February 26, 2010

Muslims Exempt from Death Penalty in U.S.?

This question is asked by Robert Spencer in an article at Human Events of which commenter Bruce Church made us aware:
Last October there was another in the growing number of Islamic honor killings in the United States when a Muslim in Peoria, Arizona, Faleh Almaleki, got into his Jeep Cherokee and ran down his twenty-year-old daughter Noor, as well as her boyfriend’s mother, Amal Khalaf.

Noor died not long thereafter, and Faleh Almaleki was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault and two counts of leaving the scene of a serious accident. But prosecutors announced this week that he will not face the death penalty – it wouldn’t be multicultural.

Faleh Almaleki’s lawyer, public defender Billy Little, requested that the death penalty not be sought in this case because County Attorney Andrew Thomas is a Christian and Almaleki is a Muslim: “An open process provides some level of assurance that there is no appearance that a Christian is seeking to execute a Muslim for racial, political, religious or cultural beliefs.”

And indeed, the County Attorney’s office ultimately decided not to seek the death penalty, although it denied that Little’s request had anything to do with the decision: “The defendant is charged with first degree murder and, if convicted, will spend the rest of his life in prison,” said County Attorney Office spokesman Mike Scerbo. “As is in all first degree murder cases, the decision on whether to seek the death penalty is made on a case by case basis. Cultural considerations played no part in the decision not to seek the death penalty.”

This denial, however, did not ring true in light of the calculated nature of Almaleki’s actions: “By his own admission,” said county prosecutor Stephanie Low, “this was an intentional act, and the reason was that his daughter had brought shame on him and his family."
So far so good and now for something (to me) totally incomprehensible. The county prosecutor goes on to say:
"This was an attempt at an honor killing.”
What does this mean? As the killer doubtlessly DID murder his daughter, what was the "attempted" bit? This may express doubts about the "honour killing" quality of the murder, but then it either IS one or it ISN'T, but it's not an "attempt at an honour killing". Or am I, as a non-native speaker, missing a point here or a detail of the American law?

Robert Spencer continues:
If a cold-blooded, premeditated murder doesn’t warrant the death penalty, what murder does? If the death penalty is to be applied or contemplated at all, one would be hard-pressed to find a case more appropriate than one in which a father murders his daughter freely, not in the heat of passion, and with full intentionality, because she does not share his values.


This is a human rights issue that ought to merit the attention of anyone who cares for the lives lost to this barbaric practice. Yet American law enforcement officials are doing nothing to call Muslim communities in this country to teach against and work against this practice. And relativist multiculturalists like Billy Little seem to think that taking a strong stand against honor killing would be an illegitimate imposition of Christian values upon a Muslim.


... For the first time, the idea that all are not equal before the law, but that some are more equal than others, has been given credence by an American court. Despite the County Attorney’s Office denials, a precedent has been set that Islamic pressure groups are certain to exploit to the hilt.
I think it goes even beyond the politically correct attempt at preventing an illegitimate imposition of Christian values upon a Muslim. It takes ill will of Christans towards Muslims per se for granted, which is such a deliberate, evil, perverted perception of reality, that it defies belief.


Universal Realist said...

I think this is another case of Political Correctness. As well as the fear we will anger Muslims if this guy received a death sentence.

The idea of our laws is not to discriminate. Premeditated murder is premeditated murder. The law is the law regardless of race, sex or religion. But what the idea is not the reality.

This whole thing is about not wanting to look like Christian persecution of Muslims is a bunch of crap. We are supposed to have separation of Church and State. There would be no question about the death penalty if this were a Christian on Christian murder or Christian on atheist murder or atheist on Christian murder or atheist on atheist murder.

Noooo, we have to be sensitive because we don’t want to piss off Muslims any more than they are with us. Look I have no problem with Muslim or anyone wanting live in America as long as the remember they chose to leave their own country’s laws and come here to live. And our laws trump their religious or cultural laws. So they need to accept our laws just has I have too or they should consider America is not the place for them. Why should I have to live by different laws or receive a different punishment in my own country than someone else because of their religion or culture? Hell, I don’t even like the whole diplomatic immunity thing.

The_Editrix said...

Whether one supports the death penalty or not, fact is, that IF it is applied at all, it would be certainly applicable -- no, mandatory -- here. Robert Spencer says (emphasis added by me): "If the death penalty is to be applied or contemplated at all, one would be hard-pressed to find a case more appropriate than one in which a father murders his daughter freely, not in the heat of passion, and with full intentionality, because she does not share his values."

And what is worst, they will despise us all the more for it. (And I don't even want to know what atrocities are commited under the cover of diplomatic immunity.)

bruce-church said...

The "attempt at honor killing" statement was made by a prosecutor before the victim had died:

"Noor Faleh Almaleki, 20, had been in a coma for nearly two weeks":

bruce-church said...

Another example of little assimilation of Muslims in Germany. A Turk was a salesman since moving to Germany in 1991, and he still had to speak through a translator. Here's the honor killing story:


The_Editrix said...

Bruce, thank you for the clarification of the "attempted" bit. How stupid of me. I could have found out that she wasn't killed instantaneously.

In Germany, there are about 10 "honour killings" every year with an estimated large number of unreported or unrecognised crimes that would qualify as "honour killings". That is frightening. Acoording to a poll from 2006, 30 percent pf all Turkish university undergraduates think that "honour killing" is legitimate. I don't think the man who hasn't learned to speak German after 20 years in the country is the worst problem. That is the seeminly assimilated and well-adjusted one who will become a radical Muslim at the drop of a hat.

For some reason unbeknownst to me, your Technorati comment doesn't appear. Well, I looked at the first pages of the Technorati ranking list and then I searched individually for blogs, that might make a good comparison. As the number of blogs listed is in the seven figure range, there is no chance of just skimming through the list.

The_Editrix said...

"For some reason unbeknownst to me, your Technorati comment doesn't appear."

Awmegawd, I'm getting totally senile it seems. Of course it appeared ... under the entry to which it applied.

Alligator said...

It is interesting to note the selective outrage the news media has. When there is one death by a gun, there is an immediate hue and cry to ban all ownership of firearms. When there is an "honor" killing, there may be some shock, but then we have to analyze it, try to understand it, explain it away as a "cultural difference" we should tolerate (at least not condemn outright).

Where is the outrage over a culture that wants to bring such a vile practice as honor killings to our nations?

This Blogger said...

Not for nothing, but even if they sought the death penalty in this case, they probably couldn't have made the case. Each state has different requirements for what qualifies a 1st-degree murder case as a death penalty case. Arizona's laws (found here: law.findlaw.com/state-laws/capital-punishment/arizona/) define capital murder as:

"Previous capital convictions or homicides; previous conviction of a "serious offense"; previous felonies with use or threat of violence; knowingly created grave risk of death to persons in addition to victim; procured commission of offense by payment; especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner; adult person and victim under 15 or over 70; victim on duty peace officer and defendant knew or should have known; in custody of state dept. of corrections, law enforcement agency or jail at time of homicide."

You could maybe try to argue that this was especially heinous (I mean, obviously it was), but I think the law's talking about, like, torture.

Anyway, interesting stuff.