On April 15, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle brought to a close the tragic story of Noor Al-Maleki with the sentencing of her father, Faleh Hassan Al-Maleki, to 34 ½ years in prison. Judge Steinle, a respected jurist on all sides of the bench, made an uncharacteristically emotional statement to Faleh with his decision.
Although well intended, Judge Steinle's remarks ventured into many theological, cultural and social areas from which he should have steered clear. His comments only exacerbated the harm done by the jury with their conviction on the lesser charge of second-degree murder. Combined, these decisions are a significant blow to America's messaging against honor killings.
Judge Steinle is correct to state that the Quran says "nothing at all about carrying out vengeance in order to gain back honor in some way." He was still misguided to assert that it was not an honor killing.