deserves the punishment to fit the crime. Question is, what to do with a man that kills another man's family in cold blood. Does the eye-for an eye theory work there as well? Or would they just opt for the death penalty for the murderer the same way he/she murdered the family.

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That is awesome! We might not agree with their culture, religion or laws, but their diligence in attempting to follow the eye-for-an-eye law makes it extremely interesting. What if he dies in the process? What if his damaged spine heals itself? Somebody should send a documentary crew down there cuz it's more compelling and serious than anything writers can think of.

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Wonder if their crime rates are lower than the US.

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Jason6

Question is, what to do with a man that kills another man's family in cold blood. Does the eye-for an eye theory work there as well?

No question about it, my friend. That is why, after 1500 years, Islamic families, sects, villages are still killing each other. Ain't religion great?

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I hope responsible doctors tell this judge where he can stick his ruling. Any physician who performs such a procedure is violating the Hippocratic Oath and should be expelled from the medical profession.

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Spine for a spine.

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Absolutely barbaric.

Same goes for those posters who claim they think it's a good idea.

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@beezlebub, the same Hippocratic oath that allows doctors to reject treatment because patients can't pay?

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Don't why some posters think this is good. This is why the world is in such a mess because people believe in getting even and justified it. This is not just about paralysis punishment but it effects the rest of the world and civilization.

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I consider it to be punishment, too.

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@beezlebub, the same Hippocratic oath that allows doctors to reject treatment because patients can't pay?

@Starke, don't you mean 'insurance companies'? But let us not digress from my point, which is that it is unethical for physicians to perform amputations, mutilations, etc.

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Some of thier laws are awesome!! Why do it in a hospital, they should make it hurt.

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Doctors refuse to do things because insurance companies say so all the time and they refuse to do thing for ethical reasons. Then there are doctors who give bad information and are bad at medicine. You don't think that they can't find a doctor who wouldn't mane for a buck. Please.... there are lots of them. They'll be wanting a mask is all. < :-)

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this kind of punishment is essentially a form of revenge. there is nothing here for the perpetrator to learn. this is a perfect example.

i wouldn't say it's barbaric, though. is there anything for the man to learn in the first place?

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@starke

the same Hippocratic oath that allows doctors to reject treatment because patients can't pay?

They don't/can't do that in my country. Guess it depends how far a particular civilisation's advanced.

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I would add that a criminal so rendered then becomes a burden on his family and society. Why not let him keep his body intact, but oblige him to spend the rest of his life working to compensate his victim?

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@sourpuss

i wouldn't say it's barbaric, though.

No? What particular adjective would you apply here, then? And how would you define "barbaric"?

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The 16th Century alive and (un)well in Saudi Arabia.

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kyushujoe, i'd say vindictive is more appropriate. The original crime was barbaric.

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@sourpuss

Fair enough :)

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Vindictive and barbaric. It makes the death penalty seem soft.

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Good analogy Sourpuss.

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Just horrible.

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I find the family babaric asking for the punishment to be applied.

They refused blood-money, etc.

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A real physician would refuse. A real human being would refuse. A real believer in a god would leave it to that god.

I do not object to the punishment. The man totally deserves it, and then some, the extra being because this is the guy that started it.

The trouble is that no one can inflict the punishment and call themselves civilized, not the people doing it, not the people ordering it, and not the people supporting it.

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Geesh. I find it so hard to believe that humans living on the same planet in the year 2010 consider this kind of horrible stuff.

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How most of You say the punishment is Barbaric? Attaking a human being to make pralyzed him is what? is civilized? and for that Barbaric action, the given punishment is according to the Shariah which is the law of ....

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Hammurabi? R-r-r-ight. I hope they find out innocent people among those who have been tortured. And see how righteous they may feel.

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This sounds really barbaric but I would like to see a pet project like this applied to all the prisons and jails in the USA, I think the USA needs to learn from Saudi Arabia.

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Absolutely barbaric.

True. We like to lie to ourselves, tell ourselves that we're above such punishments, we're not. Compassion, forgiveness, and modern justices are fundamentally flawed in that they are utterly self-serving to the self righteous people that embrace them. Those that fear to do the grim work necessary to perpetuate society should step out of the way or buckle down. It is not the duty of government to forgive or show compassion, it's to preserve the society they represent.

For asking for such a punishment the victim is indeed vindictive, barbaric, and possessed of incredible bloodlust that does not, however, make it wrong. The victim, paralyzed and unable to exact justice for himself, is probably filled with seething and completely understandable rage. Especially considering the meager term of imprisonment and the fact the perpetrator was allowed to live his life and even become a school teacher. Prison teaches criminals nothing save that next time the commit a crime they should work harder to not get caught. Punishments like these give the victims some reciprocity and set an example for others, I approve absolutely.

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It's disgraceful in this age of technology and advanced civilization (well, one hopes we are) that such primitive punishments are considered. Unbelievable. I would be ashamed if my country discussed such punishments even as a remote possibility. Gandhi couldn't have been more correct when he said that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Regarding Islamic law, the Saudis are living in medieval times. Also, doctors take the Hippocratic Oath and swear to help people, not intentionally paralyze them.

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Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

Taka

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I've just spent many posts arguing about the disparity between Islamic culture and modern western culture so I can't in any way condone such an act. But if we could do this to child molesters (chop off their anatomy) I'd have no problem with that.

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knews, Taka, SuperLib, since your posts are representative of many here, I'll ask you:

What do you believe is appropriate treatment in this case?

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Judge: Can you damage this man's spinal cord so as to paralyze him?

Doctor: I'm a doctor, not a butcher.

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I suppose they could ask one of the so-called doctors who supervise execution by lethal infection.

Attaking a human being to make pralyzed him

The article (and other reports online, which all appear to come from the same source and have the same wording) say that the injury was inflicted during a fight. Maybe the 'victim' was the one who started things, and the other man simply grabbed whatever was to hand to defend himself, in this case a cleaver? We Don't Know.

What do you believe is appropriate treatment in this case?

Without knowing the details of the case, it's impossible to say. If someone ran in to the road in front of your car causing you to swerve and knock down a child, would it be 'appropriate' if your punishment was to be placed in front of a speeding car? Or for your child to be deliberately knocked down by a car?

'Eye for an eye' is a lousy legal precept.

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Ahem. By lethal injection, of course.

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sourpuss

Well, how about prison as would be the case in a country with some sort of civilized legal system? I'm sure Saudi prisons are not fun places to be in. As I re-read the article, the part that reads "Those who are sentenced to death are often not informed of the progress of legal proceedings against them or of the date of execution until the morning on which they are taken out and beheaded. Crucifying the headless body in a public place...." is also extremely worrying. Funny how the West is much quieter regarding human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. Wouldn't have anything to do with oil, would it? hmmm.

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The man served 7 months of a 14 month prison sentence for the crime already. State sanctioned patalysis is sick beyond belief. Diplomatic relations should be stopped with a nation allowing this.

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I'm a doctor, not a butcher.

Then find a scientist or a skilled mortician, breaking things is easy enough with the proper motivation. Come to think of it a butcher may very well suffice, although using an unskilled person in lieu of a professional may equate to using a sledgehammer where a scalpel is needed and would significantly reduce the chance of survival.

If someone ran in to the road in front of your car causing you to swerve and knock down a child, would it be 'appropriate' if your punishment was to be placed in front of a speeding car?

I'm sure a wrench to the torso or extremities would be sufficient to remind one of their carelessness.

Well, how about prison as would be the case in a country with some sort of civilized legal system?

14 months for a lifetime of misery? I'd be angry at the prospect as well. Equal reciprocity is so much more fulfilling than modern justice, better results as well.

I'm sure Saudi prisons are not fun places to be in.

Good, in my honest opinion a prison should be a deplorable place with limited human contact, nutritious but near vomit inducing food, and only enough sunlight to remind a prisoner of what they have lost. The very idea of having television, books, exercise time, and conjugal visits are entirely counter to the soul breaking task a prison exists for. Utterly confounding.

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Empathy gone wrong? Nah, I am more inclined to think its just bloodlust. Cleo is right in pointing out that we don't why this happened. The article uses the word "attack", as if the man was paralyzed by a guy who came out of the blue. But it also says there was a "fight". So which is it?

But its no surprise that so many immediately jump to the defense of the guy who was paralyzed without even asking what role he played in his own situation. Imagine if he was outside some guy's house, hands all over his motorbike, apparently trying to steal it, when he got "attacked". Or imagine there was an argument and the guy now paralyzed threw a punch which led to the fight.

People who cannot be bothered to stop and consider their own ignorance of a situation make me ill. To wit:

tigermoth said: But if we could do this to child molesters (chop off their anatomy) I'd have no problem with that.

Not sure what part of Mary Kay LeTourneau you would chop off, but I think her husband might have a teensy problem with that.

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I see, Mistwizard.

So you're disgusted with people who think an eye for an eye is ok. But paralysis in return for a stolen motorbike or a punch is acceptable?

I'd say that's even worse. Better re-tool your argument.

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But paralysis in return for a stolen motorbike or a punch is acceptable?

I'd say we don't know enough. If the guy who stole the bike rode away at speed and in his haste to get away from the scene of the crime smashed the bike into a lamppost, maybe he doesn't 'deserve' any injuries he may suffer in the crash, but we can say that he brought his misfortune on himself.

In the case at hand, until we know more about the fight - who started it, why they started it, how it developed, etc - we cannot say whether the 'victim' deserved his injuries or whether the convicted man deserves to suffer similar injuries.

But a doctor who is willing to take blood money and use his skill to deliberately maim a person deserves to be struck off.

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sourpuss said: So you're disgusted with people who think an eye for an eye is ok. But paralysis in return for a stolen motorbike or a punch is acceptable?

Huh? Where did I say that? What I am saying is that this whole thing might have started from him defending his property and wound up being him defending his life. If someone were in my yard without permission, messing with my stuff, I would probably yell at him. But if he so much as lunged at me, that would be that. I would fight him off with everything I have and if I paralyzed him, I would not be sorry. Hindsight is 20/20, but you don't know why a strange person is on your property. It might be to steal your bike, kill you, or both.

Until I know what happened, I can't judge.

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cleo, mistwizard, ok.

It seems like everyone is spouting hypotheticals, so let's give it a rest. still, hypotheticals are interesting.

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The way I read it.

The court was asked to apply the "eye for an eye" judgement which is legal under sharia law. Court offered a "Blood Money" settlement common in cases where people demand a punishment higher than the court given sentence.

Family refused it and insisted on "Eye for an Eye", which put the court in a bind as they have to make it happen but can't find anyone willing/capable to do it.

As for the original sentence/case as Cleo said we ain't got all the details so no saying if it was fair or not.

Many islamic countries are stuck between tradition and trying to adjust to new methods/thinking, which usually gives rise to radical elements(Al Quaida, Taliban, etc) nothing new been going for atleast 100+yrs. BTW, Christianity got their equivalents in their history as do Jews, Buddhists, etc.

Naturally many radicals, free-thinkers leave their Home-shores for overseas trying to make a new home that suits them. Happened across the ages(American settlement, etc).

There is no answer to those problems, people have to sort it for themselves and many europeans understand it as we been through it a few times.

But apply the boot and try to force things and 9/11, parisian riots, etc will happen.

Just my view.

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People here are much less educated than people in the West. 4 out of 12 subjects in their final year in school have to do with their religion. Their views in everyday aspect of their life is somewhat different than ours. Example: some people prefer to visit the tribe doctor to perform a ritual skin heating/burning to treat a snake bite, rather than going to the hospital. Most die of course. Work is done for them by foreigners, Nepalis, Bangladeshi, Pakistani etc. There is no will for work unless it is some job in the police or the army. So, I assume this fascination with blood and this "eye for an eye" mentality is the least of their considerations. In short, they leave in the Old Testament world and this is not going to change any time soon. Dont get me wrong, this is their country and their life, so I would not want to impose my views on them. Rather, I would like to see all these people condoning these views on JT packing their bags and going to live in KSA. I am sure they will be happier living in a society ruled by clerics as opposed to a secular democracy. I live in Tabuk prefecture in Saudi Arabia should anyone want to know.

P.S. I thought that the jail system in the West was supposed to be aiming in reforming and educating convicts and not be "a deplorable place with limited human contact, nutritious but near vomit inducing food, and only enough sunlight to remind a prisoner of what they have lost".

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If there are still 'laws' that approve of such horrendous, revengeful 'punishments'in this world, it enables bloodthirsty 'victims' to feel entitled to them, and what if more and more of them came forward and reacted like that? The whole population would be either in hospitals, or dead; as 'accidents' or 'happenings' unfortunately are part of human life. The feeling of wanting to be avenged is understandable up to a point; but once their 'laws' approve mutilation and torture, they have ceased to be human. I think that those seeking such a manner of revenge are not going to be satisfied with it and will grow disgusted with themselves but it will be too late. They may kill themselves too.

What then separates humans from beasts?

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cleo said: But a doctor who is willing to take blood money and use his skill to deliberately maim a person deserves to be struck off.

Agreed, but even if he does it for free, feeling duty bound to participate in "justice". Heck, maybe even moreso if he does it for free!

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I don't see any problem with this, except in cases where guilt is not 100%. Eye for an Eye is acceptable in my books.

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TheQuestion at 12:16 PM JST - 21st August Good, in my honest opinion a prison should be a deplorable place with limited human contact, nutritious but near vomit inducing food, and only enough sunlight to remind a prisoner of what they have lost. The very idea of having television, books, exercise time, and conjugal visits are entirely counter to the soul breaking task a prison exists for. Utterly confounding.

Justice and prisons aren't about "soul breaking", they're about rehabilitation. Your approach would merely release hardened and desperate criminals back on the world. It's a down-hill slide from there. On the other hand if you take a damaged individual and rehabilitate them then society as a whole has gained and that individual can work to pay back their debts to their victims and society as a whole. That's justice, a life-time of working and paying back your debts. Trapping someone in a cell in darkness is just expensive, wasteful and stupid.

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