There is an amazing amount of news coverage focusing upon capital punishment today – and it’s focus is Iran.  Right now, lawmakers in Iran – their legal representatives — are actually demanding that their political opposition leaders get the death penalty.   

Why?  Because these folk organized a number of anti-government rallies which took place yesterday in various cities throughout Iran, including Tehran. 

What were the rallies about? 

Gaining support for uprisings – like Egypt’s – against undemocratic government.   Specifically, the Iranian rallies yesterday were 10,000s of Iranians in the streets (Slate magazine is reporting 100,000s), protesting for the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down.   It’s still happening, apparently, and fatality reports are beginning to come in (two dead so far).

Specifically, there are lawmakers in this country that are demanding that two men, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, face the death penalty in a trial for sedition.  (What’s sedition? Stirring up rebellion against the government. )

And, get this:  the media is reporting that over 220 Iranian lawmakers have signed this demand and if you watch the news, you can see them yelling "Death to Mousavi! Death to Karroubi!" 

Meanwhile, under the American system of government….

Consider by comparision that another ongoing death penalty news story this week is whether or Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois will veto abolishing the death penalty in that state.  The governmental process in action, in our country. 

We’re in a bad recession here, some call it a depression.  We’ve got threats inside and out and there are lots of things to fight about here in the United States.  True, we may have sent innocent men to their deaths before DNA testing arrived, and if we aren’t careful, we still may.

But today, as the death penalty gets tossed around cavalierly in the Iranian political arena, it’s a good time to set back and appreciate the system of justice we do have.  It’s not perfect, but go set in any death penalty criminal trial, guilt phase or penalty phase, and it’s clear that our nation does respect the finality of a death sentence, and we do appreciate mercy, in a very worthy way.