Capital punishment also known as Death penalty is a practice sanctioned by the state to put a person to death as a punishment for a crime. A prisoner who has been sentenced to death and awaits execution is commonly referred to as being “on death row”.
Capital crimes, capital offences or capital felonies are the crimes which are punishable by death. They vary depending on the jurisdiction, some of which are crimes against the person such as murder, mass murder, aggravated cases of rape (often including child sexual abuse), terrorism, aircraft hijacking, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, along with crimes against the state such as attempting to overthrow government, treason, sedition, and piracy, among other crimes. Also, in some cases, acts of recidivism, aggravated robbery, and kidnapping, in addition to drug trafficking, drug dealing, and drug possession, are capital crimes or enhancements.
- Arguments: In Favour of the Death Penalty
Safety and Welfare the citizens: Capital punishment is often offended on the grounds that society has a moral obligation to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens. Murderers threaten this safety and welfare. Only by putting murderers to death can society ensure that convicted killers do not kill again.
Good over Evil: Capital punishment is one such practise the society should support that will bring about a balance of good over Evil.
Deterrence (prevention): Capital punishment is often justified with the argument that by executing convicted murderers, it will deter murderers from killing people. It also provides closure for victims’ families.
Justice: Justice is a matter of ensuring that everyone is treated equally. It is very important that the society imposes punishment on the criminals equal and not less than what the innocent victims and their family has suffered. Society should not favour criminals by allowing them to get away with bearing fewer costs than what the victim has borne and suffered.
Retribution (Eye for an eye): People should get what they deserve in proportion to the severity of their crime. Criminals should get what they deserve and should suffer for their wrong doing in an appropriate manner.
- Arguments: Against the Death Penalty
Unjust to innocent people: The death penalty is also unjust because it is sometimes inflicted on innocent people. People go to death row because they have no money to appeal their case, or they have a poor defense, or they lack the funds or they are members of a political or racial minority.
Right to life (Article 21 of the Indian Constitution): Every human life is precious. The right to life is the most fundamental of rights. No state should be allowed to take it away easily.
Rehabilitation: Capital punishment doesn’t rehabilitate the prisoner and return them to society. Rehabilitation means restoration. A criminal can be by training and therapy help them and change them and their lives will be not wasted.
Evidence doesn’t confirm that deterrence works: Some of the executed may not have been capable of being deterred because of mental illness or defect. Death has been prescribed in rape cases since 2013 (Sec. 376A of IPC), still, rapes continue to happen and in fact, the brutality of rapes has increased. Thus death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime.
Retribution is immoral: People who oppose Capital punishment are of the view that retribution is immoral, and it is just a sanitized form of vengeance (a desire for revenge).
India is awaiting execution of Nirbhaya’s rapists, the inordinate delay in the execution of the death penalty has taken the sting out of the punishment. This is the reason why Hyderabad police encounter in Disha’s case was hailed by a large populace. Therefore there is a need to speed up investigations at the hands of a well trained and equipped police system supported by fast track trials to reinforce the faith of the public in our legal system.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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