The fast track court verdict, sentencing four Delhi gang rape convicts to death, has brought a sense of satisfaction. Holding that the gang rape and murder of the 23-year-old in December last fell in the rarest of rare category, the court has considered it fit to withdraw “the protective arm of the community” around the convicts.
It will be a travesty of justice if the law spares another perpetrator who will walk free soon only because he was a juvenile while committing the offence. He should be punished on release from the corrective home unless he proves he is repentant.
Brutal crimes like rape and murder may have become common and may not be among the “rarest of the rare” (“Crimes death can’t wish away,” Sept. 14). But that does not reduce the severity of the offence. It is a general feeling that criminals can commit brutal crimes against women and get away with very little or no punishment. The fact that one of the accused in the gang rape started howling after hearing the judgment proves that even the most brutal criminals fear death.
Ordinary people like us are not Mahatmas or saints. We do not understand criminology or anything that rights activists or lawyers talk. Nor are we visionaries to foresee whether a punishment will serve as a deterrent or not. We are simple people who cry even if an actor cries in a movie.
The trial court judgment has lightened the hearts of many women like me.
It has satisfied people who poured on the streets of the nation, cried and prayed for the young woman without even knowing her name. All fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of women are satisfied that justice has been done to the soul and dignity of the 23-year-old.
Punishment is not meant to be a deterrent. Its purpose is to assuage the feelings of unfortunate victims — a compensation. Some argue that capital punishment should be abolished because it has not helped to reduce crimes. Imprisonment has not eliminated theft. Should we stop putting thieves behind bars? Punishment should match the severity, callousness and ruthlessness of the crime committed.
It is hoped that the verdict and the intense media coverage will help change the parochial attitude that relegates women to subservient roles.
It should bring a ray of hope for the innumerable rape victims shunned by their families, fired from their jobs and thrown out of their villages. Swift justice will definitely send a strong message to anti-social elements.
The editorial was timely and appropriate. The plea that appellate courts must swiftly intervene and sentence all the four convicts to an actual lifetime in prison is unique. It would only be fair to make the convicts toil hard and send their remuneration to the dependents of the unfortunate victim.
Although the crime committed by the four men was dastardly, they are young enough to be spared. They can live a new life, fully transformed.
After all, the quality of mercy is not strained. I fail to understand the expression of joy on their conviction.
Jason Burke’s well researched essay, with vivid details on the background of the criminals, the victim, her family and friend, and a parallel narrative about the socio-economic realities of our rapidly changing society (“Life, rape and death in an Indian city,” Sept. 14) was thought-provoking. How, in the name of fun, six men did something horrible is something we will never forget.
The essay should create a dent in our collective conscience, attitudes and prejudices, and make us look beyond caste, class, wealth and education.
No individual is born a criminal. The transformation happens over time owing to various familial, social and environmental factors. Horrific cases such as the Delhi gang rape should come as a wake-up call for us to unite and initiate grassroots reformation of the marginalised sections.
I am against the death sentence. More than half the world has abolished it. In India, I wrote judgments against the death sentence but the Supreme Court has held that in the rarest of rare cases, in the most brutal of savage cases, the death sentence can still be given. The Supreme Court binds me and so I have no comments against its verdict.
How I wish the world as a whole abolished the death sentence. Gandhi was against it. God has given life and He alone can take it away.
WHO will soon make a law whereby the death sentence will disappear from the earth. Even Imperial Britain has abolished it. A death sentence on the death sentence is the finest tribute to the culture of Buddha to Gandhi.
V.R. Krishna Iyer,