CAPITAL PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE BANNED
Well, we all know What is Capital punishment. Don’t we?
What is Capital Punishment?
Basically, It is when a person guilty of heinous crimes particularly that of rape or murder is sentenced to death. In India capital punishment is carried out by hanging the accused by the neck till the person is alive no more. In developed countries, this could be substituted by the electric chair or shooting.
Capital punishment or the death penalty is a legal process whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime. The judicial decree that someone been punished in this manner is a death sentence, while the actual enforcement is an execution. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offenses. The term capital originates from the Latin word “capitalize”, literally meaning “regarding the head”.
21st November 2012 – was the last ever hanging that was carried out in India. Today seven years down the line several cases are pending at the desk of the president yet they lie untouched gathering volumes of dust as every president is skeptical about meddling with God’s most precious gift to mankind – Life.
In INDIA, Capital Punishment is a legal penalty. This penalty can be:-
- Death Penalty.
- Life Penalty.
If someone committed a severe crime then he will be punished by Capital Punishment. In the Death Penalty, the offender will be given the punishment of Death.
And in Life Penalty, the offender will be given the punishment for life, which means Life Imprisonment.
“I think capital punishment works great. Every killer you kill never kills again”.- Bill Maher
“One of the more difficult tasks for me as president was to decide on the issue of confirming capital punishment awarded by courts… to my surprise… almost all cases which were pending had a social and economic bias”.- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
“Capital punishment is as fundamentally wrong as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for poverty”.- Henry Ford
A famous saying about the life penalty “ It is a type of punishment in which offender goes vertically and comes out horizontally.”
STATISTICS – What Numbers have to Say?
Death penalty in India:
- Capital punishment is a legal penalty in India. Death penalty in India is given for the rarest of rare cases. The criteria for a crime being “rarest of rare case” has not been defined.
- At least 100 people in 2007, 40 in 2006, 77 in 2005, 23 in 2002, and 33 in 2001 were sentenced to death (but not executed), according to Amnesty International statistics.
- The Supreme Court in Mithu vs. State of Punjab struck down Section 303 of the Indian Penal Code, which provided for a mandatory death sentence for offenders serving a life sentence.
- In December 2007, India voted against a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.
- In November 2012, India again upheld its stance on capital punishment by voting against the UN General Assembly draft resolution seeking to end the institution of capital punishment globally.
- On 31 August 2015, the Law Commission of India submitted a report to the government which recommended the abolition of capital punishment for all crimes in India, excepting the crime of waging war against the nation or for terrorism-related offenses.
- The Law Commission report cited several factors to justify abolishing the death penalty, including its abolition by 140 other nations, its arbitrary and flawed application and its lack of any proven deterring effect on criminals.
- Many countries refuse to handover Indian fugitives because of the presence of capital punishment in India.
- India opposed a UN resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, as it goes against Indian statutory law and the sovereign right of every country to determine it’s own legal system.
DESCRIPTION – Let’s take a Deep Dive
Capital punishment or the death penalty is being imposed by the state as a punishment for the criminals of heinous offenses.
- The use of the death penalty was dropped in 140 countries. 7 countries retained it for the crimes committed in exceptional circumstances. 21 countries including India, are still using the death penalty as a punishment.
- The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution – ‘UN moratorium on the death penalty‘ in 2007. India voted against it.
- Another alternative to capital punishment is that of life imprisonment which is 14 years is in India. And for India, who is staggering with rising inflation and poverty, to feed and clothe the convicts is an extra expense they can be cut down upon. India is not a rich country and we are struggling with population issues already and to waste our limited natural resources on convicts is not sensible.
- Serving out capital punishment also helps in spreading fear in the minds of the people. They will hesitate and restrain from committing a crime and infiltrating on the rights of the people. Having a country that serves out capital punishment definitely brings about faith in the judicial system of a nation.
- When India was formed and Law was introduced to the land, punishments were dealt out to kill the criminal in the person, not the person. We seem to have forgotten what the motto of the judiciary system of India says: Whence Dharma, Thence Victory, which roughly translates to restoring order to the society and not eradicating the very person.
- We seem to have somewhere switched of the humanity in us while dealing with the convicts and we turn a blind side to the human within the convict and only highlight his crime. Yes, he has committed a crime but we cannot punish him by taking away his life that would never address the situation it would simply suppress it. One must deal with the crime and eradicate it from the criminal.
- Today technology is leaping in bounds and chains hence why should our judicial system be still plagued with age-old practices. Just like the dawning of democracy over monarchy similarly, other methods need to be adopted to instil a sense of restriction in the minds of the people to not meddle with the rights of individuals.
- Every individual alive has the right to live and only the giver has the right to take it away, hence no mere immortal shall possess such godly power. We should evolve with time and our practices should change with time.
- We should strive to love ourselves, to better our selves so that humanity can prosper.
In Favor of Capital punishment
- Capital punishment for criminals can act as a deterrent.
- If the criminals are allowed in society again, the security of citizens will be at stake.
- Saudi Arabia has a very low rate of crimes because it imposes the death penalty and severe punishments.
- Values and morals must be protected by imposing maximum punishment for criminals.
- The criminals, who are incapable of being reformed don’t deserve to live.
Against Capital punishment
Basically, there are four purposes of punishment – Reformation, Revenge, Protection, Deterrence.
- Reformation:- If the death penalty is imposed, there will be no chance of reformation.
- Revenge:- Revenge can be taken by other alternatives of punishment not just only by the death penalty. In fact, the death penalty will not let the criminal know the pain. Life imprisonment may fulfil this one.
- Protection:- Society must be protected from criminals. Life imprisonment also fulfils this purpose.
- Deterrence:- Statistics revealed that capital punishment could not decrease the no. of crimes.
- Capital punishment is irreversible. If the person is proved as innocent after the death penalty, there will be nothing left to be done. It happened in a significant no. of cases. Sparing the guilty person is better than taking the life of an innocent person.
- Taking immediate action on the criminals and imposing severe punishments can act as a deterrent, but not the death penalty
- .Capital punishment interprets society as violent cultured, bloodthirsty and revengeful.
- Justice will not be achieved by the death penalty. Instead, it will be achieved by reforming the person and giving sufficient punishment.
- Most people are not aware that life imprisonment is for a lifetime and not just for 14 years. Perhaps that is why many people are demanding the death penalty for the criminals.
- Criminals with no money are more likely to get capital punishment. We still don’t know how many of them were actually committed crimes and how many were trapped in it because of the poverty and the loopholes in the judiciary.
- If the person is on death row, a lot of appeals and petitions need to be appealed and in the Indian judicial system, it requires a lot of money. Thereby those, who can’t afford it have to face the death penalty. – Again inequality and discrimination. And it’ll also create a lot of pain for the criminal’s family.
- Indian Judiciary is not free from corruption, political power, money and muscle power. So, without eliminating these things or at least without reducing the impact of these things, the death penalty for individual crimes can’t be an appropriate punishment.
- Deciding the severity of punishment lies in the hands of the judges. There are no certain rules for deciding which cases are rarest of rare. This is a threat to democracy too. As far as this phenomenon continues, the death penalty for individual crimes may not be the correct option.
- The expenditure of Govt on the criminals, who are on death row is more than on the criminals, who are in life imprisonment
There are a lot of ethical dilemmas involved in capital punishment. In most cases, the death penalty can be avoided. Life imprisonment is the best alternative for capital punishment. By imposing life imprisonment, we can reform the person. Even if he is not reformed, life imprisonment can act as a severe punishment and also as a deterrent.
However, the criminals, who do heinous crimes and are incapable of being reformed must be given the death penalty, because they don’t deserve to live, not even in prison.
Aap Kya Sochte Ho?
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Author – Mayuri Aher
Scrutiny – Riya Chandra