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Opinion » Lead

Updated: October 3, 2013 00:16 IST

Why capital punishment must go

Satyabrata Pal
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When a death sentence is given to satisfy the “collective conscience of the community,” it raises troubling questions about the fairness of the trial

The verdict of death for the bestial gang rape in Delhi last December is based on Supreme Court judgments, which stipulate that capital punishment will be imposed in “the rarest of rare” cases, where the community’s “collective conscience is so shocked that it will expect the holders of the judicial power centre to inflict death penalty” because of the abhorrent nature of the crime, which would include “the manner of the commission of the murder,” for instance, “if it was committed in an extremely brutal, grotesque, diabolical, revolting or dastardly manner,” or where the victim was “subjected to inhuman acts of torture or cruelty in order to bring about his or her death.”

Dangerous

There are several dangers in a process in which a life is taken because that is what the community wants, as in the Roman amphitheatre, where the mob decided if the defeated gladiator should die. Apart from turning the judiciary into a khap panchayat, how does this august fraternity commune with the community, or divine that its conscience wants blood? In the 21st century, flooded as it is with 24-hour television and social media on tap, outrage can be manufactured, reality distorted. Even when, as after the Delhi crime, the revulsion was real and widespread, how does the judiciary determine that those who were shocked would only recover with the deaths of those who had shocked them? Diplomats, who must assess the mood of the country they are posted in, take it as given that the media only partially reflects it, since the strident few drown out the diffident majority. An Embassy spreads its tentacles wide, speaking to and gauging the mood of people in different sectors, levels and locations, to understand what they really want. No judge can do this. What a judge takes as the collective conscience of the community can only be the slant carried by the media. To base decisions on life and death on this is injudicious.

Secondly, what is the community whose conscience the judge must tap into and channel into a pronouncement of death? For a sessions judge, it will presumably be that of the local community. If that judgment is overturned on appeal, it can either mean that the judge had misread that conscience, or that the High Court felt that the conscience of the larger community of the State did not want blood. If the Supreme Court reinstated the death sentence, this would presumably mean that the national conscience was at one with the local, but that of the State concerned was out of step with both. Which is the segment of the community to whose conscience judges must defer? Logically, it should be the one most affected, which would imply that no sentence of death from a sessions court should be overturned. How does a judge in the State or Central capital determine that the local community had not been galvanised into bloodlust?

But what would happen, for instance, in the cases that should shortly come to trial for the murders in the recent communal violence in U.P.? The most appalling cruelty is committed during communal riots. One of the criteria invoked in the Delhi judgment to justify the death sentence, the barbaric and revolting nature of the murder, would apply. In these cases, however there would be no collective conscience to consult, since the community is split in two. Each half would demand the death sentence for the murderers from the other community, but mourn its own murderers as martyrs if they were hanged. In these cases, therefore, where one of the criteria laid down by the Supreme Court conflicts with the other, which will prevail?

Nor should we forget that, while the use of torture to bring about death is rare in crimes committed by individuals, it is routinely practised by the army and the paramilitary in States wracked by political violence. Unaccounted numbers of Kashmiris disappeared into the maws of Papa-II, the infamous torture chamber run by the paramilitary in Srinagar. Those bodies that were recovered bore marks of the most terrible torture. Very large numbers disappeared forever. To say that the collective conscience of the Kashmiri Muslim community is merely shocked would be an insult. It has lived with rage, pain and a searing sense of injustice for two decades; its tormenters have escaped with impunity, because the collective conscience of the rest of the country has not even been stirred.

Across our subcontinent, in Manipur, similar cases abound, including that of Thangjam Manorama, taken from her home in Imphal late at night by a unit of the Assam Rifles, led by two Majors, tortured with a knife, forced into her genitals in the presence of her family, tortured even more brutally later, raped and shot. Her body was not received by dignitaries, it was found lying in a ditch. There have been many other killings like this, but this one, like the gang rape case in Delhi, set off a storm, leading to a “naked protest” by Manipuri women in front of the paramilitary camp. If any crime matched both the criteria invoked in the Delhi judgment, the bestiality of the murder and the collective indignation it produced, this one did. However, the officers and men responsible are immune because the army’s Court of Enquiry held they were all innocent.

Justice not blind

These communities, and the tribals in the naxal belt, will argue bitterly that justice is not blind; it sees who you are and where you come from and, in its scales, the collective conscience of the community only registers when it has political weight. If you are a Kashmiri or a Manipuri, your shock is gossamer.

One of the crimes that the Supreme Court has laid down as likely to shock the collective conscience of the community is a “murder committed in the course of betrayal of the motherland.” It appears murders committed in its ostensible defence do not shock. Patriotism is the last refuge of the serial torturer. If he walks free, though, why should others hang?

There is a further danger. Because public opinion is manipulated with modern technology, the outrage which the judiciary will interpret as an indignation that must be assuaged with blood can only be provoked by the technically adept, or those with the money to influence the media. The men sentenced to death in Delhi, and those hanged over the last year, were mostly from the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society. Neither they nor their families had the financial or technical means to harness the media or the social media in their defence. There is, therefore, an inevitable class bias built into a process where a judge pronounces the verdict of death on the basis of a public outpouring of rage, which the accused have no means of contesting.

The brutality that brings their crimes into the ambit of the rarest of rare is bred into their lives. They have gone to bed hungry as children, suffered illnesses without medicine, defecated in the open, been savaged on the whims of adults, treated like dirt. Compassion has never touched them. Life has beaten sensitivity out of them. Men forced to live like brutes will kill like brutes. When these men, society’s victims, find a victim, they take a lifetime’s frustrations out on him or her. Their murders and rapes are unlikely to be refined. Their brutality might appal a court and nauseate the middle class, by whose standards they are judged, but it is a product of what the community has made of them. This is what should shock the collective conscience of the community.

Lastly, and most troublingly, if a man is to be hanged because the judge feels that the collective conscience is so shocked that it will expect him to inflict the death penalty, can a trial be fair, with the accused presumed to be innocent until he is proven guilty? If, before the trial starts, society has already made up its mind, in the judge’s view, that it will only be satisfied with the death penalty, it has also determined who the guilty are. It is hard to believe that a judge can hear a case entirely on merits, and take popular sentiment into account only at the verdict. On the contrary, if it is now the law that a judge must impose the death penalty in cases where he has concluded that the community demands it, he would be shirking his duty if he were to absolve the men on trial, denying the community, whose servant he is, the satisfaction of a human sacrifice.

When the Supreme Court decreed that the death penalty should be imposed only in the rarest of rare cases, it tried, humanely and honourably, to prevent a rash of judicial killings, but the criteria it has laid down inherently lead to decisions that are, in every sense, fatally subjective. The road to the gallows might be paved with its good intentions, but on matters of life and death, the law cannot be so cruelly flawed.

Tarquin, Auden famously wrote, was ravished by his post-coital sadness. Is the “community” in India ever choked by a post-garroting remorse? Conscience is the uncomfortable reminder that we have done something wrong.

In a nation that aspires to be a modern democracy and claims to be a modern incarnation of the most ancient living civilisation, the death penalty is a barbaric anomaly. It is time the collective conscience of the community repudiated it.

(Satyabrata Pal is a Member of the National Human Rights Commission. These views are personal)

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capital punishment is absolute necessary but not for cases where the verdict has to be based on circumstantial evidence. Age should not be a
factor when the crime is major like murder, rape, or terrorist and sedition activities. A criminal is a just a criminal. Neither the society nor his background can be an excuse. There is no juvenile crime or adult crime. Fire does not discriminate whether a child or an adult come in contact. Justice must be sharp and swift. one third of our population must be in police force.

from:  sankar
Posted on: Oct 5, 2013 at 22:11 IST

I mean no offense, i wonder whether the author would still stand to his view when
his daughter or his wife or his mother gets raped by the way DEC delhi gang rape
happened..

from:  SUJAY
Posted on: Oct 5, 2013 at 19:38 IST

Death penalty is a a great necessity in a barbaric society we live in
today, which simply promotes self-interest. This leads to widespread
lust, envy & greed inflicting minds of people. Everyone lives without
a common centre(god is the best centre), hence conflict of interest is
bound to happen. And depending on a person's previous conditioning,
he'll react. When they commit a brutal crime - rape, murder- they
MUST be hanged.

The law is not only there to punish the wrong but to protect the
innocent. I know our nation led by people like you, aspiring to be a
"modern society" is something we cant help, but until the "old
righteous society" is re-established, death penalty is an utmost
necessity! We need at least 10-20 death penalties every year. The
society has never been more chaotic in human history!

But rest assured, There's a storm coming!

from:  Prasad
Posted on: Oct 5, 2013 at 09:02 IST

As long as any human commits any inhuman acts against another, no matter what the cause is (mind you , there is always a cause, personal or collective), he is deemed fit to face the punishment, if the Crime seems so rare for any Judge (mind you they see a lot of cases)that they pronounce a capital punishment,then He/She deserves it!!! I am for capital Punishment in those cases

from:  Indian
Posted on: Oct 5, 2013 at 02:54 IST

If we think, killing is totally unjustifiable, we can't even kill
mosquitoes. This article says 1) There are many criminals roaming
free 2) When we catch criminals, let us not punish them 3) Let them
feel free till we catch all the remaining ones 4) Finally, find out
what punishment can be given without hurting them. 5) Obviously,
those victims of crimes deserve what they got, don't waste time
talking about them.

from:  Raja
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 17:14 IST

Awarding a death penalty is always a wrong decision though the case had evoked
nationwide outrage in India and led the Indian government to bring in a stringent
anti-rape law.
The only moral justification for killing a person is direct self-defence. When a
criminal is defined in prison, he does not threaten society, so killing him is not
justified by self-defence. And even if capital punishment deters others from
committing similar crimes, this would be an indirect defence against murder rather
than directly from the criminal being killed. Direct self-defence implies killing
someone who himself, at that time, is a threat to other persons, and this precludes
taking human life just for punishment.
Some studies have concluded that capital punishment is not a greater deterrent
than imprisonment. Even if the death penalty deters crime, deterrence alone does
not justify the penalty. Deterrence has to be balanced with the human rights that
even criminals have.
I am of the opinion, capital punishment is morally wrong, then to deliberately kill
someone, who has already been captured and no longer a direct threat to society,
is murder.
Capital punishment gives the government the legal right to commit first-degree
murder. What kind or moral message does that send? That murder can be proper.
We might debate over the circumstances of when murder is proper, but having
established the principle that murder is not absolutely wrong, the state is brought
down to the level of the criminal: both are murderers. But society and government
should be nobler and more righteous than a murderer. There cannot be any place
for capital punishment in a democratic society.
There are four morally justified purposes for punishment. First is the protection of
society. The second morally proper reason for punishment is to reform and
rehabilitate the criminal. The third legitimate reason for punishment is deterrence.
The fourth reason for proper punishment is the restitution of the damage.None of
these four morally legitimate reasons for punishment includes revenge. Vindictive
killing and infliction of pain might make the victim or his relatives feel better, but
this goes beyond what is morally justified for restitution and protection. Two
wrongs do not make a right.

from:  kurt waschnig
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 15:40 IST

It's failure on our part to have not been able to build a supportive
society wherein the underprivileged don't feel 'marginalized'. However,
that doesn't absolve the perpetrators of the crimes they've committed.
Using our failed social model as a reason to rationalize the stance
against capital punishment sounds nothing more than a long-winded
intellectual exercise, one that's riveting but not quite convincing.
Although, of course, I agree that it's all too necessary to have a
better definition for the 'rarest or rare' cases.

from:  Sagar
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 11:48 IST

Being poor or marginalised does not justify barbaric crime, If being
poor/marginalised make a person so frustrated then best way is to kill
himself/herself first..And become free from all frustration....

from:  Nitin Narang
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 10:34 IST

While the author talks about removing the death penalty, he should
also think that accused had taken life of victim. How can those take
lives for no fault of victim and how can the judiciary not announce
the death penalty to accused for killing innocent? It is sole
responsibility of courts to go through the case and give justice. The
conscience of the people is one thing which may affect the case but
what about the evident and other details of the case. It is those
factors that affect any case more than the conscience.
I agree that we have no right to kill but at the same time those
accused also have no right to kill!! Guilty must be punished!
If still many people feel that death penalty should go then please
give such accused to lab tests for new inventions or discoveries which
people around the world do on harmless mice, rabbits etc.

from:  Aparna
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 10:10 IST

Even I dont support capital punishment, but at the same time I dont want
our taxpayer money goes on food for these scoundrels.

Vish

from:  vish
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 01:53 IST

When a murderous terrorist is jailed for life, his/her friends will take hostages to get his freedom. Such incidents often end in tragic loss of innocent lives.
When there is a shoot out between terrorists and law enforcement officers, the officers are fully justified in shooting and killing the terrorist. Why is it then a crime to condemn to death a terrorist/criminal who has been found guilty of his crimes beyond a shadow of doubt?
The death penalty must remain available to society as a form of punishment.

from:  Thomas
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 00:33 IST

The article 'Why capital punishment must go' is silent about the
powerful role played by capital punishment as a strong deterrent against
heinous crimes.No other punishment will cause fear in people and deter
them from committing such crimes.

from:  A V RAMANATHAN
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 00:25 IST

An analysis of what makes people commit such heartless crimes is all
well placed. But that is a different subject altogether and serves a
different purpose, and should have no link whatsoever to the judgement.
A crime is a crime, one's own background or grievances are not a
justification. Was it the victim's fault that the perpetrator suffered
in his life? It is all very easy to talk about human rights when one is
not affected. God forbid if a lady in the family became a victim, it
would be interesting to see if they can speak with the same conviction.

from:  Asha
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 00:17 IST

The most venerated pillar of Indian democracy cannot allow itself to be
dictates on the whims of the fickle minded junta. It is the fear and
faith in law that brings a sense of conscience in the minds of humans.
It is not so difficult to get carried away by the 'biases' for an
average person, but the reverence shown in the wisdom of the judiciary
should not in any manner be compromised by the impulsive atmosphere
created in the aftermath of one such event !!

from:  Tatsat Mishra
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 00:13 IST

What about the rights of the victims? Are they also not humans? What
gives the right to a terrorist/rapist to take the life out of his
victim? These human rights wallahs are always concerned about the
rights of the criminals and never about the innocents who are killed due
to the acts of terrorists and criminals.

from:  kvjayan
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 00:13 IST

Death sentence shouldn't be result of collective conscience of
community because community's emotions and conscience can be
manipulated. As a matter of fact, any kind of sentence should be based
true facts and right interpretation of those facts not on the popular
views.

But that doesn't mean capital punishment is wrong or immoral. In this
case, nature of crime was extremely brutal and inhumane. I cannot
categorize them as human. So none of human rights are applicable to
them.

Death sentence is justified for them as per current law. Its a
different thing that whole community is supporting that without
knowing the facts but this time...they are right.

from:  Kumar Tapesh
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 23:47 IST

The problem is that there is no scale on which a crime can be measured; the only way to ascertain its degree is by the way of damage it has caused.

Tormentors cannot be left scot-free to inspire others. If a crime ought to be 'rewarded' with a capital punishment, then it must be. A punishment does no good if it cannot instill a sense of fear. At-least let the crimes come down due to this fear.

from:  Hrushikesh
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 23:41 IST

Totaly worng to equate army with such criminals.
Better u shoud place urself in place of that girl ,insted of the culprit and judge what they deserve

from:  Dushyant
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 23:25 IST

The author has made a bunch of shallow arguments by comparing a court-awarded
death sentence to gladiators and other crimes and by comparing a planned crime
against many other acts, and further undermines the whole purpose of the judicial
process of India. It is to the process' credit that even after award of the death
sentence, the defendants have multiple chances to appeal.
I am quite perplexed because the author of this article doesn't make an actual case
for why the award of capital punishment to the rapists was unfair in this particular
instance, in which case, we are forced to presume that they do not have a valid
argument.
The question that the author is asking, "which conflicting criteria will prevail?" is
answered by the provided judgment in each and every case, which tells us what has
prevailed. The author needs to comprehensively juxtapose the judgment provided in
the rape case to explain their case for no capital punishment.

from:  Bala
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 23:25 IST

I think by extension of this argument all punishment is unlawful too. Who are we to judge what is a crime and what is not?

from:  ashokr
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 23:24 IST

The Collective conscience concept is highly subjective.How to measure
collective conscience? Any harsher punishment doesn't bring down
crime.Jails wherein convicted are kept are places where they get more
information about the diverse crimes.
The whole deterrence strategy to be recast not to satisfy the collective
conscience but to meet the future challenges.
Extensive research in place of opinions only can direct action in the
field.

from:  Ramakrishnan.K
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 22:15 IST

Sir, it's one of the most well written articles written against capital punishment.you write that
people who have not Been touched by compassion will only turn barbaric . Agreed . Our
society has lots it's human touch and humility . Therein lies the answer that we need a
different set of laws and a different attitude towards its people. A barbaric act will beget a
harsh punishment is precisely the message that this society needs. We need consequences
. That a child is untouched by love hence can't show love sounds poetic but an liniment
attitude towards such a person , if his acts in society are criminal cannot be his alibi for a life
of crime . A human being is born with god given sense of good and bad . One does not need
a degree in MBA to know that one cannot touch a woman's body without her permission.
Education they say is of the heart and not of the mind . Rich or poor , a crime must end in
punishment .

from:  Sharmilla
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 21:47 IST

It is unusual and a bold article given the "diffident majority" has,
through the "strident few", awakened (and rightly so) and are a lot
more vocal. It brought out some of the strange but interesting angles
to look at the judgement- 1)the very nature of the 'rarest of the rare
cases' being so subjective and deriving a judgement out of collective
conscience of the community is for sure debatable.
2)Bringing to the fore, the heinous crimes of Kashmir and Manipur and
their judgements, is commendable
3)The compassion and sensitivity towards that strata of the society,
which has been treated like dirt is sure a matter of concern and needs
to be brought under govt's scheme of things but this is a long term
plan-rehabilitation and re-building of the society.
But Sir, sympathizing with the criminals is not the way to look
forward to. The Capital Punishment awarded to the shamed should set an
example to crime mongers. The society needs this kind of a security
against the bad elements

from:  kushal
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 21:46 IST

In a country like India where we try to justify every crime,we cannot
justify the Delhi gangrape case ,It was grotesque,diabolical and
bestial in nature and it definetly shook nation's conscience.The hype
created by media definetly exaggerates the situation but in this case
it happened for the positive and what happened with Thangjam Manorama
in Manipur is totally unacceptable but that cannot be a point that if
she did'nt get justice neither should nirbhaya.Our society definetly
has problems but the order passed by supreme court in case of nirbhaya
can't be called injudicious.

from:  Ankita
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 21:37 IST

A well written article with good logical reasoning. but i would differ
with him because people cannot be that easily manipulated as he says.
but i do agree that the culprits are also from among us . the laws is
also vague but the most important thing is preventing incidents like the
nirbhaya case from happening.

from:  vishwajeet
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 21:19 IST

Why only Capital Punishment for Capital Crimes ?
Given a chance Politicians will demand no punishment for any crime !!!
So on and So forth.
No Punishment for any Crime...
No Crime at all...Simply change the definition of "Crime".
Create an Utopian Society.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 21:19 IST

Another pointless, brainless article against death penalty. You people refuse to listen no matter how many times we tell you why we should not remove the death penalty. Instead, you make up your own points for why we support the death penalty, and then criticize them. Anyway, the death penalty enjoys massive support in India, so I am going to leave you to your fantasy world.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 21:01 IST

Why such a line in this article " When a death sentence is given to
satisfy the “collective conscience of the community, it raises
troubling questions about the fairness of the trial."
How the esteemed writer can conclude that the decision to award
death penalty is taken more on the basis of people's emotions and less
on the basis of actual crime. Wasn't the crime against that innocent
girl "Damini" a rarest of rare case.I would like to believe that at
least in this case the death penalty was awarded based on the merit of
the case and not to pacify the people.

from:  j darshil
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 20:45 IST

Very good article. The cruel incident that happened in Delhi should have
actually lead us to focus on basic human rights, preserving dignity for
human life and ensuring safety. Instead the media was hijacked by
feminists and the focus was purely on women's rights and gender
equality, totally ignoring the real issues at hand. Finally someone has
given an unbiased version!

from:  Jason Ambrose
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 20:33 IST

I was against the death penalty few years back but the brutality of the
Delhi gang rape completely shocked me as well as the nation. The crimes
have really gone up in our country. I don't know if death penalty can
stop crimes but sometimes it is the only way to provide some justice to
the victim of such terrible acts by the culprits.

from:  j darshil
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 20:30 IST

Capital punishment has its place in judicial system. I would like all politicians, Babus and Media people executed by Army court if anyone is found guilty of taking bribes. It is problem of our time. It has affected governance and services to people. It has created loss of faith in government. It has kept India poor. It is a bigger crime than murder.

from:  Kirit Shah
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 20:29 IST

The 'collective conscience is shocked' phrase used by the judge in
Delhi case is over emphasized and comfortably used by the author to
corroborate his point. Basically, the argument he is trying to put is
whether the capital punishment should be in our criminal laws or not.
But he deviated clearly because he is dubious about his win over that
argument directly and hence seemed to choose this indirect way.
Lets look at the pros and cons of capital punishment.
Cons : 1) Irrevocable 2) Un-modern 3)No chance to rehabilitate the
culprit 4)No right to take a person's life .
Pros :1) The general soft image of law (in this delhi case despite the
furore none of them pleaded guilty.They thought this is a joke)
will be transformed slightly 2)Public funds saved (no need to feed
them).
Coming to it acting as a deterrent it is dubious .
Bottomline is we need capital punishment to send a message that a
criminal should atleast be wary that brutal killing could end his life
let alone normal murder.

from:  Rakesh M Kumar
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 19:51 IST

Very nice & thought provoking article.
I had been deeply thinking on same lines for few weeks now.
Death penalty has not proved effective in India- so many riots & thousands of murders are committed every year. This is despite law provides death penalty for murders.
On the contrary, in countries like Canada & european nations, people are comparatively much more law-abiding than Indians despite the fact death penalty has long been abolished in their societies.

from:  Uday Singh
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 19:29 IST

First of all, I find this article thoroughly baseless. Does the author
have a problem with the capital punishment in itself or is it the
addition of the 'Social Conscience' clause to it, that makes it
difficult for him to accept (the law). Secondly, if every decision
made by a Judge is influenced by the outpouring of the public
sentiment - as the author says - then why are the perpetrators of the
(so-called) Thangjam Manorama crime still out in the open? Isn't it
the public sentiment - as the author himself notes - that that they
also be sentenced to death? Further, does the author thus imply that
Ajmal Kasab too should not have been hanged and taken care of by the
Government instead, at the expense of the taxpayers' money?

It is really very easy to sit at a comfortable place and pass such
thoughtless verdicts on things that are far beyond one's understanding
- as the article clearly points out! Being in HRC doesn't mean that
all humans must be weighed equal. Context will always vary!

from:  Ambharish
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 18:32 IST

Looks like the author conveniently chose to ignore most of the reasoning given by Hon'ble court and started pounding on the phrase 'collective conscience of the society'.
He cleverly accused media and society for assuming the guilt before the trial. But the author forgot the fact that the crime happened and nobody can deny that. Society's reaction was for the crime and didn't assume guilt of the accused. Considering the state of affairs in India, the outrage was justified. What does he think, we should not express our outrage against the crime? If we do, it is not fair to the accused? Get a life!

from:  vega
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 18:31 IST

A thought provoking article and points made in it are absolutely correct, because ideally the murderer of Jessica should be hanging too, if for nothing other than setting a deterrent to the people who can buy their way out.
I am appalled at a commentator who has taken offence to the part on barbarism of our para military or milititary . I come from an Armed Forces Background and this is unbelievable. If anything the arms of the government have to be held at a higher standard and if we do not respect that thought, then the end is nigh

from:  sourav ghosh
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 18:28 IST

I don't agree with the author to just abolish the capital punishment even in the rarest of the rare case. Unfortunately, the views of the author is totally baseless and immature. The perfect example of capital punishment is Arab countries. Here, i am not favouring dictatorship but fear of death can be the primary factor if we want to see a society free of henious crimes. Can author guarantee that the life imprisonment would help to eradicate the crime? I guess probably not. Outside India, Many other countries just know us Indians as rapists. Strict action against criminals is the need of the hour and these so called human right activists should introspect their own thoughts, as if the girl could be the wife, daughter or sister of any human rights activist.

from:  Manpinder Singh Saini
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 18:23 IST

You can't kill. Period. Whether individual or State.

from:  L Sebastian
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 18:10 IST

I do not understand why so much sympathy is shown to the criminals who
have ravaged an innocent woman. What justice is done to the family and
more importantly to the victim? Can you bring back the woman to life?
Can you bring back her happiness? Is it even remotely possible to
change these vultures into good citizens? Why are we so reluctant to
eliminate dangerous criminals?

If you read our scriptures even the most compassionate gods had to
kill the evil people. Rama could have given a small punishment to
Ravana and Krishna could have forgiven all the demons. But as a last
resort they had to kill.

Killing is necessary!

from:  swapna
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 17:44 IST

Very well written article. it perfectly makes sense and exposes the
hypocrisy of so called Indian middle class.

from:  Pradeep
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 17:42 IST

The facts & logic stated by the author are correct.
But think, what is the cost of justice to the taxpayer. when a man is jailed or fined, it is in expectation that the prison will reform the given person. But can these torturers and gang-rapists be reformed? Or would it be more prudent if the government spent 5 Crore rupees on each of them like they spent it on Kasab.
Justice is based on principles of collective conscience and it has to account for the need of the society to reassert its ideological existence.
The fifth gang rapist (minor?) will be released after 3 years. He may live near YOUR house, drive YOUR children to school and you do not know him... Will anything that is written in the passage justify the same?

from:  S.Pandey
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 17:15 IST

I am against capital punishment per se, on humanitarian grounds,
because it is barbaric.

But, I am FOR capital punishment for anyone looting public funds in
India over say Rs 10 crores, on the same humanitarian grounds, because
I cannot think of anything more heinous than stealing food from the
mouths of starving 67% of Indians, who need Govt subsidy to feed
themselves. I hope those in the present Govt advertising their newly
discovered “moral rectitude” will consider this proposal.

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 17:08 IST

The writer says,
"They have gone to bed hungry as children, suffered illnesses without
medicine, defecated in the open, been savaged on the whims of adults,
treated like dirt.".
So as per writer, they should not be given capital punishment. How can
this be justified? In looking to the criminals background, isn't the
writer actually proposing that we should not have faith in justice,
but rather have ourselves feel the mental(sometimes
political/physical) burden by seeing offenders living luxurious lives.
Will the same not affect lives and future of us in particular and
society in general, which shall lead to creation of more criminals in
the society?

Well written article, with so many points, still no solution to bring
the peace and safety that comman man is looking for.

from:  Ankit
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 17:08 IST

To err is human. Will it not apply to our judiciary. A death penalty
is irreversible. It is evident from "Silapathigaram" when the king
erred. No legislation is made to our judiciary for erroneous
judgement. A litigant has the legal right to appeal the judgement.Now
a days is it possible without money. Society is always emotional.
World Amnesty body is against the capital punishment. All religion
preaches forgiveness is the right way of life. Gandhiji,s ahimsa also
teaches us tolerance in our society. We can condemn such barbaric act
by severest punishment but death penalty is not the right course of
action to correct the society. We are humans having sixth sense and
find out new ways to prevent such crimes. In Chennai a teacher MRS.
Uma Maheswari was killed by her own student. Similar incident are
happening around us. we should find ways by collective social
responsibility than to repeat the barbarism by our own laws.

from:  P ANNADURAI
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 17:06 IST

This article is like the ordinance which intended to protect convicted lawmakers. Thankfully it was trashed. Mr Pal in all his shining erudition highlights that the need of the hour is to ban capital punishment. Then he speaks about how the 'rapists' did not have the power or the voice to galvanise a biased media to 'defend' them. Then he meanders about varied topics as to how these monsters are a product of this society and how we should simply put up with them. Or else send them to languish in jail where they will reform. Mr Pal let me tell you that a sick mind cannot be 'reformed'. Army atrocities are heinous yes but how does it influence a judge's decision to provide justice?
Isnt that is the aim of justice? Millions of females are raped and brutalised in increasingly innovative ways. Let me ask you this,if you were a woman who had been raped would you still wax eloquent in this manner trashing capital punishment?
Rape is rape
If only you were a woman.
Alas.

from:  PS
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 17:03 IST

People argue that Capital punishment must go as once punished, no one can reverse it if they found the alleged criminal is in fact innocent!

When political criminals who involved in crimes worse than one individual crime living in luxury and without accountability, it is absurd to hang ordinary criminals. Rule of Law must be equal to everyone and no one can be exempted!

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 17:03 IST

Removing capital punishment does not make sense. If a person rapes and kills a victim/victims he should be sent to the gallows. I fail to understand the logics of people such as the author. The judiciary should be concerned about dispensing justice by following a legal process not about appeasing the emotions of the public.

The less we follow the advice of these so called intellectuals- the better it is for the country. These guys always manage to defy common sense.

from:  Anshuman
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 16:32 IST

Ban Capital Punishment, but change it to solitary imprisonment for life in prision
without light and no visibility or exchange of talks with any other person.

from:  Jai Dutta
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 16:25 IST

Added to the arguments presented in above article, one may consider God's ( Mother
Nature's ) order of creation gives us no right to order destruction of same. NO to capital
punishment, yes to life-terms.

from:  Rajan Mahadevan
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 16:17 IST

This is absolute nonsense. There isn't a thought spared for the victims
and their families. It is extremely easy to pass arm-chair judgments Mr.
Pal. Put yourself in the shoes of the affected parties and think for
goodness sake! Also equating our jawans who are out in the battlefields
with these animals borders on absolute lack of respect for our heroes! I
can imagine that you would want to augment your story with arrant
nonsense but this is unpardonable!

from:  AJ
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 16:10 IST

What right do the offenders had to take the life of the 'Nirbhaya'? are
the act's committed by theses offenders doesn't fall under the category
of rarest of rare cases? it's easier to say to abolish death penalty
unless one doesn't feel the pain and agony of such act's.

from:  Gaurav Purohit
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 15:25 IST

Why can't a judge be influenced by collective conscience of the society? He is very much part of this society in which such heinous crimes take place. And if somebody was treated with brutality in the past ,he knows the pain of suffering..why would some human not animal treat others the same way....why not with respect and the dignity he would have wanted for himself..
Capital punishment may be debatable today...but before that I think we should revisit why we needed it in first place....

from:  Kapil Sharma
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 15:11 IST

Does the author care about the victim or the family of the victim? Don't they deserve justice? There is no evidence of it in the article.

from:  gopal vaidya
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 14:57 IST

Surely a good article.Agreed that judgement cannot be passed on the
basis of the reaction or the surge the crime causes among the community.
But heinous crimes like Delhi gang rape require strict punishments, so
that people fear the law and do make a mockery of it.
If they cannot behave like a human, we cannot show any humanity towards
them.

from:  Nikita sharma
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 14:35 IST

Learned Correspondent has his own good ground for the abolition of capital punishment. Nobody want to punish someone. The punishment given is all cases are less degree of committed crime. If the people respect the feeling of other and law, there is no need of punishment itself. But this is not the reality. Giving less punishment to deadly crimes make license for others to repeat same and got scott free. By giving a capital punishment, in fact we are saving others from not repeating the same crime. The lack of suitable and timely punishment is the weakness of our legal system.

from:  Bhuvanachandran
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 14:02 IST

We can’t live a life with a afraid of being wrong unintentionally, even in exceptions. Those who favor to remove capital punishment are afraid that there may be instances in which judiciary may take wrong decision based on the facts shown to it. But it is no excuse for removing the capital punishment. My views might be somewhat inclined to the victims but it is very difficult to their families to live life after these horrendous crimes. They live their life just to see the convicted to go to gallows. All other aims from their life just vanished with the death of their loving one. If capital punishment is removed than also there will be death, and it will be of the family members of the victims.
So it is to decide who's death we want?
Show some empathy to the victims, don't show your intellectuality. If this incident would have happened with your family member you won't be writing this article.

from:  Amit Kumar
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 13:52 IST

The problem here is do you want vengeance or justice ...... vengeance is just going after the wrong doers blood ... justice is to civilize them ... if you support capital punishment ....it means you also support suicide.. for who is the best judge of ones ways than himself

from:  Partha
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 13:47 IST

I want to see the response of the author had the unfortunate victims like nirbhaya or
aparajita (kamduni) been an immediate family member of his! We are part of this
collective conscience because we identify with the victim who also wanted
retribution, freedom from beasts or rabid dogs among us. The simple reason these
authors does not because they do not identify themselves with the victims. Thats
why this grandstanding of being away from 'collective conscience'!! Besides,
'collective conscience' is here to stay, we cannot accept a justice procedure
propounded by few authors, so-called intellectuals who seem to have nothing to do with the society.

from:  BBhaswati
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 13:27 IST

After accepting the points made by Mr. Pal, my view is that capital punishment should be handed out more often than it is right now. It should be handed to Army officers and paramilitary officers if they dare to inflict any harm on any Indian citizen. It should be handed out to all perpetrators of heinous crimes, regardless of their socio-economic background. Our collective conscience is not nearly shocked enough!

from:  Shruti
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 12:44 IST

Regarding the barbaric acts committed by military professionals,army
should not be given absolute impunity for whatever actions they
perform. Everybody counts or nobody counts. They should be held
accountable.Does giving them more importance in the society gives them
power over people?Then it makes them 'let-go killers' and where does
democracy exist in that scenario? Army personals must be brought to
the same courts and should be prosecuted as a normal citizens,as
criminals.
The view that ' as army and paramilitary walks free from punishment'
should not imply that others shouldn't be hanged.It would be assigned
as narrow thinking then. Instead, all the people, whether army or
normal , should be held accountable for those despicable acts
conducted by them. Justice should be done for those innocent victims
of the barbaric acts.
With atmost reverence, I would ask the author to work towards holding
army accountable for its acts, as a part of human rights, than
shielding the rapists

from:  Sudheer
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 12:24 IST

Capital punishment to the guilty in my opinion a very easy way out. The person at the end of the rope suffers a maximum of 5 minutes (or less). The lifelong pain is to the people who are close to the person. It is a mercy when compared to life in prison.

People who are against the capital punishment come from the pseudo intellectual community who think in English including the respected Mr.Pal, Justice Krishna Iyer and the like.

What of the girl who suffered barabaric acts perpated by the Gang? What of the parents of the girl who has to suffer for the rest of their life? Do they have an answer. I guess not.
Punishment should fit the crime.
What punishment do they propose under the same 'rarest of the rare case' rules. Anything less than what the girl suffered is not acceptable.
I am not asking an eye for an eye Mr Pal. I am asking for justice that not only fits the crime but also deters others from even thinking about it.
Judges have been very lenient in this case.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 11:58 IST

Capital Punishment may be a barbaric anomaly but in a gruesome case
like "Delhi gang rape",it is a well deserved punishment .The cases
of similar nature in which public consciousness is not there still
does not make them less gruesome.Our judiciary must peruse those
cases thoroughly and give befitting punishment to perpetrators.A lot
of people might have committed crimes of similar nature in communal
riots but that does not make them any martyr for any community.Those
perpetrators also deserve punishments of similar nature.

from:  Vikash Keshav
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 11:52 IST

Good Article. However, Does not make sense. From the victim's point of view, Would the writer reflect the same mindset or treatment ( ie., abolishing of capital punishment) , should this happen to the writer's immediate family members. Delhi incident was gruesome, atrocious etc., etc., which cannot be described through words. The offenders must be punished to the highest level. Period.

from:  SOUNDIRARAJAN KALYANARAMAN
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 11:42 IST

All the learned correspondents who advocate abolition of capital punishment for terror or rape or militancy should first meet the families of the victims of these crimes before espousing this cause. Then only they will realize the trauma of their families, instead of giving 'arm chair' advice like the present one.

from:  MVJRao
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 11:31 IST

Well we live and deal with people and people have different views. You
may have your argument in favour of repudiating Capital Punishment.
But the fact is, the one who is pinched, feels the pain.

All your points that describe what might have shaped the character of
the gang rapists, may be correct as society has always been biased and
unfair. Here again the deep inherent problem has been religion that
plays a major role in shaping up how a society thinks. Unfortunately
not a single religion in this world has portrayed women in the right
spirit and has always shown them to be weaker and vulnerable sex.

If you really think you want to make changes, don't talk about
abolishing capital punishment. If we can sacrifice our army to keep
country safe, I would gladly like to have these anti-social elements
killed by judiciary to keep the society safe. And just because, some
can't get justice, I disagree that at least those who can, they be
denied.

from:  Pradeep Kumar
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 11:22 IST

How can you make such statement that capital punishment must go?
tomorrow you want hard core criminals back in society. This writer
should imagine the hardship the victim and families go through to get
closer. U are depriving them of sense of justice in cases where only
capital punishment is the solution

from:  rahul
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 11:13 IST

The authors' points are valid and judiaciary should look into it seriously. "The Hindu: has been very vocal on it's views with respect to Capital Punishment and it's dangers and these views are well appreciated.

Only two years ago Japan or USA's judiciary had reversed it's decision and released people who were earlier convicted on few cases. The latest technologies have helped in proving thier innocence. The judiary did a unbiased work in relooking into those cases.If those people had been hanged they wouldn't have got this chance to live atleast the reminder of their lives freely and with dignity. This could happen in anybody's family anytime.

The most severe punishment could be full-life imprisonment and not taking one's life. By taking away the life the Judiciary only shows they are a death squad who has the weapon to take anybody's life.

It's time to recall rethink on Capital Punishment is required.

from:  Ana
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 10:59 IST

what this article reflects is a function of type of crime whether it
affects community or is between families ,later could be more brutal
but convict escapes.collective conscience term can be misunderstood by
judge but what makes this collective conscience of people shock is in
most cases the style of representation by electronic media mainly in
trying to be ahead in the competitive market .

from:  mansimran singh
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 10:55 IST

Well Written Article.. Need to be appreciated... The writer has given
good example of Muzzafar Nagar Riots, Kashmir and North East... Perhaps
the Nation's Conscience wont rise for this issue...

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 10:46 IST

Awesome article!!!
Eye opening facts,unbiased logical reasons,organised writing makes this
the best article i have read since last year.

from:  rusty
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 10:43 IST

why We are doing Chemotherapy?to prevent the spreading of cancer,So
for a healthy society extream Human rights are cancerous.The Human
right talkers will always talks about Human rights of culprits,don't
the pray have the human right?don't the family deserves the Human
right?by sitting in Revolving chair,and by safing Their children at
Foreign countries the human rights missihas can blab,but in reality
its not that much easy...If you are that much of worry about human
rights,just work from grassroot level to improve the human rights of
poor people,there are lots of poor people with lack of basic
aminitieas,and decent living standard...please do write something for
them..its my humble request

from:  remya
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 10:43 IST

A very Lucid and Logical article by Mr. Satyabrata Pal.. as much as we want crimes against women to stop, it will not until and unless we throw out the Patriarchal system so much dominant in our society.. which cannot be done by any law or rule..
This article along with Mr. Suhrith Parthasarathy's "India's Smuddled Thinking on Punishment" (The Hindu, 16th September 2014) really seeks to reform the revenge-like attitude of our society..

I thank both these figures for providing such arguments..

from:  Tatwam Shrivastava
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 10:10 IST

Hats off to Ambassador Pal. More power to you pen Sir.

from:  Mahtab Alam
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 09:51 IST

Brilliantly searing delineation of the effect of media and the collective
hypnotic effect it has on the particularly self professed 'decent' middle
class people. Guilt is primarily personal but when a community or nation
rises to the call of conscience, compassion and justice, there would be
nothing more higher to strive for. Thank you Satyabrata Pal for this
moving piece of writing.

from:  Gautam G
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 09:18 IST

The author is true in the sense that people with power get away easily
if they would had been caught in the similar case. If that would be the
case the evident would be easily altered in their favors. Justice should
not be discriminatory. But it is not only the people of venerable
section which are involved in these gruesome acts. In the past we have
seen so many cases of similar crimes involving high profiles. The debate
is endless.

from:  sharan
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 09:11 IST

A splitting the hair kind of article.It seems the writer has first formed his opinion and
then went around desperately looking for arguments.Satisfying collective conscience
doesnt mean the judiciary looks at what the community wants and then decides
acordingly, like in a roman amphitheatre.Rather the gravity of crime in this case was
so great that collective conscience or not, the judiciary would have had no option than
sentencing death.That the judgement would have satisfied the collective conscience is
only incidental.Unlike in a riot case where the collective conscience can be subjective,
in this case this conscience was unanimous in what it wanted, and hence the
observation of the judge.

from:  navjyot singh
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 09:02 IST

Violent murderous crimes especially against women and children especially in India are rarely reported and anything but "rarest of rare" - this has been going on for generation after generation and victims either rarely live to tell, suffer in silence or turn perpetrator due to aberration of their suffering mind Eg: the dacoit queen.

When crimes against humanity in an increasingly violent society are becoming more sadistic and murderous, where there is only room for TRP rated events by the 24x7 media and political response to expression of outrage and collective conciousness of the sane are but knee-jerk reactions for each violation only to be forgotten until the next reporting of another even more gruesome unfotunate event- why should there not be equitable justice awarded to the victim too, especially when they have paid for no wrong committed by them, with their very life?

Death sentence needs fitting the crime - not according to a misinterpretation of "rarest of rare".

from:  r n iyengar
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 09:00 IST

When part of society is stuck in 1st Gear (stone age), their actions needs to be dealt the same-way. Trail by media? it seems that is the only thing seems to be working in many cases in India. Cases/investigations are sabotaged from day due to political interference and blatant corruption. In a country where you have to run from pillar to post just to register a complaint with police - due to think we need to abolish capital punishment?
Too bad that other culprits whom you have referred in your case got away!
Before doing away with capital punishment, we need to sort out few things - reform police their working methods and reporting hierarchy, reform justice system and last but not least - most important we men need to learn to behave and respect women. Our jail system needs a reform too, prisoners who are sentenced to life - should be inside jail till they die not let out after few years!

In our nation we worship women & next moment abuse her!

Abolish death penalty? NO WAY!

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 08:53 IST

There was a serial killer by name ted bundy in US who killed around 100 girls, he was once caught by police and kept in prison, he escaped and killed another 20 girls. I hope you understand the moral of it. Rules that govern the society are different from individual conscience.
If gang rapes like the ones you have described are happening and the criminals are getting escaped from justice that does not mean we should take away death sentence as its subjective decision. If a law is subjective as you pointed out then you make strict protocols to implement the law. In such gruesome incidents it is good for the society and for greater good, these criminals should be given death sentence. Infact a long term jail sentence or life imprisonment is even more harmful as they can infect their surroundings. I have disagree with you in all ways.

from:  umesh
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 08:53 IST

For your information, justice is done to victims based on crime committed with possibility of preventing such crime in future by same criminal. India has been foolish in not punishing criminals including lawmakers with all sorts of mental logic which does not make any sense.

Even, Bhagawad Gita, says that one should be punished for their act when they cross the limit. Unfortunately, some have been opposing the death punishment for illogical reasons, it's no wonder the crime has gone exponential.

It's time condemn the people who talk nonsense!

from:  M V Chilukuri
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 08:40 IST

The article is too long, lacks orientation and basic understanding of morals and how it should be related to law and community. There is difference between morals standards one can impose on self depending on his level of wisdom and what we should impose on society. One should remember that you cannot elevate the whole community to your moral standards.
That's why one needs to keep the option of death sentence and should be used in rarest of the rare cases even if it is subjective.
In simple terms, an act so disgusting as "gang rape" the criminals should be given death sentence. These criminals don't change and should not be given any considerations, irrespective of their background.

from:  rama krishna
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 08:30 IST

Very nicely written article sir. But i would like to differ with you on
these points:
1.) the judges never decide a case on seeing the news in the media but
only on the facts presented and weighed, and
2.) if you happen to think about the upbringings of the criminal who
did such dastardly act, then you should also care for the victim that
what was her/his fault, that made her to become such a victim of his
upbringing,and
3.) if the society has made the criminal so brutal, can it be expected
that he be reformed after being made so villainous (not every Angulimal
will turn to become Maharshi),and
4.) we talk of human rights to be followed by the military, but nobody
takes care least they write in such a coveted news paper(the hindu)
about the inhuman conditions they protect our borders and the inhuman
treatment meted out to them by the enemies. So in your way they are
brutal, because the society and the conditions at such places have made
them so.

from:  Ashish Mishra
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 08:27 IST

OMG,this article has shook me completely.I was a firm believer of need
of capital punishment.This article has made me to rethink and change
that view.

from:  Nandhini Priya
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 08:09 IST

Brilliantly written. Not sure whether I agree with all that is written. But definitely got me thinking.

from:  Joey
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 07:45 IST

I was stung by your absurd comparison of the fate of rapist-murderers
with that or roman gladiators in an amphitheater. There are several
valid reasons why the death penalty should be done with - a humane
civilisation demands it.

But let us not be callous or hypocritical here. Those who demand
death, be they the parents of Nirbhaya, the survivors left behind, and
even the disgusted society-at-large who see the perpetrator's death as
equivalent of justice, CANNOT be equated to a crowd in the Coliseum
baying for a defeated gladiator's blood. Such absurd and self-
righteous comparisons hinder the actual process of educating the
public on the necessity to do away with the death penalty.

from:  Kesava
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 07:22 IST

The author's comparison of the judicial process to the shouts of spectators of a Roman amphitheatre or a village khap panchayat demonstrates his lack of faith in our judiciary. Both comparisons are obviously judgemental and odious to say the least and rob the article of an analytic foundation. He is illogically comparing the U.P. riots with the Nirbhaya case. The latter was against an individual going about her usual business and the bestiality of the crime cuts across caste, communal or country borders. The reasons given by the judges for the award of death sentence will apply universally in similar cases. The author's defence of the Delhi criminals is utterly shocking and displays his warped thinking. Though nobody can condone deaths in communal riots, or deaths in Kashmir or Manipur, the contexts are very different. Why is it that these human rights activists always support those who perpetrate violence on the innocent and condemn only the punishments awarded to the criminals ?

from:  Subramanyam Sridharan
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 07:09 IST

So all the jailed may escape, dire statistics will show!Human fallibility at work.

from:  R. Ashok Kumar
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 07:04 IST

The collective conscience of the community, is a mere phrase to get
the message across, as to what is "rarest of rare case." Since, people
say ROR case is legal jargon. We have got procedures and evidence so
efficient, balancing the rights of both the accused and the victim
that it is preposterous to think that just because of the public
outrage, the accused has got death punishment. So LAME!!
And, trust me when I say this, "media needs a bridle to regulate
itself". That is the only thing going wrong. However, people are free
to express whatever they want but when it comes from media, people
accept it at face value because they don't get the legal stuff that
easy into their heads.
And, if the Military Inquiry have found them innocent then it means
they are "not guilty as charged." Now, what do we want I say Mr. A
committed theft...his hands to be amputated forthwith without even
looking at the evidence?? And, if evidence + allegation go together
does it mean judge is under influence.

from:  Yash Bharadwaj
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 06:54 IST

'Capital punishment must go'is indeed an ideal thought, universal
sadbhavana. But this is not relevant to India right now as the nation
is bridled with poverty and illiteracy plaguing the nation. People
must be empowered through education, training and employment first
before embarking upon gigantic missions. Freebies and white ration
cards must go and people get the capacity to earn them through hard
work. Exploitation of farmers/women must be put a full stop for the
nation to progress. There should be fear psychosis in the minds of
people that is they commit law-break, they must be ready to pay a very
heavy price for it. Nation is built by people and they should make it
best for peaceful democracy to sustain.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 06:41 IST

absolutely, the Court has to look through the prism of judicial mind and
collective conscience of the society is no ground to impose death
penalty

from:  Prashanth Padmanabhan
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 06:15 IST

Bad article in good words, it gives only confidence to crimals that, time will take care of their life while they continue with their power to deny life to their victims. Is supports "deprived" to become "criminals". It serves food of wrong precedence to earn support, for "personal" opinion.
Media's power to manupulate public opinion, falls to just trigger to awaken, previously aquired collection of opinion, which is often sleeping. Manufactured opinion, already under a trend now, evoparate soon, due to lacking of substance or gravity. In this perticular case, surely a rarest of the rare, judiciary might have been under a race against time, suggesting a possibility of ommission in procedure, is unfair. Attaching successfully doubts, is easy. Most of us are not in affair of filtering doubts from deeds, which a prime for judge.

from:  kharat
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 06:00 IST

Writer says that criminals like those in Delhi case take out all their frustration when they find a victim and thus act brute.But question is does that victim deserves it?You take out ur frustration on system,why on an innocent lady who doesn't even know who u are?And no amount of justification will subdue the heinous acts commited by them.

from:  Nitin
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 05:56 IST

It is a verbose article which cherry picks only on the capital punishment. The arguments posed in this article could apply to any judicial punishment. By extending the article's logic, any punishment would be unjustified.
Being poor or marginalised does not justify barbaric crime - as posed as an apology. The article fails to recognize the deterrent value of a judicious degree of violence. A better argument would have been to minimize errors. But it is no excuse from shying away from judicious violence. It is not brutality. It is simply the end of road. This article mixes police torture and brutality from justice. It mixes a collective sense of outrage with crowd menatlity. It is silly. The 'no capital punishment' brigade has convinced itself that they are latched on to a moral and righteous agenda. No. Nor do they have better ideas. Get practical.

from:  Dr. Ajay
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 04:04 IST

No mercy please on human grounds for confirmed rapists and goondas who
purposely take others lives with clear motivation for profit and personal
gains; it is different in case of communal clash and street protests; one
may be provoked on spot ; deliberate misuse of power for building assets
when found should at once deprive the person of ALL assets earned earlier
too by rightful means; only way to prevent abuse == money stacked abroad
must be brought back and ALL concerned made penniless street beggars only
to survive by begging or get stoned to death by public for nuisance !

from:  Radhik Hairam
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 02:35 IST

As viewed by sri Satyabrata Pal to abolish capital punishment system it is very much
debatable whether it will be good for our society.In indian society where poverty
illiteracy unemployment very less moral development corruption from top to bottom
along with ineffective leadership social crimes attrocities against women are
rampant.Moreover our judiciary is a long cumbersome process.Hence no fear of
punishment for wrong doing big, small or capital.How can this brutality be stopped?Its
not the recovery of who have shocked but to prevent future shock.The moral change
in society can be brought by taking suitable sociey-economic programmes spread of
education generation of employment etc.It cannot be achieved by simply granting
mercy to the accused.

from:  Pradip Chattopadhyay
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 01:18 IST
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