Why take a stand against Capital Punishment?

abolition-147726_1280Now that Yakub Memon is hanged I hope we can discuss the issue of capital punishment without Yakub in the picture because the reason to be against Capital Punishment is a humanitarian stand, it is not a religious or nationalistic stand and not based on (or biased to) whose neck is on the noose.

While Capital punishment is a very primitive form of punishment, the big support for it on social media is even more nauseating and nothing different from the times when the public stood in front of the hanging ceremony and cheered justice… I hope all those who cheered will sleep well today as in their opinion Justice has been served even though it is a fact that after 20+ years and having one Yakub in custody they have not been able to catch the real culprits Tiger and Dawood…. But as someone commented ‘one down’ People seems to be supporting capital punishment like they were living the bollywood flick ‘A Wednesday’.

If you have been against Capital Punishment and spoke against it in the last few days or weeks, you would have been termed as unpatriotic and insensitive to those who died in the 1993 blast. That is a very derogatory thing to say because what they do not understand is that the anti-Capital Punishment camp will stand by their word even if the neck on the noose was that of the Bajrang Dal member Dara Singh who lead the religious mob that murdered Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, Philip (aged 10) and Timothy (aged 6) on 22 January 1999…. Capital Punishment is barbaric irrespective of whose life is snuffed out…

But let us discuss because those who cheered the hanging has in fact cheered to a statement that ‘The state has the right to Kill someone who is found guilty as per its Judicial System’ And that puts them in par with the people who applaud the death penalty in some countries for crimes they would not even think are crimes… because their judicial system feels that is right… Death Penalty is Barbaric…

Being against Capital Punishment is not a stand you take as a Indian or hindu, or muslim or christian or atheist or whatever your belief is, you take that stand as a human being….

So why do you take a stand against Capital Punishment? Because it is the right thing to do.

On Capital Punishment… the decision to oppose is not easy…. but it is more of a stand based on a few things… here are some reasons I jotted when someone asked for a numbered list

  1. Capital Punishment is not a deterrent to crime
  2. It is a primitive form of punishment and is not immune to giving itself to mass appeal and demand and so having that on the menu at a national level is not advisable
  3. Capital Punishment is an irreversible process and a state as a collective responsible body should not initiate a policy on its citizen that cannot be reversed
  4. Abolishing Capital Punishment is not just about putting someone to death.. It is also about sentencing someone to death which will kind of put them in a position without parole (I might need some correction here, but that is my understanding) and this puts a lot of innocent people at risk of being locked up even if death does not reach them…
  5. When an individual is not allowed to kill, how can a state do it which is a collection of individual, you and me.. and when our country does it, we are participants.. You might agree on Yakub, but tomorrow you might have someone’s neck on the noose that you might not agree on…

Here are the statistics of countries and their stand towards capital punishment
103 (53%) have abolished it for all crimes;
6 (3%) have abolished, but retain it for exceptional or special circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime);
50 (26%) retain, but have not used it for at least 10 years or are under a moratorium;
36 (18%) retain it in both law and practice.

One of the main points people make is that Capital punishment has a deterrent value as it avoids people from committing the crimes. If that is the case then the countries where Capital punishment is active should be the safest place on earth. But we have found and know that it is never a deterrent in any of the cases below

  1. A murder done for the that the kind of people who do mass murders are not always fearing death (the suicide kinds)… And
  2. The ones who do it by impulse does not think of the punishment when doing it. And
  3. The Ones who commit it by a lot of planning is also thinking he/she can escape, not just the death penalty but if possible the jail sentence.

So saying capital punishment is a deterrent can only be for argument sake but the reasons do not support the need for Capital Punishment.

May be people who make that argument should find the pro-death penalty and safest places in the world to help that argument and that number should be more than the anti-death penalty unsafe places in the world

When I take a anti-capital punishment stand on a humanitarian ground I also understand that it is also the human in people that takes the capital punishment stand, because they feel that if they say no to say Yakub’s hanging they are disrespecting the 257 people who died… And I am fully with them on that stand as a person because that is the easiest stand to take and sit back. Though some though go overboard on this like one friend who cried ‘hang also the 300 people who signed for pardon”

The thing is not to take the easiest route, it is taking the correct route… and asking the tough questions to oneself

-Vinod-

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