I wonder how someone can say that awarding the death sentence to Ajmal Kasab, who killed innocent people mercilessly, is unjustified (“Is noose the only answer?”, Open Page, May 23). Those who are against capital punishment should put themselves in the shoes of the family members of the victims. The law should not give in to pressure groups trying to impose their views against the death penalty. An eye for an eye will not make the whole world blind. It will deter the person from taking one more eye.

N.A. Mansoor Ali,

Chennai

The death sentence is not a deterrent but justice. If you take somebody's life wilfully, without concern for the affected person and his or her family, you lose your right to life. Of course, if there is even a sliver of mitigating circumstance, the accused should receive a lesser punishment. If a person kills another person in self-defence, he should be freed because he exercised his right to life. I would urge writers to put themselves in the place of the affected persons before expressing their views on paper.

C.R. Ragavan,

Chennai

Hanging Kasab will certainly not deter other terrorists. But will sparing him help to close down the terror factories in Pakistan? How is it possible to apply the traditional abolitionist arguments in respect of 26/11 where the issue is not about an individual but an undeclared war on the sovereignty of our nation? Should a willing participant in mass murder be spared because the masterminds have not been caught?

V.N. Mukundarajan

Thiruvananthapuram

We, as a country, have a long history of tolerance and compassion and there is no reason why we should not take pride in continuing the tradition. In fact, the long list of mercy petitions pending with the President for years shows that, by and large, we do not endorse the principle of “an eye for an eye.” It is time our legislators reached a consensus on the subject and did away with the barbaric and archaic death sentence.

G.N. Misra,

Dehra Dun

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