With its eye-for-an-eye approach, the death penalty hardly deserves a place in a civilised society. Several countries have abolished it, considering its poor deterrent effect. While the Supreme Court has enunciated principles on the basis of which the death sentence should be awarded, concerns over the manner in which they are applied are legitimate and need to be addressed (“For a moratorium on death sentence,” Dec. 10).
By assuming that the sole reason for imposition of the death penalty is to prevent the criminal from repeating the offence, abolitionists assume that retribution and satisfaction for the victims’ families are of no consequence. As for deterrence, the effect would be felt only if the execution is carried out swiftly.