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Jordanians' response to executions mixed

Jordan’s execution of 11 prisoners last month took the kingdom by surprise and drew a mixed response, including among the royal family, with one prince criticizing it as a “step backward” for the country.
Jordanian prison guards stand guard at Um Alluol prison in the city of Mafraq, northeast of Amman, August 7, 2012. Jordan's prison administration have taken an initiative, which allows prisoners to have meals with their families, and also presenting them with gifts and incentive awards for their participation in activities at the prison, during the month of Ramadan. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN - Tags: CRIME LAW SOCIETY) - RTR36EPW

AMMAN, Jordan — The execution of 11 convicted murderers by hanging on Dec. 21 brought an end to an informal eight-year moratorium on capital punishment in Jordan, which is now gearing up for a new round of executions, an official source familiar with the situation told Al-Monitor.

All the executed men were between the ages of 30 and 40 and had been convicted by the Criminal Court between 2004 and 2005 for committing violent, premeditated murders, some multiple murders. A royal decree was required to proceed with the executions, which although in line with Jordan’s conservative religious community and tribal customs, set a precedent in the Western-backed kingdom’s recent history: Never before had more than three people been executed at once.

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