The Islamic law of retaliation provides a very effective means to put a stop to murder and safeguard human life. A person who shows callous disregard for human life loses all title to live in human society and Islam permits capital punishment in this case. However, pardon is permissible when circumstances are such that it is likely to bring good results for all parties involved. Islam differs from other Abrahamic faiths that have adopted opposite extremes of the criminal justice code. It neither recommends the Christian method of “turning thy cheek” towards every crime as this provides criminals the liberty to continue to murder and endangers society. Nor does Islam adopt the Judaic method of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” as this abolishes the concept of forgiveness. Islam takes the moderate approach in all matters. While Islam has made due provision for the suppression of crime, it has also kept the door open for the qualities of forgiveness and mercy.
Reference: The Holy Qur’an. Arabic Text with English Translation and Short Commentary. Edited by Malik Ghuram Farid. Ch.2, verse 180 – footnote 204A.