The editorial “The hangman’s justice” (Nov. 22) has once again brought to the fore the debate on the morality of execution. Reward and punishment should serve to reinforce positive behaviour and deter negative behaviour. Even though Ajmal Kasab was an instrument in the hands of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, he was mentally stable and conscious while perpetrating the act of terrorism against the innocent people of Mumbai.

He was thus a willing party to the crime. By no argument can the tenets of justice be twisted to say that Kasab’s life should have been spared.

P. Senthil Kumar,

Chennai

Kasab died peacefully whereas his victims died a violent death. Surely, Kasab must have been prepared to die under worse circumstances when he became a member of the suicide squad? We captured him alive and fed him lavishly for four years and gave him a silent, peaceful and quick death, relieving him of his ordeal. He deserved much worse.

M. Balamurali,

Thiruvananthapuram

Terrorists know death awaits them. When they themselves do not bother about their lives, why should we care? True, there are many others who are central to the 26/11 plot.

But to say they should be punished first is like saying white blood corpuscles must fight the malarial parasite only when all mosquitoes are killed.

K. Spurty Rao,

Secunderabad

Will our country be any safer if we let all criminals who commit heinous crimes live?

Countries which have abolished the death penalty sentence criminals to long years in prison whereas the longest term one would spend in a jail after all concessions are meted out in India is about nine years.

K. Raja Kishore,

Visakhapatnam.

Thirukkural, considered an edict on morality and justice for humanity as a whole, justifies capital punishment by comparing it to the process of “weeding out” (chapter-55, Senkonmai, kural no.550).

V. Baskar,

Kumbakonam

Keywords: Kasab

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