Jul 092010

The good news today is that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani isn’t going to be buried up to her shoulders and stoned to death by Iranian men nursing erections: Iran woman escapes stoning death for adultery

Good news for the condemned and her family, not such good news for the people who had been looking forward to a good braining. And bad news for the Iranian justice system, which is showing that it can’t even stick to its own medieval principles. Simply cancelling the stoning is no good. Where’s the dignity in that? In other words, it’s not just Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani who needs a way out of this…

The punishment of stoning needs to be updated to fit with the times. Having a frothing mob hurl rocks at a woman half-buried and yelling until her eyes fall out is a process of law which means well, obviously, but it needs to be given a modern gloss. There should still be a place for cockstraining mob violence, for the S&M style semi-burial, for the hurling of rocks or “semen substitutes” as some people like to call them, and for the ancient and noble act of stoning to stay on the statute books where it belongs.

Let’s work with what we’ve got. The current stoning law states that: The stones used must be large enough to cause the condemned pain, but not sufficient to kill immediately. So, if we honour the desire not to cause immediate death, and extend the concept of pain to include annoyance & irritation, we can see a way forward…

Stoning” can become “gritting“.

The condemned adulterer or ankle-flasher should be buried up to the shoulders, as before, wailing and yelling to retain the authentic sense of impending mob horror, but the excited pack of justice dispensers should be given fistfuls of grit:

Or better – rock dust:

Still technically “stones”, still irritating for the condemned to have bits of rock dust in their hair, it might even sting a little on their cheeks, still unlikely to cause immediate death, still a public shaming ritual, still charmingly medieval in its format, and yet thoroughly modern in its mode of execution. And the aching fury of a repressed cock posse can be vented without uproar in the international community. Death by eye injury can be avoided by allowing the condemned eye protection — as modelled here by the Iranian president himself:

And death by sunstroke can be avoided by having one of the baying mob hold a parasol over the condemned until the punishment of “gritting” was done and dusted — something like what we see here, in a behind-the-scenes photo from the movie Caligula:

So there we have it. Mob justice with a modern twist. Everyone’s a winner!

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