Apolitical Deconstruction

The title of this blog refers to my journey of self-transformation from someone loathe to publicly express his personal opinions on political matters to...well, keep reading and see!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

On the Execution of Children

Today, after reading a post by my friend Lady Sun, I emailed the following letter to the Supreme Ayatollah of Iran urging him to end his country's policy of allowing the execution of criminal offenders who are under the age of 18. I sent a similar but shorter letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (his web site email allowed only short messages).

I am against capital punishment in general, as I believe that it does not deter crime, but more importantly, a significant percentage of convicts on death row in the U.S. have been proven innocent by new evidence. There is no excuse for a just society to execute an innocent person! Further, I find it morally offensive to execute a child, a retarded person, or a mentally ill person, as they are not fully capable of understanding or taking responsibility for whatever crimes that they have committed. Here is a link to the specific information that Lady Sun posted if you would like to read it.

To: His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street
Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency,

I understand that Iran has signed international treaties that expressly prohibit the death penalty for crimes committed by those under the age of 18. I learned this from reading the following from Amnesty International:

"As a state party to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran has undertaken not to execute anyone for an offence committed when they were under the age of 18. Despite this, since 1990 Iran has executed at least 18 people for crimes committed when they were children.

In January 2005 the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child urged Iran to suspend the practice immediately. Nevertheless at least eight child offenders were executed that year, including two who were still under 18 at the time of their execution."

I am against the practice of capital punishment, and especially so when child offenders are the subjects. I respectfully urge you to please enforce the rules that Iran has pledged to uphold. I think this would be a very positive gesture that would show the world community that Iran is serious about respecting the human rights of its citizens.

Thank you for your attention to my concerns.