All over Saudi Arabia, Twitter users have voiced their outrage to a sentence, which was presented to Fayhan al-Ghamdi for the torture and murder of his 5-year old daughter, Lama. Although the country of Saudi Arabia has primarily been seen as one that favors the death penalty, al-Ghamdi was sentenced to eight years in prison and 600 lashes. Several social media users have compared the injustice of the sentence provided to the preacher with minimal crimes, which have received almost a similar punishment. Recently, a Saudi activist was convicted and sentenced to almost a similar punishment for violating an anti-cybercrime law. However, just a year ago a Saudi Arabian mother was sentenced to the death penalty for the torture and ultimate death of her seven-year old stepdaughter. Why should this situation be treated any differently?
Unlike the somewhat lenient sentence provided to al-Ghamdi, in the United States most sentences for first degree murder vary between which state the crime occurs in. If a suspect commits a first degree crime in a state such as Florida, the suspect will either be condemned to the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. Other states provide sentencing of a first degree murder in two-tiers, depending on the ability of the prosecution to prove that certain factors were present. The first tier offers a range of years up to and including life in prison. Those who fall into the second tier face much graver circumstances. This tier involves the options of either life without possibility of parole or the death penalty.
What do you think the appropriate punishment for a crime such as this should be? Could it be that his sentence was at a lesser degree then others because he is a popular activist who has been seen on many televised shows? Do you think that cultural differences should play a role when it comes to sentencing?