Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Look we're all against sin....but....
Penalty for Adultery could be LIFE in Michigan
Pakistan is under a fairly strict form of Shari'a law, and the prison term for adultery is only FIVE YEARS, Pakistan is an oppressive Islamic state ruled by a dictator, this law in Michigan is in the supposedly 'loose' 'immoral' and 'free' West, where matters like Adultery are a matter not usually of criminal law. I think the criminal law needs to concern itself more with rape, spousal abuse, child abuse, burglery, than with adultery which is the problem of the adults involved! jebiga!
In the most backward of Muslim countries the only time death is the penalty for adultery (officially at least! I'm speaking here STRICTLY on the legal system, not on customs of people who may commit 'honor killings'!) is in the case of a married partner, man or woman a married adulterer is beheaded. A single person, man or woman used to be punished by 100 lashes, usually the full sentance isn't carried out, if the person shows signs of repentance, and the only permanant problem is that a person who has committed adultery probably won't be able to marry someone respectable. Prison enters into the picture in places like Pakistan, and even there, it's 5 years not LIFE!
I am not here defending adultery by any means, just stating that the punishment is disproportionate to the crime, and that by comparison with other legal systemns it's excessive.
The other thing to note is that it's not at all unusual in situations of adultery for one party to lie to the other as to their marital status. In fact it's probably the rule rather than the exception!
Someone who commits rape and gives someone AIDS is probably going to get a lesser sentence, and that makes me mad, because I consider that far more damaging to people and to society, adultery is usually a hidden crime and the parties hiding it mitigates the social disruption it can cause, rape however is physically, emotionally and spiritually and socially damaging to the victim. People who have raped small children, in my opinion the most disgusting form of rape, are out and about after very short times in prison and not all that well monitored. At least adulters are invovled with people their own age most of the time.
I think the usual messy and expensive divorce case is sufficient punishment frankly.
I do think that the aggrieved party has a right to divorce the perpetrator, and to take them as is said so charmingly by Americans 'to the cleaners'
This kind of law is based on religious values, and basically in American law, basing a law on religion is un-Constitutional. There is a separation between Church and State here.
I would even venture to say that on religious grounds from a Christian perspective this law is excessive.
There is the famous story in the Bible of Jesus saving the woman caught in adultery from being stoned to death by saying 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone'
Bad as adultery is, sordid as it is, disruptive as it is, there are worse sins and crimes.
One friend of mine says lots of old laws are on the books and that these old laws are too expensive to remove. That too is wrong. Having stupid laws or outdated laws brings law into disrepute, and that's never a good thing!