In August of 2020 Rahma was returning home late from work, while passing through Ain Zagouan in Tunis, she was stopped by a man who proceeded to rape her, kill her, then later would mutilate the body and throw it in the river (as far as I remember the case that’s what happened).
A crime the least we can say about it is how much it was horrific, barbaric and how much the person who committed it was cleansed of any bit of sympathy and humanity.
As some of you might expect, this particular crime caused public outrage and massive campaigns (some of them supported by the media) advocating for the capital punishement on the committer (Capital Punishement refers to execution) so he can pay his debt for society, meaning to suffer the consequences for his horrible actions.
Even the president of the republic (himself a respected lawyer and professor) publicly supported the idea that this person should be put to death.
I shared my opinion on social media back then concerning this case and if you know me well, you know that I oppose any kind of Capital Punishement.
This would later cause an outrage in my comment section and stir accusations of me having no sympathy nor a sense of justice whatsoever, However I did not dive deep into these debates knowing such discussions in comment sections end up to be steril most of the times.
Today I wanted to articulate my opinion in a clearer manner, then it’s for you at the end of this article, dear reader, to decide.
Now in this article I will not be arguing whether murderers should keep their lives or not but whether capital punishement should be preformed on them or not ( if you didn’t get it stick with me until the end.)
To officially restore the Capital Punishement, we all have to agree that no entity should enforce it other than the government itself.
The case gets puzzling here because a great majority of the people who advocated for capital punishement back when this case surfaced are people, who oppose the government, who think the system is corrupt and the government is not efficient.
If you are on of these people, my question to you is: If you don’t trust the government when it comes to funding, managing resources, education, health care system then how can you trust the government to carry the execution of someone ?
Let’s say now, hypothetically the government was honest 100% of the time.
But in this case, not only we have to trust the government but we also have to trust the people carrying out the investigations, in other words the Police.
When it comes to investigations, in our country let’s not deny the fact that our forensic tools are way too dated and unefficient even for getting fingerprints, (you can look it up on how much in our country fingerprints were crucial for solving a murder case which is nearly Null).
But supposing the Police had good forensic tools, that’s still not enough to trust them.
Multiple Times in our countries and around world police were accused and convicted for acts of violence against suspects in order to get a written and signed confession from them, multiple of them were proven innocent after they were convicted of these crimes.
The reason for this, is when a murder occurs, there is a pressure put on the police to solve it as quickly as possible in order to not deter tourists, citizens or cause a public outrage and in multiple cases, police would beat their way into a confession from an innocent man just to relief that pressure.
Earlier we also talked about how forensics were unefficient in some cases which leaves with the only ways to solve murders are witnesses, footages or physical evidence.
Let’s tackle them one by one: first witnesses over the course of years have proven to sometimes indentify the wrong person in court which reasonable since they witnessed a traumatic event, it’s natural to mistake or forget some of the details.
2nd is video footage: now it is mandatory to mention that video editing technology is advancing year after and in the near future a camera footage wouldn’t be a strong evidence as it could be easily edited and manipulated.
which leaves us only with physical evidence which could be fabricated (there several CCTV footages online showing police planting drugs to wrongfully convict people, then what would stop them from planting evidence for a murder ?), also evidence could be missed in some cases which makes pretty skeptical about it.
Some of you until this point of the article would rush and say that in this case I’m saying the juridical system is useless and some of the convicted people for all crimes are innocent, to you I would reply: “Stick with me.”
I’m not defending most criminals or saying they are wrongfully accused however if you put someone to death, you are leaving 0 chances that this person might turn out to be innocent, therefore leaving the chances that might be wrongfully convicted, However if this person went to prison instead of the noose, if a new evidence or confession surfaced around his case and his proven to be innocent, he could be let out and compensated but not if killed.
Now some of you would say, that most of the killers are now in prison being cared for, recieving food, water and a bed to sleep on, which costing the country a lot of money.
To this claim I reply that people sentenced to death are not immediately executed, they are kept for decades since a lot of paper work and proccedures have to be done before putting someone to death, meaning they will be under the state’s care for a very long time even if sentenced to death, which leaves that argument pretty unvalid.
Now a lot of people think that the death sentece would deter crime and decrease it, that’s why they are in favor of it, to these people I reply: there is no evidence in the world supporting that claim; there are no statistics or studies showing that enforcing capital punishement makes crime decrease.
I want to mention also that most murders are committed under certain circumstances in an impulsive manners and most murderers would not think about the consequences of their murder at the instant of the killing whether it’s death or life in prison. and the people that reflect upon have the belief that they will never be even caught by the police so that’s still an unvalid argument.
Other people claim that if the death sentence was a punishement to other crimes such as rape or robbery (which are less violent than murder) this would lead these crimes to decline which again is not the case.
In that case if thieves, rapists and murders were all sent to death then if someone commits a rape, what would stop him from killing the victim after that, since both crimes have the same punishement and if the victim survived they are now a witness, thus it might make murder increase rather than decreasing for example rapes and robberies.
One argument is now left to debunk, which by killing the murderer we are providing justice and closure for the victim’s family and friends, and when I expressed my opinion on social media some people told me to imagine if Rahma was my sister or my mother.
Well if someone killed a close person to me at the instance I would wish that all types of pain be inflected on that person at that instance but with time I will learn that the killing the murderer would not make feel better on the long run or bring back my loved ones.
To back up this point, a study was done both sides of families who experienced a closed one being murdererd, a side had the criminal undergo the death penalty, the other side did not have the capital punishement where they lived therefore the murderer sentenced to life in prison.
This study showed that the death penalty gives no sense of closure nor satisfaction to the victim’s family on the long term.
To close this article, the research made and the facts cited all above makes me more than sure that capital punishement is not idealistic to tackle murder, and i’m not talking about the moral side to this punishment but the amount of risk we might be taking in implementing this law: a risk that consists of the possibility of political abuse of the law, convicting innocent people and raising murder rate in some cases.