Countless studies conducted have failed to demonstrate that capital punishment acts as a deterrent to violent crimes. US states that don’t have the death penalty have much lower murder rates, while the southern states have the highest murder rate and 80% of executions have been carried out there, although, it must be said, actual executions are waning.

Victim of Jihad: The Life and Death of Charles de Foucauld

Today, there is talk of war, of jihad, reports of hostage taking, unspeakable atrocities and, now, a hellish public slaying. Almost a century ago there was similar talk. The war in question, however, was the Great War, and, on that occasion, the public slaying was not that of a Western journalist but of a Frenchman named Charles de Foucauld.

Born, on September 15, 1858, into a wealthy aristocratic family, de Foucauld was to have an unhappy childhood. His father suffered from depression, his mother was left to raise the boy and his elder sister. The cloud that hung over the home finally burst when, aged only six-years-old, the boy lost both parents in a matter of months. Any pretense at a normal life was now ended.

The child, willful from the start, was sent away to school by relatives. It proved of little value, he learnt virtually nothing, but he didn’t need to, for, in just a few years he would be rich. He studied little other than the cuisine that was on offer, gaining the name of a glutton. By then an agnostic, it wasn’t long before other desires surfaced and, in turn, enslaved him.

With family honor at stake, he was sent into the army: good for nothing else, the opinion was that the military would instil some discipline. Their hopes proved unfounded as his indiscipline continued. The endless stationary hours of barrack life only appeared to make matters worse with his attention now solely focused on pleasure. To his family, he was fast becoming an embarrassment, to the military a liability.

When at last the call came for his regiment to leave France for Algeria, he was excited. For all his debauched ways, he still wanted to be a soldier. This did not last for long though as he insisted on taking along his latest mistress. By now, his military superiors had had enough. On her discovery, de Foucauld was dismissed in disgrace from the army.
To read the rest of this fascinating story of how Charles’s life turned into a life of prayer and sacrifice, eventually leading to his death go to:

Pregnant Sudanese woman sentenced to 100 lashes and hanging for being Christian

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag is a 27-year-old Sudanese woman who was raised an Orthodox Christian by her mother. In 2011, she married a Christian man and had a child with him; she is now eight months pregnant with her second child.

This week, she was sentenced to 100 lashes and execution by hanging — all because her absent father was Muslim.

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Iranian mother stops the execution of her son’s murderer, chooses forgiveness instead

Seven years ago, 18-year-old Abdollah Hosseinzadeh was fatally stabbed during a street brawl in Royan, a small town in the northern province of Mazandaran. His attacker, another young man known only as Balal, was sentenced to hanging by public execution. Hosseinzadeh’s parents were allowed to participate by knocking out the chair that would support him.

When the moment finally came this week, Balal, who wore a black hood over his face, and the crowd that had gathered to watch waited for the drop. Hosseinzadeh’s mother approached the gallows.

She didn’t kick. Instead, she slapped him.

Hosseinzadeh’s father then removed Balal’s noose.

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