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Family pardons murderer of American tutor

By AFP   |   28 January 2015   |   9:37 am  

RELATIVES of an American schoolteacher murdered in Qatar have told a court in the Gulf state they do not want her alleged killer to be executed as they are “not cruel”.

A judge in Qatar ruled on Sunday that the Pennsylvania-based family of Jennifer Brown could decide whether the Kenyan security guard charged with her murder should face the death penalty.

The family was also told that it was able to choose between compensation — “blood money” under Islamic law — or a pardon, the judge ruled.

One of Brown’s relatives told AFP that the family could not morally sanction use of the death penalty and wanted the security guard — who has yet to be convicted — to “get life” in prison.

“We don’t believe in taking life,” said Tricia Snisky, one of Brown’s two sisters.

“What he did was awful and horrendous but killing him wouldn’t bring Jennifer back. It does more harm.”

She added: “We don’t want somebody’s blood shed on our behalf. We are not cruel.”

Snisky said that the family was in the process of signing official papers for the Qatari court, expressing their desire for a life sentence.

Although the death penalty can still be handed down as a punishment in Qatar, it has been 12 years since the last execution took place.

Even if the security guard was to be pardoned it is likely he would face some form of custodial sentence, court officials said.

Brown, 40, was murdered in her company-provided home in November 2012.

She had only arrived in energy-rich Qatar two months earlier to teach at the English Modern School in the city of Al-Wakrah.

The security guard has reportedly confessed but the case has been subject to several delays.

Snisky criticised the length of time taken by the courts in Qatar to process the case.

“We are tired of it. It’s been dragging on for two years,” she said by telephone from her home in the town of Jim Thorpe. “We just want to close it and forget it as best as we can.”



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