Experts discuss legal, religious dimensions of death penalty

Keeping or abolishing the death penalty in Palestine was discussed in a lecture held on March 23, 2017 organized by the Department of Law at Birzeit University and the Italian Development Cooperation.

Nasser Al Qarm, a member of the Court of Judicial Appeal, explained the Sharia dimensions of capital punishment. “Islam says that capital punishment is a most severe sentence but one that may be ordered by a court in response to crimes of suitable severity. But even though the death penalty is not forbidden, forgiveness is preferable. Forgiveness, together with peace, is a predominant Qur'anic theme.”

Public prosecutor Muthana Zubeidi talked about the legal dimensions of capital punishment in Palestine. The death penalty in Palestine, according to Zubeidi, is enshrined in its statutes, which are based on Jordanian law. He added that it also may be imposed pursuant to the PLO Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979, the Code of Criminal Procedure of 2001, in addition to international agreements ratified by the Palestinian government that establish the legal framework for implementing capital punishment in Palestine, within the confines of international law.

Zubeidi stated that the Palestinian judicial system requires that the sentence of death be unanimous and must be ratified by the president of Palestine.