Many countries have abolished capital punishment after being convinced of the importance of the basic human right to live (editorial “Revisiting the death penalty,” July 31). To quote Amnesty International, “it is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state.” One hopes Veerappa Moily, who has reopened the discussion on the subject, will act swiftly.

Ramya Ravindran,


In our country, the justice system works in such a way that of the criminals caught, very few get convicted. Even among the convicted, those who have money power escape.

If someone is hanged in this scenario, the injustice done to him is graver than the cruelty of it. But, ideally, we should retain the death penalty for the “rarest of rare” crimes. Justice should not be delayed in such cases.

Judish Raj,


Punishments are meant to have a deterrent effect on criminals and others. But has the death penalty had a deterrent effect? Society has a role to play in every act of crime. The process of manufacturing criminals and then killing them is a slur on our acumen and culture. We must stop making them; and, if made, we must reform them.

Supriya Allampally,


Mr. Moily’s observation is a step in the right direction. However, it is important to debate the issue before taking a decision. Though abolition of capital punishment is welcome, the government should not tie the hands of justice in dealing with heinous crimes. Even after 200 years of democracy, the debate is heated and ongoing in the U.S.

Seshadri Ramkumar,