Life or Death?

A couple of days ago, I had gone for some documentary screenings in my college. Some really great documentaries were shown. One of them stayed with me though. It was basically an argument about the death penalty in India.

Recently, there have been many debates on whether death penalty should be abolished or not. The documentary called ‘Blackout’ got me thinking. So I did a bit of research and started pestering my friends and my family for their opinions. I really felt like writing a post about this issue. I am not a lawyer or an activist. I am just an eighteen year old girl expressing her opinion.

The death penalty has been abolished in many countries like France, United Kingdom, Australia, etc. But it still exists in countries like India, UAE, USA, Pakistan, etc.

In India, the Supreme court ruled in 1983 that the death penalty should be imposed only in “the rarest of rare cases”. In the last ten years, there have been two executions in India.

Criminal offences that are punishable by death include rape, murder, waging a war against the country, etc.

In the documentary, some Human Rights activists and lawyers have put forth arguments in forth of the abolition of the death penalty. Some of the arguments I came across in the documentary and in the little I read up are-

– The correct way to prove killing is wrong is to kill the offender?

– The wait for the verdict, the uncertainty is punishment enough.

– Does it really solve the main problem? Like in case of the Delhi Gang-rape case, will imposing a death penalty on the offenders make the city of Delhi safer?

And some arguments pro death penalty are-

– A lot of money is spent on high risk prisoners like Ajmal Kasab. This is basically the taxpayers’ money which is being spent. In a country with a large number of people who are starving, why should such an enormous amount of money be spent on someone who killed the citizens of that very country and also tried to wage a war against the nation?

– Is it fair on the victim and/or the family of the victim to let the murderer or rapist live?

– In terrorism related crimes, the prisoner tries to propagate the ideology among the petty criminals in the jail.

– It does send out a message that such crimes will be punished and the criminals will not get away with it.

– In cases like the Delhi gang-rape case, can the rapists be even considered humans? I mean, the brutality of the rape was terrifying.If a person is capable of a crime as heinous, will that person ever mind his/her ways? I don’t think it will be possible.

I, personally, am pro death penalty but as the Supreme Court states, only in the ‘rarest of rare cases’. The brutality of the crime and the probability of it reoccurring should be taken into consideration, I think.

What do you think about the imposition of death penalties? Please express your opinions in comments.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 12:49:33

    I have never supported the death penalty. It’s not a deterrent as proponents claim. For me it all about vengeance,pure and simple. I’m not an overly religious person, but I just don’t believe that anyone has the right to willingly take a life except for God. Maybe if “life in prison” actually meant life in prison we wouldn’t still be having this debate. Awesome post!



    • theintrovertedschmuck
      Feb 04, 2015 @ 15:20:25

      I agree. As far as possible, death penalty should be avoided. But at the same time, life imprisonment should actually be life imprisonment.
      Maybe one day, we can live in a world without hatred where there is no need of death penalties.



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